Okay, after a few posts on eggplant, mushrooms and tofu it’s time to get back to being a carnivore. This post was an experiment with pork tenderloin. I love this cut; it’s the perfect size, grills easy and marinates extremely well. I have a guilty confession to make; I really like the pre-marinated tenderloins that are showing up quite often these days. The downside of the pre-marinated tenderloins is that two of the primary ingredients in the marinade are dextrose and malto-dextrose, that is, sugar. I knew going into this that this guy was going to smoke up the kitchen and dirty up my grill pan. That’s alright; things have to get messy every now and then.
So the cook was pretty straight forward. I pre-heated the grill pan on medium low for about five minutes then added the tenderloin which I had let warm on the counter for the previous thirty minutes. I grilled it for seven minutes per side on four sides for a total of about 28 minutes of grilling. Yep…the kitchen got smokey. I turned my vent on high and opened up the back door, no big deal. I let the finished loin rest for ten minutes then sliced thinly. You can see there is still plenty of pink in the pork which, in my opinion, is just about perfect. After the pork was sliced I gave it a light glaze with a 50:50 mix of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce and honey. I know I am biased since I like my own cooking but let me say that this was fantastic.
While the loin was resting I took a few minutes to go ahead and clean my pan as some crud had built up from the sugary marinade. I added a little bit (maybe two tablespoons) of hot water to the pan and let it steam up the crud. You have to be careful here as you do not want to get a steam burn on your hand. After the steam had died down I gave the pan a quick scrub with my bristle brush and let the pan sit while we ate. I came back after dinner and finished rinsing out the pan. A quick wipe down and a squirt of oil later and the pan was nice and clean then tucked away for another day.
Another note on cleaning, I am adding a small amount of hot liquid to my hot grill pan. I am not adding a large amount of cold liquid. If you pour a lot of cold water into a hot pan you run the very real risk of cracking or warping the pan due to thermal shock. That would be bad.
If you are looking for ideas or equipment check out my page on grill pan starter sets!