Recipe: Perfect Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin Steaks

perfect pan-seared pork tenderloin steaks
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated

This recipe is courtesy of America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated.

Perfect Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin Steaks

Serves 4

Choose tenderloins that are equal in size to ensure that the pork cooks at the same rate. We prefer natural pork in this recipe. If using enhanced pork (injected with a salt solution), reduce the salt in step 2 to 1/4 teaspoon per steak. Open the oven as infrequently as possible in step 2. If the meat is not yet up to temperature, wait at least 5 minutes before taking its temperature again. Serve the pork with Scallion-Ginger Relish, if desired.



  • 2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


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 To Prepare

Watch the "America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated" episode featuring this recipe.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and lightly spray rack with vegetable oil spray.

Pound each tenderloin to 1-inch thickness. Halve each tenderloin crosswise. Sprinkle each steak with ½ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Place steaks on prepared wire rack and cook until meat registers between 137 and 140 degrees, 25 to 35 minutes.

Move steaks to 1 side of rack. Line cleared side with double layer of paper towels. Transfer steaks to paper towels, cover with another double layer of paper towels, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Pat steaks until surfaces are very dry. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Increase heat to high, place steaks in skillet, and sear until well browned on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to carving board and let stand for 5 minutes. Slice steaks against grain ¾ inch thick and transfer to serving platter. Season with salt to taste, and serve. 


Scallion-Ginger Relish

Makes about 2/3 cup



  • 6 scallions, white and green parts separated and sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon grated lime zest plus 2 teaspoons juice
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce



To Prepare

Combine scallion whites, ginger, pepper, and lime zest in heatproof bowl. Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Pour oil over scallion mixture. (Mixture will bubble.) Stir until well combined. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Stir in scallion greens, lime juice, and soy sauce. Let mixture sit for 15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.


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