Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin

instant pot pork tenderloin on a plate with potatoes and kale
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 16 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Pressure Build/Release: 20 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Yield: 1 tenderloin

Instant Pot pork tenderloin takes just minutes to cook to the perfect temperature and the recipe is easy to customize with alternative herbs and spices. Use the suggested spices or opt for a French mixture such as herbes de Provence or fines herbes along with the garlic powder. You can also choose Italian herbs or a taco seasoning blend. Cajun seasoning is another complementary choice for the pork.

Pork tenderloin is a lean and healthy cut. In fact, it is almost as low in fat as boneless chicken breasts. However, the very leanness that makes it so desirable makes it a somewhat tricky protein to cook. Like other very lean meat, fish, and poultry, pork tenderloin can quickly become tough and dry if overcooked. Luckily, the USDA lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for pork from 160 F to 145 F, so overcooking isn't as much of a problem as it was in the past. 

This recipe relies on the pressure build and natural release to cook the pork, with no actual high-pressure cooking time. All you have to do is brown the pork, set the timer to 0 (yes, zero!), and let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes.

The temperature of 145 F (or slightly higher) is what you should aim for in this recipe. The pork might look slightly pink in the center at that temperature, but, according to the USDA, it is perfectly safe to eat.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for instant pot pork tenderloin
    Diana Rattray
  2. Dry the pork with paper towels and cut it crosswise into two pieces. Sprinkle the pork with kosher salt. Combine the chili powder, paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, and pepper; rub it all over the pork tenderloin.

    spices rubbed over the pork tenderloin
    Diana Rattray
  3. Select the Instant Pot sauté button and add the olive oil and butter. When the fat is hot, add the pork pieces. Cook for about 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the pork to a plate.

    sear the pork tenderloin in the instant pot
    Diana Rattray
  4. Add the chicken stock to the pot and use a spoon to scrape up any browned, stuck-on bits. Place a trivet in the pot and place the browned pork on the trivet.

    Add the chicken stock and scrape up the stuck on browned bits
    Diana Rattray
  5. Secure the lid and make sure the steam release valve is in the sealing position. Choose pressure cook or manual (high pressure) and set the timer for 0 (zero) minutes. The cooker will take about 5 minutes to build pressure. When the time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes.

    instant pot lid
    Diana Rattray
  6. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the pork is at least 145 F in the center. Remove the pork to a platter and let it rest for 5 minutes.

    testing the pork tenderloin temperature
    Diana Rattray
  7. If desired, thicken the juices to make a sauce/gravy. Choose the sauté button and bring the liquids to a simmer. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl and then whisk the mixture into the juices. Continue to simmer, stirring, until thickened.

    thickening the sauce
    Diana Rattray
  8. Slice the pork tenderloin and arrange it on a platter. Drizzle the juices—thickened or not—over the pork.

    pork tenderloin on a platter with kale
    Diana Rattray