One of the most frequently asked recipe questions is How To Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Instant Pot.
Ever since I purchased my Instant Pot 6 quart Duo, I have seen hundreds of questions, comments, and debates on social media about the proper way to cook pork tenderloin in the Instant Pot.
But before we answer this question, there are some important facts to know.
Pork Tenderloin versus Pork Loin
Not every pork loin is created equal.
Although they sound similar, pork tenderloin is not the same thing as pork loin. In fact, they don’t even come from the same cut of meat.
Pork tenderloin is a very lean and delicate cut of meat. It is meat that runs along the backbone and is one of the most tender cuts of meat used when used with quick cooking methods.
It is sometimes called a pork loin filet, pork tender, or pork filet. They are sold as a long and skinny piece of meat and are often sold under brand names such as Smithfield.
On the contrary, pork loin is a larger cut of meat that comes from the back itself. It will have a large fat layer on one side of the meat.
Butchers will cut down sections of a larger pork loin and typically sell them at between 2-5 pounds of weight. They are the size of a roast or when cut down in thinner strips, the size of a steak.
You will also see these names when purchasing a pork loin: pork loin roast, center cut pork roast, pork rib roast, pork center cut rib roast. They come in both boneless and bone-in cuts of meat.
So now you can see why all of the discrepancies of cooking methods and time when someone asks ‘How To Cook Pork Tenderloin’ in an Instant Pot.
However, this recipe will explain how we cook the perfect, most juicy pork tenderloin in our Instant Pot.
Tips For Tender and Juicy Pork Tenderloin
The key to lean cuts of meat, including pork tenderloin in the Instant Pot, is not to overcook them. If they are cooked too long, the meat will be dry and tough.
You want to cook them so the internal temperature reaches 145°F when measured by a digital food thermometer.
For those that have heard that pork has to be cooked at a temperature over 160°F, please take note. The USDA states that pork chops, roasts, and steaks are safe to consume at 145°F.
However, pork sausage patties and ground pork mixtures such as meatloaf must be cooked to a temperature of 160°F.
And another way to make everyone confused!
In order to ensure that you have tender and juicy results, it is best to brown the meat prior to pressure cooking. It produces a barrier on the exterior surface of the meat that helps keep the moisture on the inside.
I prefer to cut my pork tenderloin in half and sear the two pieces, rather than trying to do one long piece.
After each side is brown, pour in your liquid and de-glaze the bottom of the pan. Remove all of the browned bits from the bottom before locking the lid in place.
What Type Of Liquid Should I Use When Making Pork Tenderloin In The Instant Pot
Any type of thin liquid will work. However, there will be a definite difference in flavor depending on what you chose.
Any type of stock will be better than using plain water. I have used vegetable, beef, and chicken stock with good results. We have even made Instant Pot Balsamic Pork Tenderloin.
However, my favorite liquid to add is Root Beer. I am not a soda drinker, and I seem to always have some left over either from our Root Beer meatball recipe or after making a few racks of ribs.
When I decided to add the Root Beer as the liquid for the pork tenderloin recipe, the results were DELICIOUS!
In fact, after I took the meat out to rest, I thickened up the Root Beer liquid with a little corn starch and made a Root Beer gravy to pour on top!
Check out the printable recipe below and all of our recipes and let me know what you think!
To receive our 3 Recipe Articles in your inbox each week, sign up for our free email list. You can also follow us
How To Cook Pork Tenderloin In the Instant Pot
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pork tenderloin pork loin filet
- 1 cup Root Beer or liquid of choice
- 1 tablespoon corn starch or arrowroot powder optional
- Preheat Instant Pot on High Saute mode
- Cut pork tenderloin in half
- Once the Instant Pot reads HOT, add the oil and brown tenderloin pieces. Brown on all sides.
- Turn Instant Pot OFF/Cancel and pour in root beer. Deglaze the bottom of the pot to be sure that all pieces stuck on the bottom of the liner have been loosened.
- Place the lid on in the locked and sealed position. Pressure Cook/Manual on High for 15 minutes.
- Allow for a Natural Pressure Release for at least 10 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure.
- Remove the meat – cover and let rest for 5 minutes.
- If desired, remove 1/4 cup of the liquid from the bottom of the pot and whisk in corn starch to make a slurry. Add slurry back to pot. Place pot on Saute mode and reduce to a thick sauce. Drizzle over the pork tenderloin before eating.