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Pork loin vs tenderloin -- what's the difference?

Prof DanProf Dan Posts: 339
edited 2:54PM in EggHead Forum
I'm displaying my ignorance here --these two cuts look sort of the same, but tenderloin is more expensive. Is one leaner? Tastier? Tender-er? Is cook time and method the same?[p]Sorry for such a basic question -- appreciate the advice.


  • KevinHKevinH Posts: 165
    Prof Dan,[p]The two are cut from slightly different muscles within the same muscle group. A tenderloin is much smaller than a pork loin. Two tenderloins are often sold in a package with total weight of 1.5-2 lbs (about 3/4 lb each). A single pork loin typically weighs 3-4 lbs.[p]I find both cuts to be lean and tender, but I cook them much differently. I like to cook the tenderloins directly over the coals at around 375 for 30 minutes, flipping twice. I usually like to stuff a pork loin w/ fruit and nuts and cook it indirect at 325-350 for about 90 minutes. Mr. Toad's recipe is excellent. Wrapping the pork loin in bacon is strictly optional. :)[p]Either way, the pork should rest after cooking for about 15 minutes, and then be sliced into medallions. Enjoy them both!
  • Prof Dan,
    In beef, it would be like the tenderloin vs. the ribeye.

    The Naked Whiz
  • KevinHKevinH Posts: 165
    The Naked Whiz,[p]That's a good and bad answer. Good, because your analogy is correct. Bad, because most people cook beef tenderloins and ribeyes as steaks, while they cook pork tenderloins and pork loins as roasts (sort of).[p]Here is the Big Question: I can recommend cooking beef tenderloins and ribeyes as both roasts and steaks. But I have only cooked pork tenderloins and pork loins as roasts. Have you successfully cooked the pork cuts as steaks, and if so how?[p]Do I have too much free time, or what? :-)
  • KevinH,
    I don't see a problem there at all. Loin chops are basically "steaks" cut from a pork loin, just like ribeye steaks are steaks cut from the ribeye. I buy loin chops at the market all the time and cook them just like steaks: sear and dwell.

    The Naked Whiz
  • ShelbyShelby Posts: 803
    Prof Dan,
    If I'm not mistaken, if you look at a center cut pork chop, the loin is the bigger of the sides; the tenderloin the smaller...if that helps.[p]Tenderloins cook much faster because it's a smaller piece of meat. I tend to use a nice rub on the tenderloins, cook direct at 350 for 30 mins, flipping once and it's simply one of the finest eats you'll have.

  • Pork tenderloin is to pork loin as beef tenderloin is to NY striploin steak (not ribeye).

  • RumrunnerRumrunner Posts: 563
    George, you've been taking notes ;)

  • Z_EggineerZ_Eggineer Posts: 576
    I was just wondering this.  Thank you for clarifying!
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,742
    I hope Fred doesn't see this :-/


    Caledon, ON


  • MrCookingNurseMrCookingNurse Posts: 4,592
    edited April 2013
    Professor Dan strikes again!

    Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,742
    Only took me four tries to see what you did there


    Caledon, ON


  • Keeping it Weird in the ATX
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  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 13,691
    @fishlessman wins the internets for today
  • Z_EggineerZ_Eggineer Posts: 576

    @FredFlinstone19: Oops, sorry.  I actually was googling the difference and this thread popped up.


    +1 to all Eggheads who are eggsperts at something.

  • I could have used this information yesterday!!  I thought that they were both one in the same and made a post asking about FTC.  We learn something new everyday.  Great question!
    Persistence and determination are omnipotent!
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