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Confused about pork tenderloin temperature...

RoanokesmokeRoanokesmoke Posts: 29
edited 2:16PM in EggHead Forum
I'm looking at doing some pork tenderloins tonight (low and slow), and I'm confused about what temperature I should cook them to. The USDA recommends cooking pork to a minimum of 160 degrees, and some suggest a minimum of 170 for pork tenderloins. However, after doing a search here, it seems most of you suggest only cooking pork tenderloins to about 140-150 or so, as anything over that will try it out. Is it safe to eat pork tenderloin at, say, 150, or am I taking a chance of getting sick? Thanks.


  • GunnarGunnar Posts: 2,305
    I pull them at 143, foil them and let them rest for a few minutes. Very slight touch of pink. They will melt in your mouth. Tric dies at 137 if I remember correctly.
    LBGE      Katy (Houston) TX
  • I cook mine to 150 and I feel that is perfectly safe. If it were not for my wife I would probably use 145.
  • yea but will I have to worry about getting sick? The recommended minimum temp is 170 degrees, whereas you and most others are saying 150 or so. I'm not terribly nervous about the 20 degree difference, but after getting salmonella a few years back I'm very cautious about food poisoning these days.
  • If you're looking for a guarantee that you're not going to get sick I can't help you except to tell you I've never gotten sick from eating pork tenderloin at 145 to 150 degrees. Cooked in the 145 to 150 range pork tenderloin is moist, tender and flavorful. I think that if you cook to 170 you are going to find it to be dry and chewy.
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    I don't recall ever seeing anyone here posting of being sick using these temps 145) Just be sure your thermometer is correct and take the temp in a couple of place to check for even cooking.

  • DarnocDarnoc Posts: 2,661
    Cooking till it is 145 internal is fine.Just let it rest and tent with foil for ten minutes.Slice and serve.Enjoy.
  • And a good reason to have an accurate 'instant read' thermometer. Like a Thermopen

    Perhaps Molly Shark is again taking orders that will save you money.

    Spring "Instant Hot Flashes" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
  • Back in the old days, pork had significant danger of being infected with trichinosis (spell?). You needed to cook pork above 160 to kill it. Nowadays, trichinosis is almost unknown in pork and thus you now don't need to cook it to 160 for safety reasons. It is now a matter of how you like your pork cooked.
    The Naked Whiz
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i cook to 145/150

    trich is killed at 137 (instantly). Bacteria don't die instantly, you need to cook them longer at lower temps, and less time at higher temps. long story short, though, most are long gone at 145. keep in mind, there's no bacteria IN the meat, it's ON the meat. and surface bacteria will have been exposed to temps over 140 for the entire cook.

    pork is also safer than beef (for now).

    USDA guidelines are zero-tolerance. they assume worst case, human error, infected meat, bad thermometers, etc. by saying 160, they have built in a considerable safety cushion
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    trichinosis dies at 137 i think. still, grandma cooked it to 180. hahaha

    trich is found now in wild game (boars, etc.) or on farms where folks grow their own. you are right about the industry. trichinosis is virtually non-existent.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • I try to take pork tenderloin off at 140 but usually don't catch it till it's gone past.

    Ellen needs all her meat cooked until it is gray
    so she always puts it in the microwave after I serve it.
  • Mr. Wiki says the USDA says that pork has to be cooked to a uniform internal temp of 144 degrees. FWIW. So, you were closer than me, LOL!
    The Naked Whiz
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    really? i thought the dictum from on high was that it shall be gray hard dry pork, lest the children get rickets er whatever?

    have you gently managed to ratchet the clan down to normal temps? excellent work, young bob-o. nicely done! i took a tip from fishless, and served rare meat by candlelight. no kidding.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you'll hear a lot of folks talking about the USDA... i actually found on the USDA site that they take pains to explain how they arrived at the 'guidelines', and why. they occasionally tip their hand and admit that it's not simply "fours hours between 40 and 140" for everything. which was heartening.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    As everybody said 150 is safe.

    However, There really isn't a need to cook a tenderloin low and slow. Tenderloin is an extremely lean piece of meat and will cook quickly. If you are looking for an overnight type cook with tenderloin you won't get much sleep.
  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 998
    I've been pulling my pork off at 125 and its been beautifully tender and slightly pink. Haven't died or even gotten sick yet. People eat raw fish all the time and that's more scary to me than the pork.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    You don't count you eat Haggis!!! :whistle:
  • Rolling EggRolling Egg Posts: 1,995
    I usually cook mine at about 300 to 320 dome. I pull at 145 internal. Wrap in foil for about 15 minutes. I love these things. They will melt in your mouth.
  • HaggisHaggis Posts: 998
    Yeah, you're probably right on that point . . . but damnation, it sure is good stuff! Where the hell else can you eat liver, heart, testicles, brains, oats, all wrapped up in a sheep's stomach! Oh . . . I forgot . . . if you leave out the stomach, you have scrapple!

    On a related point, how the devil can you call yourself "celtic" if you don't eat haggis or something equally tasty?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    or "wolf" for that matter.

    wolves and dogs don't eat the muscle first, they go right for the entrails.

    always kills me when they show people pampering their dog by serving them a tenderloin filet. dog's thinking, "what the heck is this? where's the liver and heart?"
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Some Celts have the sense to eat the meat. Which is why you Highlanders have to eat the guts..

    @stike.. I love properly prepared Beef Heart. Even like Marrow. When the occasion strikes me I will even eat liver.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    "sick" means nothing.

    sick from bacteria? well, the bacteria are dead at 140

    sick from trichinosis? trich is dead at 137 or so.

    so if not those, what are people going to get sick from? sounds like many people don't even know what to be afraid of :)
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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