This Spicy Dry Rub recipe is a tasty and easy way to spice up your pork tenderloin. With a perfect balance of sweetness and heat, this rub adds a delicious depth of flavor to the mild taste of pork. Best of all, it requires minimal prep time and is easy to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknights or last-minute dinner parties!

Table of Contents
  1. You will Love This Spicy Pork Tenderloin Seasoning
  2. Rub for Pork Tenderloin Ingredients
  3. How to Make Spicy Pork Tenderloin Rub
  4. Pork Tenderloin Dry Rub Technique
  5. How to Cook Spicy Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
  6. Dry Rub for Pork FAQs
  7. Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Pork Tenderloin
  8. What to Serve with This Spicy Pork Tenderloin
  9. More Delicious Pork Recipes
  10. Spicy Pork Tenderloin Seasoning (and Cooking)

You will Love This Spicy Pork Tenderloin Seasoning

I really love preparing pork tenderloin. It’s super delicious, extremely versatile and can be elegant in its presentation. Because it’s very lean and mild, pork is the perfect match for a bold spice rub, like this one. Brown sugar, paprika, three peppers, onion and garlic powder combine to provide a savory, slightly sweet flavoring with a bit of a kick. And, since pork tenderloin cooks quickly and this recipe requires no marinating time, you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Robert is particularly fond of this dish. Many of my easy recipes have been born while my husband Robert and I were camping in our Airstream trailer. One evening, we had been fly fishing all day and returned to the trailer tired and hungry. I opened our pantry (which is pretty small!), pulled out some brown sugar and a variety of spices, and started mixing – and this rub was the result. After returning home to Denver, I made it a few more times, tweaking the proportions.

Rub for Pork Tenderloin Ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this rub:

  • Paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Ground black pepper
  • Ground white pepper
  • Light brown sugar

Brown sugar brings out the sweetness of the pork, and the combination of the three ground peppers add spicy heat. Lastly, garlic and onion powder amp up all the flavors! This rub is a bit on the spicy side, but you can easily modify it to your taste by increasing or decreasing the ground peppers, especially the cayenne.

spicy rubbed pork tenderloin, sliced and served on a platter

How to Make Spicy Pork Tenderloin Rub

This Spicy Rub is very quick and easy to prepare. And, once you whip up a batch and store it in your pantry, it only takes minutes to prep the tenderloin:

  1. Prepare spice rub.
    In a small bowl, whisk together paprika, salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and white pepper until well mixed.
  2. Prep tenderloin.
    Rub tenderloin all over with olive oil.
  3. Add rub.
    Rub with spice mixture to coat all sides – you’ll need around 2 tablespoons, so you’re likely to have some rub leftover, which you can save for next time. Set aside.

Pork Tenderloin Dry Rub Technique

After preparing the Spicy Dry Rub, here are my tips on how to apply the rub to the pork and make sure it stays in place:

  1. Pat tenderloin dry with paper towel.
  2. Rub olive oil all over the tenderloin. The oil helps the rub adhere to the meat. (It also helps to keep it from sticking to the grill.)
  3. Generously sprinkle the spice mixture all over the tenderloin and rub it in with your hands. Coat the meat well.

How to Cook Spicy Rubbed Pork Tenderloin

Here are three different methods for cooking the seasoned pork tenderloin:

Cooking on the grill

  1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on medium.
  2. Once hot, carefully oil grill rack (I use long tongs holding a paper towel lightly soaked with canola or other high heat oil.)
  3. Grill tenderloin, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Turn over and continue cooking, covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140 to 150 degrees.
  5. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Cooking in the oven

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sear the outside of tenderloin on a grill (or in an oiled grill pan or cast iron skillet) over high heat; it usually takes about 5 minutes.
  3. Place tenderloin on prepared baking sheet and roast for around 10 to 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140 to 150 degrees.
  4. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Cooking in a sous vide

  1. Place rubbed pork in a vacuum-sealable bag, or in a zip top baggie and seal. If using zip top baggie, remove all the air from the bag (follow directions for your sous vide machine).
  2. Set your sous vide cooker to 140 to 145 degrees.
  3. Once preheated, add sealed bag to the water and cook for 2 hours.
  4. Around 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to take the pork out of the water bath, preheat a grill to high. Alternatively, just a few minutes before taking out of the water bath, preheat a grill pan or cast iron skillet on high.
  5. Remove pork from bag. Oil grill grate/pan/skillet. Quickly grill pork on all sides, just until golden brown.
  6. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Dry Rub for Pork FAQs

What spices are good with pork?

Honestly, I can’t think of a spice that doesn’t work well with pork! In addition to the spices in my rub, I recommend trying dry mustard, ginger, curry powder, cumin – even cinnamon and allspice would work well.

What herbs go best with pork?

As with spices, many herbs pair well with pork. My favorites are sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme and dill.

What is the best way to tenderize pork tenderloin?

Pork tenderloin, as the name implies, is naturally a tender cut of meat. Just make sure not to overcook it and it will come out moist and tender.

How do you keep pork tenderloin from drying out?

The best way to keep it from drying out is to not overcook it. Use an instant read thermometer and remove from the grill when it reaches 145 degrees.

How long should dry rub sit on pork?

It’s not necessary to put a rub on pork overnight. A rub simply adds seasoning to the meat and doesn’t need time to do that (vs. a marinade). It doesn’t hurt the meat do so, however, if that saves you time before grilling.

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Pork Tenderloin

Leftover cooked tenderloin should be placed in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 325 degree oven for around 10 minutes – or use cold in sandwiches!

You an also freeze the cooked pork for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as above.

More Delicious Pork Recipes

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spicy rubbed pork tenderloin, sliced and served on a platter

Spicy Pork Tenderloin Seasoning (and Cooking)

This Spicy Dry Rub recipe is a tasty and easy way to spice up your pork tenderloin. With a perfect balance of sweetness and heat, this rub adds a delicious depth of flavor to the mild taste of pork. Best of all, it requires minimal prep time and is easy to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknights or last-minute dinner parties.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Resting time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 (1 1/4 to 1 1/2-pound) pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or as needed
  • chopped Italian parsley, for garnish

Instructions

Preparing spicy rub and Tenderloin

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the paprika, salt, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper and white pepper until well mixed.
  2. Rub tenderloin all over with olive oil.
  3. Rub with spice mixture to coat all sides – you’ll need around 2 tablespoons, so you’re likely to have some rub leftover, which you can save for the next time. Set rubbed pork aside.

Cooking on the grill

  1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on medium.
  2. Once hot, carefully oil grill rack (I use long tongs holding a paper towel lightly soaked with canola or other high heat oil.)
  3. Grill tenderloin, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Turn over and continue cooking, covered, for another 5 to 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140 to 150 degrees.
  5. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Cooking in the oven

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Sear the outside of tenderloin on a grill (or in an oiled grill pan or cast iron skillet) over high heat; it usually takes about 5 minutes.
  3. Place tenderloin on prepared baking sheet and roast for around 10 to 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140 to 150 degrees.
  4. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Cooking in a sous vide

  1. Place rubbed pork in a vacuum-sealable bag, or in a zip top baggie and seal. If using zip top baggie, remove all the air from the bag (follow directions for your sous vide machine).
  2. Set your sous vide cooker to 140 to 145 degrees.
  3. Once preheated, add sealed bag to the water and cook for 2 hours.
  4. Around 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to take the pork out of the water bath, preheat a grill to high. Alternatively, just a few minutes before taking out of the water bath, preheat a grill pan or cast iron skillet on high.
  5. Remove pork from bag. Oil grill grate/pan/skillet. Quickly grill pork on all sides, just until golden brown.
  6. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Author: Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Pork, main dish, quick and easy
  • Method: Grilling (or Roasting)
  • Cuisine: American
spicy rubbed pork tenderloin, sliced and served on a platter

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I’ve provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


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