Apple Cider-Brined Pork Tenderloin

cider-brined pork tenderloin

Cider-Brined Pork Tenderloin

I’m not gonna lie, this apple cider-brined pork tenderloin with roasted apples and carrots is ridiculously delicious!  It is truly the best pork tenderloin I’ve ever had.  

We all know how well apples go with pork chops, but brining this tenderloin in apple cider takes it to another level.  And leftovers are amazing the next day. Yum!

And tossing the apples and carrots in lemon juice before roasting them makes for a tangy and sweet side that goes so nicely with the pork.  And you can serve with mesquite asparagus or these fancy green beans.

apple cider brined pork tenderloin with roasted carrots, apples, and fancy green beans

Sometimes we find the long tenderloins and sometimes they are cut into smaller medallions.  Either cut works well.  

I like to use a meat thermometer to make sure they are cooked to the right temperature.  I prefer my pork cooked to medium (150 degrees F) and then let it rest.

Can You Make Apple Cider from Apple Juice?

Yes!  Instead of buying apple cider (which can be pretty expensive), you can make it with gluten-free apple juice.  

What you need to made the apple cider from apple juice is:

  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 3-4 whole cloves

To make the apple cider, add all the ingredients to a small saucepan. Heat over low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  The juice should concentrate down to 1 cup and darken. Strain the liquid and discard the cloves.

I like to make the apple cider the day before this is on the menu for dinner.  That way I can prepare the brine and the pork can marinate over night.  

If you have apple cider, you can skip this step and prepare the brine (still do it the night before).

Ingredients for the apple cider brine.

Preparing the Apple Cider Brine

You will need apple cider, a cinnamon stick, whole black peppercorns, whole coriander seeds, crushed red pepper, crushed garlic cloves, kosher salt, and ice.

All of the ingredients (except ice) will be added to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir until the salt has dissolved.

Apple Cider Brine for Pork Tenderloin

I usually put the ice in a pyrex measuring cup and pour the hot brine onto the ice. Once the ice has melted, and the brine is cool, it will be transferred into a large Ziploc bag with the pork tenderloin.

Apple Cider Brine Poured over Ice in a Pyrex Measuring Cup

Marinate it overnight in the refrigerator. A good tip is to put the ziploc bag into a dish to give it some stability while in the fridge, like a baking dish.

Cooking the Pork Tenderloin

There are actually two different ways that we have cooked the pork tenderloin over the years.

Originally, we seared the pork on all sides and then transferred it into the oven. Then baked it at 425 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. I like mine cooked to medium, about 150 degrees. Then let it rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Recently, we have just put it straight in the oven and cooked it for 30 minutes, turning it once at around the 20 minute mark. It is also cooked on a grill pan at 425 degrees F. Then letting it rest about 10 minutes before slicing. Letting it rest helps it retain all that juiciness.

Or you could cook it on the grill. I haven’t done this because we don’t have a grill outside, but I’m sure it would turn out lovely.

Rested then sliced apple cider brined pork tenderloin.

Apple Cider-Brined Pork Tenderloin | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

This is a delicious pork tenderloin brined in apple cider and served with roasted carrots and apples.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword cider-brined pork tenderloin
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Deana Larkin Evans


Apple Cider Brine

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 cups ice

Pork & Roasted Apples, Carrots

  • pork tenderloin
  • 4-5 large organic carrots
  • 2 organic Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


Make the Brine The Night Before

  1. Make the apple cider from apple juice.

  2. Add all of the brine ingredients except for the ice to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Once the salt has dissolved, remove from the heat and add the ice. 

  3. When the ice has melted, pour the cool mixture into a large Ziploc bag. Rinse and dry the pork tenderloin, then add to the bag. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

Cooking the Pork, Carrots and Apples

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium high heat on the stove top. Drizzle the skillet with a little olive oil. Remove the pork tenderloin from the brine (discard).  Sear the tenderloin so that all sides have a brown crust.

  3. Place into the oven on the bottom rack and cook for about 15-20 minutes. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees for medium rare, but we prefer it around 150 and cooked to medium. 

  4. Remove to a cutting board and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

  5. Meanwhile, peel the apples and carrots, and then slice. Toss with lemon juice and olive oil. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with some salt. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 25 minutes, tossing once, until everything is nicely roasted.

Recipe Notes

  1. Make the cider brine the night before so the pork tenderloin can marinate overnight.
  2. Some of the coriander seeds and peppercorns may stick to the pork.  So make sure to remove them before grilling so you don’t get a strong flavor of the seeds when biting into your pork.  Not so tasty.

Recipe By Hugh Acheson & Adapted from Food & Wine

pork tenderloin leftovers in a delicious salad

Want More Recipes Like Cider-Brined Pork Tenderloin?

Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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4 Responses

  1. Robert N. (Bob) Douglas a.k.a. poppy says:

    Deanna You are truely amazing. Uncle Bob (Poppy)

  1. January 11, 2015

    […] – Cider-Brined Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Pears and Carrots; Fancy Green […]

  2. March 15, 2015

    […] – Cider Brined Pork Tenderloin, Roasted Carrots and Apples, Fancy Green […]

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