If you love pork, you will love this recipe for grilled bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. Even better, taking it to the grill will increase its flavor. This recipe calls for a simple sauce that coats and seasons the meat before wrapping it in bacon. Increase the recipe if preparing more than two tenderloins.
What is Pork Tenderloin?
The pork tenderloin is located in the loin region and consists of two narrow strips of meat that run along either side of the spine. This cut varies between 3/4-1 1/2 pounds per tenderloin, and the meat is lean, tender, and an excellent choice for outdoor cooking. Do not confuse this cut with pork loin. Pork loin is wider, and flatter, and while it is lean like tenderloin, it’s more prone to drying out on the grill. This is why we have chosen to use tenderloin for this recipe instead.
What you’ll need to make grilled bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin:
Pork Tenderloin: The larger, the better. Look for tenderloins that are over 1 pound per piece. Use a shape knife to remove any of the silver skin from the tenderloins. These tough bits can ruin an otherwise tender cut of meat.
Bacon: Choose your bacon wisely. A thick cut will come off the grill a little rubbery, while bacon strips that are too thin can break or burn. So, opt for regular-thickness bacon, and you will be good to go.
Ketchup: This recipe calls for spicy ketchup, which is available at most grocery chains. If you do not have spicy ketchup in your area, you can make your own by adding 1/2-1 teaspoon of hot sauce to 1/3 cup of regular ketchup.
Kitchen Twine or Toothpicks: You will need either of these items to secure the bacon. While we recommend tying the roast, toothpicks will work in a pinch. See the recipe for detailed information on how to wrap and tie the tenderloins.
Not Salt: You will notice that this recipe doesn’t call for salt. The bacon takes care of that. You can use a low-sodium salt if you wish.
- For pellet grills, aim for 400 degrees F., and use fruitwood pellets for this recipe.
- Set up your gas or charcoal units for indirect cooking. Start on direct heat (400 F) and move it off to the cooler part of the grill to finish off, should you need to.
- Always test your bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with a reliable meat thermometer. Look for an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
- Prepare the tenderloins as described in the recipe and preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Place the bacon-wrapped pork tenderloins on a large baking pan or rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven, raise your oven rack, and turn on the broiler.
- Place the tenderloins under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over and repeat.
Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
- 2 pork tenderloins (trimmed of excess surface fat)
- 6-8 slices bacon (use black pepper bacon if preferred)
- 1/3 cup spicy ketchup
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside, Trim off any excess fat on the surface of the tenderloins.
- Preheat your grill for medium-high heat.
- Pat the pork tenderloins dry with paper towels and brush on the sauce. Make a few passes. This next part can get a tad messy so prepare yourself. Cut bacon into halves or thirds depending on the size of tenderloin. Make sure there is enough length to overlap. The bacon and tenderloin will shrink during the cooking process. Wrap bacon around sauced tenderloin and secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine. Don't panic if some of the sauce squishes out. This will happen, and this is why you brush so much to begin with.
- Place wrapped and tied (or secured) tenderloins onto the grill and cook for 20-30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes or so. Watch for burning and move to a cooler part of the grill if needed. The tenderloins are done once they reach 150-155 degrees F., in the thickest part of the meat and the bacon is cooked through.
- Remove from grill and meat let rest for 5 to 10 minutes tented under a sheet of aluminum foil. Carefully remove toothpicks or cut twine, slice into 1" thick pieces and serve.