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Grilled pork tenderloin on a wooden cutting board and basted with barbecue sauce
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5 from 2 votes

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spice Rub

Grilled pork tenderloin with a sweet-and-smoky barbecue rub is a healthy and easy dinner recipe that's perfect for spring and summer!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Grilled Pork Tenderloin, grilled pork tenderloin rub
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 2 - 4 people
Calories 228.3kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional, for serving: barbecue sauce


  • In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, smoked paprika, kosher salt, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder.
  • Trim the pork tenderloin of any excess fat and silverskin. Pat the pork dry, and then rub the spice mixture all over the meat.
  • Allow pork to sit at room temperature while preparing the grill.
  • Preheat grill to medium heat and brush the grates with vegetable oil (to prevent sticking).
  • Place pork on the grill. Close the grill and cook 15-18 minutes, turning every few minutes to ensure even cooking. The meat is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F. You can baste with the barbecue sauce during the final 1-2 minutes, or just serve warm barbecue sauce alongside the pork for dipping.
  • Remove the tenderloin to a cutting board and allow the meat to rest for about 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.


  • Total grilling time will vary depending on the size, thickness and temperature of your pork and grill. As a result, I always recommend using a meat thermometer to know when your pork is done. The tenderloin is ready to come off the grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 140-145 degrees F. The temperature will continue to rise as it rests, and you want to make sure that you don't overcook the meat (because it can become dry).
  • Barbecue sauce pairs nicely with the dry rub used on the pork. You can baste the tenderloin with barbecue sauce during the final 1-2 minutes of grilling, or you can just serve the grilled pork with a side of warm barbecue sauce for dipping.
  • The salt and sugar are necessary for seasoning the meat and for encouraging caramelization on the outside. You can adjust the other spices to suit your taste. For instance, substitute regular paprika for the smoked paprika, or add a dash of cayenne for a spicy rub.
  • A single pork tenderloin is typically just 1 lb. of meat, making it an appropriate amount of food for 2-4 people (depending on the size of your appetite). If you're feeding a larger family of 4-5, I recommend doubling all of the ingredients and cooking two tenderloins side-by-side on the grill.
  • Pork tenderloin is a healthy option for most diets. The extra-lean meat is high in protein and a rich source of B vitamins and selenium. One 4-ounce serving of pork tenderloin has almost 24 grams of protein, 0 carbohydrates, less than 4 grams of fat, and just 136 calories. The American Heart Association has certified pork tenderloin as a heart healthy food!


Serving: 1/3 of the tenderloin | Calories: 228.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 14.8g | Protein: 32.1g | Fat: 5.5g | Saturated Fat: 1.8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 97.3mg | Sodium: 649.5mg | Potassium: 649.7mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9.2g