Maple Brined Pork Tenderloin

Over the holidays one of my sisters  checked my site for any information on brining a turkey (I had not posted any recipe yet) and that has prompted me to look into brining again.  I have not done a lot of brining mainly due to health issues in my family.   Too much salt in your diet is not good!   See my recipe from Weber’s Art of the Grill, Apple-Brined and Mesquite-Smoked Turkey which I described as “excellent”.

This recipe attracted my attention because of the maple syrup, maple sugar and apple cider – yum!  This recipe makes a lot but you can cut the ingredients in half or even thirds.  I have to admit brining may make meat tender but the salt is too much for me.   Next time I will either cut down on the salt or leave it out entirely.    On the plus side the maple additions to this brine made it very flavorful.

Maple-Brined Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 tsp. peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 2 cups apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 1/2 cup Michigan maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup maple sugar (I buy it at Whole Foods)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • four 1-lb. pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • canola oil as needed to brown the tenderloins

Toast the peppercorns, cloves, allspice and juniper berries over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until fragrant.  Add the salt, apple cider, syrup, sugar, garlic cloves and thyme to the saucepan and bring just to a simmer.  Add 3 cups of cold water and let cool.  Add the pork tenderloins, cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.  Drain the pork, discarding the brine; pat the pork dry.  Heat the oil and brown the tenderloins all over for about 10 minutes.  Transfer the pork to baking sheets and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, turning once or when an instant-read thermometer registers 140° degrees.  Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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