Pork tenderloin is one of the most popular and versatile cuts of pork. It’s known for being very lean and tender, yet still flavorful. The price of pork tenderloin can vary quite a bit depending on the cut, quality, and where you shop. Here’s a closer look at the average cost of pork tenderloin and what impacts the price.
On average, fresh pork tenderloin costs $4 to $7 per pound at most grocery stores in the U.S. The price ranges from about $2.50 per pound for whole tenderloins bought in bulk to $11 per pound for high-end pre-packaged tenderloin medallions and roasts.
What Impacts the Price of Pork Tenderloin?
There are several factors that affect the retail price of pork tenderloin:
- Cut – A whole pork tenderloin is cheaper per pound than tenderloin fillets or medallions.
- Quality grade – Higher graded tenderloins (ex: organic, heritage breed) cost more.
- Pre-processing – Enhanced, marinated, and pre-seasoned tenderloins cost more than raw.
- Pre-portioned – Individually packaged portions or roasts cost more per pound.
- Store type – Prices are higher at specialty butcher shops than mass retailers.
- Location – Prices vary regionally and are higher in urban areas.
- Season – Prices fluctuate somewhat depending on supply and demand seasons.
Breakdown of Pork Tenderloin Prices
Here is a more detailed breakdown of approximate prices for different types and cuts of pork tenderloin:
|Cut||Price Per Pound|
|Whole untrimmed tenderloin||$3.50 – $5.50|
|Trimmed/cleaned whole tenderloin||$4.50 – $6.50|
|Tenderloin fillets||$5.50 – $8.00|
|Tenderloin medallions||$6.50 – $11.00|
|Marinated tenderloin||$7.00 – $12.00|
|Organic/Heritage tenderloin||$6.00 – $15.00|
Bulk Savings on Whole Pork Tenderloins
One way to get the best deal on pork tenderloin is to buy a whole, untrimmed tenderloin in bulk. Many warehouse clubs and meat markets offer special pricing when you buy large, whole pork tenderloins. The price may be as low as $2.50 to $3 per pound. This does require you to trim and portion the tenderloin yourself, but results in significant savings over pre-cut options.
Factors That Justify the Cost of Pork Tenderloin
While the price may seem high compared to other pork cuts, there are good reasons why tenderloin commands a premium price at retail:
- Scarcity – Pork tenderloin is a small muscle that accounts for less than 1% of the animal. So supply is limited.
- Versatility – Tenderloin can be prepared as roasts, fillets, medallions, kabobs, etc.
- Convenience – Tenderloins require minimal trimming and prep work.
- Consistency – The lean meat has a fine grain and reliable tenderness.
- Flavor – While mild, the meat has a appreciated subtle flavor.
- Nutrition – It’s one of the leanest cuts of pork.
- Presentation – Tenderloins look attractive with uniform shape.
- Trendiness – Their popularity has boosted demand, driving up prices.
How to Get the Best Deal on Pork Tenderloin
Here are some tips for getting high-quality pork tenderloin while spending less:
- Check weekly sales ads and buy tenderloins on sale.
- Look for markdowns on meat nearing its sell-by date.
- Join loyalty programs at stores where you buy meat.
- Buy warehouse club brands for savings on bulk.
- Purchase whole untrimmed tenderloins and trim yourself.
- Skip enhanced, marinated, and pre-seasoned versions.
- Compare unit prices and go with the lowest per pound.
- Use pork tenderloin sparingly to make it last.
In most stores, expect to spend around $4 to $7 per pound for fresh pork tenderloin. While not the cheapest cut of pork, tenderloin rewards the higher price with its tender texture, juiciness, and versatility. Use strategies like buying whole tenderloins on sale and skipping enhanced products to get this premium cut for less.