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What’s the best way to cook pork tenderloin from frozen?

Cooking pork tenderloin that’s frozen can seem daunting, but with some planning and the right techniques, you can make a delicious meal. Here’s a comprehensive guide on the best practices for thawing, preparing, and cooking frozen pork tenderloin.

Can you cook pork tenderloin from frozen?

Yes, you can absolutely cook pork tenderloin straight from frozen. However, it does require some special considerations compared to cooking thawed pork.

The main thing is that frozen pork takes significantly longer to cook than fresh or thawed meat. This is because the cold temperature of the frozen meat lowers the temperature inside your oven or pan while cooking. An extended cooking time is needed to bring the pork up to a safe internal temperature.

Cooking from frozen also runs a higher risk of drying out the pork or producing uneven cooking. The exterior can overcook before the inside thaws and cooks through. That’s why most chefs recommend thawing frozen pork first for the juiciest, most evenly cooked result.

But with the right prep and cooking methods, it is certainly possible to cook delicious pork tenderloin roast, chops, or medallions directly from the frozen state.

How long does it take to cook frozen pork tenderloin?

Frozen pork tenderloin takes about 50% longer to cook compared to fresh or thawed meat. Here are some general guidelines for approximate cook times:

Pork Tenderloin Weight Cook Time from Frozen
1 pound 50 – 60 minutes
2 pounds 1 hour 10 minutes – 1 hour 20 minutes
3 pounds 1 hour 30 minutes – 1 hour 45 minutes

The exact time needed will depend on the size and shape of your tenderloin, as well as your desired doneness. Always use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 145°F for medium rare or 160°F for well done.

If pan searing chops or medallions, extend the cooking time even more, up to around 8-10 minutes per side for 1-inch pieces.

Should you thaw pork tenderloin before cooking?

For the juiciest, most evenly cooked results, it is best to thaw frozen pork tenderloin in the refrigerator before cooking.

Advance thawing allows you to cook the pork using standard cook times for fresh meat. It prevents overcooking the exterior while the inside thaws.

Thaw tenderloin in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours depending on size, leaving it wrapped. For faster thawing, place in a leak-proof plastic bag and submerge in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes until thawed.

You can skip thawing if you adjust the cook time and method. Just know that the pork may release more juices than normal, so have a rimmed baking sheet ready to catch any drips.

Benefits of thawing pork tenderloin first

  • Cooks more evenly throughout
  • Prevents drying out from overcooking
  • Allows better browning and caramelization
  • No need to adjust seasonings for a frozen roast
  • Results in more tender, juicy meat

Benefits of cooking pork tenderloin frozen

  • Saves time compared to thawing
  • Can be cooked straight from freezer to oven or pan
  • No risk of thawing incorrectly
  • Lets you cook on a whim or if you forget to thaw

Tips for cooking frozen pork tenderloin

If you want to skip thawing and cook directly from frozen, here are some tips:

  • Roast at a lower temperature, around 300°F, to allow time for interior thawing.
  • Use a meat thermometer and allow extra time to reach safe internal temperature.
  • Flip meat less frequently while pan searing to maximize browning.
  • Add extra liquid like wine, broth, or barbecue sauce to combat dryness.
  • Cover pork while roasting or cooking in liquid to keep moist.
  • Allow meat to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing for juices to redistribute.

How to cook frozen pork tenderloin in the oven

Roasting in the oven is a great hands-off way to cook pork tenderloin from frozen. Here is a simple oven method:


  • 2 pound frozen pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Other seasonings or rub as desired


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Pat pork dry and rub with oil. Generously season with salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs.
  3. Place tenderloin directly on prepared baking sheet. Insert a meat thermometer into thickest part of pork, ensuring it doesn’t touch bone or pan.
  4. Roast for around 1 hour and 20 minutes until thermometer reads 145°F for medium rare or up to 160°F for well done.
  5. Remove pork from oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 10 minutes before slicing into medallions.

This low, slow roasting gives time for the interior to gently thaw and cook through without overcooking the outside. Resting after cooking allows the juices to redistribute for moist, tender meat.

How to cook frozen pork tenderloin on the stove

You can also pan roast or pan sear sliced pork tenderloin directly from frozen on the stovetop. Use this quick stove method:


  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Pat pork medallions dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully arrange pork slices in a single layer, work in batches if needed.
  3. Cook for 6-8 minutes per side until browned. Reduce heat to medium if browning too quickly.
  4. Check internal temperature with an instant read thermometer, cooking until 145°F. Remove pork to a plate and tent with foil.

Browning the medallions on both sides gives great flavor. Just don’t flip too often or the pork won’t get a nice crispy crust. Letting the pork rest after helps retain juices.

How to cook frozen pork tenderloin in a slow cooker

Using a slow cooker is foolproof way to cook frozen pork tenderloin until fall-apart tender. It gently thaws and cooks the pork in the moist environment of the slow cooker. Follow this easy recipe:


  • 2 pounds frozen pork tenderloin
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Place onion in the bottom of a 4-6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients on top including frozen pork tenderloin.
  3. Cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or until pork reaches desired doneness (145°F is medium rare).
  4. Remove pork, slice or shred, and serve drizzled with cooking juices if desired.

The tenderloin cooks slowly and gently all day in the flavorful cooking liquid. The low setting prevents overcooking and keeps the meat moist and tender.

How to cook frozen pork tenderloin in the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is the perfect way to quickly cook frozen pork tenderloin while keeping it super juicy. Here’s a simple Instant Pot frozen pork tenderloin recipe:


  • 2 pounds frozen pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Combine broth, soy sauce, garlic powder and pepper in Instant Pot.
  2. Add frozen pork tenderloin and lock lid in place.
  3. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and set to 25 minutes on high pressure.
  4. Allow 10 minute natural pressure release, then quick release remaining pressure.
  5. Check internal temperature (145°F), then remove pork to cutting board to rest 5 minutes.
  6. Slice pork and serve drizzled with pan juices if desired.

The pressurized environment gently cooks the frozen pork in a fraction of the normal time. Releasing the pressure naturally prevents overcooking.

How to cook frozen pork tenderloin sous vide

Sous vide is a hands-off cooking method that produces incredibly tender, juicy pork. Follow these steps for sous vide frozen pork tenderloin:


  • 1-2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • Salt and seasonings


  1. Season pork all over with salt and any other seasonings.
  2. Seal pork in a sous vide bag, removing as much air as possible.
  3. Cook for 2-4 hours at 140°F until heated through.
  4. Remove bag, pat pork dry, and quickly sear for 1-2 minutes per side in a hot skillet to brown exterior.

The low-temp sous vide water bath thawed and tenderizes the pork. Searing at the end gives an extra layer of flavor without overcooking the meat.

How long does frozen pork tenderloin last in the fridge?

Frozen pork tenderloin that is properly packaged and stored at 0°F or below will last for 9-12 months in the freezer. This allows you to buy tenderloins on sale and stock up for many future meals.

Once thawed, pork tenderloin will last for 3-5 days refrigerated at 40°F or less before cooking. To maximize freshness and quality, cook thawed pork within 3 days of thawing.

For food safety, do not refreeze thawed raw pork once it reaches refrigerator temperature. It must be cooked within the recommended window for best flavor and texture.

Can you refreeze thawed pork tenderloin?

It is not recommended to refreeze raw pork tenderloin after thawing. Refreezing and thawing multiple times causes moisture loss, texture changes, and risks bacterial growth.

However, cooked pork tenderloin can be safely refrozen. Allow cooked pork to cool completely, then wrap tightly and freeze for 2-3 months.

When ready to eat, thaw cooked pork tenderloin in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stove, in the oven, or microwave until heated through, about 5 minutes per pound.


Cooking pork tenderloin that is frozen may take more time and special handling, but the results can be just as delicious as fresh. Low, slow cooking methods like roasting, braising, or using a slow cooker or Instant Pot will yield the most tender, juicy meat.

For best results, thaw frozen pork for 24-36 hours in the fridge. But when time is short, use methods like searing over lower heat, cooking in flavorful liquid, or utilizing sous vide. With the proper prep and techniques, frozen pork tenderloin can be a delicious any-night dinner.