05/30/2013 AT 3:00 PM ET
There are several reasons Jamie Deen (yes, Paula’s son), opts for pork over steak when barbecuing in summer. “Kids and adults like it,” he tells PEOPLE. “It’s been a super-easy go-to for me. It’s versatile – some come pre-seasoned, or you can take the time to buy a raw one, make a rub and make it your own – and it’s affordable.”
Though Deen (who you can see on Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen on Sundays at 10 a.m. ET on Food Network) cautions that pork can dry out on the grill if you don t keep an eye on it, with this juicy recipe, the chances of that happening are slim. He recommends letting your pork sit in the marinade overnight so it’ll produce the “most succulent piece of meat imaginable” the next day – with a crisp, herby crust to boot.
Herb-Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin
Serves 4 to 6
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp. salt
¼ cup olive oil
1½ Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 (1-lb.) pork tenderloins
1. Using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a knife, mash the garlic with 1 tsp. of the salt until it forms a paste.
2. Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, vinegar, sage, rosemary, thyme, pepper and the remaining 1 tsp. salt.
3. Smear the mixture all over the pork. Transfer the pork to a bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Let the pork come to room temperature before grilling.
4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, and brush the grate with oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
5. Transfer the pork to the grill. Close the cover and cook, turning once, until a dark golden crust forms on the pork and the meat is just cooked through, 7-9 minutes per side.
6. Let the pork rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tip: If you want to be sure a big piece of meat like a pork tenderloin is perfectly cooked through and nice and juicy – and you don’t much care about the char – try this fail-safe method: Wrap the meat in aluminum foil and prick the foil all over to let the heat in and some of the steam out. Then grill as usual. This way, you can get a little of that smoky taste, all the convenience and easy cleanup of grilling, but less of the super-dark, unpredictable char that can make grilling a larger cut tricky.
From Get Fired Up by Jamie & Bobby Deen, 2011.