It is possible to cook pork tenderloin that is delicious and tender

Pork Tenderloin
Credit: theporkenthusiast

In the times gone by, methods for cooking pork have always called for ensuring the meat is thoroughly cooked through to minimise the risk of becoming ill. For this reason, many people's experience of pork is a dry, chewy one. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be this way.

Many things have changed in the realm of pig farming and butchery; in most western countries pigs enjoy far better diets and general health than their predecessors. Modern breeds developed over the past 50 years, farmed and processed using new technology have all but removed any risks that could be passed onto humans from undercooked pork.

Trichinosis, a parasitic infection caused by the larvae of a particular type of ringworm is often cited as the major cause for concern.  The reality is that fewer than 15 cases are reported in the United States each year and practically all of those were attributed to undercooked game meats. In fact, in Australia there has never been a single reported case of trichinosis ever (Source: Australian Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre).

Despite its reputation, beneath that infamous convering of crispy skin and tasty fat, pork is a very lean meat and just as high in protein as chicken breast. Similar to chicken breast however, if you overcook it, it certainly does have a tendency to become dry or even tough.

So, does pork need to be well and truly cooked in order to be safe?”

Well,  and here's the weird tip- actually no it doesn't. Scientifically speaking, as long as the internal temperature reaches at least 65C (150F) you’re good to go. This is now completely accepted by the USDA and the CSIRO as safe.

So there you go, you can now officially cook a pork tenderloin to medium or even medium rare, with just a little pink in the middle, and bask in its wonderful flavour and moist juicy tenderness! And there are plenty of websites out there devoted to bringing you some excellent porky ideas.

Please note however, that this does not apply to ground meat. Mince and sausages must always be cooked through. In fact this is applicable to every kind of  meats including lamb, chicken and beef. 

Additionally, if you are reading this from a developing country  where livestock are still raised under far less advanced farming methods, it would certainly be best to adhere to the old timer's advice and make sure your pork is cooked all the way through.