Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin with Chili Rub

With a dynamite spice rub this pork tenderloin has a supple texture with bold Southwest flavors
Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Recipe

By Mark Hinds | Updated August 18, 2022

One of the easiest ways to get a pork tenderloin to turn out perfectly is to cook it sous vide. To create a sous vide pork tenderloin that standouts from the crowd, this recipe uses a combination of chili powder and a hint of chipotle to create one with the bold flavors of the Southwest.

The best reason for cooking a pork tenderloin sous vide is how easy it is to get the pork just right, with a little pink in the center and a nice crisp crust on the outside.

What makes this recipe so delicious is how the chili powder rub on the outside helps create a crisp crust and flavors that pop!

Making Pork Tenderloin Taste Delicious

Pork tenderloin is a lean, tender cut that is ideal for cooking sous vide. What makes tenderloin such a good cut is its soft supple texture and ability to absorb flavors from spices and marinades. The flip side of its ability to absorb flavors is that when a tenderloin is under-seasoned all it has to offer is texture.

Pork In Bag
Little tenderloins all ready for their bath

There are so many sous vide recipes that use herbs and other aromatics for pork tenderloin that we wanted to do something special with ours and create a unique recipe with bold flavors that took advantage of the pork’s tenderness to create a memorable dish.

Since pork tenderloin is as close as you can get to a blank canvas when you’re cooking, we decided to use the deep, smoky flavors of the Southwest. We love how the combination of ancho chili, cumin, and other spices add layers of flavor – especially when they become the base for the crust that forms when the tenderloin is finished.

In addition to using a good chili powder, our spice rub adds a little chipotle for heat and garlic powder to round out the flavors. We also give the tenderloin a rubdown with some lemon juice to help the spices adhere to the pork and to brighten the dish’s flavors.

One of the best ways we’ve found to elevate pork dishes is to add a little lemon or lime juice or apple cider vinegar to the pork before its cooked. Adding any of the three gives the pork a slight twang.

Tips for Better Sous Vide

There are a lot of things that people do when they’re roasting or grilling pork tenderloin that does not need to be done when it’s cooked sous vide. One of the most significant advantages of cooking sous vide is that it locks in an ingredient’s moisture, meaning there’s no reason to brine something before cooking.

Also, since the pork is cooked at a consistent temperature, there’s no need to let it rest when it comes out of the water bath.

For appearance and taste, it does need to be finished. The two easiest ways to finish one is to sear it in a hot pan with a little oil for a few minutes or on the grill.

In either case, pat the tenderloin dry before putting it on the heat, and make sure to turn it every few minutes until it develops a nice crust on each side.

Tenderloin Being seared
Searing the tenderloin helps to bring out the spice rubs flavors

In our testing, we found that there’s no advantage to searing the tenderloin before cooking it sous vide, it essentially came out the same as the ones we didn’t pre-sear.

We like the tenderloin cooked at 133℉ (56ºC), which produces a nice pink middle with a soft texture. If you want your pork a little more done just increase the temperature a few degrees.

The general temperature range for pork tenderloin cooked sous vide is between 130ºF (54ºC) and 140ºF (60ºC) for medium-rare and between 140ºF and 150ºF (65ºC) for medium. Pork tenderloin cooked sous vide can be cooked beyond a medium 150ºF (65ºC), but it’s not our thing.

There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to sous vide pork tenderloin cooking times. Our recommendation is to cook it for 1 to 3 hours to let the flavors from the spice rub soak in and the pork develop the right level of tenderness.

If you’re interested in learning more about sous vide read What is Sous Vide Cooking and Why it Works.

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Recipe
The flavors in the pork are amazing with our Ancho chili sweet potato puree.

We usually serve this pork tenderloin as the main dish in a nice meal. It also makes some of the best tacos you’ve ever had when it’s cut up into bite-sized pieces and served with a little mango salsa and shredded pepper jack cheese.

Try pairing the tenderloin with our Ancho Chili Sweet Potato Puree or Sweet Corn with Anaheim Peppers.

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin with Chili Rub

4.5 from 26 votes
Print Save Pin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 3 servings


  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  • In a small bowl combine the chili, chipotle, and garlic powders with the salt and pepper
  • Trim any loose pieces or extra fat from the pork and rub it down with the lemon juice.
  • Coat the tenderloin with the spices, seal it inside a bag, and place it into a water bath at 133ºF for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.
  • When the tenderloin has finished cooking, remove it from the bath, and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • To finish on the stove sear it in a hot pan with a little olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes a side.
    If you’re finishing it on the grill, preheat the grill to medium-high and grill the tenderloin for 2 to 3 minutes per side.
    The goal for either method is to use medium-high heat to develop a nice crust on the outside without over cooking the middle.
  • To serve slice the pork into rounds around an inch thick.


If you’re just getting started cooking sous vide check out our story on Getting Started Cooking Sous Vide. Umami also has a whole section on Sous Vide that has all the stories, recipes, and equipment you need.
Tried this RecipeLet us know what you think of this recipe. Leave your thoughts and rating in the comments.
Calories: 187kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 875mg | Potassium: 611mg | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1.6mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate based on available ingredients and preparation.

Mark is an experienced food writer, recipe developer, and photographer who is also Umami’s publisher and CEO. A passionate cook who loves to cook for friends, he can often be found in the kitchen or by the grill testing new recipes.

More Info About Mark Hinds

Learn More

Find more recipes, tips, and ideas about these techniques, ingredients, and cuisines.



Let us know what you think

Let us know what you think, and share your thoughts with other cooks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating