Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin Instant Pot 2023

by Rick Goldman

There are numerous ways to cook honey garlic pork tenderloin in an instant pot. Pork tenderloin is very popular as a dish that goes with soju (Korean alcohol). If you have watched a few Korean Dramas you will be able to understand why I am telling this. It is almost impossible to find a modern Kdrama without pork tenderloin. It is mainstream food for Koreans.

After the office friends or family members or colleagues will come together for an after-office party and drink alcohol with pork tenderloin instant pot. It is an alternative to meat which is very expensive. Pork tenderloin is everyone’s food in Korea. That is why we will talk about this instant pot recipe. You do not have to despair just because you do not have a smoker at home. You can easily make this dish with your instant pot.

Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin Instant Pot 2023
Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin Instant Pot 2023

What is Pork Tenderloin?

Pork Tenderloin
Pork Tenderloin

This cut comes from the top side of the ribcage of an animal. It is fatless and comparatively small in size. As a result, it takes less time to cook tenderloin. Chefs cook pork tenderloin in various ways. We will talk about them one by one.

What is the Difference Between Pork Tenderloin and Pork Loin?

Tenderloin and loin – between these two, people often make mistakes. Although these two come from the same body part – the backbone – tenderloin is named so, because it is tenderer than loin and much smaller in size. Even the outlook of the two cuts is very different from each other. It is very easy to make mistakes while reading from a book or recipe. Even cooking methods for the two are different. Loin is suitable for grilling or roasting in medium-low flame, while the tenderloin is suitable for high heat cooking like – steaks. That is why it is important to be careful during the purchase of ingredients.

What to Look for When Choosing a Pork Tenderloin?

Tenderloin is easy to find in the department stores in your neighborhood or bigger shopping malls. They come in packets, usually of one pound each. There is also another packet that weighs three pounds. You can buy three packets of one pound each or buy one single pack that weighs three pounds. If the recipe needs 3 pounds of pork tenderloin, you should consider the price. You can buy whichever packet is convenient for you. You can also find pork tenderloins that are pre-marinated. Do not buy gray or pale meat. Fresh meat looks sparkly pinkish. The fat you see on the meat indicates that the meat will be easily cooked.

How to Season Pork Tenderloin

There two options available for purchase, as we have mentioned above – marinated, and without marinade. If you buy your tenderloin plain and simple, you can choose from a plethora of recipes available online. These recipes add extra flavor to your pork tenderloin meat. You can use a dry rub, brine, marinate or glaze your pork tenderloin.

How to Marinate Pork Tenderloin

The aim of marination is to let the meat imbibe the flavor from liquid seasoning. Once you cover the meat with marinade, you need to put it in the freezer. The duration of the marination process can take from roughly 2-hour to overnight. To make your marinade, take a bowl and put all the ingredients together, and mix well. Put the marinated meat in a sealable plastic bag and then add the meat. Do not marinate over more than 24 hours. You need to flip the meat occasionally. The left-over marinade can become a sauce. Do not touch the sauce if it is not yet boiling.

How to Dry Rub Pork Tenderloin

It is a dry solution to make your pork tenderloin full of flavor. The dry rub is nothing but a mixture of various herbs, spices, and salt or sugar. You need to rub the mixture all over the meat and let it sit for some time. When the meat has taken all the flavors from the dry rub, you start the cooking process. You should let the meat sit at least thirty minutes before you cook.

A dry rub is very easy to make because everything is dry here. Take a bowl and put all the ingredients according to the recipe you are following and mix well with a spoon. Then take some oil and nicely coat the meat with it. The reason is that you need the dry rub to stick to the meat surface. Once the meat has been nicely coated, you rub the mixture evenly all over the meat and let it sit. Use your hand for this task to ensure no part of the meat is left alone.

Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin Instant Pot Recipe

Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin
Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin


  • 1 pound of tenderloin of pork (do not mistake this with loin from pork).

Dry Rub

  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary.
  • ½ teaspoon of thyme.
  • ½ teaspoon of chili powder.
  • ½ teaspoon of salt.


  • ½ cup of honey.
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger grated.
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar – brown.
  • ½ cup of low sodium soy sauce.
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of finely minced garlic cloves.
  • ½ cup of juice from an orange.

For Pork Meat Browning

  • 3 tablespoons of butter.
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

To Thicken the Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons of water – cold.
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch.

For Serving

  • 3 cups of cooked rice – hot.


  • First, take note of the weight of the pork meat. Now measure the dimensions. It should be 1 pound and 1.5 inches thick. But with a bigger and heavier meat chunk, you will have to keep it in a resting position after cooking it in an instant pot.

Prepare the Pork

  • Prepare the dry rub. Take the meat and remove any extra moisture by rubbing it with a paper towel. Then, rub some oil all over the meat. Then rub the dry rub all over the meat with your hand. Do not leave any space untouched by the dry rub. Keep it in a resting position for at least an hour.

Make the Sauce and Slurry

  • Now is the time to prepare our sauce. Take a bowl and take all the sauce ingredients and whisk it nicely until everything dissolves including honey. Keep it aside.
  • Take another bowl and mix the starch and water together and keep aside.

Brown the Pork

Brown The Pork
Brown The Pork
  • Put the cooker in a sauté setting. When it has become hot, put the butter and olive oil. Let it melt and mix. Now, put the meat on the oil inside the pot. Sear each side of the meat. Move it from heat and put it on a plate.
  • Take the sauce and put it inside the instant pot and stir nicely. Use the spatula to remove any part of the meat that is still sticking to the bottom of the pot. It is the deglazing process. Power off the instant pot.
  • Put the meat in the pot and completely rub it with the sauce.

Pressure Cook the Pork

  • Drop the lid to a closed position and seal the vent to prevent steam from getting out.
  • Press the button that indicates ‘pressure cook’. The text on the button may say different things. Just consult the user manual for clearer instructions on the buttons. Set cooking time to 1 minute (for a standard 1 pound and 1.5 inches thick chunk of tenderloin).
  • Set pressure to ‘low’. First, the pot will take some time to come to pressure.
  • If there is no ‘low’ setting in your cooker then set pressure to ‘high’ and cook for zero minutes.
  • When you finish cooking, turn off the power but let the meat rest inside within the steam pressure for at least fifteen minutes. Set a timer in your smartphone or wristwatch. After that period, release the pressure. With thicker tenderloin, this resting period will significantly increase.
  • Open lid. Check the temperature. If it is still not 145 degrees then put the meat back and close the lid to rest it in pressure for a few more minutes. If the temperature is exactly that or higher then cooking is done.
  • Bring the meat out and put it inside a deep pan for baking and seal the top with aluminum foil. Put it inside the oven and set the oven to ‘broil’ mode and begin heating.

Thicken the Sauce

  • Power on the sauté setting. When the sauce comes to a simmering point slowly pour the starch mix and stir to mix well. The sauce will become thicker. Shut down the instant pot.

Broil to Caramelize the Sauce

  • Now, get the sauce and coat the top side of the meat with it and put the meat back to the oven sealed with foil. The sauce will caramelize. Check regularly so that the meat does not burn.


  • Slice the meat into even sized medallions. Top it with hot rice and sauce.

Recipe Notes

  • It is possible to cook more than one chunk of meat at once in the pot. They have to be the same size. The cooking time will not change.


If you are a pork tenderloin enthusiast you can never miss out on this honey garlic pork tenderloin instant pot recipe. The recipes are very straightforward. Just follow them precisely and you will be able to make this dish on your own. But you can get help from family too! Cooking is enjoyable when you have people to share it with, don’t you think so?

About Rick Goldman

Rick Goldman's grandpa was a captain of a California coast cruise. This afforded Rick the luxury of traveling to exciting places along the Pacific Coast as a young boy. He got to try different, exotic foods on these journeys - something he really enjoys blogging about from his grandpa's beautiful garden home today.

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