Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
8 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces pork)

The surprise ingredient in the marinade is coffee—it contributes a rich, almost smoky flavor to the meat and blends magically with the vinegar, mustard, and molasses. When you're ready for a break from more traditional tomato-based barbecue sauces, this is the recipe you need.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add pork. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 2 to 12 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove pork from bag; discard marinade.

Step 2

Prepare grill, heating one side to medium and one side to high heat.

Step 3

Combine ground coffee and next 4 ingredients (ground coffee through salt); rub over pork. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Step 4

Combine 1/4 cup barbecue sauce and 1 tablespoon cider vinegar. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce mixture, and set aside.

Step 5

Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray over high heat; grill 3 minutes, turning pork on all sides. Place pork over medium heat; grill 15 minutes, turning pork occasionally. Baste with 3 tablespoons barbecue sauce mixture; grill 5 minutes or until thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink), turning pork occasionally.

Step 6

Place pork on a platter; brush with reserved 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce mixture. Cover with foil; let stand 5 minutes.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

johnandmeg's Review

September 03, 2013

McHortonheiser's Review

July 07, 2013

sheilacarey's Review

June 29, 2012

8stringfan's Review

June 09, 2011
I'm a bit torn here, it's not exactly terrible, but as the rating says, I won't make it again. My biggest issue was that the rub was overly bitter and left a bit of a chalky texture on the meat. The bitterness is unsurprising given the ground coffee. I used a medium roast bean, ground fine, but it still just didn't work IMO. As someone else pointed out, there are much better rubs out there, so why use this one? Also, as usual with CL, the cooking times are wrong for pork tenderloin. Those times will not give you slightly pink center, nor will and internal temp of 160. To get a moist, tender, pink center build a two-tier fire and grill the tenderloin on the med-hi side (3 second hand count) of a grill for 3 minutes, turning each minute. Then, move it to the medium side of the grill, cooking it covered, for 10 minutes, turning every now and then. Then baste and cook 4 more minutes, covered. Remove from grill and let it sit for ten minutes to rest. Pork is safe and best at 135.

Deborah61455's Review

April 14, 2011
I had high expectations but was thoroughly disappointed. I have used much better rubs. I do not mind spicy or something with heat but this just overpowered a tender, succulent piece of meat. I much prefer another SL pork tenderloin marinade. Won't be making again!

Sheree3's Review

January 17, 2011
This has become a mainstay in our house. Yummy and predictable results. I usually up the contents of the brine so that the tenderloin is submurged and I don't have to even worry about turning it. Basting with BBQ sauce thinned with apple cider vinegar gives it a nice charred-sweet crust.

mscocinera's Review

October 20, 2010
This was very tasty and the meat came out perfect. I used my indoor built in grill. I would definitely make this again.

Jules03's Review

July 11, 2010
Highly recommend. We have made this about 5 times for company and it is a hit with all ages. We have not changed anything about the recipe. It has great flavor, coffee is subtle, and there is a little kick to it as well. My kids love it (ages 10, 9 and 4). It is so good I have shared it with several friends and posted on Facebook recipe pages I subscribe to. Give it a try!

Nanderson's Review

July 01, 2010
I was a little worried about all the coffee in this dish but it turned out fantastic! We loved the flavor. Even my teenage son loved it. We made pork sliders with the leftovers!

woody09's Review

June 27, 2010
Excellent recipe. Very easy to make and the flavor combination was incredible. Had my doubts about using dried coffee as a rub ingredient, but kudos. Definitely will make again.