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Grilled Spice-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin Steaks with Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Featured in our Backyard BBQ Guide
Scott Phillips

Servings: four to six.



  • 2 large pork tenderloins (2 to 2-1/2 lb. total)
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  •  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle, minced, plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on six servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 290
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 50
  • Fat (g): 6
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Cholesterol (mg): 85
  • Sodium (mg): 610
  • Carbohydrates (g): 29
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 31


  • Trim the pork of any silverskin and excess fat, and cut each tenderloin on the diagonal into four pieces about 2 inches thick. Turn the pieces so that they’re lying on a cut side, and using a meat mallet, a small heavy skillet, or the heel of your hand, lightly pound the steaks so they’re about 1/2 inch thick.
  • In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, garlic powder, 2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper. Rub this spice mixture all over the pork and let it sit for at least 15 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
  • Heat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a medium charcoal fire. When the grill is ready, cook the pork, covered, until it forms nice grill marks, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until just firm to the touch but still a little pink in the center (an instantread thermometer inserted into the center of each steak should register 140°F), 3 to 4 more minutes.
  • Transfer the pork to a large serving platter and let rest, tented with aluminum foil. Meanwhile, stir together the honey, vinegar, tomato paste, chipotle and adobo sauce, and mustard, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the sauce over the pork.

These steaks are delicious with roasted sweet potato wedges seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little chili powder.


Rate or Review


  • Krispie | 01/02/2017

    This was super easy to make and delicious. It was gone in minutes.

  • biggar | 07/14/2009

    Good recipe. Quick and easy. I like hot food so I pumped up the heat with a little more powdered chipotle. Great with corn on the cob and a plate full of rapini.

  • Virgie | 02/04/2008

    This was an easy, quick and delicious recipe. The whole family liked it, but it is spicy so not for everyone. I would make this again.

  • AndieReid | 01/26/2008

    This is one of our all-time favorites. I've made it several times for various guests, and it is always a hit. The BBQ sauce is perfectly balanced with sweetness and heat and the chipotle gives it a nice body. The spice rub for the pork tenderloin is good for chicken or other grilled meats as well. Served in the summer with some fresh corn on the cob, this is a great casual entertaining dish.

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