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Coffee-Rubbed Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Watermelon Rind Relish

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Think twice before you toss out your watermelon rinds; their neutral flavor readily absorbs the sweet-spicy seasonings in this relish. Ground coffee beans infuse the pork with rich, earthy notes.


For the relish

  • 4 lb. watermelon
  • 2 Valencia oranges
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium jalapeño, finely chopped (with ribs and seeds)
  • Kosher salt

For the pork

  • 1 T bs. very finely ground coffee beans (preferably French roast)
  • 2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 T bs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1-lb. pork tenderloins, trimmed

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 540
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 17
  • Saturated Fat (g): 4.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 110
  • Sodium (mg): 790
  • Carbohydrates (g): 51
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 44


Make the relish

  • Cut the flesh away from the watermelon rind. Cut enough of the flesh into 1/4-inch dice to yield 1/2 cup (reserve the rest for another use). Using a vegetable peeler, remove the dark-green skin from the rind and discard. Cut the rind into 1/4-inch dice; you should have about 3 cups.

    Slice the ends off one of the oranges. Stand the orange on one cut end and cut off the peel and white pith to expose the flesh. Cut the orange segments from the membrane, cut each segment into 3 pieces, and put them in a small bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membrane into the bowl. Repeat with the remaining orange.
    In a 3-quart saucepan, combine 2/3 cup water with the watermelon flesh and rind, orange segments and juice, brown sugar, vinegar, shallot, jalapeño, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rind is translucent and the mixture thickens, about 40 minutes. Season to taste with salt, and let cool to room temperature.

Make the pork

  • In a small bowl, combine the coffee, brown sugar, chili powder, and 2 tsp. salt. Add the olive oil and mix well. Rub the mixture evenly over the pork and set aside.

    Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill for indirect cooking.

    Put the tenderloins on the hot side of the grill, cover, and cook, flipping once, until grill marks form on 2 sides, about 4 minutes per side. Move the tenderloins to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook, covered, until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140°F to 145°F, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest for about 10 minutes.

    Slice the pork and serve with the watermelon rind relish.

Get your cookout off to a fresh start with a simple Heirloom Cherry Tomato, Fennel & Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing.


Rate or Review

Reviews (10 reviews)

  • Kona_ambassadorBobb | 08/30/2016

    Can't wait to try it with our 100 Percent getrealkona COFFEE. love pork done right.

  • damson22 | 10/23/2015

    This is a stunning recipe. So easy to create and so quick and easy to prepare. The three adult males in my family (and myself!) loved the taste of the meat and the relish. If you follow the instructions for cooking the pork you can't miss - your pork will be cooked perfectly and will remain so moist and tasty. The relish is divine. All up a totally fabulous eating experience with this recipe. My husband said he would rate it 7/5 stars. That says it all.

  • porcini | 07/16/2015

    Wonderful, wonderful recipe!! I am not a big fan of pork tenderloin, but this is a winner!!! NO one could guess this is coffee. It just has a flavorful mellow intensity, if that's possible. I also did this amount plus a half more on all sides of a pound of pork and a good amount of garlic. Do not overcook, sear and then grill on medium. Should be slightly pink inside when you remove from grill A keeper!!!!!

  • JoleneDeWalt | 01/27/2015

    Spectacular! And I must say, this might be the very best, most moist, flavorful pork tenderloin I've ever made. I followed the directions (mostly...I doubled the recipe but added some garlic salt and used less oil...only enough to make a paste), but because it was below freezing outside, the grill wouldn't cooperate and it took a bit longer than the directions said. I have a good thermometer and it was a non-issue. The coffee crust was surprisingly delicious and held the moisture perfectly. This is truly amazing and I'm adding it to my favorite dishes.

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