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How to Cook Breaded Tenderloins in the Convection Oven

by Zora Hughes, studioD

Believe the hype about the superior cooking results you'll get from a convection oven, as compared to a conventional oven. Convection ovens come with a fan that circulates the hot air in the oven, ensuring that all sides of whatever you are preparing cooks and browns evenly, at the same time and about 25 percent faster than conventional ovens. Those breaded pork tenderloins you planned to bake for sandwiches or those chicken tenders that you're making to serve with various dipping sauces will cook faster, crispier and more evenly in your convection oven.

Preheat your convection oven. Because convection ovens cook significantly faster than traditional conventional ovens, in most cases, you should set your oven about 25 degrees lower than what a recipe calls for. Both breaded pork and breaded chicken tenderloin recipes typically call for them to be baked between 400 and 425 degrees Fahrenheit in a traditional oven, so set your convection oven from 375 to 400 degrees.

Trim the pork tenderloin of the shiny, silvery fat, it if has not already been removed. Slide the tip of your chef's knife just underneath and cut down the length of the tenderloin to remove the fat. Chicken tenderloins, much smaller than pork, generally come with several packaged together and are typically fully trimmed of fat. Trim any excess fat you see, however.

Cut the pork tenderloin crosswise into four equal pieces. The pieces will be elongated, but thick. Cover each piece with plastic wrap and pound them with a mallet until the tenderloin pieces are about 1/4 inch thick. Chicken tenderloins are small and thin and do not need additional preparation.

Prepare a breading for your pork or chicken tenderloins. First prepare an egg wash by scrambling one or two eggs with a little water in a shallow bowl. Pour breadcrumbs into another bowl. You can season the breadcrumbs however you like with seasonings, such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and dried Italian herbs.

Dip the pork or chicken tenderloins, one at a time, first into the egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs. Turn the tenderloins over a few times in the crumbs to ensure both sides are fully ad evenly coated. Put the breaded tenderloins onto a wire rack sitting on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.

Place the rack in the preheated oven and bake the breaded tenderloins for roughly 10 to 20 minutes, or until the breading is golden brown. Although the pork and chicken tenderloins are different shapes, because of their thinness, they generally should have similar cooking times. However, pork must be cooked to at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit and chicken tenderloins must be cooked to 165 degrees for safe consumption, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Insert a meat thermometer directly in the center of each tenderloin to check the temperature.

Items you will need
  •  Pork tenderloin
  •  Chicken tenderloins
  •  Chef's knife
  •  Cutting board
  •  Plastic wrap
  •  Mallet
  •  Eggs
  •  Breadcrumbs
  •  Salt
  •  Pepper
  •  Garlic powder (optional)
  •  Italian seasoning, optional
  •  Skinless chicken tenderloins


  • Instead of egg wash, you can slather the tenderloins with mustard on all sides, adding more flavor when you bake them.
  • You can opt to use panko breadcrumbs instead of plain breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs create a crunchier crust because they don't soak up as much oil and juices due to the shape.


  • Keep a close eye on the tenderloins in a convection oven and check on them before the recommended time to avoid burning the coating. Even though you adjusted the temperature, your convection oven may still cook the tenderloins faster than expected.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images