Table of Contents
Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Smoked pork tenderloin is one of the most unique and pretty easy dishes to make. The rich flavors and the juicy pork meat will make your weekday lunch quite memorable.
Besides, you can use a range of spices, sauces, and flavors to add oomph to this recipe. You don’t have to do much to cook and smoke it to perfection.
So, dig in and treat yourself to a fantastic summer dish.
How to Make Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Tenderloin is a pork’s lean cut, so smoking it is pretty hassle-free. Moreover, you can make the meat cook low and slow to allow the full flavors to come out.
However, if you have no time to waste, you can also turn up the temperature and let the meat smoke in a shorter time. But remember, the more patience you will show, the better results you will enjoy.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 Hour
- Total Time: 1 Hour 5 minutes
- Wood Flavor: Cherry Wood or Apple Wood
- Serving: 4 Hours
- Pellet or Electric Smoker
- Sharp Knife
- Wood Chips
- Probe Thermometer
- Large Bowl
- Two 1-pound pork tenderloins
- 3 Tablespoons of Any Sweet Rub
- ½ cup BBQ Sauce
- Place the pork tenderloin on a cutting board and use a sharp and efficient knife to cut the silver skin and remove all the excess fat.
- While you prepare the pork meat, preheat the pellet or electric smoker until the temperature reads 225 degrees F.
- Use a good quality sweet rub to season the pork tenderloin.
- Once adequately covered with the seasoning, place the pork tenderloins on the smoker’s grill and cover it with a lid.
- Smoke the meat until the probe thermometer reads an internal temperature of 135 degrees F.
- Now moisten all sides of the smoked pork tenderloin with a bbq sauce of your choice.
- Cook the meat until the thermometer reads an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Also, don’t remove the smoked pork tenderloin before the sauce has appropriately tightened.
- Once ready, remove the tenderloin from the smoker and place it on a clean cutting board.
- Slice the prepared meat against the grain in medallions with 1/2 inch thickness.
- Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve this dish when it is still hot and fresh.
BBQ Tip: Letting your pork tenderloin (or any meat) rest is always a good idea. Just 5-10 minutes of resting will allow the meat to relax and the become more tender and juicy.
Detailed Cooking Instructions
Trim the Meat
Before you season your pork tenderloin, take a sharp knife from your pantry and use it to remove any silver skin or excess fat. This step is imperative because silver skin doesn’t caramelize or dissolve when cooked.
So since it is useless, you should cut it off.
Start Preheating the Smoker
While trimming the meat, add apple wood or cherry wood in the smoker box and aim your smoker to reach a temperature of 225 degrees F. This temperature is ideal if you want to smoke the meat low and slow.
However, if you are running short, increase the temperature and maintain it before placing the pork tenderloins on the grill.
Season the Pork
Place the pork tenderloin on a dish and rub it with the top-quality sweet rub. This seasoning is an excellent mix of sweet and savory and hence works well for people who prefer a little bit of heat in their food.
You can also make a sweet rub at home if you can’t find a pre-made bottle. First, however, we will recommend you to do some search to purchase a quick ready-made rub. A little effort will save you lots of time and energy.
Place the Pork Tenderloin in the Smoker
Open the grill and place your meat on it. Cover the smoker with a lid and let the meat smoke until the probe thermometer reads an internal temperature of 135 degrees F.
The time taken to reach this temperature may vary for everyone. It is because the duration depends on many factors, such as temperature consistency in the smoker and tenderloin’s thickness.
Baste the Smoked Pork Tenderloin with a BBQ Sauce and Cook
Once your meat has achieved the above temperature, season or baste it with the best bbq sauce available in the market. This sauce is essential to moisten the meat, so it breaks easily while you eat. Moreover, the sauce adds rich flavors that will make your meat quite tempting.
Allow the sauce to tighten properly and also keep a check on the internal temperature. Once the internal temperature of the tenderloin has reached 145 degrees F, stop cooking. Remove the smoked poke tenderloin as soon as you can so it doesn’t dry up.
Slice the Smoked Pork Tenderloin and Serve Immediately
Place the meat on a dish and cut it into 1/2 inch medallions. Let rest for 5-10 minutes and then serve when it is still fresh, warm, and moist.
BBQTip: Most people prefer wrapping the pork tenderloin in foil while smoking the meat. We would recommend avoiding this as foil or any plastic wrap can hinder the smoky flavor from reaching the meat. Moreover, since a tenderloin is a very lean cut, it may quickly dry when covered in foil.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions asked by home cooks like you. If you are confused about the smoking process or dealing with pork tenderloin, read the answers and clear your doubts.
How Can I Keep the Smoked Pork Tenderloin Moist While it Cooks?
The above-smoked pork tenderloin recipe uses bbq sauce to keep the meat moist. However, you can also spray a mixture of apple juice and apple cider vinegar on your meat after every 20 minutes. Apple cider vinegar keeps the meat tender and helps the smoke to adhere to the tenderloin adequately.
Should I Smoke the Pork Tenderloin With its Fat Side Up Or Down?
When smoking the pork tenderloin on a grill, keep the smoker’s temperature consistent and place the meat with its fat side up. It is because that when the tenderloin cooks, it helps melt the fat, which further helps add flavor to the overall dish.
How Is a Pork Loin Different from a Tenderloin?
A pork loin may sound similar to a tenderloin, but they are two different cuts of pork. Pork tenderloin is a narrow, boneless, and long cut of meat, while a pork loin is much flatter and wider. Besides, the pork loin can be both bone-in or boneless cut.
What Happens When the Smoked Pork Loin Gets Overcooked?
An overcooked pork loin is extremely chewy and hard. Moreover, it doesn’t taste well even if the sides and seasoning are perfect.
So, to prevent that make sure to use a good-quality thermometer consistently during the cooking and smoking process. This tool guides you to wait more or remove the meat as soon as it is ready.
How to Use or Fix an Overcooked Smoked Pork Tenderloin?
Did you try to cook and smoke pork tenderloin, but it turned out hard and chewy? While this is a waste of your efforts and time, use it for sandwiches or rice instead of throwing the smoked pork tenderloin.
For instance, add the pork tenderloin in a wood processor with garlic, green onions, and cabbage. Then, put in some sesame oil and soya sauce and mix to use the meat for Siu Mai.
Moreover, you can also mix the tough pork tenderloin slices with some bbq or sweet chili sauce and make sandwiches.
Can you Use Brine Ingredients for this Recipe?
Brining helps to make pork tenderloin much juicier and full of flavors. This process includes the use of salt on the meat, mainly before seasoning.
However, when brining, you need to be careful about the amount of salt used. For instance, don’t go overboard or underboard with salts. Besides, avoid brining for an extended period.
These mistakes might make your pork tenderloin too salty to consume.
Moreover, if you are brining the meat before seasoning, make sure to choose a rub that has little or no salt. It is imperative to prevent a super-salty cooking disaster.
What Are the Nutrition Calories of the Smoked Pork Tenderloin Recipe?
This smoked pork tenderloin recipe has total calories of 248kcal, and it can serve four members of your whole family. It has 2 g protein, 1 g fat, 470 mg sodium, and 0.001 g cholesterol. Moreover, the dish is also rich in 332 mg potassium, calcium, saturated fat, and Vitamin A.
Why Do Some Experts Use Yellow Mustard While Preparing Smoked Pork Tenderloin?
While a sweet rub does wonders when giving the poke tenderloin the right flavors, some yellow mustard as an extra ingredient enhances the taste. Moreover, it helps to make the dish more tender and rich.
You can slather mustard right after seasoning the tenderloin with a sweet rub. Both these ingredients go pretty well with each other.
How Is an Electric Smoker Different from a Pellet Smoker?
If you want to smoke pork tenderloin, doing so on a pellet rather than an electric smoker will give you much better results. However, the former is pretty expensive when it comes to its price and maintenance.
So, if you have a limited budget and don’t have money for costly maintenance, we recommend you invest in an electric smoker.
Can You Season Pork Tenderloin with Onion Powder and Black Pepper?
Smoked pork tenderloin is a dish that can be seasoned according to your taste and preference. There are no strict rules when it comes to ingredients. So, if you want to add onion powder, black pepper, or even garlic powder in your seasoning, do so without any hesitation.
These spices add more flavor to your main course cuisine and also play a role in making the cooked meat more tender.
What Does Brown Sugar Do to the Smoked Tenderloin?
If you do not want to use a rub or sauce to season and moisten the tenderloin, slather the meat with some honey, brown sugar, and butter to do the job. Brown sugar tenderizes the pork and makes it super soft.
Besides, since brown sugar and honey are healthy, they work best for people who may not want to consume additional calories found in a rub or some sauces.
Can You Consume a Leftover Smoked Pork Tenderloin After a Week?
Yes, you can. You can have this dish or even any other recipe with pork even after a week of preparation.
Place all the leftovers in vacuum seal bags and keep them in a freezer.
When you want to indulge in this dish again, reheat the tenderloin by placing the vacuum bags in boiling water. This process will prevent the cooked tenderloin from getting dry and will also reduce wastage.
Can You Make Smoked Pork Tenderloin With New Variations?
Yes, pork tenderloin is quite a favorite among most people. So, if you love consuming this dish, you can also try more recipes to woo your guests. Here are some suggestions for you:
- Pork tenderloin with stuffing
- Bacon-wrapped grilled tenderloin
- Grilled tenderloin with mustard glaze
BBQTip: If you want to enhance the experience of enjoying this dish, consume it with some fantastic drinks. For instance, you can pair Mojito, Michelada, and Hot Apple Cider with Rum with this recipe and be grateful for every bit.
Which Sauces or Dips Go Well with Smoked Pork Tenderloin?
Is it hard for you to consume this dish without a perfect dip? Fret not, here is a list of some sauces that will go well with your smoked pork tenderloin:
- Blackberry Honey Mustard Dip
- Alabama White Sauce
- Mustard Cream Sauce
- Cherry Plum Dip
Final Takeaway-Upgrade Your Suppertime With this Recipe!
Didn’t you find this dish super-easy to make and, most importantly, quite delicious? Smoked pork tenderloin is a treat that will make any dull and bland suppertime juicy and meaty. This dish can become a favorite of all meat-lovers in your family, so don’t delay and try it as soon as you can.
Moreover, if you want to learn more about this recipe or any related dish, don’t forget to go through reader interactions comments below. Many people have shared some essential tips that can help you make this recipe a success.
If your smoked pork tenderloin turns out brilliant, do let us know. We are here to learn from your experiences and make amendments where required.