How to Smoke Pork Tenderloin in a Smoker

One of the most common meat that I smoke (aside from ribs of course!) are pork tenderloins. I love the smoke flavor and the meat of the tenderloin is incredibly tender.

One of the reasons I like to smoke tenderloins so much is that, once sliced, they are great to add to many other dishes from appetizers, pasta, wraps, beans, sandwiches and more. The smokiness of the meat can add a wonderful flavor dimension to a dish. It is so tasty that I love pork tenderloin on its own as well.

Smoked Pork Tenderloin-3

These come out perfect in my Bradley Digital 4-Rack Smoker and I even tried them in my newly acquired Bradley 2 Rack Compact Smoker and they were awesome! There are many different rubs and sauces that work well with pork tenderloin.

Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat, but there is sometimes some chunks of fat along the outside of the meat. I like to trim it of any excess fat, and it is quite simple to do, usually almost coming off with a bit of a tug.

Along one section of the tenderloin there is a thin layer of silverskin. If desired, you can remove this. I often take it off with a sharp knife and I find that its removal makes slicing the meat after the smoking easier.

Before you smoke the pork tenderloin, you want to rub it down with a your choice of seasoning. Normally, I use my basic bbq rub, but there are so many different options depending on the flavour profile you are going for.

Here are some great rub recipes that work really well with pork tenderloin!

If I am smoking a pork tenderloin with some rub or sauce, I like to smoke it more low and slow, so I will have the smoker temperature set at 225F. Smoke it until the internal temperature is at least 145F. Then let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

I usually brush the tenderloin with BBQ sauce right when it comes out of the smoker. If desired, you could brush the meat midway through the smoking session. That allows the sauce to caramelize itself on the meat.

Here are some of my BBQ sauce recipes:

Sometimes, I will stuff a pork tenderloin and wrap it in bacon. The bacon adds a wonderful flavour to the pork tenderloin. In this case, I smoke at a higher temperature – usually around 275F. This is a better temperature for crisping up the bacon.

Smoked Pork Tenderloin-2

Here are a number of different recipes for smoking pork tenderloins.

4.23 from 9 votes
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How to Smoke Pork Tenderloin in a Smoker
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 5 mins
 

How to smoke a pork tenderloin using an electric smoker like a Bradley Smoker, Masterbuilt or a Kamado Grill like a Big Green Egg. Use rub of choice and wood like hickory.

Servings: 2 or more
Author: Steve Cylka
Ingredients
  • 1 or more pork tenderloin
  • 3 tbsp rub of choice per pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce per pork tenderloin
Instructions
  1. Start smoker, using wood of choice (I usually use hickory or maple) setting the temperature of the smoker for 225F.
  2. Trim pork tenderloin of any fat or silver skin.
  3. Generously rub the spice mix all over the meat.
  4. Place meat in the smoker and smoke till the internal temperature is 145F, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  5. Brush the meat with BBQ sauce when there is about 30 minutes left to go in the smoker.

42 comments

  1. I don’t own a smoker. I confess. I see beautifully smoked things and swoon. My son doesn’t understand how I can survive without one. After looking at your pork, I don’t understand either. 🙂

    • I just bought a smoker from home depot for $99 great investment

    • was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made from a cooking perspective.

    • There are smokers that make cooking easy. I have a Charbroil Big Easy smoker. It’s a “set it and forget it” appliance that even has a digital thermometer that stops cooking when it reaches the proper temperature. It makes having smoked to perfection food without having the experienced knowledge and hard work of a charcoal smoker.

  2. I think I just found my next project. Those look great & easy to prepare. I’ll post my results when I do. Thanks Steve.

  3. Can I iuse a maranated port loin to smoke

  4. Once again, its not even dinner time & I find myself drooling over this fabulous recipe & photos..YUM

  5. Can’t wait to try it tonight! Sounds wonderful! Just using my smoker for the first time 🙂

  6. I watch the temperature probe on my smoker and once the meat reaches 145F I take it out if not it begins to dry out.

  7. Looks great and sounds easy enough. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  8. Good simple recipe. Thanks for that. I wrap mine in jalapenos and bacon – not too much to allow the smoke to penetrate. Spicy and moist. MMMMM

  9. Try brining it for a few hours beforehand. 1/4 C salt, 1/4 C brown sugar per quart of water. It’ll come out moister and with more flavor.

  10. Thanks! Did this today. I smoked mine at about 300 for 2 hours because “the kids” (me) were hungry. Smoked in my Weber kettle with Apple wood and served with some baked beans and jalapeño corn bread. I hadn’t smoked a tenderloin before, but I will again soon. Regular rub of smoked paprika, a little cayenne, salt, and lots of brown sugar.

  11. What temperature?

  12. My husband bought the Master Built Electric Smoker, “I do all of the cooking, he just loves to shop” and I must say, this is one of the best purchases that he’s made! I have tried everything, from sweet potatoes, garlic, whole onions, etc.. Food is awesome! In the bowl where you would add water, I add BEER! Yep, beer, the smell, the flavor of the food is aaamazing… Best money he has spent in a while..

  13. Only issue with this receive was that everyone LOVED it so much I didn’t even get to taste it! What a massive hit! Everyone kept telling me how amazing y pork loin tasted all night long. 🙂

  14. Going for the 225 temp. Dry rub, and may string a few pieces of bacon and onion on top for the win. Great recipe!

  15. I am doing pork tenderloins for graduation in an electric smoker. My question is; I have 7 loins. Going to cut them in half. So there will be 14 pieces in the smoker. At a temp of 225 how long will I have to cook the meat. Super new at this.

    • OK so a few thoughts here. First, congrats on who’s graduating! I have two kids graduating this year as well! Now your plan to cut the tenderloins in half, I would personally reconsider that. Why are you cutting them in half? Do you not have room to get all seven in there without cutting them? Pork tenderloins can dry out in the smoker if they are smoked a little too long, and cutting them in half I fear would increase the opportunity for them to dry out. If possible I would personally leave them whole. Next, you ask about the time it would take, and this is really hard to judge. Every smoker is different and some pork tenderloins can to be a little bit plumper than other ones so it is difficult to know exactly when they would be done. Do you have a digital thermometer? I would use that as your guide to know when they are done. That way when it reaches your desired internal temperature you know that it is done and the chance of them drying out is so minimal. I hope this helps, and if you have anymore questions feel free to fire away!

  16. Great post about making a pork in smoker. Thank you

  17. Great simple recipe. Thank you for sharing. I will try it one day

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