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. I often get asked how to smoke a pork tenderloin in a smoker. It could not be easier!
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.
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!
- Steve’s Basic BBQ Rub – This is my standard ‘go to’ rub that is ideal for pork!
- Sweet and Smokey Chipotle Rub – If you want something with a sweet and spicy flavour, this seasoning is perfect.
- Curry in a Hurry Rub – This curry rub gives a nice exotic flavour to smoked pork.
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.
If you are wanting to smoke a pork loin, like a centre cut loin roast, check out this recipe!
Here are a number of different recipes for smoking pork tenderloins.
- Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Harissa and Tangerine Glaze – I love deep and spicy flavour of harissa and it works very well with tangerine to create an exotic taste to this tenderloin.
- Orecchiette in a Marinara Sauce with Smoked Pork Tenderloin – Serve pasta with marinara sauce and the top with some smoked pork tenderloin medallions. Amazing!!
- Bacon Wrapped Smoked Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Roasted Red Peppers and Cheese – Smoked, cheesy and bacon! This tenderloin recipe has it all.
- Bacon Wrapped Smoked Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Pineapple and Cheese – This tenderloin is filled with a Hawaiian style cheesy stuffing.
- Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Smoked Pork Tenderloin – This might just be my favourite stuffing for the pork tenderloin. Cheesy and spicy, this filling totally tastes like a jalapeño popper.
How to Smoke Pork Tenderloin in a Smoker
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 3 tbsp rub of choice
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
- Start smoker, using wood of choice (I usually use hickory or maple) setting the temperature of the smoker for 225F.
- Trim pork tenderloin of any fat or silver skin.
- Generously rub the spice mix all over the meat.
- Place meat in the smoker and smoke till the internal temperature is 145F, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Brush the meat with BBQ sauce when there is about 30 minutes left to go in the smoker.