How to Smoke Pork Tenderloin in a Smoker

How to smoke a pork tenderloin

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.

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

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.

How to Smoke Pork Tenderloin in a Smoker

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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.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 3 tbsp rub of choice
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Per serving:

Calories: 404kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 55gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 506mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12g

Nutrition Disclaimer

How to smoke a pork tenderloin

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How to smoke a pork tenderloin

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Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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72 comments

  • I’ve not had a lot of luck with the electric smoker but I have with my charcoal Weber kettle. I have the charcoal holders that are push to the side and the product in the middle for indirect heat. I’ve smoked pork loins, shoulders, turkeys, ribs brisket and burnt ends. I even won the brisket cookoff at the county fair. The type of Weber that I have is one that has a gas starter so no lighter fluid is needed. I highly recommend the Weber, I’ve used one for 20 years. Being a Kansas City gal who grew up on BBQ, I had to teach myself with the help of the Weber cookbook that came with the grill as there was no BBQ joints where we live. I live in the Black Hills of South Dakota and for some reason people just don’t care that much about good BBQ, we’ve seen restaurants come and go. But I have to say, our friends love my BBQ and ask when the next party will be. Now, that’s a compliment.

    • Reply
  • I am smoking a tenderloin in my masterbuilt tomorrow. My only question is I’m smoking a 5 pound loin, I am gonna use my int thermometer. But I don’t want it to b done to soon will a 5 pound loin still take around 3 hours!! I did one in a charcoal smoker a couple years ago that was not holding temps and it took alot longer

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    • A pork loin is quite a bit bigger than a tenderloin so in would expect it Tom take a fair bit longer than 3 hours.

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    • 5 stars
      I haven’t ever seen a Pork Tenderloin weighing 5 pounds, now a Pork Loin maybe 5 pounds. but not a Pork tenderloin. Have a great day

      • Reply
  • Doing a tenderloin tonight in my Bradley digital smoker. No kids at home tonight so I’m going with a jerk seasoning to try it out. Love the posts here. Great info and great recipes as well.
    Smoke em if you’ve got em ???

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

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

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  • 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.

    • Reply
    • 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!

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      • Thanks for the reply. Congrats to you as well.

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

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    • Sounds great! Enjoy!!!

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  • 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. 🙂

    • Reply
    • Haha! I hear ya. That has happened to me as well. Glad it was enjoyed by many!!

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  • 4 stars
    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..

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  • 3 stars
    What temperature?

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    • I smoke pork tenderloins at 225F.

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      • We smoked a 3.8 lb pork tenderloin at the suggested 225 temp, for the suggested 3 hour time, and it was very undercooked and bloody. We ended up slicing it, amd finishing in the oven.

        • Reply
        • By the weight of 3.8 pounds that would not be a pork tenderloin. Tenderloins are usually around 1 pound. I am thinking what you smoked might have been a pork loin. They are usually between 3 and 5 pounds.

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        • Do you know how to use a thermometer? You always want to check internal temperature before removing from the smoker. I think that is also stated in the instructions. If not, it’s just common knowledge to always check the internal temp no matter how you’re cooking your meats.

          • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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.

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  • 3 stars
    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.

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  • 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

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

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    • I’m smoking my first tender loin can’t weight to try it out I’m using a grill mates Applewood rub I will post the results of how it turns out

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    • You need to cook the meat to 165 then take it out and wrap in aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. If you are dry at 145 you are cooking it to hot and to fast. Make sure you cook at 215 to 225 and it should stay moist.

      • Reply
      • 3 stars
        165? Maybe 60 years ago. 145 is fine.

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      • 5 stars
        165 if you want dry overcooked pork. You do not even take a chicken to 165. That’s just nuts.

        • Reply
  • 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.

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

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

    • Reply
  • Can I iuse a maranated port loin to smoke

    • Reply
    • Marinated meat work well in the smoker. You could use a pork loin, but the smoking time would be longer since it is larger than a tenderloin.

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      • I’ve seen two different temps in my recipe search. 225 and 275. Which one would work the best?

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        • If it is just the pork tenderloin I go for 225F. But if I wrap the tenderloin in bacon and/or stuff I prefer 275F as it is a better temp to crisp up the bacon

          • Reply
          • Hi Steve, my pork loin is the length from my fist to my shoulder. Is their any charts that give specific slow cook times by weight of the loin. Or is it strictly 2.5 to 3 hours?

          • Not that I know of. Do you have a digital thermometer? I would just use that and monitor the internal temp and remove it from the smoker once it reaches 145F.

    • 5 stars
      i use a Pit Boss austin xl..pellet smoker im smoking 3 loins now.. nice infoe steve…ty

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

    • Reply
  • 5 stars
    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. 🙂

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

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

      • Reply
    • 5 stars
      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.

      • Reply
      • Hello i just bought a smoker, never had one im going to try all your recipes.

        • Reply
    • I can’t actually afford a proper smoker BUT there are lots of great I structions online on how to make your own. I’ve had great success as well smoking meat on a charcoal BBQ.

      While a controlled smoker helps make the results consistent, they can be lived without while still getting to enjoy deliciously smoked meals. 🙂

      • Reply
      • The Cajun culture have made homemade smokers for years out of cinder block construction brick’s and they work great like a stone oven.They lovingly refer to them as Cajun microwaves. LOL

        • Reply
    • 5 stars
      Yes, you need one, i love the set it and forget it for awhile. I am hooked, you will love one..

      • Reply
    • 5 stars
      I bought a Bradley smoker at a garage sale for 10 dollars I’ve never smoked before it worked awesome pork turned out perfect and delicious best thing I did.

      • Reply

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