Smoked pork tenderloins are one of the easiest things you can cook in your smoker when you want something that tastes great, has a “fancy” feel to it and you don't have a lot of time to spare.

In around 2 hours, you can take a pork tenderloin from raw to smoked amazingly delicious and folks will think you slaved over it for hours.

The cherry bourbon compote my lovely came up with is a perfect match for this as well.

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Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 145°F
  • Recommended Wood: Cherry
What You'll Need
Clean Up the Pork Tenderloins

Remove the pork tenderloins from the package, give them a rinse under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel

Lay them on the cutting board and do your best to remove any silver skin, extra fat, etc.

2014-IMG_6277

Season the Pork Tenderloins

Now that the meat is all cleaned up and all that extra stuff is removed, you can proceed with the seasoning process.

As usual, I like to use the old trusty yellow mustard base on this pork to help that rub to stick really well.

2014-IMG_6278

Apply a thin layer all over..

2014-IMG_6279

Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here)

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Massage it into the meat all over.

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If you are doing these the night before (recommended) simply put them in a big ziploc bag and place in the fridge overnight.

2014-IMG_6283

If you are ready to smoke, you can lay them on a Bradley rack or Weber grill pan with a little space between them and you are good to go.

2014-IMG_6303

Setup the Smoker

I used an electric smoker for these and kept cherry smoke going the entire time.

You can use whatever smoker or grill you have access to.

Set it up for cooking at about 225°F using indirect heat.

Smoke the Meat

Place the pork tenderloins directly on the grate or place the Bradley rack with the meat on the grate.

You can probably expect these to take around 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the perfect safely done temperature for pork at 145°F*.

Keep the smoke going for the entire time if you can or for at least an hour to get some good smoke flavor on the meat.

I used cherry to go along with the cherry compote but any fruit wood or even pecan would be really good on these.

When the pork tenderloins reach about 110°F or about an hour into the cook, brush some of the cherry bourbon compote onto the top of each one.

Wait about 20 minutes and repeat.

Be sure to use a tested digital thermometer to monitor the temperature while they cook. You are looking for about 145°F but I often remove them a couple of degrees early if I plan to wrap them in foil and hold them for 30-60 minutes until dinner time.

*The USDA has now assured us that it is perfectly safe to eat pork at medium rare (145°F  ) and if you have not tried this, it makes all of the difference in the world. The pork will be so tender and juicy, you might not be able to believe its lean pork.

Make the Cherry Bourbon Compote
  • ¼ cup Bourbon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 13 oz jar of cherry preserves (I used Bonne Maman)

Place all of the ingredients into a medium sauce pan. Using medium heat, bring the mixture to a rolling boil then reduce heat slightly to simmer for 10 minutes.

The compote will reduce by about 1/3 by the time it is finished.

When 10 minutes have elapsed, remove the compote from the heat and allow it to cool.

2014-IMG_6307

Finish and Serve the Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Remove the pork tenderloins from the smoker and bring them into the house. It is a great idea to immediately wrap them in foil and then in a thick towel on the counter to hold them for 30-60 minutes until dinner time.

When ready to serve, remove from the foil, slice and serve about 1/3 to ½ tenderloin per person

Questions

Can I do the same thing with a whole pork loin?

Yes, just know that the cook time will increase to 4 hours or so. You still need to watch the temperature and pull it from the smoker when it reaches 145°F

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"Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!" ~Michelle M.

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Printable Recipe

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Cherry Bourbon Smoked Pork Tenderloin

4.5 from 2 reviews

Smoked pork tenderloins are the easiest thing you can cook in your smoker when you want something that tastes great, has a “fancy” feel to it and you don’t have a lot of time to spare.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 mins
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Hot Smoking

Ingredients

  • 2+ Pork Tenderloins
  • Yellow mustard
  • Jeff’s rub (purchase recipes here)
  • Cherry bourbon compote (recipe below)

Instructions

Clean Up the Pork Tenderloins

  1. Remove the pork tenderloins from the package, give them a rinse under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. Lay them on the cutting board and do your best to remove any silver skin, extra fat, etc.

Season the Pork Tenderloins

  1. As usual, I like to use the old trusty yellow mustard base on this pork to help that rub to stick really well.
  2. Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of rub and massage it into the meat all over.
  3. If you are doing these the night before (recommended) simply put them in a big ziploc bag and place in the fridge overnight.
  4. If you are ready to smoke, you can lay them on a Bradley rack with a little space between them and you are good to go.

Setup the Smoker

  1. You can use whatever smoker or grill you have access to.
  2. Set it up for cooking at about 225°F using indirect heat.

Smoke the Meat

  1. Place the pork tenderloins directly on the grate or place the Bradley rack with the meat on the grate.
  2. You can probably expect these to take around 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the perfect safely done temperature for pork at 145°F.
  3. Keep the smoke going for the entire time if you can or for at least an hour to get some good smoke flavor on the meat.
  4. I used cherry to go along with the cherry compote but any fruit wood or even pecan would be really good on these.
  5. When the pork tenderloins reach about 110°F or about an hour into the cook, brush some of the cherry bourbon compote onto the top of each one.
  6. Wait about 20 minutes and repeat.
  7. Be sure to use a tested digital thermometer to monitor the temperature while they cook. You are looking for about 145°F but I often remove them a couple of degrees early if I plan to wrap them in foil and hold them for 30-60 minutes until dinner time.

Make the Cherry Bourbon Compote

  1. Into a medium sauce pan, place ¼ cup Bourbon, ¼ cup brown sugar, ½ cup water, and a 12-13 oz jar of cherry preserves.
  2. Using medium heat, bring the mixture to a rolling boil then reduce heat slightly to simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. The compote will reduce by about 1/3 by the time it is finished.
  4. When 10 minutes have elapsed, remove the compote from the heat and allow it to cool.

Finish and Serve the Smoked Pork Tenderloin

  1. Remove the pork tenderloins from the smoker and bring them into the house.
  2. It is a great idea to immediately wrap them in foil and then in a thick towel on the counter to hold them for 30-60 minutes until dinner time.
  3. When ready to serve, remove from the foil, slice and serve about 1/3 to ½ tenderloin per person

 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

9 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Larry Williams July 14, 2016 at 2:11 am - Reply

    I made this recipe last night, and it turned out great!!! The house loved it.
    I divided the sauce and added mango to one. It also turned out great.
    Thanks, Jeff

  2. Jerry June 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Jeff. I typically use a drum smoker but I’m interested in an electric smoker for convenience. Any ideas without blowing the budget?

    • twogap December 24, 2016 at 12:27 pm - Reply

      I know it’s been months, but if you have yet to decide I personally love me Masterbuilt Electronic Smoker (MES). I have the 40″ and it is about as convenient as can be. If you pair it with the A-Maze-N pellet smoker then it is truly set it and forget it!

  3. David Keindel May 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Thanks for highlighting the importance of not over cooking pork. People do not believe how tender and juicy pork can be, when cooked properly (pink). Great recipes and enthusiasm for smoking. Thanks Jeff.

  4. Jason Armes June 15, 2015 at 10:01 am - Reply

    I exchanged the cherry preserves for peach preserves…..DELISH!!! Thanks for the recipe. I’m going to try it with chicken thighs next

    -Jason

  5. doyan December 31, 2014 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Jeff I smoked the bourbon loin everybody loved it

  6. John Kirkland December 25, 2014 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    I’m using a Bradley electric smoker at 225 degrees, and my tenderloin went to 175 degrees after only one hour. I was going to start monitoring the temp @ the one hour mark, so I missed medium rare. The sauce was so good that it made well-done tenderloin taste great! My Christmas guests all liked it.

  7. Ray December 18, 2014 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff, That’s an amazing recipe, got your book ordered sounds like a good one.
    My question is can the Bourbon be replaced with a non alcoholic liquid? My son is a group leader at a recovery center of about 120 men and I sometime take stuff there.
    Thanks and God bless!

    • Jeff Phillips December 19, 2014 at 11:41 am - Reply

      I think you could safely replace the 1/4 cup of bourbon with a couple tablespoons of apple juice or even cider.

      I have checked some other sources and that seems to be the consensus.

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