Sliced Pork TenderloinHello and welcome to this edition of the smoking meat newsletter where I have chosen to show you my method for smoked pork tenderloin and we are using that same Brinkmann horizontal smoker that I used last time for the steaks only this time, I am going to show you a cool way to start the fire.

Many folks will tell you that you have to be careful with pork tenderloin to keep it from drying out and they would be correct. Others will tell you to wrap it in bacon to keep it moist while it cooks and that's not a bad idea either but is it necessary to prevent it from drying out? In this experiment I am smoking four separate pork tenderloins with only (2) of them wrapped in bacon.

The remaining two tenderloins are seasoned but are not wrapped in bacon and once they are finished cooking, we will see what the differences are (if any).

Don't Forget about My Recipes

As part of this experiment, I used my rub recipe to season the pork. My rub was specifically created for ribs however, as many of you can attest to, it is to die for on almost any meat known to man. If you don't have them, consider buying them today. They are a wonderful addition to your recipe box and it helps to keep this site going.

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My Previous Newsletter:

Smoked Steak on the Brinkmann Horizontal Smoker

While steak is normally an item that is considered to be best when cooked hot on the grill, I stepped out of the proverbial box and tried it on the smoker for an hour before grilling it. All I can say is, "Wow" Based on the emails I have received from those of you who tried it, this is an amazing recipe worth of being repeated time and time again.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts


Smoking Pork Tenderloin

What to Purchase

Instead of buying these from the butcher as usual, I purchased pre-packaged pork tenderloins which came two to a pack. I bough two packages which netted me four tenderloins total.

I also purchased a whole pork loin to smoke at the same time but I don't want to focus on that in this particular newsletter.

4 Pork Tenderloins


How to Prepare

I have always wrapped pork tenderloins in bacon and many folks will tell you that you have to do this in order for it to not end up drying out in the smoker however, since I had four of these, I decided to put that way of thinking to the test by wrapping a couple of them in bacon and leaving a couple of them unwrapped. Here is what you'll need to replicate my experiment or part of it.


Sweet and Spicy Fruit Topping

1 TBS of Jeff's Rub recipe
2 TBS of Pineapple/mango (PurelyFruit) preserves

Mix the rub with the fruit preserves until well blended and the rub is melted. Microwave on high for about 15 seconds or until slightly warm for easier spreading.


How to Wrap in Bacon

lay out 4-5 pieces of bacon flat on a baking sheet or on a piece of wax or parchment paper with about 1 inch between the slices. Lay the tenderloin perpendicular across the bacon slices and pull the bacon up on both sides so that it drapes over the tenderloin and back underneath again.

I apologize for not getting pictures of this process.. it was in the plans but apparently I got distracted;-)


Tenderloin #1:

Covered on top with the sweet and spicy preserves and set aside

Pork Tenderloin with spicy preserves


Tenderloin #2:

Covered on top with sweet and spicy preserves, wrapped in bacon


Tenderloin #3:

Coated with a light coat of yellow mustard to help the rub to stick then sprinkled with my rub recipe until the meat was completely covered on top, bottom and sides.


Tenderloin #4:

Coated with a light coat of yellow mustard and then my rub recipe, wrapped in bacon


At this point, I laid all four tenderloins into a Bradley rack for easy transport to and from the smoker and went out to get the smoker ready.


Preparing the Smoker

A couple of weeks ago while smoking steaks, I used lump charcoal in the Brinkmann horizontal and it worked really well but this time I wanted to demonstrate how to use all wood with no charcoal. This is easy to do if you have the right equipment.

I broke out my propane weed burner and after cutting up some wood to the right size for this smoker, I lit the weed burner and got the wood to burning in the firebox.

Stihl Chainsaw Pecan Wood

Propane weed burner


The best way to do this is to just put 2-3 pieces of dry, seasoned wood in the firebox then hold the flame from the weed burner on the wood for about 10 minutes. It may not take that long but the idea is to create a nice bed of coals before placing the meat in the smoker.

Starting fire with a weed burner


Open all vents completely while getting the fire started to make sure that plenty of air is able to get to the firebox. This will help the wood to catch fire and stay caught while forming a bed of coals.

This can take up to an hour or even longer to create a bed of coals and to regulate the smoker to a proper smoking temperature. It may even be wise to get the smoker going before doing the preparation work on the meat. While the wood is burning down to coals, you will have time to go back in and get the meat ready.

Once you have a bed of coals and you are ready to limit the air to the firebox in order to control the temperature, close the firebox vent to about 1/4 open then close the chimney about half way.

I did notice that my ash cleanout door was a little warped at the bottom and leaks air like crazy so I had to create a quick jig to fix the problem.

Fix for warped ash cleanout door

I used a piece of metal bar which was not long enough to go from the ground to the bottom of the door. I got creative and used a piece of pecan to make up the difference. Works like a charm by pushing in on the bottom edge of the door and sealing off the air leak.

Please note that this smoker can be made much better with some modification and perhaps I can plan a newsletter in the future to illustrate a few mods that you can do to help but until then, I recommend staying close to the smoker.

Roll the smoker to a shady area of your yard, find a lawn chair and something cold to drink and camp out right there while the food is cooking.


Smoking the Pork Tenderloins

Since we put the tenderloins on a Bradley rack, it will be very simple to move them from the cabinet to the smoker and then back again when they are finished without every having to take them on or off. You can get a set of these on Amazon even if you do not own the Bradley smoker.

Pork tenderloins on smoker grate


I used a digital probe meat thermometer manufactured by Taylor to monitor the temperature at the thickest part of the meat while it cooked.

Maintain the smoker around 225-240 degrees if possible.

It took 1 hour and 45 minutes to reach 150 degrees at which point I removed the meat from smoker and set it on the kitchen counter to rest for a few minutes before slicing.

The USDA has recently changed the safe temperature for pork products however, I have always had great results from cooking tender cuts of pork to 150 and letting it rest so I figure why change what isn't broken.

Tenderloin with Jeff's rub Pork tenderloin with jeff's rub and fruit preserves


Serving the Pork Tenderloin

This particular cut of meat is super tender and usually turns out very moist if it is not overcooked. It works well as an appetizer, as a breakfast entree, or as part of a main meal.

I love to put thick slices on a homemade biscuit

Pork Tenderloin Biscuit


Here is the biscuit recipe that we always use around here.. it came from a Shawnee flour bag years ago and is now taped to the inside of one of our cabinet doors for quick and easy reference.

Biscuit Recipe


The Results of the Experiment

I have to say that I was banking on the bacon wrapped tenderloins to be the best in terms of juiciness but honestly, once I cut into the tenderloins they were all very juicy with or without the bacon.

If we are just talking flavor, the spicy preserves made with my rub recipe added the most flavor.

The one with rub/mustard and no bacon had a better bark if that is what you are after. I thought the slightly crispy bark when well with the buttery, tender meat on the inside.

My favorite overall was the pork tenderloin with spicy preserves and no bacon simply because it had the best flavor, the best smoke penetration and it tasted better on the biscuit in my opinion.


My Recipes

Folks.. I never stop amazing myself at how good my rib rub recipe and sauce recipe is on various kinds of meat.

Whether it is ribs, brisket, pork shoulder or even something simple like chicken or chops, every time I use my rub and sauce I am blown away by the flavor all over AGAIN!

I always think to myself, "I sure hope everyone can try this.. it is too good to go through life never having experienced this!"

I am not being dramatic.. just try it and you will join the ranks of those who know if I'm lying then I'm dying! This stuff is Fan-flavor-tastic and you need it in a bad-bad way;-)

Here is a few testimonies from other folks who decided to go for it and are glad that they did. Be sure to send my your testimony once you try it and realize that you have just tasted of HEAVEN.
I would like to Thank You for the Rib Rub Recipe, I made this for my family and the results were unanimous, everyone said that the ribs were the BEST they ever tasted, and the meat was very tender and moist. I haven't tried the BBQ sauce recipe yet, but I will in the near future. ~ Jerome
Jeff, You truly are the man. Bought your rib rub and your sakes alive sauce and love them both. Keep up the good work helping people like me learn to cook good BBQ with smoke. ~ Matt
Jeff, I was smoking a Boston butt Saturday night for dinner Sunday and decided to try your bbq sauce. I have to say this is hands down the best sauce I've ever had and I've tried a lot of them. Its very easy to make, inexpensive and taste excellent. I will be using this recipe for a long time. ~ Doug
Love your newsletter each month. LOVE you BBQ sauce and rub even better!!!! ~ Kawal


I cooked some burgers on the grill the other night and put your rub on liberally on both sides. Man, those were the best burgers I ever cooked. My wife loved them. The recipes are great. Well worth the money charged. Thanks. ~ Gordon

You deserve the very best and is is completely within your grasp! Only $18.95 and worth every penny. Not only do you get the best rub and sauce recipe available, you are supporting this website and helping to make sure the bills get paid so we can keep on doing what we do to teach thousands and thousands of people across the world the art of smoking meat.

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My system is automated which means you should get a download email within MINUTES of ordering.. check your spam/junk folder first then contact me to get the recipes sent to you as an attachment.


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What's more.. it's absolutely free and it's just a quick registration away. Once you've registered, don't forget to stop by the "Roll Call" area to introduce yourself and tell us a little about you, what smoker you are using (if any), what kind of work you do, and anything else you want to tell us.

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In Closing

Thank you for being a part of the smoking meat family which includes the newsletter, the forum, the website and many other resources that we try to provide to help you and countless others learn this great art.

A HUGE thank you to all of you who support the site by purchasing the recipes and other products that we sell.

Until next time.. keep smoking and God Bless.

Jeff Phillips