Smoked pork tenderloin is one of my favorite cuts of pork and I, being the pork lover that I am, have a hard time choosing between this cut and the filet of beef.. it really is THAT good. Cooked correctly, it is tender, tasty, and very moist without a lot of fuss.
It does cost a little more than the pork loin, pound for pound but, then, you get what you pay for and your taste buds will thank you time and time again.
I smoked these pork tenderloins with peach wood and even made a quick chutney using my barbecue sauce recipe as a base that I know you'll love.
Add some grilled vegetable skewers to this meal and you have a real winner on your hands.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Smoker Temp: 225°F
Meat Finish Temp: 145°F
Recommended Wood: Peach, apricot or other light fruit wood
Remove the pork tenderloin from it's package and rinse well under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel and remove any loose pieces, clumps of fat, etc.
Cut off the tail to even it up a little bit. This thinner piece on the end will get done earlier than the rest and by cutting if off, you can season and cook them as normal and remove it from the cooker when it is perfectly done.
Not cutting it off and cooking it separately would result in having a piece at the end that is overdone, dried out and just not very good.
Seasoning the Meat
We all know that sweet and pork just go together. For this reason, I decided to brush on some maple syrup to help the rub to stick better and to add some extra sweetness to the mix.
Sprinkle my original rub onto the pork tenderloins making sure to get it onto all sides.
Place the meat on a Bradley rack or a cookie sheet and you are good to go.
Getting the Smoker Ready
I have been using my ceramic cooker, specifically the Big Green Egg, for the last month or so. If you really want to get a handle on a certain grill or cooker, you have to use it, learn it, experiment and find out what makes it “tick” and that, my friends, is what I've been doing.
I have been noticing that things tend to be getting done faster than normal in the “egg”.. anyone also notice that?
At any rate, these will cook up nicely in almost any smoker as long as you maintain proper heat, and don't open the lid any more than necessary. Once you have the smoker of your choice running at about 225°F , you are ready to smoke some pork tenderloin!
Here's some information that I have written on various other smokers.
Big Green Egg – Ceramic cooker that uses charcoal. Add lump charcoal, light it and add some wood.. set the top and bottom vent and you're good to go for hours on end due to the thick walls that hold heat incredibly well.
Note: In colder weather, it is advisable to preheat the smoker at least an hour or more before you are wanting to use it. Keep the door closed as much as possible and even skip basting if necessary to maintain proper smoking temperatures.
Smoking the Pork Tenderloin
Place the pork tenderloins directly on the smoker grate or if you used a Bradley rack, you can simply set the Bradley rack on the grate and it will work great.
Note: the Bradley racksaudcasinos are approximately 11 x 15 so they may or may not fit your particular smoke. Be sure to check the size of your grates before ordering a set of these racks.
I happened to have some peach wood from a tree I cut down a year or so ago but any fruit wood will work. Even pecan or hickory will work if that is all you have. When it comes to smoking wood, you sometimes have to be flexible.
Maintain 225°F until the pork tenderloins reach 145°F internally.
Use a remote digital thermometer such as the “Smoke” by Thermoworks or you can use a Thermapen for almost instant results. My red Thermapen reads in about 2-3 seconds consistently and that's VERY fast for thermometers.
If you want to use a leave-in wireless thermometer to monitor the temperature of the chicken and/or the pit, look no further than the “Smoke” by Thermoworks. This is the dual-probe remote thermometer that I use and you can count on it being rugged, accurate and easy to use.
My (2) tenderloins got done in about 1.5 hours but normally these take 2 hours or more. The important thing is that you watch the temperature using a trusted thermometer. Place the probe in the center of the meat and when it reaches 145°F, it is done and should be removed right away.
Serving the Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Let the meat rest for about 30 minutes under foil before slicing to allow all of that juice to redistribute throughout the meat. Slice the meat into ¼ inch medallions and serve right away.
During the resting period, I removed the plate setter from the BGE and grilled some vegetable skewers. You can also do this on the grill or even in your broiler if you have to.
Alternate yellow squash, red onion, tomato, zucchini and even mushrooms for some really great flavors.
Make a grilling mop for the veggies using ½ cup of olive oil, 1 TBS of my original rub and a little extra coarse salt (to taste) if you want more saltiness (my rub is not salt based like many other rubs).
Brush some olive oil mixture onto the veggies and grill for about 10-12 minutes turning and basting with the olive oil mixture until they are as tender as you like them.
All served up!
If you want to make a quick chutney to go with it like I did, place about ½ cup of peach jam into a sauce pot over medium heat. Once it starts to melt a little, add ½ cup of my barbecue sauce and stir often until it is thoroughly mixed and heated through.
Smoke, Wood, Fire: The Advanced Guide to Smoking Meat – Unlike the first book, this book does not focus on recipes but rather uses every square inch of every page teaching you how to smoke meat. What my first book touched on, this second book takes it into much greater detail with lots of pictures.
It also includes a complete, step-by-step tutorial for making your own smoked “streaky” bacon using a 100 year old brine recipe.
When it comes to pork, the tenderloin is unbeatable in flavor and tenderness. It is also incredibly lean. Ounce for ounce, it is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast. So you really can have the flavors you love and still rest easy knowing you are eating healthy!