Cherry Bourbon Smoked Pork Tenderloin

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.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hot Smoking
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 4 -6
Author Jeff Phillips


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


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.

Season the Pork Tenderloins

  • As usual, I like to use the old trusty yellow mustard base on this pork to help that rub to stick really well.
  • Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of rub and massage it into the meat all over.
  • If you are doing these the night before (recommended) simply put them in a big ziploc bag and place in the fridge overnight.
  • 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

  • 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.

Make the Cherry Bourbon Compote

  • 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.
  • 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.

Finish and Serve the Smoked Pork Tenderloin

  • Remove the pork tenderloins from the smoker and bring them into the house.
  • If necessary, 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