We cook a lot of food on our smoker and every now and then we make something that makes us sit back and say, “why don’t we make that more often?” That was the case last weekend when I smoked some pork tenderloins. The smoked pork tenderloin recipe I’m about to share with you is one of the easiest entrees you’ll make on your smoker. The best part? This smoked pork tenderloin recipe is almost foolproof. The pork tenderloins are melt in your mouth delicious when they’re done.
What is a Pork Tenderloin?
Before we go too deep into this recipe, it’s important that we make the distinction between a pork loin and a pork tenderloin.
The pork loin is a larger cut of meat, that comes from a pig’s back and typically weighs between two to five pounds. A pork loin can be purchased bone-in or boneless.
A pork tenderloin is much smaller, weighing in at just a pound. It’s a boneless cut that runs alongside the backbone of a pig.
Both cuts of meat are delicious, but they cook differently! Always double check your recipe to be sure you pick up the right cut of meat before you start. This recipe calls for two one-pound pork tenderloins.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Pork Tenderloin?
Pork Tenderloins are a forgiving piece of meat. You can put them on your smoker on high heat (400+ degrees) and they’ll be done in 25 minutes. Or, you can smoke them at 300 degrees for a few hours and get one of the juiciest pork tenderloins you’ve ever seen.
For this recipe, I smoke the pork tenderloin for about 2 hours at 225 and then turn the smoker up to high at the end to get a nice crust on the outside.
It’s always nice to know the time component of a cook, but please note that the times I recommended above are just a guide for planning purposes. A pork tenderloin is not fully cooked until the internal temperature is at least 145 degrees. At 145 there will still be a little pink in the center, which is totally fine. For my family, I always cook pork tenderloins to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
Figuring out what the internal temperature is can be a hassle. One of the best bbq tools I own is my Thermapen MK4. If you don’t have one, I’d buy one now, or put it on your wish list. It’s quick and accurate readouts are a gamechanger.
My Favorite Smoked Pork Tenderloin Recipe
Like I previously mentioned, this pork tenderloin recipe is really easy to follow. In a small bowl combine garlic powder, paprika, salt, tumeric, and brown sugar with dijon mustard, and apple juice.
Mix all of the ingredients together and then set off to the side.
Remove the silverskin from each of your pork tenderloins. Lay your two one-pound pork tenderloins parallel to one another, and then, using butchers twine, tie them together.
Brush the wet rub you made all over the pork tenderloins. You can do this before you tie the pork tenderloins together to get each tenderloin completely covered in the rub, but it’s a MESSY endeavor. Not worth it if you ask me!
Cooking Pork Tenderloin on a Traeger
Now that your pork tenderloins are prepped, all that’s left now is to cook them! Turn your smoker on and get it set up to cook at 225 degrees with indirect heat. Place the pork tenderloins in the smoker, and let them smoke for approximately two hours.
After two hours the pork tenderloins should have an internal temperature of about 135-140 degrees. When they get to an internal temp of 140 remove them from the smoker, and turn the smoker up to high.
While the smoker is getting hot, add 2 tbsp of honey to the reserved wet rub, and then brush it on to the pork tenderloins. Once the smoker has reached a temp of 400+, put the pork tenderloins back in for an additional ten minutes. Just enough time to give them a good crust, and get that internal temp up to about 160 degrees.
Let the pork tenderloins rest under foil for about fifteen minutes before cutting the butchers string away, and then slicing.
Smoked Pork Tenderloin Recipe
- 2 pork tenderloins (equal size, about 1 lb each)
- 1/4 cup Apple Juice
- 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- Remove the silverskin from each of the pork tenderloins and then tie them together using butcher string
- Combine all of the remaining ingredients except for honey in a bowl. Stir and then reserve half of the wet rub in a separate jar.
- Add honey to the reserved wet rub and then place in refrigerator.
- Coat entire pork tenderloin with the wet rub, and then place on the smoker at 225 degrees for approximately 2 hours.
- After 2 hours remove pork tenderloins and turn heat up to high on the smoker
- Coat pork tenderloins in the reserved wet rub with honey, and then place them back in the smoker until internal temperature is 160 degrees
- Let rest under foil for approximately 15 minutes before slicing at a diagonal and serving