Smoked pork tenderloin is lean and juicy, and very easy to cook on any smoker. Make this recipe for an easy weekday dinner or a holiday meal!
I just love the flavor of food that I cook in a smoker. So, if you haven’t already tried my smoker recipes, here are a few you can start with.
Smoked baked beans are tastier than anything from a can! These tender beans with bacon are the perfect side dish!
Making a smoked baked potato is one of the easiest smoker recipes around! This recipe is a must-make; you’ll love the flavor of smoked potatoes!
Smoked chicken quarters are juicy and tender on the inside with crispy skin on the outside. Make this smoker recipe using any type of smoker!
What You’ll Need for Smoked Pork Tenderloin
To make this pork tenderloin recipe, you will need a 2-pound tenderloin. And, you will need the secret ingredient which is 3/4 cup of Jack Daniels whiskey.
If you don’t have the Jack Daniels brand, you can substitute another type. If you need or want to avoid alcohol, you can omit it from the recipe.
Just swap out the whiskey for an equal amount of beef or chicken stock.
Difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin
There is a difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin. So, be sure that you use the right cut for this smoked pork tenderloin recipe.
Using a loin rather than a tenderloin won’t give you the same results because pork loin isn’t as tender.
The tenderloin is a long, thin boneless cut of meat, from the area near the backbone. It is also known as pork filet.
Because the cut comes from a part of the hog that isn’t used for walking, the meat is very lean and tender.
A pork loin is wider and flatter. This cut of meat can be either boneless or bone-in, depending on the cut you buy.
What flavor wood chips to use
Pork goes really well with sweet wood chips from trees like apple or peach. But, you could also use something like mesquite or hickory if you prefer.
Try different combinations of marinades with your favorite wood chips. Apple and pork is a favorite combination in our house.
Do you wrap pork in foil when smoking?
If you’re concerned about the meat drying out, you can wrap it in foil first. This step is optional, but it can help the meat retain moisture.
Do you need to marinate or brine pork before smoking it?
Marinating the meat before smoking it will add extra flavor and moisture. It’s not necessary to brine the meat unless you want to.
Safe cooking temp for pork
The proper temp for smoked pork tenderloin is 145°F. Always use a meat thermometer to judge when meat is done rather than going by time alone.
How long does it take to smoke a pork tenderloin?
The cooking time really depends on the smoker itself, but if you follow this recipe, you will smoke the meat for 2 to 3 hours at 225F.
How to prevent pork tenderloin from drying out
Slightly undercook your meat, to an internal temperature of 143F. It will continue to cook another 3 to 5 degrees as it rests.
Remember to brush the meat with marinade every 30 minutes as it cooks. This helps it to retain moisture and makes all the difference when it comes to flavor.
There are plenty of side dishes that you can serve along with this meal.
Remember to slice the smoked pork tenderloin against the grain when it is time to serve it. This will create 1/2 inch thick, perfectly round medallions that are just the right size for serving
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
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Smoked Pork Tenderloin + Video
- 2 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup Jack Daniels whiskey
- 5 1/2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons grated white onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chili paste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, whiskey, soy sauce, onion, garlic, olive oil, chili paste, and black pepper. Add the tenderloins, making sure to coat in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at least one hour, up to overnight. You may need to rotate the pork in the marinade every 20 minutes or so if it is not fully submerged. You can also marinate it in a gallon zippered bag.
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F. Place the tenderloins directly on the grates. Smoke for 2-3 hours until the internal temperature reaches at least 145°F, or to your desired doneness. Brush with the marinade every 30 minutes.
- Let the pork rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving. While the pork is resting, add the remaining marinade to a small saucepot. Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes, serve with the pork.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published September 2020
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