Smoked Pork Tenderloin + Video

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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!

Jack Daniels Double Kick Smoked Pork Tenderloin

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!

Ingredients for smoked pork tenderloin recipe

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.

Marinating smoked pork tenderloin

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.

smoke pork tenderloin

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.

smoked pork tenderloin brushed with sauce

Recipe troubleshooting

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.

Serving suggestions 

There are plenty of side dishes that you can serve along with this meal.

Serve some steamed vegetables or a salad, and either rolls or biscuits. It’s also wonderful with homemade crock pot apple butter or baked cinnamon applesauce.

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

serving jack daniels double kick smoked pork tenderloin

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slices of smoked pork tenderloin with whiskey glaze

smoked pork tenderloin, sliced

Smoked Pork Tenderloin + Video

Donna Elick
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!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Smoker
Servings 4


  • 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.



Serving: 1 | Calories: 556cal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 919mg | Sugar: 27g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image for smoked pork tenderloin

Originally published September 2020

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  1. Donna…..great job on all ur recipes….since we don’t hve a smoker & r unable to get one….cooking @ 225 in the oven….wl that hve almost the same results ?

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