Pork tenderloin is an affordable, flavorful, and versatile cut of meat. It’s perfect for those hectic weeknight dinners and makes plenty of leftovers. Plus, it pairs well with a variety of flavors and sides, so it’s easy to make smoked pork tenderloin a go-to meal that your family will enjoy over and over again.
Pork tenderloin (also known as the gentleman's cut, pork filet, or pork tender), is a lean, tender cut with delicate flavor. Not to be confused with the larger pork loin, a tenderloin is typically 2 inches in diameter and 10 to 12 inches long.
The pork tenderloin is cut from the back of the pig along the spine. Since the muscles around the pork tenderloin are used for posture rather than movement, it is a naturally tender cut of meat.
You'll find pork tenderloin at most grocery stores and butcher shops. You can buy it raw and unseasoned -- which we recommend. You can also buy it pre-marinated, which is a time-saver for busy grillmasters.
Yes, you can absolutely smoke pork tenderloin. A tender cut with subtle flavor pork tenderloin is the ideal "blank canvas" for letting natural wood smoke flavor shine.
One thing we love about pork tenderloin is its versatility. Whether you want to let the flavor of the meat take center stage or are looking for a flavor a little off the beaten path, we have a recipe for you.
Pork tenderloin is a great cut of meat for beginners and pros alike. Whether this is your first time ever smoking pork tenderloin or you’re looking for a little refresher on an old favorite, here’s what you need to know about smoking pork tenderloin.
When it comes to seasoning pork tenderloin, we recommend using a marinade. You can buy a pre-marinated pork tenderloin, but those often rely on more salt and preservatives than a homemade marinade. One of our favorite smoked pork tenderloin marinades has apple juice, honey, our Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub, brown sugar, thyme leaves, and black pepper. But pork tenderloin is a versatile meat that holds a lot of flavors well including garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, garlic, lemon, soy sauce, and more.
We recommend smoking your pork tenderloin at a Traeger temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit. If you prefer to grill your pork tenderloin on the grill grate, set your Traeger to 500 degrees instead.
If you’re smoking your pork tenderloin at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, you can expect it to take up to three hours to reach an internal safe temperature of 145 degrees. If you’re grilling over higher heat, it could take as little as 15 minutes to reach that safe temperature. Remember, it’s about the internal temperature of the meat, not the time on the Traeger.
While there are certainly other flavors of wood pellets that will complement pork tenderloin, cherry is a personal favorite of the experts at Traeger.
With Traeger Cherry pellets, naturally enhance pork tenderloin with a subtly sweet, fruity flavor.
If you prefer to watch and learn more about pork tenderloin, we have a few helpful videos. From walking you through the recipes to showing you how to remove the silverskin, we’ve got you covered.
Prep Time: 5 mins.
Cook Time: 3 hrs.
Your smoked pork tenderloin is the star of your dish, but the supporting cast is important, too. Here are a few of our favorite sides to serve with a classic pork tenderloin.