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Smoking Pork Tenderloin

Smoking pork tenderloin is simple and quick. Give natural wood smoke flavor to this very tender cut of meat.

Smoking Pork Tenderloin

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.

What is pork tenderloin?

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.

Where does pork tenderloin come from?

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.

Where can you buy pork tenderloin?

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.

Can you smoke pork tenderloin?

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.

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Top Pork Tenderloin Recipes

One thing we love about Traeger 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 collection of pork tenderloin recipes to choose from.

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin

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.

How to season 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.

Smoked pork tenderloin temperature for cooking

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.

How long to cook pork tenderloin

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.

Best Wood Pellets for Smoking Pork Tenderloin

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.

Recommended Smoked Pork Tenderloin Rub

Looking for something easy to season your pork tenderloin? Our Pork & Poultry blend was crafted by our experts with your favorite white meat in mind.

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All Tenderloin videos

Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Prep Time: 5 mins.

Cook Time: 3 hrs.

Effort: 1/5

Ingredients -

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • Two (1½ pound each) pork tenderloins, silverskin removed

Preparations -

  1. Combine apple juice, honey, Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub, brown sugar, thyme leaves, and black pepper in a bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the pork loin to the bowl with the marinade, turning to cover. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap or combine all ingredients in a large, resealable bag. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
  3. When ready to begin cooking, preheat Traeger to 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Use Super Smoke, if available, for added flavor.
  4. Place the pork tenderloin directly on the grill grate and smoke for 2½ to 3 hours.
  5. Once pork tenderloin reaches 145 degrees internally, remove from your Traeger and let it rest for five minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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What should I serve with pork tenderloin?

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.