This recipe for Smoked Pork Tenderloin yields a juicy, flavourful and tender bite. Smoking pork tenderloin does two wonderful things; infuses flavour and cooks the meat over a gentle heat that ensures it doesn't dry out. This recipe also includes a quick and easy brine to amplify these two things further. Brining meat tenderizes, adds flavour and maintains moistness.
- Pork Tenderloin
- Brine (Salt, Water, Apple Cider Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Pepper)
- BBQ Rub (Homemade or your favourite blend)
- BBQ Sauce
Steps to Making Smoked Pork Tenderloin
- Pat Dry, Oil and Season
- Add Sauce
- Rest and Serve
Why should I brine pork Tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat. Lean meats are more likely to dry out and brining helps avoid that! You can get away with not brining pork tenderloin but I think that once you do it once, you will see the reward of juicy meat is well worth the extra step.
What is the difference between Brining and Marinating?
Marinade and Brine both add flavour to the meat. Marinades however are usually thicker and are more meant solely for flavour. A marinade usually only penetrates the first few millimetres of the meat, whereas brine will penetrate the entire piece of meat.
Brining tenderizes the meat and despite popular belief, marinating does not!
What is the difference between Porkloin and Pork Tenderloin?
Pork Loin is much larger and thicker than pork tenderloin. Pork Tenderloin is the most tender cut of meat that comes from pork. As with any animal, the cuts cloest to the centre of the body are more tender from moving less. Tenderloin has a darker meat and pork loin is whiter. Pork loin has some fat on it where as tenderloin is very lean as it has no fat running through it or on it's surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
For it to fully penetrate the meat, you should brine the tenderloin for at least 2 hours.
With a Pellet Grill, it takes 1-1.5 hours to reach 225F (Pork tenderloins vary in weight and thickness so this affects the total cook time)
Pork Tenderloin should be cooked to a minimum of 145F (including a minimum 3-minute rest after it reaches that temperature)
On the thicker side, insert the thermometer into the centre of the meat lengthwise.
Cherry, Maple and Apple are my favourites. I used Apple with this recipe as it plays well with the apple cider vinegar in the brine.
Smoked Pork Tenderloin
- 2-3 Pounds Pork Tenderloin 2 Pieces
- 6 Cups Water
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
Dry Rub (or 2 Tablespoons of your favourite low-sodium pork dry rub)
- 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil or other favourite cooking oil (to rub on the meat before sprinkling on the dry rub.)
- 1.5 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Chili Powder
- ¼ Teaspoon Cumin (optional)
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
- ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
- ¼ Teaspoon Brown Sugar
- ¼ Teaspoon Oregano
- ¼ Cup BBQ Sauce I use Diana's Chicken and Rib Sauce
- Remove the meat from the packaging, If there are any loose pieces of meat you can use a sharp knife to trim them off.
- In a 9x13" casserole dish; mix all of the ingredients together. Place the two pork tenderloin pieces in the dish. Cover with saran wrap or a lid. Place in the fridge for 2-12 hours.
- Remove the pork from the brining liquid. Discard the brining liquid.Use a paper towel to dry the meat off.
- Evenly distibute the cooking oil onto both pieces of meat.
- Mix your dry rub ingredients together and then sprinkle it so that it evenly coats all sides of both pieces of tenderloin
- Preheat Pellet Grill to 225°F
- Insert a temperature probe into the thicker end of your larger of the two pork loins.
- Place pork tenderloins directly onto the grill and smoke for roughly 1 hour, or until an internal temperature of 130°F is met.
- Brush BBQ sauce on all sides of both pork tenderloins and increase the temperature of your pellet grill to 400°F
- Cook until the internal temperature reads 145°F
- Remove the pork tenderloins from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice each pork tenderloin into pieces ¾" thick. Serve and Enjoy.