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How to: smoked pork tenderloin on a pellet grill

Here’s how to use a pellet grill to achieve smoky pork perfection.

Ingredients:
  • 1 whole pork tenderloin (12–16 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon pork seasoning or rub
  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 ¼ hours
  • Servings: 6

There are lots of reasons to reach for the pork tenderloin the next time you fire up your pellet grill or smoker. For starters, pork tenderloins are super tender and reasonably priced. Sometimes up to eight times cheaper per pound than other tenderloins. If you follow these steps, you’ll find this affordable cut to be every bit as delicious as the spendy stuff.

Smoked pork tenderloin can dress up or down for any occasion. Serve it as medallions on fine china with a cauliflower purée, or sliced thin and tucked into a baguette for a picnic. There’s just no occasion too formal or too casual for smoked pork tenderloin.

Fun Fact:

Also known as a pork fillet or Gentlemen’s cut, the tenderloin is one of the most tender and desirable cuts of pig available. And so you know, a 3 ounce pork tenderloin packs about 22 grams of protein, zero carbs and only 122 calories.

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. 1

    Prepare the pork.

  2. Under cool water, rinse the pork pieces, then pat dry. If the pork has silver skin surrounding the tenderloin, use a sharp paring knife to remove as much as possible without cutting too deeply into the meat.
  3. Coat the pork tenderloin with mayonnaise to help the seasoning stick, and season the tenderloin on all sides. Return the meat to the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. 2

    Start smoking.

  5. Preheat your pellet grill to 225°F. Once up to temperature, place the thermometer probe into the center of the pork tenderloin, and position the meat at the center of your pellet smoker. Smoke the meat to an internal temperature of 95–100°F
  6. 3

    Turn up the heat.

  7. Increase the heat of your pellet smoker to 400°F and continue to cook the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F. The pork may hit 140°F before your smoker achieves 400°F, which is fine.
  8. 4

    Wrap it, rest it and serve.

  9. Remove the pork from the smoker and tightly wrap it in foil on a plate to seal in juices. Allow the wrapped pork to rest on the plate for a minimum of 10 minutes. Slice and serve!
  10. A note on safe internal temperature for pork: USDA.gov recommends cooking pork to 145°F and allowing it to rest for three minutes before serving. This recipe cooks the pork to 140°F and rests for 10 minutes allowing the carryover to allow the meat to safely come to 145°F. Some pork tenderloins have flavor-enhancing additives for adding additional flavor and moisture to the food. If your pork comes with a recommended doneness temperature, it’s advisable to follow the recommendations.

Can you smoke a pork tenderloin?

Yes! Smoking a pork tenderloin makes it far more mouthwatering and pleasurable to the palate than simply roasting or grilling. Real wood smoke seasons the meat in a way that salt and pepper can’t. Smoke brings nuances that are subtle but present. You’ll smell the aroma before you even reach for your fork, as the smoke triggers your taste buds to prepare for deliciousness.

What temp should you smoke pork tenderloin?

Like other delicate cuts of meat, pork tenderloin benefits from smoking at about 225°F. When you use Kingsford® All-Natural Hardwood Pellets, you can be sure that the pork will absorb the perfect amount of smoke flavor, coaxing out a sweet richness not achievable with other cooking methods.

Although all of Kingsford’s pellet offerings work well with pork tenderloin, two blends truly stand apart. Both the Kingsford® Classic and Kingsford® Signature pellet blends combine three different types of wood for a combination of flavors that makes meat irresistible.

What should you serve with smoked pork tenderloins?

Pork tenderloin on a pellet smoker is so delicious, it can make side dishes downright forgettable. Fortunately, these side dishes can stand up to your main course, and many of them can be cooked right in your pellet smoker.

Smoked Hasseback Potato Gratin

With its creamy layers of smoky flavor, our Hasselback Potato Gratin makes a great side for lean grilled pork.

Smoked Yellow Squash Casserole

Looking for a hearty vegetable side that can stand up to grilled meat? This buttery, cheesy Squash Casserole does the trick.

Smoked Southern Style Mac & Cheese

You’ve had cheesy macaroni a million ways, but none are as satisfyingly smoky as a big side of Southern Style Mac & Cheese.

Southern Cornbread

A little bacon grease and 25 minutes in a pellet cooker take this Southern Cornbread to a whole new level of smoky deliciousness.

Fresh Sweet Corn on the Cob

Whether you like to grill ’em in the husk or char kernels right on the grill, Corn on the Cob is a sweet classic side for your tender grilled pork.

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