Smoked BBQ Pork Tenderloin
Smoked pork tenderloin is a great choice when you are looking for some rich, deep barbecue flavor and a simple cut of meat that is easy to find and affordable.
This smoked pork loin recipe is one to save on your recipe card because once you taste the mouth watering flavors you will want to make it again and again. Bring this smoked pork loin to your neighborhood barbecue to share with friends or keep it all to yourself to enjoy.
My smoked barbecue pork tenderloin does not require a lot of experience with smoking. And one of the great things is a pork tenderloin is great for satisfying a crowd or just your family for cheap. We love to smoke briskets and even prime rib, but it can really expensive really fast. So I love having something that is easy to make and affordable.
What is a Good Seasoning for Pork Tenderloin?
This recipe uses three different seasoning options: A rub, a marinade, and a sauce. Which is why it is exploding with flavor.
I use a homemade spice rub that utilizes spices commonly found in my pantry. But if you want to speed things up, feel free to swap it out for a pork rub that is sweet. Pre-made rubs can be a lifesaver, and I am certainly the last person to fault you for using one. When I need to speed up the process I use this Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub. It is the perfect blend of spices.
The marinade is simple and sweet, and imparts a sweet smokey flavor to your pork tenderloin. It uses apple juice and honey and chipotle. The chipotle is optional, and you can sub brown sugar for the honey if needed.
The BBQ sauce is the finishing touch. I like to think of it like the accessory for the pork tenderloin. And it is simple, and classic. But you can swap it out for a sweet bottled sauce if you want. Again, let’s keep things as simple as you want them to be.
The homemade sauce in the recipe has a kick of horseradish, which is amazing. But if you don’t want a kick, scale that back.
Basically, this method of cooking pork tenderloin is simple and straightforward, and making substitutions is ok. I hate having a meal in mind and finding out I don’t have the correct ingredients. It’s nice when you can improvise and avoid making an inconvenient trip to the store.
I love when I find a food that isn’t limited to just one flavor. Pork tenderloin goes well with so many spices and flavors! You can go sweet or savory. So if you have a pork tenderloin in your freezer but don’t know how to season it, don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Follow the recipe, or switch things up with other fun flavors.
Options, Options, Options! So Many Seasoning Options!
- Sweet and Savory—add apples to your pork and pair them with a spice like sage
- Italian Flavor—rosemary and garlic
- Spicy, Spice—throw some paprika, chili powder on and add a little heat with some cayenne pepper
- Fall Flavor—use spices like cinnamon and nutmeg
*Note: The above spices listed are just some base ideas to show you what kind of spices you can use. You will probably want to add more seasonings to create the perfect spice blend. The above ideas are just a starting off point.
The possibilities really are endless. Use brown sugar with some spicy seasonings to add a dimension of sweet, or use spices found in a taco blend like oregano, cumin, and garlic, giving the pork or a more Mexican flare.
Use any of these spices as a base and add to them to make a flavorful spice rub that is tailored toward your mood.
Can You Use Pork Tenderloin to Make Pulled Pork?
Nope. This is a slicing meat, not a pulling meat. So if you want pulled pork get a pork butt roast or a pork shoulder.
Pulled pork seems to be a fan favorite. So if you want a BBQ pulled pork, check out this easy recipe. Throw it on the smoker, and serve a crowd with some delicious pulled pork sandwiches. I see pulled pork sandwiches all the time at get togethers because they are easy and delicious.
What is the best cut of pork to use for pulled pork? Pork Butt, Boston butt, or Picnic roast, which bonus–these are even more affordable than tenderloin.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Pork Butt or Shoulder at 225 Degrees?
Check out this post Smoked Pulled Pork for everything you need to know. But the simple answer is a long time!
Pork shoulder is something that you can’t just make right on the spot if you need to eat in 30 minutes. It is best when cooked low and slow. This allows the connective tissue to break down, and the fat to melt so you get a juicy, tender, amazing meal. The cook time varies depending on how much the meat weighs, but a good rule of thumb is to plan on 90 minutes of cook time for every pound when cooking at 225 degrees.
Check the Temp.
If I could share just ONE piece of advice when it comes to smoking it is to forget the clock and instead pay attention to the internal temperature. Pork tenderloin is small and thin, and can cook fairly quickly, which means if you are too focused on the clock you can go from juicy and delicious to tough and dried out.
With low temps and smoke it does take a few hours to cook a tenderloin, but depending on your smoker, the outside temp, the size of the pork tenderloin, etc. the times can vary widely.
My tip: Check the internal temp every 20 minutes to get a read on when it is going to be done.
What Temperature is Pork Tenderloin Done?
It’s important that even with following the guidelines of how long to cook your meat that you check to make sure it’s fully cooked. You want your pork tenderloin to be at an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Bring on the Flavor with My Smoked BBQ Pork Tenderloin
Now that we have covered so many areas of pork, are you ready to make my smoked bbq pork loin? Once this dish is served get ready to hear the compliments. Smoked bbq pork is a flavorful dish that will just make you smile.
Make It A Meal
- Apple Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Dressing
- Cheddar Bacon Sweet Corn
- Smoked Chocolate Chip Cookies
Smoked BBQ Pork Tenderloin
- 2, 1 -1 1/2 lb Pork Tenderloins Silverskin removed
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 cup Apple Juice
- 3 Tablespoons Honey
- 1/2 Tablespoons Chipotle powder optional
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons dry mustard
- 1 Tablespoon horseradish sauce
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- Mix rub ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside.
- Dry pork tenderloin with a paper towel.
- Rub with pork rub.
- Let sit in fridge for 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl, add the apple juice, honey, and chipotle, whisk to combine.
- Add pork loins to the bowl with the marinade, and make sure it is coated.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let marinate for 2-3 hours.
- Combine all ingredients for BBQ sauce in a sauce pan, and heat over medium heat, Stir and cook for 5-10 minutes until cooked down and thickened to desired thickness.
- When ready to cook, set the temperature to 225℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
- Place the pork loin directly on the grill grate and cook/smoke until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours*.
- Once the roast his 130 degrees, slather in sauce. And continue cooking until it reaches 145 degrees F.
- Let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
Pin to your Smoker board: