The technique used for this smoked pork tenderloin recipe creates a great tasting smoked tenderloin that's tender and moist on the inside, and beautifully browned on the outside.
The pork is marinated, smoked, then flash cooked in an oven or a very
hot grill. A short resting period locks in the juices before it's
The secret of this tenderloin recipe is to let the internal temperature of the meat be your guide. The pork is removed from the smoker before it's done, and flash cooking brings it nearer the desired temperature.
During the final rest, the internal temperature rises just enough to
bring the smoked pork tenderloin up to perfect doneness.
Pork tenderloins are small strips of meat, weighing in at about 2 pounds each. Don't confuse these with pork loins, which are found on the top side of the hogs back. The tenderloins are taken from the underside of the backbone, with one running along each side.
Trim the tenderloins by removing visible membrane and fibers. Remove any stray flaps or shreds of meat that remain attached. Those "hangers" could burn, plus they detract from the look of the meat.
This dish begins with marinating. The following recipe makes enough marinade for two - 2 pound pork tenderloins.
Pork Tenderloin Marinade
Marinate the tenderloins for 4 hours. Remove and pat dry.
Use either a smoker or a grill to add the smoke flavor to the meat. Keep
the cooking temperature down near 200°F, using two small additions of
smoke wood to add flavor. Fruitwoods and nutwoods are good here.
Insert a remote cooking thermometer probe into the center of the thick end of the tenderloin. (Stick it right into the end, and leave it until just before serving time.) Now you can monitor the internal temperature without opening up your grill or smoker.
Continue cooking the smoked pork tenderloin until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F. Remove it and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes, covered lightly with foil.
Next, bring the internal temperature up to nearly done, and give it a nice, brown crust in a single step.
Preheat your oven or your grill up to 500°F. If you use your grill, keep one side open for indirect grilling-that's where you'll lay the tenderloins. Place them on the grill grate, or in a shallow pan that goes into the oven. When the internal temperature reaches 150°F remove them to a platter, cover lightly with foil, and lay a light towel over the whole works.
The internal temperature will continue to rise to between 155-160°F, perfect for pork tenderloins. (You didn't take out that thermometer probe yet, did you?) This three step smoked pork tenderloin recipe creates an excellent tasting, great looking dish. Brown and crispy on the outside, moist and tender inside...with a nice hint of smokey flavor!