Easy Pellet Grill Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Super easy and quick to prepare, this sweet and spicy pork tenderloin is a great cut of meat to smoke on the pellet grill.
pellet grilled pork tenderloin

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Pork tenderloin is one of the most underrated proteins in the barbecue world. But when you pair it with a rub and a delicious barbecue sauce, then smoke it on a pellet grill, it’s so dang good!

Pellet Grilled Pork Tenderloin

More popular cuts like pork belly and ribs tend to overshadow pork tenderloin. Plus with the rising beef costs, there has never been a better time to board the very affordable pork tenderloin train. 

One of the best things about smoking pork tenderloin is using any flavor combination you like. We’ve used a maple bourbon glaze before, and it’s out of this world. You can use store-bought rubs and sauces, and we’ve included links to make your own.

Ingredients you’ll need

Equipment you’ll need

  • Pellet smoker
  • Knives – for trimming and slicing. 
  • Butcher’s twine 
  • Wire rack
  • Pellets – I’m using a fruitwood blend.
  • BBQ gloves – you’ll need these BBQ gloves to continuously rotate the wire rack.
  • Basting brush 
  • Instant read thermometer – I like to use an instant-read thermometer to double-check the temps at the end.
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cutting board

What is pork tenderloin?

It’s a lean, boneless cut weighing around 1-1.5 lbs.

Pork tenderloin is also one of the healthiest cuts available, packed with protein and little fat. It offers a mild flavor and gets bonus points because it cooks quickly and holds a marinade well. 

It’s also the most tender pork cut as it is the long, thin slice of muscle running directly alongside the pig’s backbone. It gets its tenderness because it maintains a pig’s posture rather than movement.  

Is it the same as pork loin?

If you don’t typically cook with pork tenderloin, a quick tip – it isn’t the same as pork loin. They both come from the pig’s back area. But pork loin is a larger and thicker cut.

Here’s our guide pitting pork tenderloin against loin if you want more info about their differences.

What pellet blend is best for smoking pork tenderloin?

I’m using Lumber Jack’s fruitwood blend, which combines cherry and apple wood pellets.

Fruit woods are great because they offer a slightly sweet flavor without overpowering the pork. Plus, apples and pork go together like peanut butter and jelly. 

Another classic option is hickory.

How long does it take to smoke a pork tenderloin?

In this instance, it takes about 1.5 hours to smoke our pellet grilled pork tenderloin.

How to make Pellet Grilled Pork Tenderloin 

1. Prep

Take the pork tenderloin out of the packet and pat it dry with a paper towel. 

Up by the head, I trim off the silverskin. You don’t want to bite that because it’ll make it much more chewy.

removing the silverskin from the pork loin
I leave the fat on as there isn’t much, and it adds some flavor.

2. Tie 

I like to tie up my pork tenderloins (top, middle, and bottom) for more even cooking.

tying up pork tenderloins with string

Typically, I fold over the tail. But in this instance, I chopped it off and tied it on top to level it out so the tail was even with the head.

four pork tenderloins each tyed up with string

3. Rub

Once the tenderloins are all tied up, place them on a wire rack and add the dry rub.

The Notorious P.I.G Pulled Pork Rub from PS Seasoning I’m using includes red pepper flakes, giving it a little more zip.

raw pork tenderloins being seasoned

Now, you can leave those to sweat it out a little as you prepare your pellet smoker.

4. Fire up the smoker

Grab your wood pellets and fill up your hopper. You won’t need to fill it the whole way.

Set your pellet grill at 275°F and let it preheat for about 15 minutes.

5. Cook

Grab that wire rack with your BBQ gloves when the grill is preheated and place it in the center.

You want to start by placing the heads towards the fire.

I then put my grill’s thermometer probes around the middle of my first and last tenderloins.

pork tenderloins in the smoker with temperature probes

Every time they heat up 15°F, I rotate them 90 degrees (until I’m back at the start) for a nice, even cook.

Then, I close the lid and let the pellet grill do its thing. You want the pork tenderloins to reach an internal temperature of 130°F, which takes about an hour.

6. Glaze

I’m using Blues Hog’s Raspberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce for my glaze.

squirting glaze onto pork tenderloins
Don’t forget to glaze the ends!

Squirt some along the center of each tenderloin, and use your brush to dab it on and spread it as much as possible.

pork tenderloins being brushed with glaze

Adding a glaze brings a sweet heat that pairs so well with pork. Plus, the barbecue sheen doesn’t look half bad.

Close the lid and let the tenderloins reach 135°F before giving them another coat of glaze.

7. Rest, then serve

Take the pork tenderloins out when they reach an internal temperature of 140°F (I double-checked it with an instant-read thermometer). This was after about 1 hour and 20 minutes for me.

pork tenderloin with a thermometer probe in it

Remove the wire rack from the smoker and place it on a cutting board.

tenting the pork tenderloin with foil

Loosely tent the pork with aluminum foil and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

The required internal temp for pork is 145°F. Letting it rest gets it to this temp.

After 15 minutes, cut that twine and slice your tenderloin against the grain to serve. I like to slice them into nice, thin medallions.

pork tenderloin being sliced

Go ahead and add a little more glaze before serving if you like as well.

More popular pork recipes

Now we’ve shown pork tenderloin some love, check out these other popular pork recipes:

pellet grilled pork tenderloin

Easy Pellet Grill Smoked Pork Tenderloin

Lean mean pork tenderloins coated with a zingy BBQ rub and and sweet sticky glaze.
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Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12
Calories: 797kcal
Author: Jeff Rice

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Take the pork tenderloins out of the packet and pat them dry with a paper towel, then trim off the silverskin (I personally leave the fat).
  • Fold the tails up and tie them with twine at the top, middle, and bottom.
  • Place them on a wire rack and cover with bbq rub.
  • Fill up the hopper with pellets and set the grill at 275°F. Let it preheat for about 15 minutes.
  • Grab the wire rack with BBQ gloves and place it in the center, the heads facing toward the fire.
  • Place thermometer probes in the middle of the first and last tenderloins.
  • Every time they heat up by 15°F, rotate them 90 degrees until you reach the beginning again.
  • Close the lid and let the tenderloins cook until they reach an internal temperature of 130°F (about 1 hour).
  • Squirt the glaze along the center of each tenderloin. Use the basting brush to dab it on and spread it as much as possible.
  • Close the lid and let them reach 135°F before adding another coat of glaze.
  • When they reach an internal temperature of 140°F, remove the wire rack and place it on a cutting board.
  • Loosely tent with aluminum foil and let rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Slice nice and thin against the grain to serve. Optionally, add more glaze before serving.

Notes

Use a fruit wood for smoking because it offers a slightly sweet flavor without overpowering the pork.
If you don’t typically cook with pork tenderloin, a quick tip – it isn’t the same as pork loin. They both come from the pig’s back area. But pork loin is a larger and thicker cut.

Nutrition

Calories: 797kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 126g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 393mg | Sodium: 563mg | Potassium: 2499mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 325IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 9mg
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