Smoking a pork tenderloin on a Traeger pellet grill is one of the easiest ways to prepare this delicious cut of meat. The following step-by-step guide will show you how to make a mouth-watering, moist and perfectly cooked smoked pork tenderloin.
The best part is making pork tenderloin on a smoker couldn’t be easier! I created a marinade that is simple with a touch of sweetness – it’s so great! I love the slightly sweet taste and think it will be great on pork chops too!
What’s the difference between pork loin and tenderloin?
This is a common question. On a farm visit with Uncle Squeals (yes seriously) – he taught me about the pork loin. It’s a larger cut that runs along the backbone. A boneless pork loin is about five inches across and you can cut chops or a roast from it. The tenderloin is a much smaller cut of meat and comes from the loin. When you buy it in the store – it will often come with two tenderloins like this one.
Ingredients for Traeger pork tenderloin
- pork tenderloin – the tenderloin is much smaller and is typically about 2 pounds
- apple juice – I like the combination of apple and orange juice – both go so well with pork
- orange juice
- honey – you could also use syrup or even molasses
- barbecue seasoning – I always use Historic BBQ Red for pork – it’s gluten free and includes brown sugar, paprika, garlic, salt, honey and more
- brown sugar – the Red has some but I like a little more!
- fresh thyme – fresh herbs always add so much more potency and thyme is a great one!
How to smoke a pork tenderloin on a Traeger
Pork tenderloin in a Traeger smoker (or any pellet smoker) couldn’t be easier!
- For the Marinade: In a large ziploc plastic bag, add apple juice, orange juice, honey, Pork & Poultry rub, brown sugar and thyme leaves. Mush and shake lightly to combine.
- Add pork loins to the bag with the marinade. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate overnight.
- When ready to cook, remove pork from fridge and set on counter so it comes to room temperature. Turn Traeger to SMOKE setting for five minutes with lid open until grill begins to smoke.
- Once smoke dissipates, set Traeger temperature to 225℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
- Once the Traeger is at 225, place the tenderloins directly on the grill grate and smoke until the internal temperature registers 145℉.
- It should take about 1-1/2 to 2 hours
- Turn the tenderloin and check the internal temp with an instant read meat thermometer after one hour on the smoker.
- During the last 30-45 minutes, feel free to baste with your favorite bbq sauce if you like!
Can pork be pink?
Yes!!!! This answer is two-fold. First of all – pork is safe at 145 degrees (read more about it when I bust myths about pork!) and that typically has a blush of pink. The thing is – if you have ever thought pork was dry – it’s because it’s overcooked. I love it at 145!
Secondly when smoking meat – it’s always going to be more pink. There’s a pink smoke ring around the outside and the whole tenderloin has a smoky pink color to it – but take the temp with an instant read thermometer – and if it’s 145 – you’re good!
How long does it take to smoke pork at 225?
As a general rule, it takes approximately 45 minutes per pound to smoke pork at 225. The thing is – things can vary based on outside temperature, the cut of pork you’re using and even how many things are on the smoker.
Always use an instant-read thermometer – it just makes everything easier. You can also use the thermometer probes on the Traeger (although I don’t think they’re as reliable) – or an external wireless thermometer like the Meater (I just got one!). Check your meat and it will tell you when it’s done!
What to serve with smoked pork loin?
What to make with leftover pork?
Pork is a versatile and nutritious choice and this pork tenderloin can be used in so many ways! I already made myself a quesadilla with the leftovers.
- Slice up your pork tenderloin and serve it on this Strawberry Cacao Salad – um chocolate and strawberry in a salad?! Yes please!!!
- Dice it up and pop it on these Trash Can Nachos
- Slice it up for these Hawaiian Pork Sliders
What can you smoke on a Traeger Grill?
Here are my favorites!
- Smoked Queso – I took my favorite queso recipe and smoked her up!
- Smoked Country Style Ribs – these are so juicy and tender – perfect!
- Grilled Chicken Thighs – I didn’t smoke these but the pellets bring that smoky flavor even when using it as a grill.
Traeger Smoked Pork Tenderloin Recipe
- For the Marinade: In a large ziploc bag, add the apple juice, orange juice, honey, Pork & Poultry rub, brown sugar and thyme leaves. Mush and shake lightly to combine.1/2 cup apple juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, 3 tbsp honey, 3 tbsp bbq pork rub, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- Add pork loins to the bag with the marinade. Transfer to the refrigerator and marinate overnight.2 lb pork tenderloin
- When ready to cook, remove pork from fridge and set on counter. Turn Traeger to smoke for five minutes with lid open until grill begins to smoke.
- Once smoking, set Traeger temperature to 225℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.
- Once the Traeger is at 225, place the tenderloins directly on the grill grate and smoke until the internal temperature registers 145℉, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours, turning and taking the temp at 45 min-1 hour.