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First Smoke - Pork Tenderloin

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Got my bradley digi 4 rack yesterday, seasoned it this morning and put it right into duty this afternoon.  4 nice plump pork tenderloins (tied in pairs), a rub I made (sorry didn't really measure much, I often usually just do it by eye/taste) ... paprika, kosher salt, garlic powder, onion salt, red chili, herbs de provence.   Apple wood for the smoke.  Figured I'd start with something simple and work my way up.


Got the maverick plugged in and they have been in a little over an hour and are coming up to temp nice and fast :)



post #2 of 14

I'm in and I am really looking forward to the finished pictures!



post #3 of 14

Wishing you the best !!!!

post #4 of 14

Don't let the Internal Temp (IT) get over 140°, with 135°F being even better if you don't mind pink pork, and you will be rewarded with tender and very juicy goodness...JJ

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yep, going to pull it at around 137 or so, I've turned down the heat for the last little bit so the rise is slower (so it will also rise slower while resting). I like about 142 or so for the IT on tenderloin so we'll see if I hit my target. Going to rest it for about 15 min or so and then either do the final sear on the grill or maybe pull out my torch and hit it all.

I was going to mop it or give it a coat of something before final sear but I think I'm going to just leave well enough alone and see how it works out. It's nice to know what the smoke portion tastes like when you're first starting out so I think I will just avoid adding more complication and taste the sweet smoke :)
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Plus my wife is kinda old-school and she freaks out when pork is "too pink" ... beef she is ok with but gets pretty skeptical with pork so I go for a happy medium (pun intended) when making pork for us both :)
post #7 of 14

It's been proven that a salt brine will make the meat retain more moisture. I just wonder, since pork loin can quickly become dry, if a salt brine overnight might be just the ticket for tender and moist meat?


I can only speculate, since I've never done pork loin, but I think I might give it a try next week sometime. Might also help you if the wife doesn't like the pink meat, you can take the temp higher without too much moisture loss. Just rinse brine off before you rub, and don't use a rub with added salt.


By the way, you don't sound like a newbie.

post #8 of 14

That is going to be One Fine Meal and I understand your situation. I have been married 26 years. My wife would ONLY eat Well Done meat that was lean, period. It took years of gradually cooking Beef more and more on the rare side. For the last several years she wants it Medium/Rare with crispy seared fat along the edge...JJ

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks folks. I'm not a newbie when it comes to meat, just smoking it :) Have done lots of grilling, oven, stove top, sous vide, etc.

Congrats on moving the wife in the right direction :) My wife is slowly coming around as well, she is ok with it being at least pink now so we're moving in the right direction as well. Thankfull she's fine with most things beef except when I keep things real rare ;) But I always usually try to cook those cuts in a way that there is at least some bits more well done for those that want it. Lots of rotisserie on the grill with big ole' hunks of beef :)


Sunday is a whole beef tenderloin that I have dry aging in the fridge right now :D
Edited by Gerk - 8/8/14 at 3:45pm
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Out and about to rest 


post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 


And success!  Not the best I've ever done with pork tenderloin, but very happy for my first smoke :)  Hit my target temp, nice and juicy and suuuuuper tender.  Very happy with the crust too!

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Incidentally I didn't end up doing much of a sear on it, it really didn't need it as the crust turned out great.


Next time around gonna try some brown sugar in my rub and probably brine it first (and don't add much salt for the rub).  Thanks for the pointers folks.  I think tomorrow I might give it a go with some pork side ribs :)  Now that this is in my belly I'm gonna have to go start on the rib marinade and get them vacuum bagged for overnight marinade in the fridge before the smoker tomorrow!  Well it's not all in my belly, half of it is getting bagged and frozen for later consumption :)

post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by Gerk View Post

Incidentally I didn't end up doing much of a sear on it, it really didn't need it as the crust turned out great.


Next time around gonna try some brown sugar in my rub and probably brine it first (and don't add much salt for the rub).  Thanks for the pointers folks.  I think tomorrow I might give it a go with some pork side ribs :)  Now that this is in my belly I'm gonna have to go start on the rib marinade and get them vacuum bagged for overnight marinade in the fridge before the smoker tomorrow!  Well it's not all in my belly, half of it is getting bagged and frozen for later consumption :)

It looks great to me and way better than my first effort. Nice smoke.





post #14 of 14

That Beef looks  amazing. I have some recipes you may enjoy...JJ



Apple Pork Brine


2-12oz.Cans Apple Juice Concentrate

1C Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4C Molasses

1/4C Mustard

1/2C Kosher Salt

2T Pickling Spice (optional)

1T Sage, rubbed

1Gal Water


Combine all and Brine the meat at least over night, 24-48 hours would be better.


Mild Bubba Q Rub (All Purpose)


1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)

2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)

1T Kosher Salt

1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.

1T Granulated Garlic

1T Granulated Onion

1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like

1/2tsp Grnd Allspice


For more heat add Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there. Makes about 1 Cup

Apply your desired amount of Rub to the meat, wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator over night.or longer. The day of the smoke, pull the meat out, add more Rub and go into your pre-heated Smoker...


Apple Pork Topper


3C Apple Sauce

3T Dijon Mustard

3T Brown Sugar

2T Apple cider Vinegar

1tsp Rubbed Sage

1/2tsp Black Pepper

1/2tsp Salt

1/8tsp Cinnamon


Optional: 2-3 Apples, peeled, diced and sauteed until golden brown and tender in 2T Butter.


Place all in a pot and simmer on low until thick but still pourable. Adjust sweet/salt to taste. Spoon over Pork Roast, during last 30-60 minutes of Cook time or when an IT of 110° is reached. Raising the Smoker temperature will caramelize the topping a bit...BUT...Pull and rest the meat, Uncovered, when the IT reaches 135°F. The hotter surface will cause a 10° Carryover rise and overcook the meat if you go to a higher IT. Serve the remainder, hot, over the sliced pork at the table...JJ


For the Side Ribs, give this a try...

Smoked Ribs as easy as 3-2-1


A full rack of Spare Ribs will take about 6 hours at 225*F...The 3-2-1 smoked rib recipe is a good way to smoke ribs and tends to turn out perfect ribs every time whether you are using the meatier Full rack spare rib or the Saint Louis cut. Baby Back ribs use a 2-2-1 method. The ribs are smoked at 225 - 250 degrees for best results...
The 3 stands for the 3 hours that you initially smoke the ribs with nothing but your favorite rub on them and some smoke with your favorite hardwood such as hickory, apple, pecan, etc. After the 3 hours you remove the ribs and quickly double wrap them in heavy duty foil.. just before you seal them up add some Foiling Juice or Apple Juice and close the foil leaving some room around the ribs for the steam to be able to flow around the meat and the juice to braise the meat which Flavors/Tenderizes it.

The ribs cook in the smoker wrapped for 2 hours undisturbed. There is no need for Smoke at this point... After 2 hours remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap, saving any juices in the foil, and place back into the smoker for the final 1 hour, with smoke if you wish.This firms them up, creates a nice Bark and finishes the cooking process. You can add a glaze or sauce at this point if you like. The meat will be pretty close to fall off the bone and be extremely juicy, tender and flavorful...JJ


Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce


Foiling Juice


For each Rack of Ribs Combine:


1T Pork Rub, yours

1/2 Stick Butter

1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

1T Molasses



2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Style Glaze.


Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.


For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork: Make a Double batch, Butter optional.


Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while  the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.

Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.


I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ


Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce


This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...


2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

1/4C Brown Sugar

1T Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Granulated Garlic

2 tsp Granulated Onion

2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.

1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice


Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.


For a Lexington Style Dip add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ


Here is a great BBQ Sauce...


KC Bubba Q Juice


2C Ketchup

1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)

1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2C Molasses

2C Dark Brn Sugar

1T Tomato Paste

1T Your Rub

1-2tsp Liquid Smoke

1tsp Worcestershire Sauce


Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.

Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

Makes 3 1/2 Cups.


And for Beef give these a try...


Bubba Beef Rub


Good on anything Beef. Burgers and Steaks too!


2T Turbinado Sugar

2T Kosher Salt

2T Black Peppercorns

1T Coriander Seed

1T Dill Seed

1T Dry Minced Onion

1T Dry Minced Garlic

1T Dry Lemon Peel (optional)

1tsp Allspice Berries

1tsp Dry Thyme Leaves

3 Bay Leaves, crumbled

1-2ea Dry Whole Chipotle Chiles, stems and seeds removed or 1tsp Chipotle Powder.


Add Cayenne if more heat is desired.


All Spices are Whole and are toasted in a dry pan over Medium heat until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. The Garlic and Onion do not need to be toasted.

Let the Spices cool then Grind in a cheapo Coffee Grinder until slightly less than Coarse. Mix with the Salt and Sugar. Store in an air tight container. Makes about a Half cup...JJ


Many folks enjoy dipping their Beef in Au Jus for flavor and moisture. This recipe is made in the Smoker while a Beef Roast or Brisket is being cooked.


Smokey Au Jus


1- Lg Onion,

4-5 Carrots,

3-4 Ribs Celery

3-4 Peeled Cloves of Garlic

Toss them in a pan under the Beef, and let the whole deal Smoke for one hour,

THEN add 4-6 Cups Beef Broth,

2 Tbs Tomato Paste,

1/2tsp Dry Thyme (4-5 sprigs Fresh)

1-2 ea Bayleaf

Finish the Smoking process to the IT you want. 

While the Roast is resting, dump the pan juices veggies and all into a 2-3Qt Sauce pot and add 1Cup Red Wine, something you like to drink, and bring the Jus to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Strain out the veggies and let the Jus rest a minute or so for the Fat to rise. Skim off the bulk of the fat then using strips of paper towel laid on top of the Jus, drag quickly across to take off the last little bit of fat.

The purpose of Smoking the Vegetable for 1 hour before adding the Broth and Herbs is...The Smoked vegetables Roast in the Dry heat concentrating their Flavors and Sweetness giving the finished Jus a Richer, Deeper, Full Flavor.

Serve the sliced Beef Au Jus or thicken the Jus to make Gravy.


NOTE: If you are using this recipe with Brisket or a long smoke, additional Water will have to be added periodically to maintain the proper volume. Do not add more Broth as repeated addition and reduction will make the Au Jus too salty..





















































































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