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Pork tenderloin will be my first use of electric smoker


Joined Jul 7, 2016
Just got a Masterbuilt electric smoker. Have a pork tenderloin in refrigerator so that's it for inaugural use. Made a coffee grounds-based rub. I have hickory and apple wood chips - which would be best? Also, I know (from reading) that pork tenderloin isn't the type of meat normally smoked, but seems like it should be fine, just not take as long as tougher cuts. Open to any and all suggestions.

I grill a lot, though wouldn't call myself expert by any means. The smoker was a birthday gift and I'm excited to use it and learn as I go. Thanks for any feedback.


Legendary Pitmaster
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SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
JP1957, welcome to SMF!  Glad you are here with the new toy and looking forward to making something scrumptious! 

I love smoked loin and tenderloin.  Those are two cuts of meat you can be both basic (Salt Pepper Onion Garlic) or very creative.  They taste best when smoked to an internal temp of 140-145F, then rested and served.  Juicy and oh so delicious.  If you inject the meat you'll need to go to 160-165F internal temp. 

Hickory works if you like strong wood flavor.  The milder, sweeter apple wood is probably the better choice for your first time.

Personally I like tenderloins with a sweet and savory finish, not savory alone.  I just looked through my recipes I've either created or shigged (copied off the Internet), and while they are simple to me, they read kind of complicated. 

When I smoke a tenderloin I usually do it in an aluminum pan.  I like to use the drippings as gravy.  You can easily just do salt, pepper, onion, and garlic on the meat, or your favorite commercial rub, then add something sweet during the cook like maple syrup or fruit preserves (apricot and peach are my favorites).  Add the sweet ingredient a couple times during the cook. 

Let us know how it turns out!
Last edited:


Thread starter
Joined Jul 7, 2016
Thank you for the reply. Given the time lag between your reply and when I had to prepare the meat, I moved forward with another recipe. However, after tasting the result and reviewing your suggestions, I will definitely move in your direction the next time. 

After now looking at other postings, let me backtrack by stating I live in KC most of the year but spend the summer months in SW Michigan on an inland lake. We have a lot of family and friends visit (isn't that what a cottage is all about?), and a majority of the proteins are prepared outdoors on the grill given the size of the cottage. So, the addition of a smoker made great sense (and a wonderful birthday present). 

I made a rub that had coffee grounds as the primary ingredient, and included some ancho chile and brown sugar, along with salt and pepper. Since I had pre-treated with hickory and loved the smell, I went with that. While it tasted fantastic and was tremendously juicy (I took it off at 148F), the rub was a bit bland and the hickory (as you stated), a bit strong. With the remaining rub, I will add more of every non-coffee ingredient. And, will definitely go with applewood next time.

You get your props, though. My wife did say her preference in the future was for the addition of a sweet component. There was not much in the way of drippings with these particular tenderloins, and the juiciness/tenderness were top-notch; what else would the use of the aluminum pan bring to the end result (besides a bit easier cleanup)? 

Looking forward to learning a lot from this forum!


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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Joined Jun 22, 2009

Glad to have you with us!


papa t

Meat Mopper
Joined Jan 12, 2016
Welcome to the site . There are alot of good people here
Papa t

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
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Joined Jan 6, 2011
  Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a hot day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

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