Hickory Smoked Tenderloin on cutting board

Hickory Smoked Pork Tenderloin

A good smoked pork tenderloin hits the right spot when you bite into it. It's tender and you may get a few juices dripping from it. The color, the smells, and enjoying cooking for your friends and family are truly the best part.

    1 or 2 pork tenderloins
    Dry Hickory wood chunks
    Charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal
    Aluminum foil

House Seasoning Rub:
    2 teaspoons paprika
    1 teaspoon brown sugar
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
Other Seasoning Rubs:
  • Bartlow's BBQ Sweet Red Dirt
  • Sucklebusters Hog Waller
  • Tuffy Stone Sweet BBQ Rub
  • MeatChurch Honey Hog
  1. Preparation:
    Trim any excess fat and silver skin from the pork tenderloin. Pat them dry with paper towels.

  2. Seasoning Rub:
    In a small bowl, combine all the seasoning rub ingredients. Mix well to create a flavorful blend.

    Or choose from one of the suggested commercial rubs.

  3. Season the Pork:
    Generously coat the pork tenderloins with the seasoning rub. Massage the rub into the meat to ensure even coverage. Allow the seasoned meat to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

  4. Wood Chunks and Fire Setup:
    As part of your fire setup, place a couple of dry Hickory wood chunks directly onto the lit charcoal or lump charcoal. Allow the initial grey smoke to clear out for the clear blue smoke.

    One-Zone Fire:
    On the drum smoker or Kamado Joe grill, use the baffle plate or stone deflector plates to smoke on full  indirect cooking. Allow the deflector plates to become hot before putting the meat on the grill.
    Two-Zone Fire:
    Create a two-zone fire on the drum smoker or Kamado Joe grill. On one side, arrange the lit charcoal for direct heat, and on the other side, leave an empty space for indirect cooking.
  5. Temperature Control:
    Preheat the smoker or grill to 225-250°F (107-121°C) and regulate the temperature using the bottom and top vents. Position a drip pan on the indirect side to catch any drippings.

  6. Smoking the Pork:
    Place the seasoned pork tenderloin on the indirect side of the grill/smoker, away from the direct heat. Close the lid and monitor the temperature consistently.

  7. Internal Temperature:
    Smoke the pork tenderloin until its internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C). Utilize a meat thermometer to keep track of the temperature. This typically takes around 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the tenderloin's size.

  8. Resting:
    Once the pork reaches the target internal temperature, remove it from the smoker/grill and loosely cover it with aluminum foil. Allow it to rest for about 10-15 minutes.

  9. Slicing and Serving:
    After resting, slice the smoked pork tenderloin into medallions and serve. The natural smoky essence from the Hickory wood chunks and the flavorful seasoning rub will create a delicious combination.

    Adjust the seasoning and smoking time according to your preferences. This can be a low and slow or hot and fast cook. Enjoy your mouthwatering smoked Hickory Pork Tenderloin!
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