Smoked Pork Tenderloin

"This is a recipe that was almost perfect when I first created it. Now, after making it a few more time while tweaking it, it's beyond perfection. I never knew that pork could be so tender, juicy, and delicious - not to mention healthy!"
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Ready In:


  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard (I used the original Jack Daniels Old Number 7 Mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon dry rub seasonings (by preference, I used the McCormick Sweet and Smoky rub)


  • Combine salt, brown sugar, and water in a marinating container or gallon sized ziplock bag, and mix well.
  • Place the pork tenderloin into the water, salt, and brown sugar mixture. Seal container, and let sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours (if using a marinating container, flip the tenderloin after 12 hours). Wait until the tenderloin has fully marinated before continuing.
  • Heat grill. Charcoal grills are best for this recipe (and they're all I use). I used about a pound of Kingsford Mesquite Charcoal Briquettes. Place a pile of charcoal on one side of the grill, and let it heat there. This recipe relies on indirect heat. Alternatively, if you have a gas grill, you can use a smoker box with mesquite chips (prepare according to the directions on the package) - just light the side of the grill that you will not be cooking on. Make sure all flames are out on the briquettes, and the coals are glowing brightly. The cooking temperature should be about 200 degrees.
  • Coat pork tenderloin with a light coating of mustard.
  • Sprinkle dry rub mixture liberally onto the pork tenderloin, and pat it down. Make sure the entire tenderloin is coated.
  • Place tenderloin onto the cool side of the grill (the side that is not lit / does not have direct heat). Indirect heat is the key.
  • Close the vent on top of the grill and allow the pork tenderloin to smoke/cook for about an hour to an hour and a half. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the pork tenderloin and grill temperatures. The above time is just an average. Slower cooking yields a more tender and more flavorful end result.
  • Once the tenderloin is finished cooking (to an internal temperature of about 170 degrees F.), remove from grill and slice into roughly 1/4" to 1/2" slices and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I followed the recipe to the letter EXCEPT I rinsed the brine off the pork before coating it with mustard and rub (not directed in the recipe) and I cooked it on a Traeger smoker at 200° until 160° (not 170°) internally. The resulting meat was almost unbearably salty and slightly overcooked. (Good thing I pulled it off before it reached 170°!)<br/><br/>Although I would attempt the mustard/rub combination again, I certainly would NOT marinate in the salt/sugar solution again. I really think that ruined this otherwise fine piece of meat.


I grew up in an Italian household. My father is a graduate of the Culinary Institute, and my extended family is full of incredible cooks, all of whom know old world Italian cuisine as well as any four-star chef. I learned my way around a kitchen from all of these incredibly talented people. Even though I've never been to culinary school myself, almost all of those that I've cooked for consider me one of their favorite chefs. Ever since I was a child, cooking has been a passion of mine. I started off with simple things like omelets and tuna salad, and over the years graduated into far more complex and complicated recipes such as various marinades, brines, homemade sauces, sautees, and meals full of subtle and varied flavors, both strong and delicate. I also love to create new dishes in the kitchen, the successes of which will be posted here. I'll also be posting a few of the old world Italian recipes I make on occasion. Since my love of food has made my weight rather unhealthy, I've been focusing more on healthy dishes lately, and have been learning various Asian cuisines, as well as relearning cuisines I previously had developed my skills in, in order to eat far healthier, but still enjoy good food. The cuisines that I've developed my skills with are as follows: * Mediterranean/Italian/Greek * Cajun * Maryland * General American (steaks/burgers/fried stuff/etc.) * Tex-Mex Cuisines that I'm still developing, but have mastered a few dishes, are as follows: * English/Scottish/Irish * Various Asian cuisines (Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese) * Caribbean <img src="">
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