This teriyaki smoked pork tenderloin recipe is delicious and tender. It takes only 2 ingredients and is incredibly easy to prepare even for a beginner.
This recipe was made with an electric pellet grill that is great for smoking a pork tenderloin. An electric smoker with wood chips also works just as well. Pit Boss is the brand of pellet grill I used. Traeger is another popular brand that makes both pellet grills and smokers with wood chips.
Smoked pork tenderloin on a pellet grill is very similar to smoking with wood chips.
If you are using a traditional smoker, the cooking times may vary due to the fact that the temperatures are not always consistent.
Luckily, tenderloin is a smaller piece of meat that does not require a long cook time over several hours. It can be up to temperature in just under an hour and a half with an electric smoker.
Pork tenderloin smoked on a gas grill is another alternative that you can try.
In order to do that, heat only one side of the grill to about 225 degrees Fahrenheit and place a smoker box or an aluminum foil pan on that side with soaked wood chips or wood pellets. This will create a smokey effect as the heat is applied to it.
Place the meat on the unheated side so that it is like it’s cooking in an oven with hot air flowing around it. Close the lid to the grill and cook for the same cook time.
Pork Loin VS Pork Tenderloin
The pork tenderloin is part of a muscle that runs along the back. It’s long, slender, and boneless. They are typically around a pound to a pound and a half each. They sometimes have silver skin, which is the connective tissue that can be removed if you prefer.
Pork loin is found on the sides of the back. They’re larger, flatter, and can come with bone-in or boneless. There’s usually a layer of fatty tissue on it.
They weigh in anywhere from 6-12 pounds for a whole one (I typically find 10-12 lb ones at Sam’s Club) or around 2-3 pounds for a cut piece at a grocery store meat department.
Ingredients for Smoked Tenderloin
- Pork Tenderloin
- Teriyaki Sauce
Tips for Smoker Pork Tenderloin
- Internal Thermometers This is essential in knowing the smoked pork tenderloin internal temperature. It needs to reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit for food safety according to the USDA. The thermometer I use is a ThermoPro Wireless Meat Thermometer.
I found that wireless thermometers that connect to my phone through bluetooth or through apps had connectivity issues. The ThermoPro has its own digital display that you can reach from up to 500 ft away.
So far, no connection issues, and it has 4 probes to be able to track 4 pieces of meat as they cook. It alerts me when the meat has reached its temperature. I will add, the probes are 6″ long and meant for larger pieces of meat.
- Wood Pellets I really like using apple wood pellets for pork. Pork and apples go hand-in-hand and create a nice flavor. I’ve used both Pit Boss and Traeger apple wood pellets.
- Teriyaki Sauce It’s really easy making teriyaki sauce, but it’s also extra easy picking up a bottle of it at the grocery store. I like to grab PF Chang’s teriyaki sauce when I buy it. Here is a teriyaki sauce recipe if you prefer homemade.
How to Smoke a Pork Tenderloin
- Begin by removing the pork from its packaging. Optionally, you can remove the silver skin.
- Coat the pork in teriyaki sauce.
- Bring the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Once hot, spray the grates with nonstick cooking spray and add pork.
- For pork tenderloin, I leave the heat element/fire closed so that direct heat is not applied until the end.
- Add the internal thermometer probes and set an internal temperature to 145 degrees if yours allows you to set an alarm.
- Allow the pork to cook for approximately 1-1.5 hours.
- If you like more caramelization, brush the pork with more teriyaki sauce, then open the grates so that the heat element/fire is exposed to the meat. Let it cook for the last 10-20 minutes with it open.
If you’re wondering how long to smoke pork tenderloin per pound, a general rule of thumb is 90 minutes per pound. This can vary with a smoker depending on outdoor temperatures and what type of smoker you are using.
In my experience with smoking pork, the tenderloin has remained very tender even when I’ve let it slip and go up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Because eventually, you’ll end up with pulled pork if you keep smoking it. Pork is one of the easiest things to smoke because it takes a lot to dry it out.
With this particular recipe, we were able to pick the pork slices up and eat them without any utensils. It was that tender!
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Teriyaki Smoked Pork Tenderloin
- 1 lb Pork Tenderloin
- ½ cup Teriyaki Sauce
- Toasted Sesame Seeds, optional
- Set the electric smoker or pellet grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Close the grates that allow the open fire or heat element to be exposed so that the tenderloin does not cook too quickly.
- Brush the pork tenderloin with teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, if desired. (Toast sesame seeds in a pan over the stove for about 5-6 minutes, stirring constantly until lightly browned.)
- Spray the smoker grates with nonstick cooking spray so that the meat does not stick and tear apart. Place the pork tenderloin on the grates and close the lid. Allow to cook for approximately 1-1.5 hours, until the pork has reached at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Note: I like to use wireless internal thermometer probes anytime I cook on the smoker. The link is below to the one I bought from Amazon.
- If you like more caramelization, open the grates so that the heat element/fire is exposed to the meat and brush the pork with more teriyaki sauce. Let it cook for the last 10-20 minutes with the grates open.
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