How to Smoke Pork Tenderloin [Grilled Boston Tenderloin Recipe]


The best way to smoke Boston pork loin. Simmered for hours over apple and hickory for the best cut of BBQ pork.

Boston Butt cooked on a cutting board

Today we’re going to eliminate sheets and marinades and keep it simple. There aren’t many types of smoked meat that are simpler than pork tenderloin.

It has a high fat content, making it less susceptible to temperature changes than other cuts of meat. This makes it a great meat for novice smokers , but it’s also a great option if you just want to toss a piece of meat in the smoker and let the heat sink in.

What do you need

A barbecue grill. I always rely on my pellet or offset smoker for best results, but any type of smoker will do. This includes electricity and propane gas.

A 10 pound Boston butt. The terminology here can be a little confusing, but “Boston butt” is just another name for pork tenderloin, which itself is just a chunk off the top of the shoulder. There are a few key differences between pork tenderloin and pork shoulder , so make sure you’re not buying a plain shoulder.

A smoking thermometer. As with most smoked meats, pork loin is not cooked until the internal temperature is just right. The best way to measure this is by using a good smoking thermos . The best is digital and with built-in meat sensor.

thwart. We need to wrap the pork loin while it’s smoking(more on that later). If you don’t have aluminum foil, you can use butcher paper.

How to choose the best pork loin to smoke

If YOU are slow smoking your meat for 8 hours, YOU should also take the extra time to ensure you are selecting the best cut of pork possible. Here are a few things YOU should be aware of.


A good proportion of forbidden fat running through the meat is important. This will slow cooking while YOU are preparing the pork and add moisture and flavor to the meat.

Free range

One of the best ways to ensure your pork is of good quality is to only buy humanely raised meat. While this can be a daunting prospect, some keywords that often accompany humane pork packaging are “natural,” “grass-fed,” and “organic.” They look like anything labeled Keep Certified Humane, USDA Organic, or Animal Welfare Approved. These are the best to guarantee you’re buying high-quality, ethically sourced meat( source ).

How to cook pork tenderloin

One of the best things about pork tenderloin is how easy it is. Unlike a piece like brisket, you shouldn’t need to trim anything.

Quick tip

Pay attention to the “money muscle” of the pork butt. This is a muscle strip that, unlike the rest of the pork, has a delicate flavor that melts in your mouth. Many pitmasters prefer to remove it and cook it separately from their Boston butt. You’ll find the bock muscle at the opposite end of the bone that sits atop the shoulder joint.

Simply take the cigarette butt out of the packaging and place it in a pan or hotplate. Use some paper towels to blot it and remove excess moisture. 

Apply your binding agent to the entire surface of the pork loin. He used yellow mustard in this recipe, but you can also use olive oil, apple juice, or apple cider vinegar. Anything that can help bind our grill seasoning to the meat without overwhelming it. I like yellow mustard because it’s a great binding agent and gives the meat a slight smoky sweetness when grilled.

Once the binder is applied, apply the BBQ seasoning. I made my Pork Dry Rub recipe , but you can also use a store-bought option like Killer Hogs. It has a great balance of sweet, tangy and smoky and goes great with smoked pork chunks. Look Is You Here.

Apply the massage evenly to the pork loin. Don’t overdo it and make sure you can still see the meat through the rubbing and lumping agent.

After yellow mustard and barbecue marinade, you’re ready to go.

Prepare your grill

Heat your smoker and aim for a cooking temperature of 107°C. If any of this happens to you, don’t worry. Any temperature up to 120°C(250°F) is fine.

If you have a pellet, propane, or electric smoker, it should be fairly easy to get to cooking temperature. When cooking with charcoal, you may need some time to perfect that temperature. Make sure you give yourself enough time to hit that mark.

Which wood is best for roasting pork loin?

The best woods for smoking pork tend to be sweet and fruity notes. These include apple, maple and walnut.

For this recipe, I use applewood and add a single hickory stick to add a little more smokiness to the flavor. If you decide to do the same, make sure you don’t overdo it with the hickory. More than one piece can risk overpowering the pork’s flavor.

slow smoked pork tenderloin

How to Grill Boston Butt

Transfer the pork tenderloin to your smoking racks. As with the brisket, the side with the thickest layer of fat should face the heat source. This protects the meat from direct heat exposure, allowing it to warm up slowly and stay juicy. For most smokers, this means butt fat side down.

Place your wood in your firebox(or wherever your wood chips need to go in your smoker) and close the lid. Cook until your pork has started to develop a nice mahogany color and beef, about three hours.

Combine apple cider vinegar and water in a food-safe spray bottle. From then on, pour over the pork fillet every 30 minutes. Continue smoking until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 165°F for an additional 1 to 2 hours. At this point, you’ve exited the pork tenderloin stand and are ready to wrap.

Wrap the pork fillet in 2-3 layers of foil and spray with spray solution. Sprinkle some more BBQ sauce on top. Close tightly and return to smoker.

Smoking until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 195°F. This will vary depending on the size of the meat, but should take 2-3 hours longer.

Once the desired temperature is reached, remove it from the smoker and let it rest(still in the foil) for 30 minutes. This allows the meat juices to redistribute and present you with a beautifully tender end product.

Carefully remove the foil and squeeze out any excess juice that has collected at the bottom of the foil pouch. Shred or shred the pork to your liking and serve! If you have any left over, be sure to store it properly and feel free to use any of my left over pulled pork recipes .

Quick tips

Make the best smokers with our quick grilling tips.

  1. Avoid dry pork by spraying the meat in the smoker every 30 minutes. You can use apple juice, water or even beer. For our pork butt baste we use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water(instructions in the recipe below).

Smoked Pork Belly

The best way to smoke Boston pork loin. Simmered for hours over apple and hickory for the best cut of BBQ pork.
Course dinner, main course
American cuisine , BBQ
Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking time 8 hours
Total time 8 hours 20 minutes
Serving 6


  • Apple wood
  • Nut full
  • Food grade spray/mist bottle


  • 10 pounds of pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • BBQ rub


  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of water


  • Heat smoker to 107°C(225°F).
  • Take the pork fillet out of the packaging. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Apply yellow mustard to the pork, covering it on all sides. Then apply a thin layer of Barbecue Chill.
  • Place the pork tenderloin in the smoker, fat side down. Add 1 piece of applewood and 1 piece of hickory to the charcoals. Close smoker door/lid. Smoke for 3 hours until the pork has developed a dark color and beef.
  • Combine spray ingredients in a spray bottle. Baste pork every 30 minutes. Smoking until the pork’s internal temperature is 165°F.
  • Wrap the pork in aluminum foil. Place 2 tablespoons of the spray solution in the foil packet and drizzle more BBQ marinade over the pork. Wrap tightly and roast for 2-3 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 195°F.
  • smoking distance. Wrap in foil and let the pork rest for 30 minutes.
  • Shred or pull pork to serve

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