These smoked maple cayenne pork tenderloins are so delicious and deceptively easy! Everyone will think you worked for hours, but these come together fast! Serve over baked apples and onions for more seasonal flavors.
This recipe is one of those, ‘what can I make for dinner without over thinking it’ sort of recipes. I wanted something cozy and comforting that still had the flavor of being cooked outdoors. Tenderloins seem to be more on the menu for me in the cold months, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t perfect candidates for the smoker.
What is a pork tenderloin?
The tenderloin is a small lean cut from near the top of the back of the pig. Not to be confused with loin, the tenderloin is ausually about a pound each and is 3 to 4 inches wide. It is easily one of the most tender cuts. And, as it is a ‘loin’ it is lean. The tenderloin is extremely lean. Now, as it is a small and lean cut, it is a bit on the pricy side, but I shop for these when they are on sale and love having them from time to time.
Can you smoke a pork tenderloin?
Absolutely yes. I remember the first time I smoked a pork loin, I was in a pinch for both time and a pork butt. Presented with a pork loin and hungry people to feed, I freaked out, thinking there simply wasn’t enough fat in a loin to smoke. There isn’t much fat or anything else for that matter in the tenderloin to break down, so they cook quickly and still take on that beautiful smoke flavor.
Keeping the heat low, 225 degrees, means that these won’t cook too fast and stay tender all the way to your plate. Use fruit woods like apple or cherry for a subtle bonus flavor to the finished recipe.
Make sure to not overcook your pork. Pork tenderloin should be cooked to 145. And always, let the meat rest before slicing.
Want more pork tenderloin inspiration? Try some of my favorite recipes
- Red Curry Coconut Pork
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Apple and Onion Roast Pork Tenderloin
- Moo Shu Pork (no really, make this one)
If you’ve tried my Smoked Maple Pork Tenderloin with Cayenne Recipe or any other recipe on GirlCarnivore.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. I get inspired by your feedback and comments! You can also FOLLOW ME on Instagram @girlcarnivore as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
- 2 pork tenderloins
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic salt
- ¼ tsp dried mustard
- ¼ tsp ancho chili powder
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- Preheat the smoker for 225.
- Pat the tenderloins dry.
- Whisk the salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic salt, dried mustard, and ancho chili powder together in a bowl.
- Rub the pork tenderloins all over with the seasoning mix.
- Smoke for 2 ½ to 3 hours, until a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low, whisk the maple syrup and barbecue sauce together until thickened.
- During the last 30 minutes of cooking, baste the pork tenderloins in the maple barbecue sauce.
- Remove from heat and rest, covered, for 5 minutes before slicing.