Bill Gillepie’s smoked pork tenderloin with maple chipotle glaze is done in an hour, and ready for dinner before you know it. Our testers loved the smoky flavor, moderate level of spice, and ease of prep. A quick and easy anytime dinner, for sure.
Adapted from Bill Gillespie | Hot and Fast BBQ on Your Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker | Pages Street Publishing, 2021
Pork tenderloin is a very lean piece of meat that can easily dry out when it’s overcooked. Similar to its beef counterpart, the beef tenderloin, this delicate piece of meat needs to be cooked over high heat, and it needs to be done quickly. This is a simple recipe with some great flavor, and it lends itself well to the hot-and-fast cooking method.–Bill Gillespie
WHY IS MY PORK TENDERLOIN DRY?
Pork tenderloin is infamously easy to overcook until it’s dry and no longer tender or juicy. This small cut of pork has very little fat and dries out fast—much faster than you might think. The best way to keep it delicious is to cook it, as Bill Gillespie says, hot and fast. Pork tenderloin isn’t a cut made for your slow cooker. Also, and we know how often we say this, using a meat thermometer throughout the process is crucial. Remember that meat continues to cook once you pull it off the heat so you’ll gain a few degrees there, as well.
Smoked Pork Tenderloin With Maple Chipotle Glaze
- 1 chunk maple sugar or preferred wood, for smoking
- Butcher’s string
For the maple-chipotle glaze
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
For the pork tenderloin
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the maple-chipotle glaze
- Set up your smoker for 400°F (204°C) and remove the water pan. If using charcoal, one fully lit chimney should do the trick for this recipe.
- In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, brown sugar, chipotle peppers with sauce, mustard, and chili powder. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
Make the pork tenderloin
- Using the butcher’s string, tie the pork tenderloin so it looks uniform in thickness from one end to the other. Be sure the ends are tucked in and are the same thickness as the center of the tenderloin.
- Coat the outside of the tenderloin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the maple wood on top of the heat source, and put the tenderloin on the bottom cooking grate. Cook for 13 minutes. Flip the tenderloin over, brush on some of the maple-chipotle glaze, just enough to coat, and cook it until the internal temperature reaches 135°F (57°C), 10 to 13 minutes more.
- Flip the tenderloin over, brush on some more of the glaze, just to coat, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C), about 2 minutes more. Remove the tenderloin from the heat. Loosely tent it with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- While the tenderloin is resting, in a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the remaining glaze for 10 minutes.
- Slice the tenderloin into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces, and serve with the maple-chipotle glaze.
Originally published June 10, 2021