Smoked pork tenderloin is one of my favorite things to make on the Traeger, and this Mexican-inspired version will be one of your new favorites, too. You’ll be hard pressed to find a protein option that’s this tender and flavorful with 29 grams of protein and just 3 grams of fat per serving.
Traeger Smoked Pork Tenderloin Recipe Walkthrough
There’s a printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, but you’ll find extra tips and a visual walkthrough between here and there. If you have questions about ingredient substitutions or cooking method adjustments, there’s a good chance it’s covered in the post.
Preparing the Pork Tenderloin
You’ll want to take a moment to trim any excess fat and silver skin off the pork tenderloins. (The photo above shows pre-trimmed.) If you need some help with trimming, check out this guide on how to trim pork tenderloin before cooking.
The recipe calls for two pork tenderloins that weigh around 1.25 pounds each. If you’re using a larger pork loin, that should work fine as long as you adjust the cook time accordingly. And if you find yourself with unevenly sized pork tenderloins, you may need to pull one from the smoker a bit early. Just keep an eye on the internal temperature.
The Mexican Seasoning
Inspired by my popular Mexican Ninja Foodi Chicken, this smoked pork tenderloin recipe calls for a blend of Mexican spices like chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon in combination with the classic salt and pepper.
If you wanted to use another pre-mixed rub, go for it. My blend only has two teaspoons of kosher salt, for comparison. And if you wanted a more classic BBQ rub, check out my Traeger smoked chicken thighs.
Brown Sugar & Hot Sauce Glaze
A brown sugar based glaze may seem different, but I think it works perfectly in combination with the hot sauce. You get the caramelization from the sugar that makes for great eating and a spicy yet sweet flavor to make the Mexican spices pop.
I was thinking of something like chamoy (a sweet and salty Mexican condiment) when mixing these two together. So if you’re looking for an alternative, that’d be a great place to start. You could also use a chipotle BBQ sauce or some form of chili based sauce.
Also, I used Cholula hot sauce for glazing. If you’re a spice lover, you could something with more heat. We love local to Austin Yellowbird Habanero Hot Sauce, for example.
Perfectly Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Since every smoker and pork tenderloin is different, you’ll probably want to use the probe on your Traeger to keep an eye on things. You can go low and slow at 225ºF for just long enough to get a good smoke ring and develop the smoky flavor, but you don’t want to over cook pork tenderloin. It’s not going to hold up to the longer cook times like a pork shoulder would.
And if you have pork tenderloins that are different sizes (like mine in the photo above), you may want to glaze and pull the smaller one a bit earlier.
Side note: I used the Traeger Signature pellets, but you could use hickory, mesquite, or something along those lines.
Serving Your Mexican Pork Tenderloin
For the perfect side, you can make our smoked charro beans right alongside your smoked pork tenderloin. Both recipes cook at 225ºF, and you can get the beans on before you prep your pork for perfect timing.
If you’re going with a classic BBQ rub, you might swap the charro beans for BBQ baked beans.
Also pictured above is Mexican street corn salad or esquites. I used a Serious Eats recipe but swapped the fresh corn for frozen Trader Joe’s fire roasted corn. You can just throw it in a pan while you prep all the other ingredients. This is a super easy addition to make in the final 10-20 minutes before the pork tenderloin comes off the smoker.
Update: We know have a Traeger recipe for Mexican street corn salad, and it’s legit!
Whether you use your smoked pork tenderloin for feeding a crowd, meal prep, or other recipes, I’d love to hear about it. Pop back in to let me know in a comment or recipe review. Those are always appreciated! And don’t forget to drop any questions you have in the comments as well.
- 2 Pork Tenderloins, about 1.25 lbs each
- 1 Tbsp Chili Powder (I used chipotle)
- 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
- 2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 2 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 C (48g) Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp (30g) Hot Sauce (I used Cholula)
- Trim any fat/silver skin from the pork tenderloins and pat dry with paper towels. Mix all the spices together before rubbing on the pork. Let the rub melt in at room temp for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat smoker to 225ºF with the lid closed.
- Smoke the pork tenderloins for 1.5-2 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 125ºF.
- Mix the brown sugar and hot sauce together until smooth and brush over both pork tenderloins.
- Continue smoking until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF to 155ºF, another 20-30 minutes or so.
- Remove from the smoker and let the pork rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
*The Traeger Texas Spicy BBQ sauce from my smoked shotgun shells recipe would work great here.
For Oven Baked Pork Tenderloin
Option 1: I would do everything the same for seasoning (but maybe rub 1/2 Tbsp olive oil on the pork before seasoning) and let the seasoned pork tenderloins hang out at room temp for 20-30 minutes. Then 25-35 minutes at 400ºF should do the trick. Brush the pork with the hot sauce glaze around the 15-20 minute mark.
Option 2: You could also sear the seasoned pork tenderloins in a large cast iron skillet for 1-2 minutes per side before finishing in the oven. If you go this route, you'll probably want to brush the pork before going in the oven as they won't take long to cook through.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 4 slices
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 3gCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 29g