Pork tenderloin: smoke?
I picked up a 2.8-lb pork tenderloin earlier tonight while I was grabbing some things at the store. I haven't made one of these in a while, but I figured it might be fun to play with.
From the recipes I've run across in the Intrawebs, it seems customary to marinate/grill, cook in the oven, or pound thin and pan fry. I haven't come across anything about smoking though.
I'm thinking about smoking it with indirect heat at around 250-300ish degrees until it gets an internal temperature of ~150 degrees. Grabbed some applewood chips and lump charcoal for this purpose. Probably slap on a typical BBQ dry rub (without salt if I brine) ahead of time...
It's a pretty lean piece of meat, so I'm thinking it might be prudent to brine it if I smoke it to keep it from getting dry. However, I've seen a few comments that while brining works great on pork loins, it's best not to brine a tenderloin. What I didn't see is any justification or anecdotes for not brining a tenderloin... just stating that it's a bad idea.
So... anyone have any wisdom to share regarding the brining and smoking of pork tenderloin?
I wouldn't smoke it. It is way too lean even with brining. Pork tenderloin benefits from quick cooking methods.
i smoked one for a brief period to infuse smoky flavor, then finished it over a hotter fire... that turned out nicely. smoking it all the way through, though--could be a touch dry.
I think you should just grill it over high heat with the applewood chips on the charcoal. It won't take more than a few minutes cooking time but it should get a decent amount of smoke flavor.
I have smoked pork tenderloins with fine results.
Go for a brine, a pat-dry, a hearty rub, then a hot smoke over indirect heat (just as you said) and enjoy. ESNY isn't wrong, though- smoking will make th outside of the meat a bit leathery, but the inside will be nice and tender- just slice it thin with a sharp knife.
The only thing that raises my eyebrows is your "2.8# pork tenderloin" I've never seen one larger than a gargantuan- overly saline injected 1.75# specimen... usually they're .75-1.25#- are you talkng about a 2-pack?