Saturday, November 1, 2008

Recipe: Smoked Pork Tenderloin

I've got a big 'ol locomotive-sized smoker out back that I jokingly refer to as Hank's Smokehouse. It has become the basis for all of my barbeque and smoking recipes of which there are many and the list continues to grow.

When I fire up the smoker, I like to make the best of the time, charcoal and wood, so I'll load it up with whatever it can handle. Usually, there will be a few pork tenderloins, pork loins, a brisket, a couple of chickens or a turkey, some beans and even some fish. Yeah, I like smoked foods.

For the love of space and time, I can't go into a whole dissertation on the art of smoking so, I've just put the basics below. You should know, that it is not difficult. Once you understand your smoker and what you're going for, it's pretty easy and not a bad way to spend a day by the pool. I'd just suggest having some "smoking clothes" set aside just for that purpose.

This is an easy recipe (most smoking ones are), the bonus of this one is that unlike beef brisket which likes to be in the smoker for over 12 hours, pork tenderloins are fast smokers. If I remember right I've even got some done in less than an hour.

If you've always wanted to smoke food, go for it, you won't be disappointed!

Smoked Pork Tenderloin

1 Pork tenderloin
1/2 cup of paprika
3 TBS coarse black pepper
3 TBS sea salt
3 TBS brown or turbinado sugar
2 TBS chili powder
1 tsp dry chipotle pepper (ground fine)

Day one:

Mix the paprika, black pepper, salt, sugar, chili powder and chipotle pepper together. Set aside.

Rinse the tenderloin and pat it dry.

Place the tenderloin in a large plate and massage the dry rub mixture on to it. Be sure to coat it evenly and well.

Wrap the pork tenderloin up in plastic wrap and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours.

Day two:

Soak your smoking wood of preference (I use hickory for this) in water for about 30 minutes prior to using.

Fire up your smoker. When the charcoal is ready add a few pieces of the wood. Again, if you're thinking about smoking food I encourage you to do a little research, but generally:

You're looking to keep the temperature in the smoker between 200° and 225°F. You want to do this with an absence of flame. You want hot charcoal that keeps your wood smoking. This is all done by venting the amount of air going in the smoker and venting the amount of smoke out. You replace your smoking wood as need and with a little practice, this is easily accomplished using a minimum amount of that wood.

The tenderloin is finished when the internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 155°F. Remove it from the smoker, wrap it in aluminum foil and let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes. Slice and serve. Wrap and freeze unused portions, they hold up well in the freezer.

Recipe: Smoked Pork Tenderloin from Chop Onions, Boil Water by Henry Krauzyk

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