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Tips for Smoking or Grilling Pork Tenderloins

In partnership with Primo Ceramic Grills! Of course, when I rave about Primo Ceramic Grills performance it is because I 100% believe it!

Need a quick summer grill recipe? Pork Tenderloins with Glazed Seasonal Fruit is the answer! Why heck, if you want to save the step of making a rub you can season pork tenderloins with a rub from the grocery store then fire up your grill. A Primo Grill smokes any pork to perfection! Onward, deliciousness awaits!

A platter of smoked pork, apples,and persimmons.
Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Persimmons

This Pork Tenderloin started with a tasty rub of smoke paprika, garlic, coriander, onion powder, pepper, salt, and a hint of brown sugar. After an infusion of apple wood smoke (or cherry), the pork chars over direct heat, and is brushed with a glaze of agave, sriracha, and lime glaze. Warm up your favorite seasonal fruit in a skillet with butter, on the grill, then douse with glaze. An eye-catching smoky pork tenderloin dinner that is quite impressive especially when serve on the back porch on a warm summer night!

Apples and Persimmons in background with a platter of smoked pork.
Smoked pork tenderloin is delicious with fruit!

Why Smoke Pork Tenderloin

Pork TENDERloin is just that, tender. I always choose it over pork loin because it requires a shorter cooking time yet produces moist and flavorful meat. The small circumference of the pork tenderloin allows for the smoky flavor of wood to penetrate all the way to the center of the miniature roast.

The size of a pork tenderloin versus a pork loin gives the option of taking it straight from the fridge to the grill without marination. A simple rub, a touch of smoke, and a brush of glaze will transform the pork tenderloin into a rave-worthy dish!

What You Need to Smoke Pork Tenderloin

Pork Rub: You can make the recipe below or use your favorite homemade rub or purchase a pork rub. I enjoy a rub that includes chili, garlic, citrus notes or citric acid, and smoked paprika. A little brown sugar helps to caramelize and gives a hint of sweet. Through the years, I have learned that smoky pork tenderloin loves a drizzle of sweet heat. You could use BBQ sauce but for me BBQ sauce would steal the show. I suggest making your own drizzle by mixing maple syrup or agave, with a touch of lime, lemon, or orange juice, and a dash of spicy heat like hot sauce, sriracha or red pepper flakes.

Three seasoned pork tenderloins on the Primo Grill.
Seasoned pork ready to smoke! Yumminess ahead.

What Smoking Wood Chucks or Chips

In Summer, I like to use cherry, peach, or apple. In Fall, I love pecan, apple, hickory, or maple. The scent of the wood can be dependent on what fruit you are grilling. Roasted fresh apples love apple wood or pecan, you can even add a twig of rosemary. Fresh peaches and cherries are enhanced with smoked with cherry or peach wood. We suggest adding 2 BBQ wood chunks 10 minutes after the lump charcoal has ignited.

Skillet on grill with apples and persimmons roasting.
The Primo Grill is not only for smoking!

How to Prepare the Primo Ceramic Grill for Smoking Pork Tenderloin

Wrap both deflector plates with foil for easier clean up. Prepare a full bed of lump charcoal. Place your grill racks and ignite the lump charcoal with a fire starter not lighter fluid. Use the bottom and top vents to obtain a steady internal temperature between 225- 275°F. I smoke pork tenderloin just under 275°F because I am always in a hurry! The lower the grill's temperature the longer the cook time which means a more intense infusion of smoky flavor.

What If You Want to Grill a Pork Tenderloin Instead of Smoke

If you need a super quick meal go ahead and grill the pork tenderloin hot and fast! You gotta love that Primo Ceramic Grills are designed for Hot and Fast Grilling and for Low and Slow Smoking!

To grill pork tenderloin, preheat the grill to 450°F direct heat. I like to add the extension rack just in case I have to save the pork tenderloin from a quick flame flair up! The extension rack is also useful if the outside of the meat gets perfectly charred yet the inside of the meat pork has not reached a safe temperature 145°F.

Rub seasoning on all sides of the pork tenderloin. Place the pork tenderloins on the grill and close the Primo Grill’s lid for 5 minutes. Rotate the pork tenderloins and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, with the lid closed. At this point, raise the pork tenderloin to the extension rack and brush with glaze. You can char directly over direct heat or leave the glazed pork tenderloins on the extension rack to cook about 4-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

Three glazed pork tenderloins on the grill.
Mouthwatering Glazed Pork Tenderloins.

How Many Does One Pork Tenderloin Serve

At my house, 1 pork tenderloin feeds 3 people. Generally, 1 package of pork tenderloins will have 2 tenderloins feeding 6 people. Leftover pork tenderloin is delicious as a sandwich or chopped and cooked for a morning hash.

Serving platter with smoked pork and glazed fruit.
Smoking fruit with pork tenderloin is scruptious.

Let’s Smoke Pork Tenderloin

Recipe Smoked Pork Tenderloins with Smoky Glazed Fruit
Download PDF • 42KB

Smoked Pork Tenderloins with Smoky Glazed Fruit Ingredients

2 (1-2 pounds) pork tenderloins

For the Rub: 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon chili powder blend, or your favorite ancho or guajillo powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon citric acid (optional)

For the Fruit:

2 cups of seasonal fruit

(Fall: apples, pears, persimmons, figs)

(Summer: cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums)

2 tablespoons salted cold butter

For the Glaze:

1 cup agave or maple syrup

3 tablespoons lime juice or to taste

1 teaspoon sriracha or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

You Will Need:

1 Primo Heat Deflector Rack · 1 Primo Ceramic Heat Deflector Plate wrapped in foil

Primo Lump Charcoal Primo · Primo QuickLights Fire Starters

2 wood chunks, your choice

1 cast-iron skillet


Serves: 6

Prep Time: 10 min

Smoke Time: 60 minutes

Seasons: All

Category: Pork

Smoke source: Primo Lump Charcoal and 2 wood chunks

Cooking method for smoked pork tenderloin: 250°F indirect heat zone for 60 minutes followed by 400°F direct heat zone for 5 minutes

Cooking method for grilled pork tenderloin:400-450°F direct heat zone for 15 minutes, rotating pork until 145°F,

Garnishes: Glazed Fruit

Preparation Instructions

  1. Use a sharp knife to trim excess fat and silver skin from pork tenderloin.

  2. Combine the rub ingredients and rub generously over the pork tenderloins.

  3. Cover seasoned pork tenderloin and leave on counter as the grill is prepared.

  4. Prepare the fruit by pitting, and cutting in large bite-size slices.

  5. Whisk the glaze in a medium bowl. Transfer 1/3 cup glaze to a small bowl for the pork tenderloin glaze. The medium bowl of glaze is for the fruit.

  6. Adjust Primo Ceramic Grill to two zone cooking.

  7. Load lump charcoal onto on side of the Firebox. Ignite the charcoal with a Primo QuickLight Fire Starters. Wait 5-8 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers.

  8. Insert 2 wood chunks onto the embers. Position the Primo Heat Deflector Rack on the side without coals, and top with a Heat Deflector Plate when smoking 1 or 2 tenderloins. Insert 2 deflector plates when smoking 3 tenderloins.

  9. Position the grill racks over the fire and the deflector plate.

  10. After small embers can be seen, close the dome lid. Fully open the bottom draft door and fully open the top vent.

  11. When the grill thermometer reaches 225°F close the top vent down to 1/4-inch open and wait for the internal temperature of the grill reach 250°F. Increase or decrease the airflow of the top and bottom vent to maintain the target temperature.

Cooking Instruction

  1. Smoke the pork tenderloins over indirect heat for 55-60 minutes before brushing with glaze.

  2. Place the cast iron skillet on the direct side of the grill, with the fruit and cold butter, 10-15 minutes before the pork is ready to be glazed. Close the lid of the grill. Alternative: Dependent on what fruit I like to grill on the grates then toss into pan with butter.

  3. Once the pork has an internal temperature around 130°F brush with glaze, and leave over indirect heat. Open the bottom and top value to increase airflow raising the temperature to 400°F.

  4. Stir the glaze from the medium bowl into the skillet with fruit, stirring frequently. The glaze will thicken in skillet. If needed, move skillet over indirect heat to prevent burning.

  5. Transfer glaze pork tenderloin to direct heat. Char on all sides, about 3 minutes on each side.

  6. Remove the charred pork tenderloin from the grill when the internal temperature reaches 140° and rest meat until 145°F., about 5-10 minutes.

  7. Slice pork tenderloin, sprinkle with salt to taste. Top pork tenderloin with glazed fruit.


Keep up with my grilling and smoking adventures:


*The construction is superior you can tell in the design of the ceramic bowl, the seal around the dome lid that guarantees a tight seal.

*The size of the grill space!

*The extension racks that add even more smoking space!

* Super easy to ignite, operate, and retain an even cooking temperature.



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