Apple cider pork tenderloin is a great quick cook on the smoker – brining first keeps the meat moist during it’s smoke bath.
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While most traditional meats for the smoker take at least 6 hours, certain cuts like tri tip and pork tenderloin can be ready to eat in a mere 2-3 hours.
Unlike beef which can be smoked to medium rare, pork does need to be cooked to a minimum safe temperature of 145f (fun fact – it used to be 165f until recently revised by USDA). To make sure you are cooking no longer than you need to, I recommend using an instant read thermometer like this Thermapen. If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option, the Thermapop is a good starting place. A decent meat thermometer is the most important tool in a meat cooker’s tool kit.
Even with the new lower safe pork temperatures, pork can tend to dry out. A great solution to this is brining – extended immersion in a wet saline solution before cooking. The brine “forces” liquid into the muscle, increasing the moisture levels before the cook. So you’re basically giving yourself a head start. In this case, the brine is apple cider based – a flavor that pairs so very well with pork.
Recipe after the pics: