apple cider pork tenderloin

Smoked Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin

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:

smoked pork tenderloin

how to keep pork tenderloin juicy

smoked apple cider tenderloin BBQ

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apple cider pork tenderloin

Smoked Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Jess Pryles



One pork tenderloin, about 1.5 lb

1.5 cups apple cider

1 cup water

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons ground cardamom (optional)

2 teaspoons whole peppercorns

12 tablespoons pork rub


  1. In a saucepan, combine cider, water, sugar, salt, cardamom and peppercorns. Heat gently until salt and sugar are dissolved. Allow to cool.
  2. Trim the tenderloin from any large pieces of fat or membrane and place in a large ziptop bag. Pour in the cooled brine, seal the bag then place in the fridge to marinade for 1-2 hours.
  3. Heat a smoker to run at 250f.
  4. Remove the tenderloin from the brine, discarding the liquid. Pat dry with paper towels and season on all sides with the pork rub.
  5. Place the tenderloin into the smoker and cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145f. This will take about 1-1.5 hours.
  6. When at temperature, remove from smoker, wrap with foil and rest 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

2 thoughts on “Smoked Apple Cider Pork Tenderloin”

  1. I’ve made this a couple of times now with the same rub I use for my ribs, and the brining is the secret! I’ve brined it for two hours and for 24 hours, it makes little difference but you DO need to brine / marinate this. My stick-burner likes to run in the 275-325 range, and it takes about an hour but the results are amazing. Juicy, nice smoky taste, fork-tender…this gets eaten quickly!

  2. First time creating this recipe & first time smoking pork (just beginning this cooking experience).
    Brine was easy to do and the cardamom flavour came through. Used a pepper & lime rub which paired really well with the brine.
    Smoked for an hour, cooked for a total of 1.5 hrs got above your recommended temperature to 71C, but all came out great!
    Family & friends loved it, everything presented was demolished.
    Next time I’ll try for the 64C just to see if there is a difference.
    Thanks for the recipe.

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