How to Smoke a Pork Loin on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

Learn step by step how to make a smoked pork loin, or tenderloin, on a Pit Boss pellet grill and why this is such a great way to prepare this ultimate pork roast.

Let’s go!

a pit boss smoked pork loin sliced open


How to Prepare a Pork Loin for the Pit Boss Pellet Grill

You shouldn’t have to trim too much fat or connective tissue if you bought a pork tenderloin to smoke on the Pit Boss.

a raw pork tenderloin
2 nicely trimmed pork TENDERloins

The tenderloin is generally the 2 lb center section of the full 6-8 lb boneless pork loin that usually contains the best meat.

Depending on your crowd and your budget, you can either buy multiple tenderloins or a single loin to smoke in your Pit Boss.

Other the time it takes to cook, all our directions below will apply to either choice!


Trim the Pork Loin

If you bought a nicely trimmed pork tenderloin, great, no trimming necessary.

If however, you have a full pork loin with some fat and connective tissue, you’ll need to do a little trimming before seasoning it and throwing it on the Pit Boss.

a full size raw pork loin
A full monster untrimmed pork loin

Use a good boning or filet knife like our favorite one from iMarku to first remove any excessive fat that is attached to your pork loin.

You do not need to completely remove the exterior fat like we did with our Pit Boss Smoked Beef Tenderloin.

Instead, if there is a little fat cap you can trim it down and then score or crosshatch it to help the fat render more and allow our rub to penetrate deeper towards the meat.

cross scoring the fat cap on a pork loin


The Best Seasonings for Smoking Pork Tenderloin on a Pit Boss

Unlike our beef tenderloin, we are going to go for a more sugary rub like traditional pork butt and ribs might call for.

mixing pork loin rub ingredients together in a bowl

Pork pairs so well with sweeter rubs and traditional BBQ seasonings.  Our recipe below uses a mixture of:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Onion and Garlic Powder
  • Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper

If you don’t feel like making your own rub our favorite off the shelf brand for smoked pork loin is Three Little Pigs, particularly Three Little Pigs Touch of Cherry, on pork.

It’s got a fantastic traditional sweet (but not overly sweet) flavor profile with a little heat and garlic kick at the end.

We use it all the time on ribs, pork butt, and chicken.

If you want to use a quality rub without the sugar we are big fans of Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Seasoning on smoked pork loin because it is heavy on flavor, and has no sugar.

It also works great anytime you are reverse searing.

We aren’t going to reverse sear our smoked pork loin today, just let it cook low and slow on the Pit Boss.

But if you DO want to cook it at a higher temperature and not have to worry about burning your sugary rub, then go with something like Bad Byron’s.


The Best Wood Pellets for Smoking a Pork Loin on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the right wood pellets to smoke your pork loin on a Pit Boss pellet grill.

pellets in the hopper of a pit boss pellet grill

Mesquite and hickory will give a very aggressive smoke flavor to the lean pork loin, usually a little too much, if used solely on their own rather than mixed with a milder fruitwood or blend.

Pecan, apple, beech, alder, and cherry pellets all give great results on pork when cooked on a Pit Boss.

However, our hands down can’t go wrong favorite is straight up Pit Boss Applewood Pellets when smoking pork.

Especially leaner pork cuts like pork loin and pork tenderloin, you can’t go wrong with that mild apple wood smoke.

For the best results, store your unused pellets in a sealed room temperature container like this 20 lb pellet container rather than in the Pit Boss hopper outside.

Pellets do not last forever, but will definitely last a LOT longer if stored indoors in a quality airtight container.


How to Smoke a Pork Loin on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill

a pit boss smoked pork loin on a cutting board

We have previously covered how to season a Pit Boss, how to start a Pit Boss, as well as how to troubleshoot the smoke level of your pellet grill.

So if you need a more in-depth review on how to use your Pit Boss for the first time, check those articles out first!

But below is a brief overview of how a Pit Boss pellet grill works and how to start it up properly to prepare to smoke a pork loin.


How a Pit Boss Pellet Grill Works

a pit boss pellet grill

In order to cook ANYTHING well on a Pit Boss pellet grill, you need to first have a basic understanding of how a pellet grill works.

***Completely New to Using a Pellet Grill?  No Worries!****

Hop over and check out this Complete Guide to Understanding How a Pellet Grill Works  if you are interested in learning more in depth.  We’ll be here when you get back!***

Rather watch than read?

You can also check out our in depth Youtube Video on How to Start a Pit Boss Pellet Grill if you are new to using them.


Add your Hardwood Pellets

First, you add hardwood pellets into the side hopper.

a pit boss pellet grill hopper for of pellets for pulled pork

The Pit Boss pellet grill automatically feeds these small wood pellets via an auger mechanism to a fire pot where they are burned up, providing both heat and smokey flavor.

The pellet grill automatically controls the flow of pellets depending on your temperature setting so that you maintain an even temperature throughout the entire cook.


How to Start up the Pit Boss Pellet Grill

  1. Fill your hopper with pellets as described above.
  2. Make sure the fire pot is cleaned out from the last cook and not full of ashes. You can remove it from the bottom and dump or vacuum it out and then put back and clip into place.a dirty pit boss pellet grill fire pot
  3. Plug in and start up the pellet grill, keeping the lid open.  Set the temperature dial to “Smoke” and press the “Power” button.a pit boss pellet grill starting up
  4. If there are no pellets in the auger or firepot yet, only in the hopper, you need to now hold the Prime” button until you hear pellets begin to drop into the firepot.using the prime button when starting a pit boss pellet grill
  5. The “Prime” feature on a Pit Boss pellet grill speeds up the auger so that pellets fill it quickly and get to your fire pot before the pellet grill “times out” from a lack of pellets coming into the fire pot.wood pellets in a pit boss pellet grill
  6. Once pellets are in the firepot, stop holding the “Prime” button and wait about 5-7 minutes with the lid open for a torchy burner lighting sound. This means the fire rod has come up to temperature and has ignited the pellets.  At this point, a more significant amount of smoke will begin coming out of the pellet grill.  This means the pellets are ignited and the pellet grill is workingNow you can close the lid. the lit fire rod in a pit boss pellet grill starting up
  7. Close the lid and change temperature setting to 350°F.  Pit Boss recommends always preheating to this temperature FIRST, even if you are eventually going to cook low and slow in the 200°-300° range.smoke coming out of a pit boss pellet grill
  8. This will take about 10-15 minutes to preheat the grill.
  9. Using a good bristle free grill brush, clean off the grill grates.long handled bristle free grill brush
  10. Now adjust the temperature to where you need it to cook your food.  In our case, drop the temperature to 250°F for the pork tenderloin.

Why Bristle Free Grill Brushes? 

Check out our Ultimate Guide to How to Keep your Family Safe by using ONLY Bristle Free Grill Brushes, along with a selection of some of our favorites!


Check out our YouTube Video on How to Smoke a Pork Loin on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill if you’d like to watch step-by-step how we do it!



What Temperature do you Smoke a Pork Loin on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill?

After preheating, we recommend initially setting up the Pit Boss to cook on the Smoke Setting at 180°F.

We like doing this for two reasons:

  1. The Pit Boss makes the most smoke on this setting and our meat absorbs the most smoke flavor when it is fresh and still cold on the grill. So it’s the perfect way to start off a low and slow cook like this.
  2. It will partially cook our pork loin without cooking it too fast, allowing it to absorb plenty of smoke flavor before we turn up the heat to finish it.

After about 30-40 minutes on the Smoke setting at 180°, go ahead and turn up the heat on your Pit Boss to 250°F until it’s finished.

You will probably want to flip it over after about 1 hour or so into the cook so that both the top and bottom cook evenly, since most of the heat from the Pit Boss comes from below.


Watch the Internal Temperature Closely

You HAVE to use a good instant read meat thermometer to know where the internal temperature is of your smoked pork loin while it’s cooking on the Pit Boss.

a pork loin smoking in a pit boss pellet grill

Ideally you want a good leave in probe thermometer like the Thermopro as well as a second instant read to spot check different points of thickness along the pork roast.

While we have used and recommended ThermoPro for years, lately we have also become big fans of the MEATER leave in thermometer.

It is extremely accurate and has an incredible 165 foot bluetooth range and works right with your smartphone so you don’t need to carry a separate controller around with you like many other remote thermometers require.

In fact, the thermometer itself is COMPLETELY WIRELESS, so no more awkward wires running out of the side of your smoker!

It’s got a great free app that is constantly being updated and even has an algorithm to predict how much longer your type of meat will take to cook based on cooking temperature, target temperature, and current internal temperature.

It’s like a GPS for your meat!

Anyways, back to our Pit Boss smoked pork loin…

We are going to slowly bring the internal temperature up to about 145°F, then remove it from the Pit Boss and let it rest before slicing.


How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Pork Loin on a Pit Boss Pellet Grill?

A full size 6-8 lb pork loin will take roughly 1 and 1/2 hours in total to reach 145°F internal temperature when cooked at 180°F for the first 30 minutes and then turned up to 250°F for the remaining time.

A smaller 2 lb pork tenderloin may only take about an hour at most.

pit boss smoked pork tenderloins smoking

This is why it is so important to use a good instant read thermometer like we talked about above.

Then you will need to let the pork loin rest after smoking it before carving.

Unless you want those delicious juices running all over your cutting board instead of staying in the meat where you want them, you need to set aside time for the meat to rest!


How to Carve and Serve a Pit Boss Smoked Pork Loin

a finished pit boss smoked pork loin

You will then remove the smoked pork loin or tenderloin from the hot Pit Boss and let it rest.

Let the roast rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.


Carving the Smoked Pork Loin

a sliced pit boss smoked pork loin

Use a good meat slicing knife and cut the smoked pork loin into nice thick slices based on how many guests you are serving.

We particularly like this meat slicing knife from Mairico.

Want to review our 5 FAVORITE Meat Cutting knives of the past year? Check out this Complete List HERE!

Serve your Pit Boss smoked pork loin alongside some smoked vegetables, apples, sweet potatoes or even smoked pineapple for a tropical theme!


What Other Foods Can I Smoke on my Pit Boss?

Looking for some more inspiration for things to smoke on that Pit Boss?

Check out some of our favorite recipes below that can easily be modified to be done on any grill or smoker.

More Pork










Other Odds and Ends

a pit boss smoked pork loin sliced open

Pit Boss Smoked Pork Loin

This pork loin (or tenderloin) is rubbed with a traditional sweet homemade BBQ rub and then slow smoked on a Pit Boss pellet grill to perfection. The ultimate (and easiest) way to smoke a pork roast on a Pit Boss!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Hawaiian, Holiday, Smoked
Servings 6 people
Calories 450 kcal


  • Pit Boss Pellet Grill
  • Pellets for smoking preferably apple or cherry
  • Boning or Fillet Knife
  • Dual Probe Thermometer
  • Instant Read Thermometer
  • Cutting Board
  • Meat Slicing Knife


  • 1 6-8 lb Pork Loin or several smaller pork tenderloins but adjust cooking time
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil

BBQ Pork Rub

  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt adjust with more as preferred


Trim and Score the Pork Loin

  • Use a good boning or filet knife first remove any excessive fat from the top and sides of the pork loin
    a full size raw pork loin
  • If there is a fat cap, trim it to about 1/4 inch thickness and then score it with crosshatch marks.
    cross scoring the fat cap on a pork loin

Season the Pork Loin

  • Place the pork loin on a cutting board or wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Rub with olive oil on all sides.
  • Mix the BBQ Pork Rub ingredients together well in a small mixing bowl
    mixing beef rub ingredients together in a bowl
  • Apply the rub generously to all sides of the pork loin. You can let it rest and absorb the rub wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight while you prepare the Pit Boss.
    rubbing seasoning on a pork loin before smoking

Start the Pit Boss Pellet Grill

  • Remove the ash pot from the bottom of the Pit Boss and clean out any ashes left over from the last cook. Replace it and make sure it is secured in place with the clips on either side. Also, wrap the drip tray in aluminum foil to limit cleanup needed later.
    a dirty pit boss pellet grill fire pot
  • Add your chosen pellets to the hopper, start the Pit Boss pellet grill and put it on the "Smoke" setting.
    pouring pellets into a pit boss pellet grill
  • If there are no pellets in the auger, hold the "Prime" button until you hear pellets begin falling in the fire pot. This will speed up the auger to prime it full of pellets before you start preheating.
    starting a pit boss pellet grill
  • Once the Pit boss begins to produce thick white smoke, let it run for about 5-7 minutes until the smoke turns more of a clearish blue color. This means the fire rod has fully heated up to burn the pellets more cleanly.
    traeger pellet grill making thick white start up smoke
  • Fill an aluminum pan with water pan if you want to add extra moisture, and place it on the far left side of the Pit Boss pellet grill. Place a disposable bucket liner in the grease bucket as well if you want to limit cleanup later.
  • Once the Pit Boss has come up to 180°F, clean the grill grates with a good grill brush, oil them up, and close the lid.
    a pit boss temperature gauge

Smoke the Pork Loin on the Pit Boss

  • Place the seasoned pork loin in the cooking chamber with the thickest part facing towards the hotter LEFT side. Place a temperature probe into the center.
    a pork loin smoking in a pit boss pellet grill
  • Close thr lid and let the pork loin cook at 180°F here on the Smoke setting for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Then, turn the temperature on the Pit Boss up to 250°F.
  • Once the pork loin has been cooking for about an hour in total, or if the internal temperature has reached 100°F, flip the pork loin over o that top is now on the bottom. Replace the temperature probe.
  • Close the lid and continue to cook at 250°F until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F. This wil take about 90 minutes in total from when you first put the pork loin on.

Remove, Rest, and Slice the Smoked Beef Tenderloin

  • Remove the smoked pork loin and let it rest on a cutting board, uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
    a pit boss smoked pork loin resting on a cutting board
  • Slice the pork in thick 1 inch slices for each guest starting at the thinnest end and working your way to the center. Only slice what you plan to serve immediately so that the pieces do not dry out.
    a sliced pit boss smoked pork loin
  • Serve immediately with warmed BBQ sauce optionally.



Calories: 450kcal
Keyword barbecue pork, bbq pork loin, bbq pork tenderloin, pellet grill, Pit Boss, pork loin, pork loin roast, pork roast, pork tenderloin, smoked pork loin, smoked pork tenderloin, Smoker
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

One Comment

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  1. 5 stars
    Good recipe…I took mine off at 140 instead of 145 because it was so big it kept creeping up when resting almost another 10 degrees! Might want to make a note of that in your article, otherwise would have been really dried out.

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