Learn step by step how to make a smoked pork loin, sometimes called a tenderloin, on a Pit Boss pellet grill and why this is such a great way to prepare this ultimate pork roast!
A full pork loin is a large cut of lean meat that is juicy and flavorful when cooked properly. This white meat can dry out when overcooked, so making sure you cook it just to the target internal temperature is important.
Pork tenderloin is a smaller section of the full pork loin but can be seasoned and cooked in much the same way, just for less time.
We'll show you how to prepare and smoke a pork loin so that stays moist and juicy!
Trim the Fat
You shouldn't have to trim too much fat or connective tissue if you bought a pork tenderloin to smoke on the Pit Boss.
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, but check out our Pit Boss Smoked Pork Tenderloin for more specific instructions.
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.
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.
Rather WATCH than Read?
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!
Our Favorite Seasonings
Pork pairs so well with sweeter rubs and traditional BBQ seasonings.
It's got a fantastic traditional sweet (but not overly sweet) flavor profile with a little heat and garlic kick at the end.
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.
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.
To add the BBQ rub to the pork loin, first oil the outside of the meat with Canola oil or olive oil. Then sprinkle generously with the BBQ rub(s).
We like to use disposable nitrile gloves when seasoning meat. We recommend having one gloved hand to touch the meat and press down the rub and the other hand with no glove to handle the bottles of rub.
Once the rub has been added to all sides of the meat, allow the rub to penetrate the meat for about 30 minutes. You can do this at room temperature or, ideally, covered in a refrigerator.
Because cold meat absorbs more smoke flavor, chilling the pork before smoking will maximize the smoke taste you get in the cooked pork.
Our Favorite Wood Pellets
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.
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 applewood 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.
Setting up the Pit Boss
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!
Handling the Pork loin
One of our biggest tips when smoking a large piece of meat like a pork loin is to use cloth gloves underneath disposable nitrile gloves to transfer the meat to and from the grill and to flip it during cooking.
We have found it very difficult to use tongs or other BBQ tools to handle a piece of meat this size.
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:
- 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.
- 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°F, 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.
Target Internal Temperature
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.
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!
We are going to slowly bring the internal temperature up to about 140-145°F, then remove it from the Pit Boss and let it rest before slicing.
A full size 6-8 lb pork loin will take roughly 1 and ½ 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.
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!
Carving and Serving
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.
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.
Pit Boss Smoked Pork Loin
- 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
- spray Canola oil or olive oil
- BBQ rub such as Famous Dave's Rib Rub or Blue's Hog, or combination
Start the Pit Boss
- Add your chosen pellets to the hopper, start the Pit Boss pellet grill and put it on the "Smoke" setting.
Trim the Fat
- Use a good boning or filet knife first remove any excessive fat from the top and sides of the pork loin
- If there is a fat cap, trim it to about ¼ inch thickness.
- Place the pork loin on a cutting board or wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray or rub with Canola or olive oil on all sides.
- Apply the BBQ rub(s) 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.
Smoke the Pork Loin
- Once the Pit Boss has come up to 180°F, oil the grates.
- Place the seasoned pork loin in the cooking chamber with the thickest part facing toward the hotter side of your grill (the left for our Pit Boss). Push the sides of the loin in to make it more compact.
- Place a temperature probe into the center or a thicker part of the meat.
- Close the lid and let the pork loin cook at 180°F on the Smoke setting for about 30-40 minutes.
- 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, remove the temperature probe and flip the pork loin over so that top is now on the bottom. Press the sides of the meat together again to make it more compact. Replace the temperature probe.
- Close the lid and continue to cook at 250°F until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 140-145°F. This will take about 90 minutes in total from when you first put the pork loin on, depending on the size.
Remove, Rest, and Slice
- Remove the smoked pork loin and let it rest on a cutting board, uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
- Slice the pork into 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.
- Serve immediately with warmed BBQ sauce, if desired.