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.
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.
The tenderloin is generally the 1 lb center section of the full 3 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.
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.
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.
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
- Salt and Pepper
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.
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.
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
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
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!***
Add your Hardwood Pellets
First, you add hardwood pellets into the side hopper.
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
- Fill your hopper with pellets as described above.
- 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.
- Plug in and start up the pellet grill, keeping the lid open. Set the temperature dial to “Smoke” and press the “Power” button.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 working. Now you can close the lid.
- 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.
- This will take about 10-15 minutes to preheat the grill.
- Using a good bristle free grill brush, clean off the grill grates.
- 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!
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 at 250°F.
This seems to be the sweet spot where its low enough that the outside doesn’t overcook and our sugary pork rub forms a nice bark without burning.
But, it’s also high enough that the smoked pork loin doesn’t cook for so long that it dries out.
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.
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 3-4 lb pork loin will take roughly 2.5 – 3 hours to reach 145°F internal temperature when cooked at 250°F.
A smaller 1 lb pork tenderloin may only take about an hour to an hour and a half.
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 for about 15-20 minutes 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
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
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.
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.
- Traeger Baby Back Ribs
- Pellet Grill Smoked Pork Chops
- Smoked Fresh Holiday Ham
- Spiral Sliced Smoked Hot Dogs
- Smoked Bratwurst with Beer Braised Onions
- Gas Grilled Bratwurst
- Pellet Grilled Bratwurst
- Roasted Pig in Your Backyard
- Traeger Smoked Pulled Pork
- Traeger 3-2-1 Pork Ribs
- Masterbuilt Electric Smoker Boston Butt
- Pit Boss Pulled Pork
- Masterbuilt Baby Back Ribs
- Pit Boss Smoked Baby Back Ribs
- Honey Smoked Salmon
- Smoked Oysters in a Garlic White Wine Sauce
- Smoked Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce
- Smoked Lobster Tails
- Honey Smoked Tilapia
- Perfect Smoked Halibut
- Smoked Mahi Mahi Fillets
- Smoked Swordfish Steaks
- Smoked Crab Legs with Cajun Clarified Butter
- Smoked Mackerel with Maple Balsamic Glaze
- Smoked Catfish with Cajun BBQ Rub
- Smoked Red Snapper with Blackening Rub
- Traeger Prime Rib
- Pit Boss Beef Brisket
- Perfect Smoked London Broil
- Smoked Ribeye Roast
- Hot and Fast Pellet Grill Beef Brisket
- Smoked Corned Beef
- Smoked Ribeye Steaks
- Smoked Filet Mignon
- Pellet Grilled Steak
- Perfect Grilled Hamburgers
- Smoked Eye of Round Roast Beef
- Easy Smoked Flank Steak
- Traeger Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream
- Pit Boss Smoked Beef Tenderloin
- Smoked Chuck Roast for Pulled Beef
- Pit Boss Smoked Prime Rib
- Traeger Smoked Beef Brisket
- Spatchcocked Chicken on a Pellet Grill
- Pellet Grill Smoked Turkey Breast
- Pellet Grill Turkey
- Spatchcock Smoked Turkey on a Pellet Grill
- Easy Smoked Turkey Legs
- Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters
- Beer Can Chicken on a Pellet Grill
- Trash Can Turkey – OK, technically not made on a grill or smoker but one of the most fun ways there is to cook a Turkey…at over 700 degrees in only 2 hours!
- Smoked Leg of Lamb with Guinness Marinade
- Smoked Lamb Chops with a Balsamic Butter Sauce
- Smoked Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary or Smoker
- Smoked and Pulled Lamb Shoulder with a Turkish Spice Rub
- Smoked Lamb Shanks
Other Odds and Ends
- Smoked Gouda Cheese
- Smoked Asparagus
- Easy Smoked Broccoli
- Smoked Cauliflower
- Sticky Smoked Sweet Potatoes
- How to Steam Tamales
- Maple Bourbon Smoked Pineapple
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 3-4 lb Pork Loin or several smaller pork tenderloins but adjust cooking time
- 2 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
- If there is a fat cap, trim it to about 1/4 inch thickness and then score it with crosshatch marks.
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
- 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.
Start the Pit Boss Pellet Grill
- Remove the fire 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.
- Add your chosen pellets to the hopper, start the Pit Boss pellet grill and put it on the "Smoke" setting.
- 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.
- 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.
- Next, set the temperature to preheat the Pit Boss pellet grill to 350°F. We will drop this temperature before we start cooking.
- 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 350°F, drop the temperature on the control panel to 250° and clean the grill grates with a good grill brush and close the lid.
Smoke the Pork Loin on the Pit Boss
- Once the temperature of the Pit Boss drops to 250°F, place the seasoned pork loin in the cooking chamber with the thickest part facing towards the hotter right side. Place a temperature probe into the center.
- Close the lid and cook at this temperature until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 145°F, about 1 hour per pound.
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.
- 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.
- Serve immediately with warmed BBQ sauce optionally.