This Traeger Pork Loin is expertly seasoned with a blend of chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, and olive oil, then meticulously smoked to perfection. The result is a mouthwatering, tender pork loin infused with a delectable smoky flavor.
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There’s something truly magical about the tantalizing aroma of a perfectly smoked pork loin wafting through the air. The combination of slow, low heat and aromatic wood chips infuses the meat with a heavenly smokiness, while keeping it moist and tender.
A good spicy rub can add so much flavor to a pork loin. Dry rub is one of the most underrated and effective ways to enhance the taste and texture of pork. The right blend of herbs, spices, and seasonings can transform an ordinary pork dish into a culinary masterpiece.
Since I’m always cooking pork – both on the grill and in the smoker – I use a lot of this pork dry rub. So I like to mix it in a large batch so I can put it in my seasoning shaker and use it whenever needed.
What Is A Pork Loin?
The pork loin is a cut of meat that comes from the back of a pig. It is a long, narrow cut that is typically boneless and can be roasted, grilled, or pan-fried. Pork loin is a lean cut of meat that is often used in a variety of dishes, including pork chops, roasts, and stews. It is a versatile cut of meat that can be seasoned in a variety of ways and is a popular choice for many home cooks and chefs.
What Is The Difference Between A Pork Loin and A Pork Tenderloin?
Pork loin and pork tenderloin are two different cuts of meat from a pig.
Pork loin is a larger cut of meat that comes from the back of the pig. It is a lean cut and can be sold bone-in or boneless. Pork loin is typically used for roasts or chops and can be cooked in a variety of ways, including roasting, grilling, or pan-frying.
Pork tenderloin, on the other hand, is a smaller and more tender cut of meat that comes from the muscle that runs along the spine of the pig. It is a very lean and tender cut that is often sold as a whole piece or cut into smaller medallions. Pork tenderloin is typically cooked quickly at high heat, such as grilling or pan-searing.
Why Pork Loin Is Great For The Traeger
Pork loin is a great cut of meat for grilling because it is lean and tender, yet still has enough fat to keep it moist and flavorful. Grilling pork loin allows the outside to develop a crispy, caramelized crust while the inside stays juicy and tender.
Additionally, pork loin is a versatile cut of meat that can be seasoned in a variety of ways, making it a great option for grilling. You can marinate it, rub it with spices, or simply season it with salt and pepper.
When grilling pork loin, it is important to cook it to the proper temperature to ensure it is safe to eat. The USDA recommends cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) followed by a 3-minute rest time before carving or consuming. This will ensure that the pork is cooked through but still juicy and tender.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Soy Sauce – I always use low sodium soy sauce because it contains much less salt.
- Olive Oil – I prefer olive oil since it has a nice flavor and is healthy.
- Paprika – Smoked paprika adds a great well-rounded flavor.
- Chili Powder – You can use either mild or hot chili powder depending on how spicy you prefer your food. Mild will not add heat to the rub, only flavor.
- Garlic Powder
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Pork loin – Buy one that’s trimmed well of the silver skin, around 2-3 pounds in weight.
- Smoker – I use a Z Grills 700 series smoker for most of my smoking, though I also have a Traeger grill. You can use whatever smoker you have – they all work the same.
- Wood pellets – There are many types of pellets available. If you’ve already got pellets in your smoker, use whatever you have. I really like Hickory pellets for chicken.
- Meat thermometer – Many smokers have a thermometer built in, but if yours doesn’t, get an instant-read thermometer. I love this Thermapen.
How to Make Traeger Pork Loin
Mix together the olive oil, soy sauce, and seasonings in a bowl. This will make a wet rub that you can spread all over the pork tenderloin. It doesn’t have to marinate, but if you have 15 minutes, it will add some flavor. This pork dry rub would be a great addition of flavor.
You can also do this ahead by a day and let it marinate overnight.
Preheat your smoker to 225° F. I use either apple or hickory pellets, depending on what I’ve got in the hopper at the time. You can use whatever wood pellets you like best.
Place the pork tenderloin directly on the smoker grate. Smoke if at 225° F for about an hour and a half, or until the internal temperature reaches 135° F. Take it off the smoker and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing. That will bring the internal temp up to 140° F.
Additional Tips & Advice
- Allow the pork loin to rest on a cutting board for about 10-15 minutes after it has finished cooking. This will help retain the juices of the meat and bring it up to the perfect serving temp.
- Remove the silver skin from your pork tenderloin if it has not been trimmed yet. It’s a silvery covering of connective tissue that doesn’t break or soften when cooked. Silver skin can be easily trimmed with a sharp knife.
- This recipe can be doubled or tripled as long as your smoker has room for more tenderloins. It’s absolutely your choice how many you smoke. I’m often doing just one at at a time, but if you want to maximize on your time and pellets, doing 3-4 at a time is great.
- Leftover pork loin can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
What Smokers We Use
Did you know that Traeger created the original wood-pellet grill? The Pro Series 22 is the one most people choose because it’s compact, yet has plenty of space for cooking. You can use any type of wood pellets you like. See the Traeger Series 22 Grill on Amazon.
How to Store and Reheat
If you have leftover pork loin, let it cool to room temperature before storing it. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place it in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To freeze wrap it airtight and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
There are several ways to reheat pork loin, depending on your preference. One method is to reheat it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the pork loin in a baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pork is heated through.
Another option is to reheat the pork in the microwave. Place the pork loin on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, or until the pork is heated through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which wood is best for smoking pork?
Apple woods are subtle and offer a lovely sweet and savory flavor. Since pork tenderloin doesn’t spend much time in the smoker, slightly stronger woods like hickory, maple, and pecan work nicely as well.
What should the pork’s internal temperature be?
The internal temperature of the pork should be between 140° and 145° F. I always take the pork off the grill at 135° F and let it rest. The carryover cooking will bring it up to 140° F. If you like your pork cooked more, you can take it off at 140° F. I wouldn’t go much over that, or the pork will end up terribly overcooked and dry.
How long should I cook a pork loin on the Traeger?
The cooking time for a pork loin on the Traeger will depend on the size and thickness of the meat. As a general rule, you can expect to cook a 3-4 pound pork loin for 1.5-2 hours at 350°F (175°C) until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). However, it is always best to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to ensure the pork loin is cooked through.
What is the best way to season a pork loin for the Traeger?
There are many ways to season a pork loin for the Traeger, and it really depends on your personal preferences. Some popular seasoning options include a dry rub made with brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika, and other spices, or a marinade made with apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and herbs. You can also simply season the pork loin with salt and pepper for a more classic flavor.
What to Serve on the Side
For sides, there is an endless array of salads and veggies that would make a good choice. Here are a few of our favorites:
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Traeger Pork Loin
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 2 teaspoon (4 g) paprika
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) chili powder
- 1 teaspoon (3 g) garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
- 2-3 pound (907 g) pork tenderloin
- Mix together the olive oil, soy sauce, and seasonings in a bowl.
- Spread the wet rub all over the pork tenderloin. If you have time, let it marinate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat your smoker to 225° F.
- Place the pork tenderloin directly on the grate. Smoke for about 2 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 145° F.
- Allow the pork to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
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Angie is a dedicated grilling aficionado who has experimented with a wide variety of techniques, equipment, and ingredients, to discover the endless possibilities of flavors and textures that grilling can achieve.