I seem to be on a pork kick lately. I posted my bone-in pork chop recipe the other day and now I have a pork tenderloin one to share today. This recipe turned out way better than I could have ever imagined, especially because the actual pork tenderloin I used wasn’t the greatest looking piece of meat. It was just your typical Costco tenderloin, but it had so much fat on it, by the time I was done trimming it up it was so small I wasn’t sure if would feed two people. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to let the meat go to waste, so I concocted this recipe and to my surprise it was one of the best pork tenderloins I have ever made.
Injecting meat isn’t something I do often, but lately I have been watching a lot of BBQ Pitmasters on Destination America and decided I need to start injecting my food more, and this pork seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. I emptied a little cherry cola into a cup, filled my injection syringe, and then injected the cola into the pork in about 4 different spots. I had two small tenderloins and did this to each of them. I would say I used a total of 2 tablespoons of cola, if that.
Next, I generously coated the pork all over with Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub, and then wrapped it in foil and let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours. When it was time, I preheated my pellet grill to 225 degrees, and while the grill was preheating I took the pork out of the fridge and unwrapped it from the foil. It already had a gorgeous red color to it from the rub. Once the Traeger came to temp, I put a probe in each tenderloin and put them on the grill.
I monitored the temp because when it got to about 120 I knew it was time to glaze. I mixed about 1/4 cup of Traeger Sugar Lips Glaze with about a tablespoon of the Killer Hogs rub and a tablespoon of cherry cola and then glazed the pork all over. I did this a couple more times until the pork reached an internal temperature of 155 degrees. Pork tenderloin is technically safe to eat at 145 degrees, but I just can’t do it, I still remember when pork couldn’t have any pink, and my mind just can’t accept that it’s ok to eat at a medium. Once the pork reached 155, I took it off the grill and let it rest for roughly 10 minutes before slicing.
OMG, this was the most moist, flavorful, slightly smokey, sweet, tangy, savory, stupid delicious piece of pork I have ever cooked. The injection definitely made a difference, I am convinced of it, because you could taste of hint of cherry from the cola and it was awesome. Pellet Guy said it was “better than anything at a restaurant”, and while I think that statement is quite bold, I would say it this was easily restaurant quality. The flavors were so well balanced, and the pork practically melted in your mouth, there was no knife needed to cut up a piece, a fork glided right through it. He paired his pork with some grilled pineapple and I ate mine with a little applesauce, but the pork didn’t need anything, it stood on its own.
This was my first time trying the Traeger Sugar Lips glaze, and when I tasted it on it’s own I was a bit skeptical, and I don’t think I would ever use it as a true bbq sauce, but as a glaze, it’s fantastic! It paired so well with the Killer Hogs, and the final product not only tasted ridiculously amazing, but it was beautiful too. If you don’t have these rubs and sauces, you can use anything you have in your house. To mimic the flavors I created here, I recommend a rub that is more sweet than spicy, and a sauce or glaze that is more sweet than spicy too. Unless of course spice is your thing, than try that instead. Basically, go with what your taste buds want and just follow the base model of injecting, resting, and then cooking low and slow, you can’t go wrong.
- 1-2lb pork tenderloin
- 2TBS + 1 TBS Cherry Cola, regular or diet is fine
- 2-3TBS + 1 TBS Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub, or any rub you like
- 1/4 cup Traeger Sugar Lips Glaze, or any sauce/glaze you like
- Trim excess fat from the pork tenderloin.
- Pour some cherry cola into a cup and fill your injection syringe with it. Inject your tenderloin in about 4 different spots with the cola.
- Generously coat the tenderloin with the Killer Hogs rub (or rub of choice). Then wrap in aluminum foil and let rest in the fridge for 2 -3 hours.
- When it’s time, preheat your grill to 225 degrees and remove the pork from the fridge and take it out of the foil. Once the grill is preheated, make sure to place a meat probe in the pork so you can monitor it’s internal temp, and place the pork on the grill. You will cook the pork for 2-3 hours or until it reaches an internal temp of 155 degrees.
- While the pork is cooking make the glaze. Mix about 1/4 cup of the glaze or sauce you want to use with 1 TBS rub and 1 TBS cola. When the pork reaches an internal temp of 120-125 degrees brush on some glaze. You will want to do this a couple more times before it reaches its final internal temp of 155 degrees.
- When the pork reaches 155 degrees, take it off the grill and let it rest for about 10 minutes. After it has rested, slice it up and enjoy!