Smoked Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon
Smoked pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon is an easy, tasty dinner that slow-cooks on the smoker to crispy perfection. It’s a gorgeous, show-stopping piece of meat that will have your pork-lovin’ dinner guests squealing with delight!
This smoked bacon wrapped pork tenderloin is one of our favorite bacon dinner recipes because it has so much flavor and is very simple to put together. Pre-cooking the bacon strips for a few minutes in the oven before wrapping them around the pork makes them extra crispy and perfectly browned.
If you love the concept of “meat wrapped in meat,” you might also enjoy this Bacon Weave Meatloaf and these Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies appetizers! And for more ideas, be sure to check out our roundup of 60 best bacon dinner recipes from top food bloggers.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure statement.
Click on any of these headings to jump ahead:
Why This Recipe is Worth Making
- The crispy bacon perfectly compliments the smoky flavor of the meat.
- The bacon adds incredible flavor and keeps the pork so juicy while it’s cooking.
- Partially pre-cooking the bacon before smoking makes it come out perfectly golden brown and crispy around the pork.
- Using wood in your smoker adds another level of subtle, sweet deliciousness that enhances the flavor of the pork.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Pork tenderloin – Look in the store for a tenderloin of around 1.5 pounds, which is perfect for 4 people. The one pictured above is from Beeler’s Pure Pork, purchased at Natural Grocers (not a sponsored mention, just two companies I like).
Bacon – Regular sliced bacon works best in this recipe, as it’s thin enough to cook to crispy perfection in the moderate temperature of the smoker. If you only have thick-sliced bacon, pre-cook it for another 5 minutes when it’s in the oven.
Seasoning rub – I used Traeger Pork and Poultry Rub with Apple and Honey to give the tenderloin even more flavor. You can use your favorite rub, or make your own pork rub using this simple formula: Combine 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, sugar, freshly ground black pepper, kosher salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. This will make 2 tablespoons of rub, which is the exact amount you need for this recipe.
Garlic – I used one large clove of minced garlic. Feel free to omit or add more, depending on what your tastebuds prefer.
Fresh lime – A squeeze of lime adds the touch of acid that perfectly compliments the rich fat of the bacon.
Smoker – This recipe works well with all types of smokers, whether you have an electric, vertical charcoal, Big Green Egg, Kamado, ceramic, pellet, propane, offset charcoal or cabinet-type smoker. Being able to keep the smoker at a consistent temperature of 250 degrees F is the key to success with this dish.
Meathead Goldwyn has a great overview of how to buy a smoker with recommendations and reviews at Amazing Ribs.
Here at the BENSA test kitchen, we use this Camp Chef SmokePro Pellet Grill and Smoker.
Wood – You’ll need wood chunks, chips or pellets to add the smoky flavor to this pork. Feel free to use your favorite type. Cherry or apple wood will add a slightly sweeter flavor that compliments this recipe well, while hickory wood chunks or chips will add more of a traditional smoke flavor. We used a blend of maple and cherry pellets with our smoker.
Sharp boning knife – to remove the silver skin and membrane from the pork loin. You want a curved knife with a thin blade to trim the pork without removing the meat.
Baking sheet with an oven-safe cooking rack – This will elevate the bacon wrapped tenderloin so that it gets hit with the smoke and heat on all sides. Make sure to use an oven-proof baking rack (we like this one) and not a cooling rack, as those are sometimes treated with nonstick coatings or made from metal that is not safe to heat at higher temperatures.
Aluminum foil – will help protect the baking pan, reflect the heat, and make clean up easy. Either regular or heavy duty foil is fine for this recipe.
Instant read thermometer – If your smoker has a probe, use it to monitor the internal temperature of the pork as it smokes. If not, this Thermopro Professional Instant Thermometer is fast and accurate.
Sharp carving knife to cut the finished tenderloin in slices.
Step by Step Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and fit it with a wire baking rack.
Trim the excess fat, silver skin and membrane from the pork tenderloin. Rub it with the garlic. Sprinkle on both sides with the seasoning mixture and black pepper. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to absorb the seasonings.
Prepare your smoker according to the manufacturer’s directions, adding wood or wood chips, if using. Preheat it to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, spread six bacon strips on the wire rack. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges start to curl and some of the bacon fat is rendered. Blot with paper towels.
Wrap the tenderloin with the bacon, tucking the ends underneath. (You don’t need toothpicks.) I like to leave a little space between the strips of bacon, so that the pork can breathe while it cooks. This also helps the bacon get crispier. Put the bacon wrapped tenderloin on the wire rack in the prepared baking sheet.
If you’re using a temperature probe, insert it now. Put the whole tray on the smoker.
Cook until the internal temperature reaches 143 degrees F. Remove the pork tenderloin out of the smoker.
Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. The pork will continue to rise in temperature a couple more degrees as it rests, and should reach the recommended internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Transfer to a platter for carving or cut in individual servings.
Pro Recipe Tips
For maximum flavor, pat the tenderloin dry with paper towels before seasoning it with the dry rub.
Pork tenderloin can easily overcook, so when the temperature begins to approach 140 degrees F watch it carefully. If you’re using an instant thermometer, check the internal temperature every 10 minutes or so when it starts getting close. Be sure to pull it off the smoker the minute it reaches 143 degrees F.
Any leftover pork tenderloin can be used in sandwiches, wraps, soups, casseroles, or as a topping for pasta or pizza.
How to Store, Freeze and Reheat Leftovers
Wrap any leftover pork tenderloin tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze leftovers, tightly wrapped, for up to a month. For best results, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
To reheat, wrap the leftover pork tenderloin loosely in foil and place on a baking sheet. Cook in a 350 degree F oven until hot.
Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin – Drizzle maple syrup over the bacon and brush it on evenly before putting the tenderloin in the smoker.
Barbecue – Brush the bacon-wrapped tenderloin with your favorite barbecue sauce about halfway through cooking. Serve the finished dish with additional BBQ sauce on the side.
Brown Sugar Bourbon – In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine 3 packed tablespoons of dark brown sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon. Cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Cool and brush the glaze evenly over the bacon before smoking the tenderloin.
Is pork tenderloin good to smoke? Oh yes, it certainly is–especially when you wrap it in delicious, savory strips of bacon!
What temp do you smoke pork tenderloin to? The perfect internal temperature, when the pork is cooked through but still juicy, is 145 degrees F.
How long does it take to smoke bacon wrapped tenderloin? The total cooking/smoking time will depend on the thickness of the tenderloin and bacon plus the inside temperature of your smoker. A rough estimate is that it will probably take somewhere between 1 and 2 hours.
What to Serve with Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
Any of these tasty side dishes pair well with smoked pork:
- Deviled Eggs
- Bacon Mac and Cheese
- Green Bean Casserole
- Fried Cabbage
Here’s the full, printable recipe:
Got questions? Just ask! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe for smoked pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon, I’d be thrilled if you clicked the little stars above and gave it a 5-star recipe rating.
You might also enjoy the Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin web story.
If you post your creations on social media, tag so I can share! Thank you for your support. – Eliza
Nutrition Disclaimer: All nutritional information shared on this site is an approximation. I am not a certified nutritionist, and any nutritional information should be used as a general guideline.
Pin for Later
If you use Pinterest to save and share ideas, here’s a handy pin:
Smoked Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Bacon
- 1 1.5 pound pork tenderloin
- 6 strips regular sliced bacon
- 2 tablespoons pork rub seasoning*
- 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lime cut in wedges
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and fit it with a wire baking rack.
- Use a sharp boning knife to trim the excess fat, silver skin and membrane from the pork tenderloin. Rub the minced garlic into the tenderloin. Sprinkle on both sides with the seasoning mixture and black pepper. Allow to sit for 20 minutes to absorb the seasonings.
- Meanwhile, spread six bacon strips on the wire rack. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the edges start to curl and some of the bacon fat is rendered. Blot with paper towels.
- Prepare your smoker according to the manufacturer’s directions, adding wood or wood chips, if using. Preheat it to 225 degrees F.
- Wrap the tenderloin with the partially cooked bacon strips, leaving about 1/3 to 1/2 inch between strips and tucking the ends underneath. Put the bacon wrapped tenderloin on the wire rack in the prepared baking sheet. Put in the smoker. If using a probe, insert it now.
- Smoke the bacon wrapped tenderloin until an internal temperature measures 143 degrees F. Remove from the heat, tent with aluminum boil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. The pork will continue cooking as it rests and should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Slice the pork tenderloin with a sharp carving knife and serve accompanied with lime wedges.
- (* To make your own pork rub seasoning, combine 1 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, sugar, freshly ground black pepper, kosher salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. This will make 2 tablespoons of rub, which is the exact amount you need for this recipe.)
- To store leftover pork tenderloin, wrap it tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can also freeze leftovers, tightly wrapped, for up to a month.
- To reheat, wrap the leftover pork tenderloin loosely in foil and place on a baking sheet. Cook in a 350 degree F oven until hot.