Jalapeño Kettle Chip Crusted Smoked Pork Tenderloin

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An incredibly flavorful way to use leftover Kettle chip crumbs (or other flavored potato chip), or just to jazz up your next pork tenderloin with some great flavor! You’re gonna love this Jalapeño Kettle Chip Crusted Smoked Pork Tenderloin.

Kettle Chip Crusted Grilled Pork Tenderloin on a platter surrounded by roasted potatoes
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We have a Kettle chip addiction. But not just any Kettle chip. I’m talking jalapeño flavored Kettle chips. It’s been going on for years. But when we get to the end of the bag what do we do with the crumbs? We turn it into a seasoning or addition to breading.

Ingredients

  • Pork Tenderloin – Tenderloin will cook quickly and it’s lean. You can also use a pork loin but if you do you’ll need a larger portion of the seasoning.
  • Olive Oil – Acts as a binder for the seasoning to stick while it smokes.
  • Jalapeño Kettle chips – The spicy flavor is great with the pork, but you can use any kettle chip flavor.
  • Additional Seasoning – Add to the kettle chips some garlic powder, kosher salt, and freshly cracked pepper.

Kettle Chips = Dry Rub and Breading

If you think about it, the chips have pretty much what you would be using anyways for a dry rub and/or a breading for something like chicken or pork — seasonings and crunch.

Instead of breadcrumbs, we’re subbing these potato chips. The chips are already coated in a mix of powerfully flavored seasonings. They also have a great crunch, eliminating the need for bread crumbs or panko. 

Not all Kettle Chips are created equal though. The krinkle cut chips are stronger and sturdier and more crunchy as a crust. The regular potato chips, while they have great flavor when snacking alone, may need a little more support.

For the Jalapeño flavored ones, we like to crush them and then add a few more seasoning to jazz up the flavor.

How to make a Kettle Chip Bread Crumbs

  • Method 1: place the chips in your food processor and pulse until they reach the consistency of breadcrumbs.
  • Method 2: place in a plastic bag and crush the heck out of them until you get the fine breadcrumb consistency. This method is quite therapeutic I might add.

Next, pour into a bowl, and taste. Does it need something? Maybe it’s more salt? Some heat? Some sweet? Add those flavors and adjust.

For the Jalapeño chips we added a mix of kosher salt, coarse pepper, and garlic powder.

Preparation

Pork tenderloin will come with some silver skin on it. It’s best to remove it before cooking with a sharp filet knife. Also remove any excess fat so it’s a uniform shape.

Next coat your pork tenderloin with olive oil. This will help the breading/rub to adhere to the meat.

Now get that grill or smoker going.

How to Smoke Pork Tenderloin

  1. Prepare smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit using a fruit wood like apple or cherry. We like the milder flavor.
  2. Place tenderloin on the smoker for about an hour or until the internal temperature is 135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare and then remove from heat. If you want to grill at a higher heat go for it. Just monitor the temperature as it will cook quicker the higher the heat.
Smoked Pork Tenderloin cooking on the grill

Allow it to rest for 10 minutes uncovered to allow for carry over cooking.

You’ve got great flavor, and a great way to use those chip bits that otherwise would have been tossed in the trash. Look at you, being all resourceful and not wasting food!

Chef’s Tip

Always cook to internal temperature and not time. Invest in a good instant read thermometer or use a leave in Bluetooth thermometer like the Thermoworks Smoke Unit.

Side Ideas

You can explore all of our side recipes or try one of the following.

More Pork Recipes

Pork Tenderloin slices and a glass of wine

Wine Pairing

I love to drink white wines with this particular pork tenderloin dish. You can certainly opt for red, and if you do stick with something lighter (like Gamay, or a lighter style Pinot Noir). But why not try it with something like a fresh and vibrant Albariño, dry Riesling, or even Pinot Gris.

I like how these fresh and fragrant wines play with the natural juiciness of the pork and the flavorful crust. Another awesome pairing is Rosé, and guess what, it’s great all year long.

Slices of pork on a long platter with potatoes and a glass of wine

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About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

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Kettle Chip Crusted Grilled Pork Tenderloin
5 from 1 vote

Jalapeño Kettle Chips Crusted Grilled Pork Tenderloin

A great way to use leftover potato chips or use as an impromptu crust if you don’t have breadcrumbs or dry rub. This adds great flavor to pork tenderloin and is also great with chicken. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 1 Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup jalapeño flavored Kettle chips (or other leftover potato chips)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper

Instructions 

  • Preparation: Preheat Smoker to 225 degrees using a fruit wood (we like apple). Prepare dry rub by adding a large handful of chips into a food processor until you have ½ cup of ground chips. Place ground chips into a bowl and add garlic powder, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste preference. 
  • Season: Trim the silver skin off of the tenderloin, and then coat with olive oil. Then place dry rub on tenderloin liberally. Can do this a couple of hours prior to cooking (keep in fridge until ready to cook).
  • Smoke: Place tenderloin on the smoker for about an hour or until the Internal Temperature is 135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare and then remove from heat.
  • Rest: Let rest for 10 minutes to allow for carry over cooking and then slice for serving.

Notes

If you want more of a crispy crust consider grilling at a higher temp or cranking up the heat towards the end. You’ll still want to remove at 135 degrees F internal temperature. 

Nutrition

Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 95g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 295mg | Sodium: 2033mg | Potassium: 2001mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, BBQ, Barbecue
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 674
Keyword: smoked pork tenderloin
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About Mary


I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am all about using leftover crunchies for toppings, breading, and the like. You always get something just a little different that way. I also totally agree with you about tasting your dry rub and/or breading before committing to it. Preemptively adjusting the seasoning levels can make the difference between an amazing meal and an over-seasoned disaster.