Jalapeño Kettle Chip Crusted Smoked Pork Tenderloin

5 from 1 vote
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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

We have an unhealthy addiction to something in my household. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but we’re friends right?

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.

They’re always in our house! So I’ve just accepted them as a regular part of our diet. Our kids are even obsessed.

At any given time you’ll find about 4 bags with crumbs in them that I just can’t part with (because, flavor!).

Admitting we have a problem is the first step, right? No??

The good news is that none of them go to waste, because we learned years ago that these bad boys are a fantastic substitute for a dry rub or breading that you can use on chicken, pork, and even fish.

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 things to jazz up the flavor.

Which brings me to this.

Anytime you make a dry rub or breading, taste it before you cook it!

Seriously, taste it before committing to it.

Don’t just take my word for it, because you may not like exactly what I like. Or perhaps your chips may be a bit dull and in need of a little pick me up. There’s nothing raw in a dry rub, so there should be no reason not to taste it first. Just dip your finger all up in that mix and taste it. Or if you’re all sanitary (as you should if you are doing this professionally) then use a spoon. Then adjust the flavors as needed.

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. The additional seasonings are options.

Next coat your pork tenderloin with either some olive oil or Dijon mustard. 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.
  2. Place tenderloin on the smoker for about an hour or until the Internal Temperature is 145 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

That’s it.

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!

Pork Tenderloin slices and a glass of wine

More Pork Recipes

Wine Pairing for Kettle Chip Pork Tenderloin

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

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, the season is almost upon us! #yeswayrosé

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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


  • 1 Pork Tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons 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


  • 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. 
  • 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).
  • Place tenderloin on the smoker for about an hour or until the Internal Temperature is 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare and then remove from heat.
  • Let rest for 10 minutes and then slice for serving.
  • A great side is roasted potatoes or a puree.


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 145 degrees F internal temperature. 


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
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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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  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.