Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

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This Smoked Pork Tenderloin recipe is fantastic and easy to make with a rich and flavorful Blackberry Bourbon Sauce drizzled over the top. Follow these easy steps for one of the juiciest tenderloins ever.

And check out this grilled pork tenderloin recipe if you are looking for a hot and fast recipe.

Smoked Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Bourbon Sauce on a platter
Smoked pork tenderloin is slowly smoked for flavor and comes out juicy and tender.

Pork tenderloin was one of those gateway meats that brought me back to the dark side — or rather, eased my transition from being a pseudo-vegetarian to a smoked-meat-loving carnivore.

Shortly after we started getting serious about smoked foods, we even won our first food competition because of this pork tenderloin recipe.

What I’ve learned is simple: Smoked pork tenderloin, seasoned lightly and smoked slowly, is da bomb. And the blackberry bourbon sauce is just the icing on the cake!

Pork Tenderloin vs. Pork Loin

Let’s be clear that this recipe is for the smaller pork tenderloin, not the pork loin. Even Google gets it wrong in search queries. Pork tenderloin is a lean and tender pork roast that comes from the central spine of the pig versus the loin which comes from along the rib cage and is a much larger and longer cut.

It will be a long and thin roast that tapers from thick to thin. It will also have a small amount of silver skin on one side of the pork. The texture is very tender when cooked to the proper temperature, and the flavor is a rich pork bite that is juicy.


When sourcing pork tenderloin look for marbling on the outer edge. Most packs come with two of them. If buying from the butcher case, be sure they have a nice pink color and get two of them for four people to be on the safe side.

We have purchased pork tenderloin from the following online sources and they are amazing. They are shipped right to your doorstep and support sustainable small farm practices.

  • D’Artagnan Fine Foods sources pork tenderloin from small sustainable farms from around the US. Their Berkshire line is amazingly tender and full of flavor.
  • Snake River Farms produces Kurobuta Pork, also source from small farms and of Berkshire heritage and has a rich and buttery flavor.

Preparation and Seasoning

trimming a pork tenderloin

The first step is to remove the silver skin using a sharp boning knife or filet knife. Gently run the knife under the silver skin and remove it. Also remove any remaining fat pockets on the outer side of the tenderloin.

Next coat the pork with a small amount of Dijon mustard (yellow works too). This liquid coating helps the seasoning stick.

Finally add seasoning. When seasoning pork tenderloin we use our pork seasoning for ribs, it has a nice mix of sweet and savory with no real heat. The sugar caramelizes well.

Another fun seasoning is our ultimate dry rub for pork and chicken.

How to Smoke a Pork Tenderloin

Smoked Pork Tenderloin cooking on a smoker

Smoking a pork tenderloin couldn’t be easier.

  1. Preheat smoker: Set smoker between 225-250 degrees F.
  2. Season the meat: Coat the pork tenderloin with a layer of Dijon mustard (just to coat and allow the dry rub to adhere), and season with dry rub around the entire pork tenderloin.
  3. Smoke the pork tenderloin: Place on smoker for roughly 60-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 140 degrees F.
  4. Remove: Let rest 10 minutes.
  5. Sauce it up: Slice and drizzle the blackberry bourbon sauce over the top.

If you haven’t smoked berries you’re missing out.

When is it Done

Whenever cooking low and slow, the pork will be done based on the internal temperature, not time. Start checking the internal temperature with a remote thermometer probe or a Bluetooth unit around 45 minutes into smoking.

Be sure to use a good Bluetooth wireless Thermometer, like the Thermoworks Smoke Unit. We like 140 degrees Fahrenheit to allow carry over cooking to occur while it rests. This will allow the pork to continue to cook another 5 degrees after you have removed it from the heat source.

How to Smoke Berries

Smoking any kind of berry (strawberries, cherries, you name it), softens them and brings out deep concentrated sweetness of the berries, and adds a fascinating smoky element. We wanted to add something dark and rich to contrast the sweet fresh berries, so we cooked them with a little bit of bourbon. We also wanted to add just a little bit of liquid to the berries so that they didn’t dry out. Bourbon did the trick!

How to smoke berries
  1. Place a pint of the berries in a glass dish mixed with a tablespoon of sugar, a touch of salt, and ¼ cup of bourbon.
  2. Place it in the smoker, along side your pork (see photo below) for about 1 ½ hours.
  3. To Make The Smoked Blackberry Sauce: Transfer the berries and juices to a small saucepan with softened shallots, and mix with some balsamic and rosemary, until the berries start to break down and it turns into a rich thick sauce (about 5 minutes).
  4. Press down with a fork or potato masher to break up the berries and turn into a chunky sauce. Taste and adjust flavors. If not sweet enough add an additional ½ teaspoon of sugar at a time.
  5. Remove and drizzle over the smoked pork tenderloin.

No Bourbon? If you don’t want bourbon you can substitute wine. If you don’t want any booze at all, try a few tablespoons of apple juice or orange juice (just know that juice will accentuate the sweetness of the berries).

Pork Tenderloin and Blackberries cooking on the smoker

You can smoke the berries the day before and reheat after the tenderloin is done. Or you can start with the berries and then add the tenderloin halfway through the berry cooking process.

Related Article: Our favorite recipes using blackberries.

Wine Pairing for Smoked Pork Tenderloin

I love love love pork and Pinot Noir, no matter how the pork is cooked. And here in Oregon we’ve got Pinot a plenty!

Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Bourbon sauce on a plate

Look for a big Pinot Noir, like a California Central Coast or Sonoma County. Something with good fruit with a lot of substance. You’ll find rich cherry and black berry flavor and some concentrated pomegranate that goes well with the sauce, and some baking spice and smoky notes that melded well with the pork.

Blackberry Recipe Ideas

We have several blackberry recipes from appetizers to the main meal. Check them out for some additional blackberry recipe ideas.

Other Pork Recipes We Love

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.

This recipe was originally published in July of 2015 and updated in August of 2021 with new recipe steps, nutrition information, and details on the photos.

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smoked pork tenderloin with blackberry bourbon sauce sliced
5 from 1 vote

Smoked Pork Tenderloin Recipe with Smoked Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

An easy smoked pork tenderloin recipe topped with a rich smoked blackberry bourbon sauce. An amazing combination of pork, sweet, and savory flavors.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people


For the Pork Tenderloin

  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin (2 pork tenderloins), silver skin trimmed off
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard,, (for coating)
  • 2 tablespoons pork rub

For the Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons diced shallots
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon sugar, optional


Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

  • Set smoker between 225-250 degrees using fruit wood.
  • Rinse the berries and place them in a glass baking dish (8×8 works well for this). Toss with 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup bourbon.
    1 pint fresh blackberries, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ cup bourbon
  • Place on smoker and cook for 90 minutes then remove. The berries will have a slight smoked nose to them and have slightly reduced.
  • In a small saucepan add the extra virgin olive oil and shallots over medium heat. Let them soften (about 3-5 minutes). Add balsamic and bring to a boil (about 1 minute). Add the smoked berries with bourbon juices. Add the rosemary. Let them cook together about 5 minutes, stirring often.
    1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons diced shallots, ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • Using a fork or potato masher, press down on the berries to break them up into a chunky sauce. Taste and adjust flavors. If not sweet enough add an additional ½ teaspoon of sugar at a time.
    ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Remove and drizzle the blackberry sauce over the smoked pork tenderloin.

How to Smoke Pork Tenderloin

  • Set smoker between 225-250 degrees using fruitwood like apple or cherry.
  • Coat the pork tenderloin with a layer of Dijon mustard (just to coat and allow the dry rub to adhere), then sprinkle the pork tenderloin with the pork rub.
    2 pounds pork tenderloin (2 pork tenderloins), silver skin trimmed off, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard,, 2 tablespoons pork rub
  • Place on smoker, and cook up to 90 minutes or until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the tenderloin is 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove and let rest 10 minutes. Slice and drizzle the blackberry bourbon sauce over the top.


Preparation: The blackberry sauce can be made the day before and then warmed up right before serving the pork tenderloin. Or you can smoke the berries first for 30 minutes, then add the pork tenderloin and make sauce as the pork tenderloin rests.
The Seasoning: We use our pork rub, but you can use any sweet rub that you have on hand. Otherwise you can also look at all our seasonings and find the one that matches the flavor profile you like.
About Cooking Times: Pork tenderloin can cook in as little as 45 minutes or as much as 90 minutes. The most important thing to monitor is the internal temperature and pulling when the internal temperature is no higher than 140. As the tenderloin rests, the internal temperature will increase by up to 5 degrees which is called carry over cooking.


Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 96g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 295mg | Sodium: 867mg | Potassium: 2065mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 461IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 144mg | Iron: 8mg

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

Additional Info

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 695
Keyword: Blackberry Bourbon Sauce, Smoked Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
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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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