Hey there, Hump Day!
So, last summer, we bought ourselves a smoker…and today, I’m sharing a little recipe that we “smoked”.
Here’s the thing about a smoker…there’s a learning curve. My Grandmother’s sweet, sweet husband, Ken, used to own a BBQ restaurant and is a champion smoker…so we leaned on him for lots of advice on the best way to smoke things. We have a Traeger smoker, but I think the techniques can work about the same for most of them. We have had a lot of hits smoking our meats…but some misses too (there was this one night when we tossed out our shrimp because it was just so not good!).
Here is what we’ve discovered in our year of smoking:
1: It’s all about the quality of the meat. We were buying meat from our grocery store, but it didn’t take long to realize it didn’t taste as fabulous as meats we were eating at Ken’s house or say, a restaurant, so we started buying all of our meats for “smoking” on a town square at one of meat shops (we have two). MAJOR DIFFERENCE! Plus, bonus, those guys are super helpful because they know what results we’re looking for (they smoke meat for a living), and pointed us in the right direction many times regarding cuts and stuff like that.
2: Less is more when smoking. At first, we were looking online and trying all sorts of recipes with multiple steps, sauces, sprays and rubs. And you know what? They were just okay…and a lot of work (too much babysitting of the smoker). We’ve learned that whether we’re smoking briskets, pork, chicken or whatnot, less is more.
If you happen to have a smoker too, here’s what we do to make these yummy looking Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches with a creamy slaw. They’re super delish and thanks to the smoker, easy to make too. Enjoy! xo
This recipe feeds 6 to 8.
4-5 pounds of a good quality pork tenderloin
a good quality dry rub (we buy a lot from Williams-Sonoma) or make your own, any flavor you like
BBQ for brushing at the end, we like Sweet Baby Ray’s
about 4 cups of shredded cabbage, I used a blend
1 cup of ranch dressing
about 8 green onions, chopped
a handful of parsley, chopped
the juice of 2 limes
salt and pepper
Allow your meat to come to room temp before smoking it.
When your smoker is nice and hot (190 degrees), take your room temp pork and apply your rub all over (we use just about the whole bottle or can of rub). Place your pork directly on the smoker and begin to smoke. You will smoke the pork until it reaches an internal temp of 145 degrees which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours. After it reaches that temp, brush some of your BBQ sauce down over the pork and let smoke an additional 20 minutes. When your pork is done smoking, remove from heat and allow to rest before slicing it.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, toss together your shredded cabbage, ranch dressing, green onions, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper. Combine everything together with a spoon. Set aside.
When your pork is ready, assemble your sandwiches: bun, pork and slaw.
Simple, easy and literally zero fuss. The perfect supper!
If you have any tips on smoking meats, I would love to hear them! We have so enjoyed playing around with our smoker!