Smoked, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin; Smoking 101

Summer cooking, men and barbecues.

Somewhere, deep in the bowels of history, there must be a buried document that stipulates that women slave over the hot stove and all other areas of domesticity that take place back in the steamy kitchen.

In order to do their fair share, men must stand outside on a pleasant evening, chatting to the neighbors, sipping an ice-cold beer whilst keeping one occasional eye on the barbecue grill.

Mon mari takes his work seriously.

He has:

a kettle grill that he uses for chicken, pork chops, fish and light smoking.

a gas grill that he uses for potatoes and other vegetables, sausages, and hamburgers

a small hibachi-type charcoal grill that gets very hot that he uses for lamb chops and steaks

a proper smoker that he uses for long-smoking of salmon, pasta (smoked pasta recipe)  and pork roasts

Sometimes he uses 2 or 3 at the same time.

As long as he's going to be outside, in the pleasant evening, he might as well cook the whole meal, right?

Nowhere, in that buried document, does it say that I can't sit on the bench, sipping my gin and tonic, watching him whilst he wields his tongs.

We both like the flavor a few wood chips add to barbecued foods.

He doesn't like to get out the big smoker unless he's doing a big meal.

Here are his methods for light smoking using the the regular barbecue grills:

First: Soak your wood chips.  He leaves a few in a bowl of water next to the grill, replenishing them as he uses them.  They can't get too wet, and this way, they are always ready.  Use commercial chips or bits from that apple tree you cut down last summer.

Smoking with a kettle=type charcoal grill: Put the charcoal off to one side and light it.  When the coals are hot and you are ready, put the food on the side opposite the hot coals (do not spread them out) Throw some wood chips on the coals and cover.  Replenish the chips as needed and depending on how well smoked you want the food.  A thick piece of fish will take 20 minutes, a pork tenderloin or chicken breast will take about 30 minutes.

Smoking with a gas grill: Only light one side of the grill. Wrap the soaked wood chips loosely in foil. Poke a few holes in the foil and place on the grill over the hot side.  Put your food on the opposite side, and close the grill cover.  Leave it slightly vented or propped open an inch or so.

In all cases, once it's smoking resist the urge to lift the cover and look…. Keep it closed.

There you have it: Smoking 101.

Your welcome.

At this point I should add that all of that work (standing in the pleasant evening, chatting ans sipping) really builds up an appetite in a guy…. So I never get much of a chance for fussing with photos….

But, trust me, this was good,  The pinkness of the pork is a result of the smoking.

Smoked, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Smoked, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin, 14oz (400gr)
1 tbs chopped capers
1 tbs chopped dry-cured Greek olives
1 tbs whole grain mustard
1/2 tsp paprika

Basting Sauce
2 tbs molasses
1 tbs soy
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar 

wood chips – we used apple

Carefully slice the pork tenderloin in half the long way, almost all the way through.  Leave about 1/3" (1cm).  Open it flat, like a book.  Spread the mustard on 1 side.  Sprinkle the paprika, olives and capers on the mustard.  Close the pork and tie securely with kitchen string.
Make basting sauce

Smoke on a kettle-type grill for 30 minutes.  Baste once when you put it on the grill, once when you open the grill after 15 minutes to add wood chips and once when you take it off.

Remove pork and let rest 5 minutes.  Remove string, slice and serve.

The nice thing about smoking, besides the great flavor, is it's a no fuss method of grilling outdoors and the meat stays moist and tender.

Happy summer!

14 thoughts on “Smoked, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin; Smoking 101”

  1. I don’t take my barbecuing as seriosuly as Mr. M. but I do love to sit outdoors with tongs in hand and cook up delicious meals.This was a colaborated effort to create this succulent stuffed pork.

  2. HA!!! in this family I cook inside and I grill outside! Where are the men I wonder?? But I will definitely take you up on sipping beer while grilling, why haven’t I thought about that before?

  3. FOUR grills! I’m just thinking one would be so nice.
    … buried document that stipulates … but it must not be buried too deep because it seems to be known by just about everybody.
    Very much like your idea that the man does everything for the dinner on the grill ;0)

  4. Oh how I long for summer…we have rain, rain, and more rain. We don’t have a barbecue but keep thinking about getting one this year…this post really makes me want one all the more! Ina

  5. You made me laugh! Talking about your mari and all his smoking and grilling apparatus! Nice dish too, I have never tried stuffing pork but I used to work in a kitchen where the chef would regularly stuff his with pesto; I need to try this!

  6. Thanks for the primer on smoking if you don’t have a smoker! I use cedar shingles and put the meat on those – the thin end burns and smokes the meat while the thick end keeps it moist and away from the fire. I’m going to try your idea of the indirect fire, however.

  7. What is really fun is to have all the neighborhood men stop to visit during the cook session…
    grunt, grunt, grunt, scratch, grunt, grunt, grunt
    The whole set up is just made for pork!

  8. Well, that confirms it. Maybe it’s something they learned in shop class (when shop class was still for boys only). Does votre mari prepare the charcoal in a chimney and then pour the sparking coals into the hibachi too? Or perhaps it has something to do with the discovery and transportation of fire back to the caves when the men were out with their spears hunting for dinner.
    (I hope it’s okay that I glazed over on your instructions for how to barbecue. I confess that I’m not even sure how to turn on our gas barbecue….)

  9. Pam, and I don’t know why the meat stays pink…. but it was delicious, so I’m happy!
    Val, you’re right, I do the part before it gets to the grill – then he takes over.
    Tanna, I do winter cooking; he does summer cooking. That’s the deal! (And it really is a nice break – but we’re both glad when the other’s season comes to an end)
    Ina, we’d be lost without one – or four. We had sunshine today – yay!
    Ilva, is it the culture? Both Spanish and French men that I’ve known have done ‘manned the grill’…. Some better than others, tho LOL
    Tasteofbeirut,the tenderloin lends itself very well to being stuffed…. and smoked…..
    Zoomie, what an interesting idea! We, of course, couldn’t get the cedar, but still…..
    Year on the Grill – well, if anyone knows how that works it would be you ;-))
    Elizabeth, I learned one summer how to turn it on – when he was gone. I promptly forgot and have never recalled….. As to lighting charcoal, not a chance. And no, we don’t have a fancy starter thingy…. and we don’t use ‘brickettes’ We have real, filthy, lump charcoal!

  10. This looks gorgeous! The pink in the meat is the “smoke ring”, a by-product of smoking…think smoked turkey (also pink).

  11. We (and of course, when I say “we”, I mean “he”) use lump charcoal rather than briquets as well. The resulting flavour is much better. I’m not sure that you’d call our charcoal chimney a fancy starter. It’s a pretty simple device. We got it at the same time as we got the smoker. I love that charcoal can be lit by using matches and crumpled paper as the starter – no stinky bottled starter for us.
    We are going to have Persian-style kebabs tonight and googled to see various recipes. Take a look at this YouTube video showing men and their barbecues; it really is universal!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYwADD7qhjo

  12. That pork sounds really good with that tasty stuffing and the smokiness would take it to a whole other level!

  13. Peter… Think smoked turkey – what a marvelous idea! Not a whole one, can’t find those here now, but a breast… brined first….
    Elizabeth, something are universal…. thanks ;-))
    Kevin, the salty and smoky work so well…

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