The football season is finally here and I could not be more excited. Not only do we get to see how our new offensive GURU plans to operate things, but we also get to fire up the grills and smokers as we sip on a few "barley pops". Since we are playing Appalachian State and they are based in Boone, North Carolina, I wanted to make a tasty pork recipe. They love their pork in North Carolina! Here is what you will need.
Preheat your grill or smoker to 250 degrees. If you are using a charcoal or gas grill, you will need to set it up for indirect heat. Click here for Indirect Heat set up. I like using fruit woods with pork, so I'm using pecan wood chunks for this cook. Pecan has a nice sweet flavor and won't leave a bitter taste as some stronger woods might do. As the grill/smoker is pre-heating, take the pork tenderloins and trim off the silver skin. Don't worry, it's easy and only takes a minute. Silver skin is a connective tissue that has a shiny white appearance and only covers a small portion of the loin. Use a sharp knife so you don't trim off a hunk of meat with it. Once this is done, apply your favorite rub. I love using Stubbs rubs/sauces for a few reasons. First, they taste great! Secondly, they can be found everywhere. I don't have to drive half way across the state to find em. Lastly, the Stubbs CEO is a Michigan Alum. That's enough to make me a loyal BBQ customer.
I don't hold back when seasoning the loins as they can take a lot of spice. If you like some added kick, throw in a little cayenne pepper. Once the loins are seasoned, it's time to toss em on the smoker. I like to use 2-3 chunks of wood per hour. The wood chunk should be about the size of your fist.
We can also start cooking our onions and getting some smoke flavoring on them too. Slice em up and add a few chunks of butter. If you want to add some rub or salt/pepper, go crazy. I like my onions full of flavor, so I added a few spoonfuls of seasoning. Place the onions over the heat source and let em sweat a little while the tenderloins heat up.
Now we have about 45 minutes to kick back and relax. Take this time to enjoy a few of your favorite beverages or toss around the pig skin. Or both.
After about 30 minutes, it's time the check the internal temp of the pork loin. If you are going to be cooking a lot of meat this year, invest in a good thermometer. My favorite is the Thermapen because it's accurate and SUPER fast!
Once it gets to about 130 degrees, it's time to start glazing with your favorite Stubbs BBQ sauce. I love using Honey Pecan or Hickory Bourbon for this recipe. Time to Glaze!!!
The pork loin is done once it reaches 140 - 145 degrees. This should only take about 45 minutes with a grill temp of 250-275 degrees. I don't like to go much higher than this as it will start to dry out. Once the internal temp reaches 140 degrees, remove from the heat and tightly wrap in foil. The internal temp will continue to rise another 5 - 7 degrees while it's wrapped. This process will also help tenderize the meat. Once the onions are soft and tender, add a few spoonfuls of BBQ sauce. Cook them until they are fully sauced and thickened. It's up to you on how long to go. After about 10 minutes in the foil, it's time to slice the tenderloin. You can go ahead and enjoy it just like this or make some tasty sliders.
Toss a few slider buns on the grill to add some char and toasty goodness. Don't walk away, it only takes about 30 seconds until they are done.
I like to assemble the sliders and toss them back on the grill to melt the cheese. I wouldn't put them back over the hot coals, as they could burn. Use the cool side of the grill.
Once the cheese is melted, it's time to enjoy about 10 of these in record time. I think I had 6 of these tasty buggers in under 5 minutes.
This recipe is a favorite at our tailgates and is super easy to make. These would also be great on some hawaiian rolls or chopped up in a tortilla. Pork tenderloins are also leaner than chicken breasts, so feel good that you are being somewhat healthy to start the season. If you have any questions or recipe ideas, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love to discuss BBQ and Maize and Blue football. GO BLUE!!!!