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Home Recipes Pork Smoked bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin

Everybody gets impressed when you serve up meals made with bacon – especially if it’s not for breakfast. This easy recipe is great for a dinner party or backyard barbecue. You can even do some steps in advance, so you can smoke delicious pork tenderloins on demand. 

Smoked bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin.

Why should I wrap pork tenderloin in bacon?

Pork tenderloin is a great cut of pork that’s generally a little less expensive than other cuts of meat. It’s quite lean, so cooking it takes a bit of finesse.

Some recipes call for quick marinades or brines to add flavor and moisture. My quick and juicy grilled pork tenderloin recipe gets basted with mayo and BBQ rub and cooks up in about 20 minutes. But this delicious bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin is smoked and takes around 2 hours.

Adding smoky bacon and smoking it slowly, takes pork tenderloin to a whole other level. As the bacon cooks, it caramelizes and bastes the tenderloin.

It took me about six tenderloins to perfect this recipe. I wanted to make sure the internal meat was still dripping with juiciness while the exterior bacon was rendered enough to melt in your mouth. This cooking process hits both of those marks perfectly.

One key to making delicious bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin is to start with thin-sliced bacon. If you use thick bacon, it won’t render properly and it will be chewy. The thin bacon dissolves perfectly. Honestly, you can even buy the cheap, store-brand kind. I learned that trick from my friend Travis at All Up in My Grill.

While this grilled pork tenderloin will start slow and low, we’ll crank up the heat at the end to help crisp up the bacon without overcooking the tenderloin. The best way to make sure it’s juicy is to make sure it’s not overcooked. The goal temperature on your meat thermometer should be around 145F degrees. That’s the USDA-safe temperature for pork. 


Ingredients

bacon weave, pork tenderloin, pork rub, molasses, mustard.
  • Bacon: For perfect bacon, use original thickness or thin-cut bacon strips. Thick-cut bacon will take too long to cook and won’t get as crispy.
  • Pork tenderloins: Pork tenderloins are usually sold in vacuum-sealed packs at your grocery store. Read the label. Each package likely includes two pork tenderloins. This recipe calls for two tenderloins, which is one pack.
  • Mustard: Any flavor of mustard will work. Basic yellow mustard or Dijon mustard is fine, but you can change up the flavors with different varieties.
  • BBQ Rub: Use your favorite BBQ dry rub or spice mixture for pork. My award-winning Pork Rub from Spiceology is a great choice.
  • Molasses: This is used to create a great sweet, crispy finish on the pork.
  • Whiskey: For an added touch of flavor, I like adding a splash of whiskey in my glaze.

Substitutions: Instead of making the whiskey molasses glaze, you can use maple syrup or your favorite BBQ sauce.

See the full recipe card below for servings and a full list of ingredients.

bottles of BBQ rubs on black background

How to make a bacon weave

Start by working with cold bacon. The colder it is, the easier it is to work with. Once it warms up to room temperature, it gets really pliable and slippery. 

  1. STEP ONE: Lay out a sheet of foil or parchment paper on the counter, and lay about eight bacon slices next to each other.
8 bacon slices side by side.

PRO TIP: Make sure that your bacon weave is as long or a little longer than the length of your pork tenderloin.

  1. STEP TWO: To make the bacon weave, fold every other piece of bacon toward the back (slices 1, 3, 5 and 7). Lay a new piece of bacon on top perpendicular to the other slices.
odd pieces of bacon folded back with one strip laying across strips that are down.
  1. STEP THREE: Fold the pieces of bacon that were flipped back toward the front and over the strip you just placed.
slice of bacon weaved across top part of bacon.
  1. STEP FOUR: Now, fold the other strips of bacon toward the back (slices 2, 4, 6 and 8). Lay another slice of bacon on top perpendicular to those. 
even rows of bacon folded back with slice of bacon on top.
  1. STEP FIVE: Fold those slices of bacon back down and repeat the process until you’ve reached the end.
bacon weave.

PRO TIP: You can make the bacon weave in advance and refrigerate it until you’re ready to wrap and smoke your bacon. Just cover it with a piece of plastic wrap.


How to wrap pork tenderloin with bacon

  1. STEP ONE: Remove the pork tenderloins from the packaging, and pat them dry with a paper towel. With a sharp knife, remove any noticeable silver skin.
using boning knife to remove silverskin from pork tenderloin.
  1. STEP TWO: Rub each tenderloin with mustard and season with your favorite BBQ rub. The measurements don’t need to be exact. Just make sure they’re evenly coated.
  1. STEP THREE: Place one tenderloin on the bacon weave. Cut right down the center of the bacon weave to create two wraps. Make sure it’s wide enough to wrap around the full tenderloin. Pull the bacon tight and secure it with toothpicks. (Count them so you know how many you need to remove.) Repeat with the second tenderloin. 

PRO TIP: You can do everything up to this step in advance and refrigerate for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them at this point in an airtight container for up to six months. Just let them fully thaw in the refrigerator before smoking.


How to smoke bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin

Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin should be smoked over indirect heat, so the bacon doesn’t burn. Save the saucing for the very end.

Heat your grill or smoker to 250F degrees with an indirect heat zone. To add smokiness, consider using cherry, pecan or hickory wood chunks, chips or pellets.

If you’re using a gas grill, turn one burner on to medium heat and the rest of the burners off. Adjust your burner temp until the grill registers at 250F degrees. Cook over the side where the burner is turned off. To add smoke flavor, place wood chips in a foil pouch.

For a charcoal grill, push the coals to one side of the grill and cook over the side without coals. Or if you’re using a ceramic cooker, insert the deflector to block the heat.

For a pellet grill, set the temperature to 250F at let it warm up.

You may also want to consider adding a sheet of foil or foil pan under the grate to collect the bacon drippings for easier cleanup.

  1. STEP ONE: Place the wrapped tenderloins on the preheated grill grates with the seam side down. Smoke for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
two bacon-wrapped pork tenderloins on grill.
  1. STEP TWO: As the pork tenderloin cooks, mix the molasses, mustard, rub and whiskey in a small bowl to make the glaze.
whiskey molasses glaze in bowl.
  1. STEP THREE: After 90 minutes, you will notice that the bacon has rendered. The internal temperature of the tenderloin should be around 130F degrees at this point. Brush the glaze over each tenderloin, covering the sides and top of the bacon.
Basting glaze on bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin.
  1. STEP FOUR: Increase the heat to your smoker to high. If you have a charcoal grill, open the top vent wide open. For a gas grill, increase the burner to high. For a pellet grill, increase the temperature to 400F degrees. Continue cooking the tenderloin for 20-25 more minutes, until it reaches 145F degrees.
bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin getting crispy on grill.

PRO TIP: The bacon won’t be super crispy, but it should be fully rendered with crispy bacon edges.


How to serve bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin

Let the pork tenderloin rest for 5 to 10 minutes on a cutting board. Remove the toothpicks. Then slice and serve the medallions as a main dish on a platter or individual plates with your favorite side dishes for an easy meal. Garnish with a little fresh parsley for color. 

Sliced bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin.

Storage

Leftover smoked pork tenderloin can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for three to five days. You can also freeze it for up to six months.


GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips

  • Use original or thin-cut bacon
  • Create a tight bacon weave for full coverage
  • Remove the silvery membrane from your tenderloin before wrapping it
  • Smoke the tenderloin slowly
  • Save the glaze or sauce for the very end
  • Crank your smoker to a higher temperature to fully render the bacon

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to create a bacon weave?

No. You can just wrap the bacon around the pork tenderloin, but making a weave ensures that you get complete coverage on the lean cut of meat. 

How long does it take to cook bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin?

The cook time varies depending on what temperature you’re smoking the tenderloin at. When smoking at 250F degrees, the recipe will take around 2 hours. 

What should pork tenderloin look like when properly cooked?

Pork tenderloin is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 145F degrees on an instant-read thermometer. At this temp, the tender cut of meat will be a little pink and it should have a moist shimmer to it.

sliced bacon-wrapped pork tenderloing.

More bacon-wrapped recipes

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5 from 1 vote

Smoked bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin

Never make dry pork again. This bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin is juicy inside with a sweet and savory bacon shell.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

Whiskey Molasses Glaze

  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp BBQ rub
  • 1 tsp whiskey, optional

Instructions 

  • Heat Grill: Heat your grill to 250F degrees with an indirect heat zone.
  • Bacon Weave: Weave the bacon strips into a rectangle as wide as the pork loin is long. (see details above)
  • Season: Remove the pork tenderloins from the packaging. Pat dry. Trim, if needed to remove the silver skin. Rub with mustard and barbecue rub.
  • Wrap: Place one tenderloin on the bacon weave. Cut the bacon weave in half, ensuring it’s wide enough to wrap around the full loin. Pull the bacon tight around the loin and secure with toothpicks. Repeat with the second tenderloin.
  • Smoke: With the seam down, place on a the preheated grill over indirect heat. Smoke for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Make Glaze: In a small bowl, combine the molasses, 2 tablespoons mustard, ½ teaspoon rub and whiskey. After the tenderloin has smoked for 90 minutes, liberally brush the glaze on the tenderloins.
  • Set Glaze: Increase your grill temperature to high degrees by opening the vents, adjusting the burners or increasing the digital temp to 400F. Continue cooking for 20-25 minutes, until the pork tenderloin reaches an internal temperature of 145F degrees.
  • Rest: Remove from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Don't forget to remove the toothpicks.

Video

Notes

Instead of my pork rub, you can use any type of BBQ rub that tastes great on pork. 
Pork tenderloins are usually packaged with two tenderloins per pack, so you only need one package. 
Don’t use thick-cut bacon. It won’t get as crispy. 
Instead of making the glaze, you can use your favorite BBQ sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 29gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 437mgPotassium: 705mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 53IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 2mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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Hey BBQ Family

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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