Smoked Pork Tenderloin al Pastor-Style Recipe

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Smoked Pork Tenderloin al Pastor-Style

Serves 4

This dish mimics the flavors of tacos al pastor, a Mexican street food favorite. Rather than the laborious process of roasting pork shoulder on a rotating spit, barbecue-marinated pork tenderloin is smoked with wood chips on your grill.


  • 4 dried guajillo chiles
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, silverskin removed (see Cook's Tip)
  • 1 cup wood chips, soaked


  1. Cut guajillo chiles open and remove stems, seeds, and veins. Soak in hot water until soft.
  2. Place rehydrated chiles, onion, pineapple juice, garlic, and spices in a blender and process until smooth. Place mixture in a dish or sealable bag with pork tenderloin. Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes and up to overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove pork from marinade and bring to room temperature before grilling. Place wood chips in the center of a sheet of aluminum foil. Fold up edges to create a rim and keep wood chips from falling out. Place directly over low heat on one side of grill. Oil and preheat other side to medium heat.
  4. Cook tenderloin in covered grill 15 minutes, rotating every 3 minutes or so. Work quickly so as not to let smoke escape. Pork is done when internal temperature reaches 140°F. Allow to rest on cutting board 10 minutes before slicing.
  5. Cook's Tip:
  6. The silverskin is a tough connective tissue that does not melt. To remove, carefully slide tip of knife under one end of silverskin. Lift knife up gently and slide blade under length of tissue.

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