Smoked Pork Tenderloin al Pastor-Style Recipe

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 a 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 onion
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, silverskin removed (See Cook’s Tip)
  • 1 cup grilling/smoking wood chips


  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 for 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 the edges to create a rim and keep the wood chips from falling out. Place over low heat on one side of grill. Oil and preheat the other side to medium heat.
  4. Grill tenderloin in covered grill for about 15 minutes, rotating every 3 minutes or so. Work quickly so as not to let the smoke escape. The pork is done when internal temperature reaches 140°F. Allow to rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.
  5. Cook’s Tip:
  6. The silverskin is a tough connective tissue that does not melt. To remove, carefully slide the tip of a knife under one end of the silverskin. Lift the knife up gently and slide the blade under the length of the tissue.


Amount Per Serving (based on 4 servings)
Calories: 200
Total Fat: 3.5 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 60 mg
Sodium: 340 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Fiber: 2 g
Total Sugar: 6 g
Added Sugars: 0 g
Protein: 24 g
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