Pork Tenderloin Question

Discussion in 'Pork' started by thegoodsmoke, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. thegoodsmoke

    thegoodsmoke Fire Starter

    I smoked a pork tenderloin in my MES30 today.  I checked it at 145 to take it out, and it had pink juices running out.  I left it in until 166, still tender, still juicy, but it was pink and the juice was pink as I was cutting it.  Is this normal?  Do you guys get that too?
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Pink is fine nowadays with commercial pork in North America, that's why 145 is considered done even though it is still a little pink. Trichinosis is killed at 137F.  From commercial sources Trichinosis is essentially eliminated, so consider the source.  If commercial, 145 to 160F is fine.  If home grown, definitely 160F.  Overseas, I don't eat pork, period. It is still commonly found in both developed and underdeveloped countries.

    Here's a little excerpt from Wikipedia: Between 2002 and 2007, 11 cases were reported to CDC each year on average in the United States;[2] these were mostly the result of eating undercooked game, bear meat, or home-reared pigs.
    demosthenes9 likes this.
  3. bigwheel

    bigwheel Smoking Fanatic

    Dont sound normal to me.  Most of the loins we get around here turn to knotty pine anywhere above 160. I pull at 150 personally but different strokes.  A Tenderloin should come off quicker than that. What was yall smoking?
  4. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    At 145 deg IT a pork tenderloin will be slightly pink with slightly pink juices.  However, at 166 deg IT it will be completely white/gray through the center, and if there are any juices, those will be clear.  Smoking does cause a pinkish tinge to the meat, but I would have expected the very center to still be white/gray.  I would recommend checking your thermometer for accuracy using an ice water bath and a boiling water bath.  

    Per USDA, an intact pork tenderloin is safely cooked when cooked to an IT of 145 deg F and allowed to rest for 3 minutes before slicing.  Here is the USDA fact sheet for your reference:


    As Noboundaries above said, this fact sheet doesn't apply for wild pork or pork from a non-USDA inspected source.

    Hope this helps,

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  5. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry, I also should have said this….brining, injecting, and smoking can all affect the color of the cooked meat and the juices.  So going by the color of the meat and juices is an unreliable way to check internal temperature.  Make sure your thermometer is accurate and that you are checking in the thickest part of the meat, and then use IT as what you go by.

    Good luck!

  6. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Are you sure what you measured the temps with was accurate?  Really 140º IT is even fine if you then wrap it in foil for a 1/2 hour before you eat. Personally Tenderloins don't really need smoking. Roll them around on a hot grill will do them just fine. Now a Loin, that I would smoke.
  7. thegoodsmoke

    thegoodsmoke Fire Starter

    I check my mav before every smoke.
  8. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If your therm is correct, 145 is fine and I would have pulled and foiled at 140.

    If you injected, it is no longer consider intact muscle meat and must go to 160.

    Good luck and good smoking.

Share This Page