Today’s post is a recipe for Traeger Smoked Turkey Tenderloins. The tenderloin is part of the turkey breast and is very lean. Tenderloins are typically sold with two per package and are usually enhanced with a salt/broth solution to help prevent them from drying out when cooked.
Here is how you can smoke them on your Traeger!
Get the Turkey Tenderloins Ready for the Smoker
The first thing you need to do to get the tenderloins ready is to read the label of the package they come in.
This package, from Jennie-O, indicates that the turkey has been enhanced with a 30% solution of water, vinegar, salt and sugar. Because the turkey has already been enhanced there is no need to brine the meat before smoking.
If the tenderloins you are working with have not been enhanced then you will need to brine them for at least four hours in the refrigerator. Use a simple brine like, 2 quarts water, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup sugar.
Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towels and season on both sides with a sweet dry rub. We used Three Little Pigs Touch of Cherry for the turkey rub. If you would like to make your own rub then here is a nice recipe to try:
Turkey Tenderloin Dry Rub Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
The rub does not need any salt since the turkey has already been enhanced/brined.
Let the rub work into the turkey for 15-20 minutes before it goes on the Traeger.
Fire Up Your Traeger
We were smoking on the Traeger Trailhead that was hooked up to our Jackery 300 power supply and sitting on the Yukon Glory Portable Grill Table.
We filled the hopper of the Trailhead with hickory pellets, added a foil liner to the grease deflector, closed the lid and set the temperature to 225F. It was a mild, beautiful day and it took the Traeger about 15 minutes to get to temperature.
Smoke the Turkey Tenderloins
After your Traeger has preheated and the temperature has stabilized around 225F get the turkey tenderloins on the smoker and close the lid.
We will not flip the tenderloins at all during the cook.
Let the tenderloins smoke uninterrupted for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
After the turkey has smoked for 90 minutes open the lid and baste the tenderloins with a glaze. We think smoked turkey wonderful with a Sweet Heat flavor profile so we painted the surface of the meat with a Pineapple Habanero glaze from Costco.
Other glazes that work amazing are:
- Jalapeno Pepper Jelly that has been melted in the microwave.
- Melted Peach Preserves if you don’t want any heat.
Once the tenderloins have been glazed close the lid and let them finish smoking for another 30 minutes.
The target internal temperature of the tenderloins is either 165F for three seconds OR 155F for three minutes. We pull the tenderloins at 155F to make sure they don’t get dry or toughen up.
Slice and Serve the Traeger Smoked Turkey Tenderloin
When the Smoked Turkey Tenderloins are done remove them from the Traeger and let them cool for five minutes before slicing. A typical tenderloin will weigh about 0.75 pounds and is plenty to serve two people.
We like to serve the tenderloin with fluffy white rice and a side of veggies for a healthy, filling and delicious meal!
This is a fast Traeger recipe that will have a delicious meal on your table in under three hours!
Traeger Smoked Turkey Tenderloin
- Traeger Pellet Grill
- 1.5 lbs Turkey Tenderloins
- 3 tbsp Sweet BBQ Rub
- 2 tbsp Pineapple Habanero Glaze
- Pat the turkey tenderloins dry with paper towels.
- Season the tenderloins on all sides with the sweet bbq rub.
- Set your Traeger to 225F.
- Smoke the tenderloins for 90 minutes.
- Baste the tenderloins with a "Sweet Heat" glaze like pineapple habanero sauce.
- Smoke the tenderloins for 30 more minutes until an internal temperature of 155F is reached.
- Remove the smoked turkey tenderloins from the Traeger, let cool for 5 minutes and serve.