What makes the perfect picnic food? It has to be portable. It has to be delicious, of course. And if you can make it ahead, that scores bonus points.
Everyone loves sliders and they qualify on all three fronts. You can make these sliders the day before your outdoor adventure. All you need are a few simple ingredients: pork tenderloins, cream cheese, pepper jelly, garlic and slider buns.
Butterfly the pork tenderloins by slicing down the middle, lengthwise, but do not slice all the way through. Then place a sheet of plastic wrap over the tenderloins and go to town with a meat mallet to make huge paillards. Season both sides with salt and black pepper and then prepare the stuffing.
Combine the cream cheese, pepper jelly and garlic in a bowl. About 60 seconds in the microwave helps to soften up the cheese and loosens up the gelatin in the jelly. Then mix the cheese, jelly and garlic together. Spoon half the cheese mixture over the flattened pork tenderloin. Once both are covered with the cheese mixture, roll them up and then tie them up with bakers twine.
Now prepare the grill to smoke these beauties. In this case, I prepared my Char-Broil TRU Infrared by turning all the burners up to high and removing the grill grate over the burner on the left side. Wait. Did I just say I prepared my gas grill to smoke meat? All you need is one of these:
That’s an aluminum tin filled with cherry chips. I toss that on the side where I removed the grill grate and wait for it to smoke.
Once that tin of cherry chips starts to smoke, my gas grill is a smoker. I place the stuffed pork tenderloins on the upper rack of the grill with the seam facing up to limit the amount of cheese mixture escaping as the meat heats up.
At this point, the internal temperature of the grill is about 600°F with all three burners on high. I left it there for about 20 minutes and then turned off the right burner and turned the one in the middle down to about 1/3 power. This dropped the internal temperature of the grill to about 400°F and still produced smoke from the tin of chips. Here’s what the stuffed, smoked pork tenderloins looked like at that point.
I decided to rotate the pork tenderloins and slide them closer to the side with no heat at the 40-minute mark. I lost some cheese mixture in the process, but it wasn’t bad. At the 60-minute mark, the stuffed, pork tenderloins are ready to come off the grill.
If you’re doing these the day before your picnic, put them in big, resealable bags and into the fridge to halt the cooking process. If you’re eating them right away, place them on a cutting board and allow them to rest 20 minutes, lightly covered with aluminum foil.
Resting takes care of two things.
- The juices inside the meat are in an excited state from the heat and will run all over the cutting board if not allowed to rest. Resting allows the juices to settle down and redistribute throughout the meat.
- The cheese is practically liquid at this point. Allowing it to rest will let the cheese solidify a bit.
Slice the tenderloins and place the slices on sweet Hawaiian slider buns.
If you want to warm them up the next day at the picnic, grab your Char-Broil® Grill2Go X200 and take it along.
- 2 pork tenderloins
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 4 tablespoons pepper jelly
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
- Butterfly the pork tenderloins lengthwise, cover with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet to make large paillards.
- Salt and pepper both sides of the meat.
- Combine the cream cheese, pepper jelly and garlic in a bowl, microwave for 60 seconds and then mix well to combine.
- Spread the cheese mixture over the pork tenderloins and roll up.
- Using bakers twine, tie the rolled-up pork tenderloins.
- Prepare the gas grill by removing the grate over the left burner and turning all burners to high.
- Place tin of wood chips on the side with no grill grate.
- When the tin begins to smoke, place the stuffed pork tenderloins on the upper rack of the grill and close the lid.
- At 20 minutes, turn off the right burner and turn the middle burner down to low to drop the temperature in the chamber, but keep the smoke coming from the tin.
- At 60 minutes, remove from the grill.
- Either refrigerate in large plastic bags if using the next day or allow to rest 20 minutes under a loose tent of aluminum foil.
- Slice the tenderloin and place slices on sweet Hawaiian buns and serve.