The moment I got my grill, my life has changed. There are so many things I could do with it! Smoking, barbecuing and grilling are among the best cooking methods to bring out the flavor in meat pieces. Among these three, I should say that smoking meat, especially pork loin, is my favorite because you could easily tweak the flavors in many beautiful ways. But how exactly do we smoke a pork loin?
The secret in how to smoke a pork loin actually lies in the cooking temperature and the cooking time. As compared to grilling and barbecuing, how long to smoke a pork loin takes a couple of hours at a lower temperature, especially if you want to get that smoky flavor reaching the inside of your meat.
This smoked pork loin recipe has helped me solve my problems when it comes to family gatherings. The beauty of smoked pork loin is that it is perfect for both formal and casual dining. A picnic in your backyard? You could never go wrong with sandwiches. Candle light dinner for two? No problem! A side of mashed potatoes and gravy always works. Hopefully, this recipe will help you too.
Smoked Pork Loin Recipe
- 1 pork loin with the fat intact
- Vegetable oil (optional)
- Pork Rub
- Barbeque sauce
The rub that could be used depends on how you want your pork loin to taste. You may use a simple rub of salt, pepper and herbs such as rosemary or oregano . If that doesn’t work for you, there are available ready-made rubs in the supermarket with stronger and more distinct flavors. Just check the labels and choose the type of flavor you want for your pork loin.
- Grill or smoker
- Wood of your choice (soaked for an hour before heating)
Since I don’t have a smoker at home, I use my grill, and it works just the same for my pork loin. If you do have a smoker, then this would be easier for you.
The key is choosing the type of wood, which could be critical for the flavor and aroma of your finished pork loin. I personally choose fruity pieces of wood such as apple, peach and cherry wood because of the hint of sweetness it imparts which always goes well with pork.
Experienced barbecue chefs also use hickory, pecan, mesquite or oak wood to produce a delicious smoky and woody combination that is equally appealing to the taste buds.
Step 1.Season the pork loin.
Rinse the pork loin with cold water and amply dry with a paper towel. Make sure to leave the fat on because it makes the pork more juicy as it leaves the moisture on. Without the pork fat, the meat will dry up during the cooking process and the smoky flavor would not be able to penetrate the meat well. You could also choose to rub a little vegetable oil all over the pork loin t mimic this effect, but this is not necessary when you have a huge cap of fat intact.
Put a generous amount of your chosen pork rub all over the exterior of your pork loin. This will later on create a delicious crust after it cooks. Let it stand for 30 minutes.
Step 2. Preheat the grill or the smoker
While you let your pork loin stand, set up your grill for indirect grilling, meaning the food won’t come in contact with the fire. Light up the charcoal. Once it turns red, toss in the wood that has been soaked for an hour in water. If you are using a smoker, put the wood and set the temperature. Maintain the temperature of the grill or smoker at 250 to 275°F for 15 minutes
Step 3. Smoke it up.
Put the pork loin on the grill or smoker and cook for 2 hours. By 1 hour and 30 minutes, the pork should have a nice brown color already. Brush a thin layer of barbeque sauce to seal in the juice and to add more flavor to the pork loin. Once the sauce is evenly applied to the surface, continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
Step 4. Check temperature
After 2 hours on the grill, it is important that you read the internal temperature of the meat to make sure the pork is safe for consumption. Insert the thermometer at the center of the pork. Once it reads a minimum of 145°F, you could now take out the pork from the grill.
Remember: Do not smoke meat longer than the required smoking time because your meat will taste bitter when it absorbs more wood smoke than it needs.
Step 5. Let the pork rest.
Once the pork loin is out of the grill or smoker, let it rest for 30 minutes to allow the even distribution of juices. Even when it is taken away from the heat, the cooking continues inside. The internal temperature of the meat rises 5 to 10 degrees as it rests, so you wouldn’t have to worry about the meat being cold. You may choose to wrap the pork loin in aluminum foil to keep the juices in.
Step 6. Slice, serve and enjoy.
Take the pork loin out of the aluminium foil and slice it as you desire. Smoked pork loin is best eaten when sliced thinly. You may add grilled vegetables on the side, or you may serve them in sandwiches accompanied by mayonnaise, mustard, barbeque sauce and other dressings, depending on how you want to present your smoked pork loin.
And now you are ready to enjoy the best smoked pork loin in town! This would never go wrong if served for your family and friends. Think of this recipe the next time you plan your next gathering and have your smoked pork loin any way you want it. So if you haven’t gotten your own grill or smoker yet, then it’s time you get your own. Trust me, you will not regret it.
How did you find this recipe? Do you have other ways to make smoked pork loin or other suggestions to make it more awesome? Let us know in the comments section and please share this with your friends. Bon appetite!