How to Smoke A Pork Loin in Six Easy Steps
Don’t you just love pork loin? Many people say it’s the best part of the pig. However, it’s also very easy to overcook, which may result in a dry and flaky meat texture. If you’ve ever experienced eating something like this, the chances are that the griller did not know how long to smoke a pork loin or he forgot to let the meat rest before cutting it up.
You need a lot of patience to pull off a smoky and juicy pork loin that you can show off to your family and friends. It took me several tries before I was able to perfect this. Now I’m going to show you exactly how to smoke a pork loin in six easy steps.
Things You Need
- 1 4–6 pounds pork loin
Mix the following:
- 1 part salt
- ½ part garlic powder
- ¼ part ground black pepper
You can create your own barbecue rub by mixing your favorite spices. My favorite is a mixture of:
- 1 part onion powder
- 1 part paprika
- ¼ part ground cinnamon,
- ¼ part grated nutmeg
You can also add brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, and other spices, depending on your taste.
- 1 large bag of natural lump charcoal
- 1 medium bag of apple, cherry, hickory, or oak wood chips, soaked in a bowl of water for 30 minutes
- 1 charcoal grill
- 1 chimney starter or 1 long grill lighter
- 1 oven thermometer
- 1 meat thermometer
- 1 metal baking sheet filled with water
Step 1: Prepare The Pork Loin
Some people trim the fat off the pork loin, but I like to keep a thin of the layer of fat intact and grill the meat fat-side down. The fat serves as an additional protective layer on the meat, and helps keep my pork loin juicer.
Mix the ingredients of your all-purpose rub in a small bowl, and do the same for the ingredients of the barbeque rub in another bowl. Apply the all-purpose rub on the meat as a first coating. Then apply a liberal amount of barbeque rub as the second coating.
Let the meat sit out for a few more minutes while you prepare your grill.
Step 2: Prepare your grill
I recommend the indirect cooking method when smoking your pork loin, so you don’t burn it and end up with a charred lump of meat.
Remove your grill’s grate and open its bottom damper. Place the natural lump charcoal on one side of the grill and the metal baking sheet with water on another. If you have a chimney starter, you can use this to light your coals before placing them in the grill. If you don’t, you can light the coals directly using a grill lighter. Replace your grill’s grate and close the lid.
Add the soaked wood chips once your grill reaches 250oF or 121oC. You can use an oven thermometer if your grill doesn’t have a built-in temperature gauge. Let the wood chips smolder for about 10 minutes and then check the temperature again.
Step 3: Place your meat on the grill
Once you have finished preparing your grill, you can now start cooking your meat. Place it on the grill, on the side of the metal baking sheet, and then close the lid.
Smoking the meat usually takes two to three hours, so you have to be very patient. It might be tempting to open the lid every five minutes to check your progress, but you should avoid this as much as possible. Opening the lid will only let the smoke and moisture out of your grill, and affect the texture and juiciness of your pork loin.
Step 4: Monitor your meat’s temperature
After one hour, check the temperature of your grill and add more wood chips, as needed. Wait another hour before checking your meat’s internal temperature.
To do this, stick your meat thermometer in the thickest portion of your pork loin. When it reaches 145oF (63oC), you can pull the meat off the grill. If not, replace the lid and check again after 30 minutes.
Step 5: Remove your meat from the grill and let it rest
Place your pork loin on a plate or flat container and let it rest for thirty minutes. This not only cools down the meat, but also lets the juices settle and prevents the meat from becoming dry.
Step 6: Serve
Use a carving knife or any sharp knife to slice the pork loin as thick or as thin as you wish. I like my meat about 1 inch thick, but you can slice it thinner if you want to use it for sandwiches.
Apply your favorite glaze on one side of the meat and arrange the slices on a plate. Serve
I cannot overemphasize the importance of being patient when smoking a pork loin, or any kind of meat, for that matter. But don’t fret. Good things come to those who wait. In this case, your reward will come in the form of the juiciest, tastiest pork loin you have ever made.
Is this article helpful? Do you have other tips on how to smoke the best pork loin? Write them down in the comments’ section. I’d love to hear from you! Also, please take the time to share this article with your friends. Who knows? They might find it helpful, too.