Smoked Pork Loin
Its spring and that means it’s time to clean the smoker and get ready for a smoker season. My family and I love good barbeque and along with that goes smoked meats. Well sometimes we smoke other things too, but right now, meat is definitely the most popular thing on the menu. whether it be pork, beef, or chicken, we love them all. One of our favorites is Smoked Pork Loin, especially if you have a crowd to feed. Pork loin is a very lean meat, with the exception of the fat cap on top there really is no fat in the meat itself. Smoking low and slow allows the meat to retain moisture while adding a ton of flavor to an otherwise less flavorful protein. We set the smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and depending on the size of the loin it takes between two and three hours.
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When we do a smoked pork loin we always use my homemade pork rub. I usually always have a jar of it at the ready in my spice cupboard. Having made a big batch I keep the leftovers in a mason jar so that there’s less work (and let’s face it mess), on the day I actually want to smoke the pork loin. If you want the recipe for my sweet and smoky pork rub you can find it here.
For the perfect smoked meats we like to use the meat thermometer to ensure the correct internal temperature is reached rather than by time. The wireless digital thermometer we use and highly recommend is the Meater Plus, it makes smoking so much easier. We use the Bradley Smoker and love it so much. The pucks are easy to use and come in a multitude of flavors. Like I mentioned before when smoking pork we like to use applewood chips or pucks. You can find links to all of these below.
Smoked Pork Loin how to’s:
When your pork loin is ready to smoke just follow these simple steps:
- Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F. I like to use apple flavored wood chips when smoking pork but you can use whatever you have.
- Dry and trim the pork loin making sure that the fat cap is no more than 1/4″ thick.
- Using a sharp knife score through the fat cap in a diagonal pattern making sure to go far enough down so that the rub will work its way down to the meat as the fat renders in the smoker.
- Rub the pork loin generously with the rub (homemade or store bought). If you want to ensure the rub sticks very well you can lightly rub the pork loin with a good quality olive oil before liberally coating the loin on all sides.
- Let the seasoned loing sit for 30 minutes before putting it into the smoker. This allows the seasonings to set.
- Place the loin directly on the grates of your smoker, close the lid and smoke it until the internal temperature reached 145 degrees F. This can take 2-3 hours depending on the size of the pork loin.
- Once the loin has reached the target temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 15 minutes tented with aluminum foil.
- Slice (against the grain) and enjoy!
Pork Loin or Pork Tenderloin:
Pork loin and pork tenderloin are not the same, they don’t even come from the same part of the pig. Pork tenderloin is, as the name suggests, more tender than the pork loin. It also cooks quite a bit faster, being a much smaller cut of meat.
Pork Loin is cut from the upper side of the rib cage of the pig. It’s a large cut that can be cut down further to make pork chops.
Pork Tenderloin, is cut from the muscle along the spine of the pig. It is the most tender part of the pig and it also is the least “porky” in flavor. It’s long and thin, cooks relatively quick and is delicious if cooked properly.
Smoked Pork Loin
- 1 smoker
- apple flavored wood chips *recommended
- 5-6 lb pork loin
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ cup pork rub
- Preheat your smoker to 225℉
- Dry the pork loin and trim excess fat off the fat cap, leaving ¼" thickness
- In a diagonal pattern, score the fat cap down to the meat about ¼ of an inch
- Rub the loin with the olive oil
- Season liberally with the rub
- Let rest for 30 minutes, before putting on the smoker
- Place the seasoned loin directly on the grates of the smoker and insert your meat thermometer
- Close the lid and smoke until an internal temperature of 145℉ is reached
- Remove the roast from the smoker and tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes to redistribute the juices.
- Slice against the grain and serve with your favorite side dishes.