This weekend I decided to smoke a boneless pork loin roast–a cut of meat I’ve never prepared in the smoker. Usually pork loins are sliced into chops which can be grilled, baked or fried, or they can be left as roasts and prepared in an oven, crockpot or on the grill.
Pork loins are lower in fat than cuts from the shoulder, but they can still be prepared to perfection in a smoker. Here’s how!
The night before you plan on smoking your pork loin, you will want to inject the roast with a marinade. This serves two purposes. It adds flavor and helps to keep the meat moist when smoking. Then slather the pork loin with a nice thick paste and rub it all over to help seal in all that marinade. I use a combination of barbecue sauce and mustard. Finally, pat the whole roast with a dry rub mixed with lots of brown sugar to form a nice gooey crust all over. Wrap the roast tightly in plastic and refrigerate it overnight.
On smoking day, you’re going to have to do some backwards math. Remember, smoking is a low and slow method of cooking, so it takes a bit more planning regarding time. You’re going to need between 3-1/2 and 4 hours total time, so make sure to get started early enough.
About an hour before you want to begin smoking, put your wood chips in a bowl and cover them with water to give them plenty of soaking time. There are a number of different types of wood available, and the type of wood you use is up to you. Some people like to use mesquite with pork. My favorite is a mixture of hickory and cherry woods.
Then 30 minutes before smoking time, fire up your smoker and preheat it to 200 degrees, and pull the pork loin out of the fridge. Wrap one of the smoker racks with aluminum foil. This will help with cleanup later.
Now you’re ready to unveil the pork loin. After a night in the fridge wrapped up with all those wonderful flavors, your loin is going to look fantastic. Try to remember that it hasn’t been cooked. Sure it looks, good but it’s not tasty yet!
Next you’re going wrap the pork loin with bacon. This will help to keep the roast moist and add another layer of flavor. And finally, insert a temperature probe into the loin from one end. The worst thing that you can do to a pork loin is to overcook it, so you want to make sure you have a way to monitor the temperature without repeatedly opening up the smoker to check. You don’t want to lose all that great smoke!
Fill the wood chip holder with your soaked chips. Add a mixture of apple juice and water to the water bowl and then slide the roast on the rack into the smoker and shut the door. A three-pound roast should take about 2-1/2 hours. Baste the roast with apple juice 2-3 time during the smoking process. Basting time is perfect to check on that temperature too. Remember, you don’t want to overcook the roast.
When the internal temperature of the roast reaches 145 degrees you want to pull it out of the smoker. If the bacon is not as brown as you’d like it to be, whip out your handy dandy kitchen blow torch to pretty it up a bit. Then wrap the roast in foil and allow it to rest for 30-60 minutes before slicing.
This roast is delicious, beautiful, and certainly suitable to serve to company! You can find the full recipe at Steffani’s Kitchen.