Are you looking for the best way to make smoked pork loin? Smoked pork loin is a flavorful, juicy, and tender meat that is a perfect choice for weekend BBQs or family gatherings to serve.
There are several recipes on the web for smoked pork loin roast and how to smoke a pork loin properly, but we think we’ve got the best tips around for you! From marinating this flavorful meat to knowing how to get the right pork loin temp, we’ll show you how to make the best pork loin on the smoker every single time.
If you’re still confused about how to cook pork loin, we’ll answer all your questions so you can be confident serving this main meat to your guests. With the best ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and guidelines, you’ll be a pro in no time at making this wonderful meat. Read on for all the details!
Smoked pork loin on the Traeger:
Have you ever smoked pork tenderloin on a Traeger grill? A Traeger grill is a wood pellet grill. In this type of grill, wood pellets are moved from a side-mounted hopper into a central chamber by a mechanical auger, then lit on fire by a hot metal rod. It requires electricity because those mechanisms run on electricity.
The reason why Traeger grills are so popular for boneless pork loin recipes is that they offer precise, digital temperature control.
A Traeger smoked pork loin is a cleanly smoked piece of meat because it isn’t affected by charcoal or propane residue like with other grills.
Ingredients you’ll need:
As smoked pork loin recipes go, this one is simple but big on flavor. Remember to choose the freshest cut of meat possible.
- 5 pounds of Pork Loin roast– You want approximately 8 ounces of meat per person, so choose accordingly and adjust the recipe accordingly. 5 pounds of the roast should serve 10 people comfortably.
- 3 tablespoons of your favorite BBQ rub, or see below for a basic rub recipe to get started
Basic Rub Recipe:
- 2 teaspoons paprika – smoked paprika is delicious in this recipe
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste) – salt is minimal but rounds out the flavors of the spices nicely
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar– brown sugar adds a hint of sweetness and
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder – garlic blends well with the brown sugar for a savory flavor
- 1 teaspoon onion powder – onion powder works well with the garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper – pepper adds depth to the rub
Other rub additives that would work well:
- A dash of cayenne for heat
- An herb like sage or oregano
- Parsley for a light but fresh taste
Optional Injection (not necessary, but using an injection helps to flavor the meat throughout the inside)
- 1/2 cup Apple juice – lends a sweetness to the meat
- 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar- adds a tangy acidic flavor to balance out the sweetness
- 3 tablespoons of the rub seasoning – to incorporate the outside flavors into the inside meat
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – to add a savory tang.
How to Make a Smoked Pork Loin Step-by-Step
So what are the steps to smoking a pork loin?
The thing to remember about making pork loin is that while the steps may be easy, you need patience for the perfect result! It takes several hours to fully smoke a pork loin because you are cooking at such a low speed, but the result is well worth it!
Here are 6 Easy Steps to Perfect Smoked Pork Loin:
Preheat the Smoker.
Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F. Don’t skip this step, be patient and wait for the smoker to come up to temp!
Trim and score your pork.
Pat the roast down with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Trim all excess fat that is over 1/4 inch thick. Use a sharp knife to score the fat cap about 1/4 of an inch deep in a diagonal pattern. (This helps to get the fat cap to render down more quickly as it cooks and more seasoning into the meat.)
Season the Roast
Rub the pork all over with olive oil, then sprinkle it with your chosen rub recipe.
Smoke the Meat
Once the pork is seasoned and the smoker is up to temp, place it directly on the grates of your smoker.
Close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Use an internal thermometer to get an accurate temperature reading.
Remove the Pork Loin from the Heat
Once the internal temp reads 145 F, remove the meat from the smoker and place it on a surface to rest with a tent of foil over the top of it. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.
Slice and serve
After about 15 minutes, you may slice the pork loin and serve. Enjoy!
How long does it take to smoke a pork loin?
You may be wondering, “But how long should I smoke a pork loin for?” This is a tricky question because it will depend on the size and thickness of your meat. A more reliable way to tell when the roast is done is to check the smoked pork loin’s internal temp.
For a point of reference though, a 4-5 pound pork loin roast should take up to 3 hours to fully cook. For safety reasons, it is strongly recommended to use an internal thermometer to ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked at the center and is safe to consume.
What goes great with smoked pork loin?
So you’ve found your perfect smoked pork loin recipe and now you wonder what to serve with it on the side. The answer is whatever you want!
If you’re hosting a BBQ gathering, grilled asparagus or corn and fresh sauteed collard greens are delicious sides as well.
Don’t forget to serve some cold sides for a hot summer day like fresh cut watermelon or cool and crunchy coleslaw. The sky’s the limit on the sides you can serve with this meat!
The difference between pork loin & pork tenderloin
Pork tenderloin is always boneless and is a thin long cut of meat from the loin muscle of the pork. It’s typically the most tender part of the loin muscle, usually from alongside the spine of the pork, and is very lean.
A pork loin roast, however, can be boneless or have the bone left in per the preference of the consumer.
While it is also cut from the loin muscle of the pork, it is a thicker and wider cut of meat than pork tenderloin, usually taken from between the back fat and the ribs of the pork. It also has more fat along its top, called the fat cap.
The best flavors for seasoning pork loin
Pork loin is mildly flavored meat that accepts other flavors well. This means that whatever flavors you prefer will most likely work well with it! From savory rubs to spicy seasonings, flavoring pork is only limited by your imagination.
For rubs, you can use sweet/savory seasonings like brown sugar and garlic and herb, or you can use exotic spices like Chinese 5 spices for a more aromatic seasoning.
If you’re not a spice rub fan, a smoked pork loin marinade might be the way to go. Marinades can be spicy, sweet, or savory, so feel free to find one you like and try it!
Tips for the best-smoked pork loin:
- When choosing pork loin roast at the market, don’t just consider size, but appearance as well. A fresh, good-quality loin will be pinkish-red in color and have some fat marbling throughout.
- Be sure to truly preheat the smoker to the recipe temperature before placing the meat in the smoker. Not doing so could make the cooking time longer and result in the meat drying out.
- Always, always, always follow the instructions to allow the meat to rest before slicing and serving it. This allows for the meat juices to properly redistribute throughout the meat and makes for easier slicing.
Frequently Asked Question
How long does it take to smoke pork loin at 225?
As a general rule of thumb, it will take up to three hours to smoke a 4-5 pound pork loin at a continual 225 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is not advisable to rely solely upon a time frame in determining the doneness of the meat.
The only way to ensure that smoked meat is safe to consume is by checking its internal temperature at the center of the thickest parts of the meat. An internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit is considered done for pork loin roast.
It may seem tedious to have to check the internal temperature, but safety should always come first to avoid food-borne illnesses from undercooked meat.
How long should a pork loin be smoked?
When considering how long a pork loin should be smoked, you need to consider what temperature pork loin should be smoked to and prepare for that time frame accordingly.
When smoked at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, a 5lb. Pork loin will take at least 2.5 hours to come up to the proper internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit in its thickest parts of the cut.
When you are preparing to smoke a pork loin, make sure that you allow enough time (at least 4 hours) to prepare and cook it to perfection. Once the internal temp of the meat is at 145 degrees, then it can safely come off of the heat.
How do you keep a pork loin moist when smoking?
Some people swear by injecting the meat to maintain moistness, while others claim that giving the meat a little spritz of apple juice or apple cider vinegar every hour will suffice.
Another useful method is to smoke the meat fat cap side up. As the fat renders, it will naturally keep the meat from drying out. Scoring the fat cap ahead of time also helps the fat to render more evenly throughout the cooking process.
Still, others recommend doing a combination of the above methods to keep the meat from drying out. Keep in mind that using apple juice or vinegar can alter the taste of the meat if applied regularly.
How long do I smoke a 4 lb pork loin?
The recommended time to smoke a 4 lb pork loin is 2.5 hours- 3 hours. This works out to roughly half an hour per pound of meat. That said, it is strongly recommended to double-check the doneness of your meat by using an internal thermometer.
Regardless of the size of the pork loin, it needs to reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be considered safe for consumption. Using an internal meat thermometer is the only way to know for sure that the meat has reached this temperature. Please exercise all caution for safety reasons.
How do you smoke pork loin without drying it out?
The best way to ensure that your smoked pork loin does not dry out during the cooking process is to cook the meat fat cap side up. As the fat renders, it will naturally keep the meat from drying out.
You can also fill a spray bottle with apple juice or apple cider vinegar and spritz the meat every hour or so to keep the outside from drying out.
If you use a marinade instead of a dry rub to season your pork loin, you can apply additional marinade throughout the smoking process to keep the meat from drying out as well.
Do you wrap pork loin in foil when smoking?
It is not recommended to wrap the pork loin in foil when smoking it. The reason for this is that wrapping pork loin in foil during smoking is counterintuitive to the smoking process and prevents the smoke flavors from infusing the meat.
If you are concerned about the pork drying out in the smoker, you can brine the pork for a few hours before smoking or use an injection to give the pork more juices before placing it on the smoker grill.
- 4-5 pound Pork Loin roast
- 3 tbsp of your favorite BBQ rub, or see below for a basic rub recipe to get started
- 1/2 c Apple juice
- 1/4 c Apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsps of seasoning used on the outside of the meat
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Basic Meat Rub
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F. Don’t skip this step, be patient and wait for the smoker to come up to temp!
- Combine the run ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
3.If using the injection, combine ingredients and place in the injector, set aside.
- Pat the roast down with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Trim all excess fat that is over 1/4 inch thick. Use a sharp knife to score the fat cap about 1/4 of an inch deep in a diagonal pattern. (This helps to get the fat cap to render down more quickly as it cooks and more seasoning into the meat.)
- Inject the meat if using an injection solution.
- Rub the pork all over with olive oil, then sprinkle it with your chosen rub recipe. ( if you are using a marinade, allow for at least an additional three hours for the pork to be submerged in it the fridge before smoking)
- Once the pork is seasoned and the smoker is up to temp, place it directly on the grates of your smoker.
- Close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Use an internal thermometer to get an accurate temperature reading.
- Once the internal temp reads 145 F, remove the meat from the smoker and place it on a surface to rest with a tent of foil over the top of it. Let it rest for about 15 minutes.
- After about 15 minutes, you may slice the pork loin and serve it with your prepared sides. Enjoy!