Pork loin is without any doubt one of the America’s most loved weeknight meats. It is incredibly tasty and one of the best when it comes to smoking or grilling.
We love Pork Loin especially hinting the taste and smell of apple when it is smoked using apple wood chips.
Smoking a pork loin is a great way to cook this lean cut of meat while infusing it with rich smoky flavor.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to smoke a pork loin:
- 1 4-5 pound pork loin
- Dry rub seasoning
- BBQ sauce (optional)
- Smoker (electric, charcoal, or gas)
- Wood chips (apple, hickory, or mesquite)
- Remove the pork loin from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
- While the smoker is heating up, season the pork loin with dry rub seasoning, covering all sides generously. You can use a pre-made seasoning blend or make your own using salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and any other desired spices.
- Once the smoker has reached 225°F, add your preferred wood chips to the smoker box or directly onto the coals.
- Place the pork loin in the smoker and close the lid. Smoke the pork loin for 2-3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145°F.
- Once the pork loin has reached 145°F, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Slice the pork loin and serve hot. You can also brush it with BBQ sauce if desired.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the pork loin.
- For added flavor, you can inject the pork loin with a marinade or brine before seasoning it.
- Letting the pork loin rest after cooking allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and tender meat.
- Experiment with different wood chips to achieve different flavors.
The pork loin is basically a very budget friendly, lean cut taken out from the pig between the shoulder and rear leg.
It should not be confused with tenderloin which is usually below 2 lbs when cooked or smoked. Pork loin is usually around 2-5 lbs even when it has been fully smoked or cooked.
When you go out to a butcher, make sure you acquire the piece which is pink and slightly marbled. It should also have a thick fat cap.
Also you can get the pork loin with the bone intact or boneless; it is entirely up to your personal preference.
The bone doesn’t have to do anything with the taste; it is only there if you want to present the meat in a serving dish with a different way.
Before smoking the perfect pork loin, you need to decide on the wood chips you’ll use. We highly recommend using Apple wood chips because they are a great compliment to the base flavor of the pork loin.
You can also mix the apple wood chips with hickory to get a completely new and different flavor. But this is according to your personal preference.
In order to make sure the pork loin gives out an immense flavor, you need to make sure there is a thick application of pepper, salt and herbs on the exterior of the pork.
This will make sure that you will get the best smoke taste possible. Also the fact that there is a thick layer of seasoning on top will make sure the pork will absorb more smoke from the wood.
When getting a pork loin to smoke, you need to understand that it is very important for the meat to have plenty of fat on it.
Fat on meat allows it to stay tender and flavorful when smoked for long periods of time. Since pork loin requires more than average time to smoke, you will need to make sure there is plenty of fatty intramuscular marbling present on the piece of meat you get.
If you are not careful about the meat you pick from the butcher, you could end up overcooking it very easily. The key is to use the right electric smoker to set the temperature around 275 degrees and make sure you have an external thermometer to check the internal temperature which should be around 14-145 maximum in the very thickness of the meat.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Pork Tenderloin?
The length of time it takes to smoke a pork tenderloin can vary based on a few factors, such as the size of the tenderloin, the temperature of the smoker, and the desired level of doneness. As a general guideline, you can expect a 1-2 pound pork tenderloin to take around 1.5 to 2.5 hours to smoke at a temperature of 225°F (107°C).
However, the most important thing is to cook the pork tenderloin to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) using a meat thermometer, which ensures that the meat is fully cooked and safe to eat. It’s always best to rely on the internal temperature of the pork tenderloin rather than cooking time as a way to determine doneness.
Should you Let your Smoked Pork Loin Rest?
Yes, it’s important to let your smoked pork tenderloin rest for a few minutes after removing it from the smoker. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.
When you take the pork tenderloin out of the smoker, cover it loosely with foil and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. This gives the meat time to cool down slightly and allows the juices to settle back into the fibers of the meat. If you cut into the pork tenderloin immediately after taking it off the smoker, the juices will flow out and you’ll be left with a drier, less flavorful piece of meat.
So, to summarize, always allow your smoked pork tenderloin to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This will ensure that you get the juiciest, most flavorful meat possible.
After you are done smoking, you should let the meat rest in for at least 10 minutes before you serve it to your family or guests.