Pork loin can be used in so many recipes and this time we are making applewood smoked pork loin.
This applewood smoked pork loin recipe is something that I have made a lot of times for meals or gatherings.
The main challenge I have faced when cooking lean meat is cutting the meat when it is tender.
It is easy to do in the oven, but you cannot simply grill or smoke it to tenderize.
You need to know how to properly make the grill or smoker have the best environment for cooking the meat and make sure it becomes tender once you have allowed it to rest for a bit.
One of the leanest cuts of meat is pork loin so it is also a challenge making it tender.
There are many different solutions for this, but you can smoke it properly to tenderize the lean meat.
The flavors will come naturally when you smoke meat, but you can also help improve the said flavors as I do here using Applewood.
Using the right type of wood for it will help a lot as the smoke gives the meat flavor, this applewood smoked pork loin recipe does just that.
Applewood is something that I have been using for so many cuts of meat.
The smoke it emits is thin and light so it makes sure that it does not overpower the flavors of the meat and the seasonings.
Applewood Smoked Pork Loin Recipe
1 pork loin roast (2 to 2 and a half pounds)
4 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of dried oregano
Half teaspoon of salt
Half teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper
For The Grill
3 cups of applewood chips or 6 to 8 pieces of applewood chunks
Step 1: Prepare The Wood Chips
At least an hour before the actual cooking, place the wood chips in a bucket and then pour water over them.
Make sure that the applewood chips soak to the top.
You can add apple cider into the mix to enhance the flavor of the wood chips.
Either way, the purpose of this is for the applewood chips to enhance the smoky and slightly sweet flavor.
Step 2: Trim And The Pork Loin Roast
Pork loin, while it is lean, still has some fats on it.
While the applewood chips are soaking, get a flexible knife and remove the fat cap from the pork loin roast before you prepare your seasoning.
I recommend that you leave at least 1/4 of an inch thick fat on the pork loin.
Either leave some patches or thin fat caps on the meat as the fats will help tenderize the pork loin.
Place the pork loin roast in a shallow dish and then mix the garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Sprinkle the seasoning over the pork loin roast and then rub them in with your hands.
Step 3: Smoke The Pork Loin Roast
Drain the water from the applewood chips and then prepare your smoker.
You can also do this on the grill and it is easier to handle if you are using a grill to smoke the pork loin.
If you are going to use a grill, set up two-zone cooking.
This is where you will divide the firebox into two and only place the charcoals or fuel on one side of the grill.
Place the charcoals in the firebox and light them up.
Put half of the soaked applewood chips on top of the lit charcoals and then set the temperature to medium heat or 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a drip pan under the grill grate and then put the pork loin roast directly on the grill grates. Make sure that the pork loin roast is on the colder side of the grill grates and close the grill lid.
Step 4: Measure The Temperatures
Make sure that you have a good meat probe with you.
Insert it in the thickest part of the pork loin and make sure that you do not open the grill lid too often while the pork loin cooks.
Read the meat probe and once it reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the pork loin from the grill.
Smoked pork loin will usually take around 3 hours, so make sure that you have enough fuel for it.
Step 5: Allow It To Rest
Place the pork loin roast on the countertop and lightly cover it with aluminum foil.
Allow the pork loin to rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow it to cook further.
By the time it has rested enough, the internal temperature of the pork loin should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can then slice it and serve it with your favorite sauce or side dish.
How Long Should You Smoke Pork Loin?
At 250 degrees Fahrenheit, you should be able to finish smoking pork loin in just 2 and a half hours to 3 hours.
This is to make sure that the middle part of the pork loin cooks through.
A rule of thumb is to cook the pork loin for half an hour for every pound of meat.
So for a 2 and a half pound pork loin, you should cook it for at least 2 and a half hours.
In this applewood smoked pork loin recipe, that’s how long I smoked the pork loin inside the smoker.
Should I Wrap My Pork Loin When Smoking?
I recommend not wrapping the pork loin with anything when smoking.
The main idea of smoking is to allow the slight hints of flavors from the smoke to enter the meat and cook it.
When you wrap it in foil, you are blocking the smoke flavors from getting in the meat.
The foil protects the pork loin from burning, so we set up the grill for two-zone cooking.
When you do this, there will be no flare-ups and the pork loin does not sit directly over the source of heat so it does not burn that quickly. So there is no need for covering it with foil.
However, I recommend that you cover it lightly with foil when allowing it to rest after smoking.
This is to keep the heat inside the meat and cook it further until it reaches the set internal temperature.
Do try this applewood smoked pork loin recipe and let me know what you think in the comments below!
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