Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Last night I slow smoked a half pork loin on the Weber Kettle. I find that it works out for a small family meal to do them in halves, since a whole pork loin is a lot of meat.
How To Smoke Pork Loin Offset on a Charcoal Kettle Grill
You can, of course, use a smoker for a pork loin, but you can also go with an offset on a kettle grill like I did last night.
I got the coals going in a chimney starter and then put them over to one side of the grill. Then, the pork loin went over to the cool side without coals. That keeps it from cooking too fast on the outside and not being done in the middle.
In this case, I had both top and bottom vents open full. If the outside starts to look like it is grilling too fast (getting dark) just close the vents back a bit.
With many foods, I can eyeball and tell the done-ness, but pork loin can be a little hard to tell, so I use a pocket Taylor thermometer. I pull mine at about 160 degrees which is pretty well done - maybe a tad of pink in the center. My boys prefer pork well done, so I cook that more done than I would do beef.
My grilling time on this small loin (around 2.5 lbs) was 1 hour 45 minutes. It was warm outside but did rain a bit. So, times can vary a bit.
Saucing a Pork Loin
Pork is fine with a rub or marinade before grilling or with sauce the last 15 to 20 minutes (or a combo). When it gets about 140 degrees or so, I put on the sauce. If it's a tomato based sauce and goes on early, then it burns. If you put it on right when you hit temperature, then it's kind of runny. So, watch and try to get the barbecue sauce on the loin with time for it to set nice.
I did shift the loin back over the coals and they were burning pretty low by the time I got to the bbq saucing stage.
Big Acres Rich & Mild BBQ
We used Melanie's Big Acres Rich & Mild on our pork loin. She has a collection of absolutely fabulous barbecue sauces. Rich & Mild is my younger son's favorite, because he can't take a lot of heat. But, he still likes robust flavor. Melanie's gourmet sauces have a lot more punch than off-the-shelf barbecue sauces.