Thursday, June 09, 2011
It was another grilled pork loin at my house. Some people are a bit nervous about grilling a whole pork loin, but it's actually pretty easy.
Squealer's mailed me some of their southern style barbecue sauce, and I'd hit a pork loin sale which is always a good thing. I'd not heard of Squealer's. They are a barbecue restaurant out of Indianapolis and appear to be growing, since they now offer franchise opportunities. They have also started selling their sauces including an online option.
With a thicker barbecue sauce like this one which would be in the Texas range as far as thickness and with a tomato base, you need to grill the meat close to done and then sauce. If you start out with sauce on the meat, then it's going to burn before your grilled meat is done.
I offset charcoal in a Weber 22.5 inch Kettle grill. You can use gas as well. To offset on a gas grill, just turn one side on and leave the other off. Offsetting allows you to grill low and slow. You can also get a dedicated smoker to do the same, but if you don't have a smoker, you can do most meats including a pork loin right on your home grill.
The pork loin grilled along on the side of the grill without coals for a half hour or so. I checked it with a pocket Taylor thermometer now and then. The target temperture is 145 degrees F, and it's hard to tell if you don't use a thermometer. For more well done pork, you can run up to 155 degrees. My boys like it more on the done side with very little pink, so when I hit 145, I went ahead and sauced the meat and let the sauce carmelize for a little while longer to get the pork on up to a more done stage.
Once the Squealer's Sauce was set, I pulled the pork loin off. It definately looked pretty. The sauce is a rich and pretty color, and it set up well on the meat.
You can wrap a pork loin in aluminum foil after it comes off the grill and let it rest. If so, then you probably want to shoot a bit under the temperature, since the meat will continue to cook more while wrapped.
We were pretty darn hungry, and the sides were ready, so I sliced and served the meat right off the Weber.
The Squealer's BBQ Sauce we used was the Sweet and Smokey. It definately had a rich and sweet taste. It has high fructose corn syrup, honey, and molassas, so you would expect it to be pretty sweet. There are other seasonings as well but the sweet notes are the strongest. All in all, it has a popular flavor that appeals to general crowds. I could serve Squealer's to friends and neighbors, and they would like this barbecue sauce.
In this category of thick and rich sauces, Squealer's is solid. It has a fuller taste than the sweet sauces you may usually get at the grocery store. This one would be good on ribs which is one of the key dishes at the restaurant. Ribs, of course, take longer to smoke and would be more heavily sauced than my pork loin.