People prefer their pork loin cooked in a certain way. Some want to eat pulled pork loin that feels firmer and chewy. Others prefer to cook tender and flavorful pork loin that they can slice. If you want to follow the recommended minimum internal temperature for pork, target 145°F (63°C).
However, if you aim to prepare the most delicious pork loin, the best smoker temperature should be 225°F (107°C). The best way to tell when you have reached the target temperature is to use a smoker thermometer. No matter the doneness temperature you target, smoking pork loin requires some skill and patience. To cook yummy and tender pork loins, read our tips below.
Use a pork temperature chart and a smoker thermometer for best results
Some people claim to know when pork is done by touching, observing, or piercing with a knife or fork. Although this method may work for them, we completely discourage it if you want to cook safe meat. Instead, use a BBQ thermometer to read the internal temperature of your pork loin. A kitchen thermometer can let you eliminate guesswork and doubts. Next, get a pork temperature chart to know the safest minimum temperature to target.
It shows the best internal temperature and cooking times for different pork parts. When smoking pork loins, the right smoker temperature is 225°F (107°C). The correct cooking time is four to five hours and the safest internal temperature is 145°F (63°C). Smoking pork loin takes a shorter time than smoking other pork cuts. When smoking a pork shoulder, for instance, the total cooking time is eight hours. Thus, smoking pork loin or pork tenderloin using your best food thermometer and port temperature chart is an easy task.
Should you brine pork loin?
If you aim to smoke juicy and flavorful pork loin, make sure you brine it. Expert chefs compare pork loin to a chicken breast in terms of leanness. It has a lower concentration of fat than other pork parts. Therefore, it can dry out quickly and deny you the juicier, tender pork loin you want to serve.
Brining improves pork loin flavor while adding to its moistness. When you brine pork loin, you lock in its natural juices. But what do you need to do brining? You need only salt because it makes the meat tender by disintegrating its proteins. Here are easy steps to brine your pork loin:
Measure one tablespoonful of salt per cup of freshwater.
Add enough water to a bowl. It should be sufficient enough to immerse the whole pork loin.
Add salt according to the quantity of water you have put in the bowl.
Stir the mixture until you do not see any more salt particles.
Gently lower your pork loin in the bowl. Put the bowl in the refrigerator for about two hours.
After that, keep yoursmoker thermometer ready as your pork loin is ready for smoking.
Further preparations before smoking
Some people do not like to eat fatty meat. Pigs carry a lot of fat, generally, but the loin area has less fat than the rest of the body. If you think your loin has excess fat, you can remove it by cutting. Use a sharp knife or a pair of meat scissors to remove excess fat.
Another way to prepare your pork loin before cooking is to apply dry rubs and sauces. The best dry rub items we can recommend include paprika, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar. For spices, about one and a half teaspoons or less is enough. Since cayenne pepper is so hot, you can measure about a ¼ teaspoon.
Now for you to smoke your pork loin like an expert, you need your best digital food thermometer and the best type of wood. Pork picks up fruit flavors so well, so you can choose apple, orange, pecan, or peach woods for smoking it.
An easy pork loin recipe
Earlier, we said that the best smoker temperature for pork loin is 225°F or 107°C. However, the internal temperature you should aim at is 145°F or 63°C. The best instant read meat thermometer will help you read accurate pork temps. Here is the recipe you require:
One pork loin cut
Three tablespoons dry rub
A quarter cup BBQ sauce
Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C). You need to heat your favorite woods.
As the smoker catches heat, prepare your pork loin. We are assuming you have already brined it. Next, slash the unwanted fat on the loin.
Apply your favorite dry rub all over the pork loin.
When the smoker finally reaches a temperature of 225°F (107°C), place your meat on it. If not sure, you can use your grill thermometer.
Smoke the pork for two and a half hours to four hours. It all depends on when your pork loin reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Again, use a smoker thermometer to read the temperature of the loin.
Before you reach the end of your cooking, or about thirty minutes before, apply the BBQ sauce to the pork loin.
Pork will retain heat just like any other type of meat. So, use your meat thermometerto know when you are about to reach your target pull temperature. About five degrees before you do, remove it from the heat.
Let it rest for about twenty minutes utmost. During this time, the residue heat in pork will cook it. Use your BBQ thermometeragain to check if the temperature is now 145°F or 63°C.
Slice your meat and serve with whatever you like.
Note that the pork loin recipe above will result in a tender and juicy cut of meat that you can slice. If you aim to cook pulled pork, the internal temperature to target is 203°F (95°C). Pulled pork loin requires wrapping in a foil paper mid-way in the cooking process and smoking it for two extra hours. As long as you have your smoker thermometer, you can cook the most delicious pork loin at a smoker temperature of 225°F (107°C) and an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). Can you try this out?
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