Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grilled Pork Loin

I think this recipe is really good. But, other people think it's fantastic. It's received raves from lots of people. When choosing a pork loin, look for one that has the same circumference for the whole roast. In other words, not one with a wide end and a skinny end. I usually get a roast that is twice the size of the roast the recipe calls for. They sell them at Dan's Supermarket and they are relatively cheap. It's also important to note that this is not a pork tender loin, but a pork loin. It's about 3 inches in diameter and two feet long for a whole pork loin. They also sell half pork loins (although I can't tell you where). If yours is much smaller, you have a pork tender loin. The recipe says you should tie the roast. I never bother with tying the pork loin. The pork loin won't stay perfectly cylindrical without tying, but I don't care. Be sure to have a spray bottle ready and check the grill often in the beginning of the cooking process in case you see a suspicious orange glow. You might have to spay the wood chips if some ignite. I just use plain ole pepper for the seasoning the roast. I grill my roast to a higher temperature then called for in the recipe. I haven't figured out what temperature I would prefer yet. 165 degrees is too high. This recipe takes an absolute minimum of 5 hours and as much as 6 hours 15 minutes(without prep time). This is another recipe from America's Test Kitchen.


With only minor recipe adjustments, a roast larger than the one called for can b cooked using the same method. For each additional pound of meat over 3 pounds (do not use a roast larger then 6 pounds), increase the salt in the brine by 1/4 cup and the water by 1 quart; also increase the oil and pepper by 1 tsp each (if using a spice rub, increase the recipe by 1/3). Because the cooking time depends more on the diameter of the loin than the length, the cooking time for a larger roast will not increase significantly. After roasting the roast in step 5, begin checking the internal temperature after 30 minutes of cooking.


3/4 C table salt

1 boneless blade end pork loin roast, 2 1/2 to 3 lbs, tied with kitchen twine at 1 1/2 inch intervals.

2 T olive oil

1 T coarsely ground black pepper or 1 recipe spice rub (recipe follows)

1. Dissolve salt in 3 quarts water in a large container, submerge roast, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully seasoned, 3 to 4 hours. I put the salt, water and pork in an extra large Ziploc (2 1/2 quart I believe) and place that in a cooler. Add extra ice around the Ziploc to make sure it stays cold. (I added ice after I took the picture.) Sanitize the cooler after you are done using it, in case the Ziploc bag leaked. Rinse roast under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. You may as well start soaking the wood in step 3 now. It doesn't matter if wood soaks longer.

2. Rub roast with oil; sprinkle with pepper or the spice rub (NOT SALT, it doesn't need salt because of the brine) and press into meat. Let roast stand at room temperature 1 hour. (You'll need to put the wood on the grill in step 3 before your hour is up)

3. Meanwhile, soak two 3-inch wood chunks in water to cover for 1 hour; drain. About 25 minutes before grilling , open bottom grill vents. Using large chimney starter, ignite about 5 quarts charcoal, or about 90 briquettes, and burn until fully ignited, about 15 minutes. Empty coals into grill; build modified two level fire by arranging coals to cover one-half grill, piling them around 3 briquettes high. Place soaked wood chunks on coals. Position grill grate over coals, cover grill, and heat until hot, about 5 minutes; scrape grill grate clean with grill brush.

4. Grill pork directly over fire until browned, about 2 minutes; using thongs, rotate one-quarter turn and repeat until all sides are well browned, about 8 minutes total. Move loin to cool side of grill, positioning roast parallel with and as close as possible to fire. Open grill lid vents halfway; cover grill so vents are opposite fire and draw smoke through grill. (Internal grill Temperature should be about 425 degrees.) Cook 20 minutes.

5. Remove cover; using tongs, rotate roast 180 degrees so side facing fire now faces away. Replace cover and continue until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of roast registers 140 degrees, 10 to 30 minutes longer, depending on thickness.

6. Transfer roast to cutting board; tent loosely with foil and let rest 15 minutes. Internal temperature should rise to 150 degrees. Remove twine; cut roast into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve.


1 & 2. Follow recipe for Grill-roasted pork loin for a charcoal grill through step 2.

3. Soak 2 cups wood chips in water to cover for 30 minutes; drain. Place chips in a small disposable aluminum pan. About 20 minutes before grilling, place wood-chip pan on primary burner( burner that will remain on during cooking); position cooking grate. Ignite grill, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat until very hot, about 15 minutes. (If chips ignite, use water-filled spray bottle to extinguish.) Scrape grate clean with grill brush.

4. -6. Continue with recipe from step 4, keeping lid down except as needed to check progress of pork.


makes about 2 T


2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp powdered mustard

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne


makes about 2 T


1 T cumin seeds

1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp ground allspice

Combine cumin, coriander, and fennel in small skillet; toast over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes, shaking skillet occasionally. Cool to room temperature; grind coarse. Transfer to small bowl; stir in cinnamon and allspice.

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