I bought a gorgeous pork loin last week at the grocery. Part of it was sliced into thick chops. The other 3 pounds was left whole for this purpose. I have an old, cheap charcoal grill like the ones at Walmart. Not a fancy smoker… But I just can’t justify the price of a smoker. I mean, I rarely smoke meat. Why spend hundreds of dollars? I guess this goes back to the “make do with what you have” mentality of my childhood poorness. If this loin is any proof, my little grill is just as good. I served it with a nice salad and macaroni pie.
The Brine (from Grilling Companion)
- 3 pound pork loin roast
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small handful of peppercorns
- 1 small handful dried thyme
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
Combine the brown sugar and salt in the water and bring to a boil. Stir until dissolved and then add the rest of the brine ingredients. Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely to room temperature. Once the solution has completely cooled (we don’t want to start cooking the meat!), add the pork loin roast and brine solution to a Ziplock type bag. Seal and squeeze out as much air as possible. Put the sealed bag with the now brining pork roast into a pot or large bowl, one that can hold all of the liquid in case something happens to the bag. Place the bowl containing the brining meat into a refrigerator for at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours. Mine was in about 18 or so hours.
- 1 brined loin, about 3 pounds
- 1 bag of charcoal
- 1 cup of mesquite wood chips, soaked in water about 30 minutes to an hour
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start your charcoal as desired. When little bits of white start showing up on the charcoal, spread it out in the pan so that the coals are even. Even coals means even heat. Leave the two bottom vents wide open, while shutting the top vent to about half. Place the loin fat side down and close lid.
Periodically turn the meat, being sure of even cooking.
If it is too hot on one side, move the meat away from it. It took my loin about three hours to smoke.
Be sure to use a meat thermometer to determine if it is fully cooked. Pork is done at 160 degrees in the center (though there is new support for the temperature of 150 degrees). A special thanks to Rufus for his tips on smoking with a Weber grill.