This perfectly cooked Smoked Pork Loin will leave you licking your lips and reaching for seconds. Smoked pork roast, coated in BBQ rub and Barbecue sauce, provides a juicy pork roast infused with a flavorful and bold smoky flavor.
Smoked Pork Roast
Pork loin has little marbling, therefore can be a tough cut of pork when not prepared properly. The best recipes for smoked pork loin call for low and slow cooking to allow the muscles to break down. This method leads to a perfectly tender pork roast.
Pork Loin vs Pork Tenderloin
When purchasing your roast, make sure to get pork loin and not pork tenderloin; these are two very different cuts of pork and aren’t interchangeable.
Pork loin is a large slab of meat originating from the upper side of the rib cage. It’s a firmer cut of pork with a medium pork flavor.
Pork tenderloin, on the other hand, is thin and long and originates from the spine of the pig. It’s quite a bit more tender than a loin with a milder pork flavor. Check out our Sous Pork Tenderloin recipe for visuals.
Smoked Loin of Pork Recipe Ingredients
The smoked pork loin ingredients list is short and sweet:
- Pork Loin – Trim the fat cap to ¼” thick, if it comes with a thick one.
- BBQ Rub (or your favorite dry pork rub).
- Barbecue Sauce
It’s not required to spritz the meat when smoking pork loin, but you can if you want to. Spritzing the pork with apple juice or apple cider vinegar every 30 minutes will help the loin stay moist.
How To Smoke A Pork Loin
Smoking a pork loin works great on a pellet/electric smoker or manual smoker using charcoal or wood. We provide instructions for both methods. Just make sure you have the supplies called out below.
Aim to keep the grill as close to 225°F as possible. If using a manual smoker, aim to keep the temperature between 225 – 250°F.
Charcoal – Pre-heat the coals until just washed over. Dump them in the center of your grill and open the vents to 25%. Create smoke by placing wood chunks directly on the pre-heated coals.
Pellet/Electric Smoker (Traeger Pork Loin) – Pre-heat the grill to 225° F. Follow the manufacture’s instructions to get an even smoke.
Gas Grill – We don’t recommend using a gas grill as it requires a ton of propane.
The USDA recommends cooking pork roasts and steaks to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F, with a minimum 3 minute rest.
How Long To Smoke A Pork Loin
To smoke a pork roast, cook by temperature, not time. Anticipate a cook time of approximately 30 minutes per pound when cooked at 225°F. Add time for your desired rest period as well.
As with most smoked pork loin recipes, resting is a key aspect to ensure a juicy pork roast! Just loosely cover the roast, as soon as you pull it off the grill, and let rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting to re-distribute the juices.
- Energy Source – Charcoal, pellets, propane, gas, etc.
- Smoking Wood – Chunks, chips or pellets.
- Water Bottle – Use it to spritz the roast while cooking. We use an inexpensive spray bottles from Amazon.
- Thermometer – Always use a meat thermometer. Our go-to digital thermometer is the Thermaworks Dot.
The smoke should compliment the roast, not overpower it. As pork has a delicate flavor we recommend sticking to cherry wood, apple wood, or oak.
Pork Loin Brine For Smoking
If you’re into dry brining, go ahead and slather with the dry rub and place in the refrigerator covered for up to 24 hours in advance.
Dry brining will help draw the excess water from the roast and then reverse course to infuse the seasoning back into the meat. It will help enhance the flavor and help tenderize by breaking down the muscle fibers.
- Always use a thermometer when making a smoked pork loin roast. You want to cook based on temperature not time.
- Pork loin can easily overcook and dry out! Make sure to keep an eye on the roast as it cooks.
- Optional: spritz the roast with water, broth or apple cider vinegar every 30 minutes to ensure peak moisture.
- Cut against the grain in 1/4″ – 1/2″ slices.
Leftover pork will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Side Dish Ideas
Anything goes when it comes to pork. Here are our favorite side dishes:
Smoked Pork Loin Roast Drink Pairings
Fruit forward wine is the way to go with BBQ pork loin, including: Dry Rosé, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Zinfandel, or a light Pinot Noir.
Season The Pork Loin
- Coat the roast with olive oil, followed by a generous amount of BBQ rub (or your preferred dry rub). This can be done up to 24 hours, in advance.3-4 Lb pork loin1 Tbsp olive oil2-3 Tbsp BBQ rub
Smoke The Pork Loin
- Pre-heat the smoker to 225°F and load with your wood or pellet of choice.
- Transfer the meat to the smoker and close the lid. Smoke until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 130°F. Optional - spritz with water or apple cider vinegar every 30 minutes.1 cup barbecue sauce (+ more for serving)
- Coat generously with BBQ sauce, close the lid, and smoke until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 140°F.
- Loosely cover the roast with foil, as soon as you pull it off the grill, and rest for 10-15 minutes.
- Cut against the grain in 1/4" - 1/2" slices and serve with extra BBQ sauce, if desired.