Usually, steaks take all the attention when it comes to electric smokers. However, there is a cut that can turn out pretty amazing in a smoker, and it’s not beef.
Are you surprised? Well, the pork loin can be the star of your next barbeque. You just need to know how to smoke a pork loin roast in an electric smoker.
We understand if you've been struggling with getting the desired outcome. Modern electric smokers and grills are relatively a new invention, so if you are wondering how to smoke a pork loin roast using an electric smoker, you are not alone. The good thing is you can learn about it in detail, quickly and easily using this guide.
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Thanks to modern inventions and new technology, electric smokers are so easy to work with nowadays. You don't have to work with propane or gas as a fuel, making things easier to manage. As such, when it comes to smoking a pork loin, you have it pretty easy.
The best thing is, you can use any type of seasoning for the loin. Once you master the pork loin, you can cook other pork cuts as well, like the pork chops, ribs, tenderloin, and shoulders. That said, it is best if you start with the pork loin roast.
Why Smoke Pork Loin in an Electric Smoker?
So you may be wondering, why use an electric smoker over other types of smokers or ovens and grills? Well, there are several reasons you would want to cook a pork loin in an electric smoker. Some are listed below:
Smoking anything in an electric smoker is way easier than other types of smokers. You pretty much just leave the meat on, and the smoker does the rest.
You do not have to adjust the temperature manually. All you need to do is set the temperature, and the meat cooks at that particular temperature.
Most recent models come with electronic displays, allowing you to keep an eye on the temperature. Some Bluetooth smokers can even connect with an app. This means you can not only keep an eye or set the temperature from a distance but can also control the overall functionality of the smoker.
2. Easy to Clean
Electric smokers are pretty easy to clean. Thus, if you are smoking a pork loin, you will not have to worry about cleaning so much. You can even throw a big barbeque with electric smoker without worrying about the after-party headaches.
3. Great Taste
Pork loin can dry quickly if the temperature gets high. The risk of that happening is higher with other types of smokers.
Electric smokers maintain the temperature accurately. As a result, you get even cooking throughout the cut.
The Pork Loin Roast
If you're new to cooking, you must be wondering what a pork loin roast is, and if it is really a good option for your next party.
Pork loin is the part of the meat that comes from the back part of the pig. The cut of meat consists of the shoulder meat to the start of the leg. It is a large part, which is why loin roast, a separate part of a large pork loin, is cooked for a family or parties, usually ranging from two to four pounds in weight.
Types of Pork Loin Roasts
If you're going out to shop, you may have to choose between several available pork roast options, as listed below:
- Boneless center-cut pork loin roast
- Center cut pork roast
- A bone-in center cut rib roast
In addition, it is also more affordable compared to pork chops and tenderloin, which is another reason it is cooked for the crowd. The problem is that pork loin roast is a mild-tasting and lean cut of meat and usually takes longer to cook due to its large size than most other meat cuts. The process of cooking, though, is mostly straightforward, especially when you're using an electric smoker.
Tip: When buying pork loin, make sure you're opting for the pinkish-red meat. To add flavors from fat, also look for moderate marbling.
How to Smoke a Pork Loin Roast in an Electric Smoker
When it comes to cooking a pork loin, you may want to decide about the cooking method first. What is the best way forward or the best method to cook? From popular cooking methods like frying, grilling, barbecuing, roasting, to smoking, the best way to prepare a full of flavor pork loin roast is to smoke it.
The smoked pork loin can be eaten on its own or in a wrap or sandwich. Either way, you’ll find at the end that it’s one of the easiest things to smoke. The reason being you do not need a lot of ingredients. This depends partly on the recipe, but you’ll mostly just need the ingredients for the rub.
If you’re a pro at electric smokers, you will become a pro in smoking pork loins and tenderloins in no time. Just remember that there is a bit of prep before you put the cut in the electric smoker.
1. Prepare the Pork Loin
As mentioned, pork loin roast is one of the leanest and most tender cuts of pork. For this reason, it can dry pretty quickly if overcooked.
You can choose just about any type of pork roast, but boneless center-cut pork loin is best for the barbeque. The loin, as opposed to the tenderloin, is big enough so you can cut out pieces as you do with a steak.
The first step of preparing the pork loin is getting rid of any excess fat. You can do it with a sharp fillet knife. It is best, though, to leave some fat on to helps the cut stay moisture and flavorful.
You’re probably wondering if you need to brine the pork loin. The best answer is yes because pork tends to get chewy if overcooked and to counter that, most people brine the cut overnight. Brining allows the tissue to breakdown, which ultimately makes the meat juicy when you smoke the pork loin.
That said, pork loin does not necessarily require brine. It’s up to you if you prefer doing that with your pork cuts. If you choose to, then a cup of salt and a cup of sugar dissolved in about a gallon of water should be enough for a pork loin over three pounds.
Also, keep in mind that you can cook faster if you brine the meat, so make sure you are setting up your cooking process and time based on if the pork is brined or not.
Before you come to the seasoning part, make sure the meat is dry. Make sure to pat dry it with a paper towel.
If you put it in brine beforehand, make sure to rinse it off completely, removing excess salt. You want the loin to be completely dry on the surface before you rub the seasoning.
Now, you’re ready to rub the seasoning on the meat. But the question is, what should go in the seasoning? Well, that’s entirely up to you, based on the recipe and the flavors you want. There are premixed seasoning for pork loin, specifically at the stores. You can make your own as it’s simply mixing some spices and herbs.
In case you're confused, here are some seasoning ideas:
1. Basic Barbecue Rub
For those who want basic barbecue flavors, here is a mix of ingredients:
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of salt
- 1/4 cup of paprika
- 1/2 cup of ground black pepper
- Two tablespoons of dry mustard
- Two tablespoons of thyme
- One tablespoon of cumin
- One tablespoon of sage
- One tablespoon of cayenne pepper (optional if you don’t like spicy food)
2. Curry Rub
For a different flavor, try this:
- Two tablespoons of salt
- Two tablespoons of sugar
- Two tablespoons of ground coriander
- Two tablespoons of cumin
- Two tablespoons of garlic powder
- One tablespoon of ginger powder
- One tablespoon of cayenne pepper
- Two tablespoons of turmeric
3. Sweet and Spicy Smoke Rub
For those who want a little spicy and sweet flavor, here is the perfect list of ingredients.
- 1/4 cup of salt
- Four tablespoons of ground black pepper
- One cup paprika
- One cup garlic powder
- Two tablespoons of chili powder
- Two teaspoons of cumin
- One tablespoon of mustard powder
- Two teaspoons of dried oregano
- One cup of brown sugar
- One cup of white sugar
Use any of the above recipes or your own to rub the seasoning over the pork loin thoroughly. Afterward, cover it with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. This will allow the spices to infuse into the meat.
2. Cook the Pork Loin Roast
Now that you have prepared the pork loin, it’s time to prepare the electric smoker. This can be done while the seasoned pork loins are in the refrigerator. You can line the drip pans with thin foil sheets to make cleaning easy.
You can fill the bowl with warm water, but for better results, fill it half with water and half with apple juice. Place the bowl at the smoker’s base.
The main step before putting the pork loins in the smoker is to get the smoker to the desired temperature. For pork loins, the ideal temperature is 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the electric smoker reaches this temperature, you can place the pork loin in the smoker.
3. Wood Chips to Use
You can use a variety of wood chips for this delicious cut of pork. This includes maple, hickory, cherry, apple, and oak. Whichever you prefer or may have available in your home, you can use it for smoking the pork loin roast.
If you want to follow our recommendation, we would prefer apple wood chips for smoking any type of pork, including pork loin roast. You can also use a mix of apple and maple for even better results. The apple and maple wood will add to the sweet flavor that goes well with the natural flavor of pork and you will still get the great smokey flavor.
4. Remove the Pork Loin Roast
Once the pork loin roast has reached the desired internal temperature, you can remove it from the electric smoker. Your pork loin should have an internal temperature of 138 degrees because it will continue to cook for another 15 minutes. This should give you fully cooked but still juicy meat. The recommended final internal temperature for pork loin is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can use an instant read thermometer for this specific purpose, or step up to a wired probe style thermometer to watch the internal temperature while it cooks. Make sure not to overcook the meat, even slightly. As lean parts of meat tend to dry quickly when overcooked, so is the case with the pork loin roast.
Once removed, wrap it in a tin foil, place in a clean empty cooler and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Giving it a rest time is also good for more flavored meat, as the juices have time to distribute and flow to all parts. If the cut is large, the temperature might still be high after several minutes. So give it some more time, at least 20 minutes. Now, you can cut it and serve.
How Long Does It Take to Smoke a Pork Loin in an Electric Smoker?
Now you know different seasonings and the procedure of smoking a pork loin in an electric smoker. This whole process can take up several hours.
The cooking time for the pork loin is two and a half hours to three hours. You should periodically check the temperature after two hours and remove it once it has reached 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
You’ll be surprised as to how many things you can smoke in a smoker. If you know how to smoke a pork loin roast in an electric smoker, you can also smoke a tenderloin, which is very similar in process. The temperature and smoke in an electric smoker are just enough to cook it right and give it different flavors.
Even if you are just smoking chicken or steak, you can throw in a pork loin to have a variety. Pork loin with apples is a favorite in the barbeque community. Of course, you can always try new recipes as well. Even a beginner can master this particular smoker in no time.