Hi all - I've been roasting boneless pork loins for years, always been one of my favorite dishes to make. Just got a WSM and decided to convert my fave to the new format!
I usually get these from my local Meijer, they average about 5# which this one was. I've been very happy with the quality. I can count on them taking around 35 mins per pound in a 325F oven. For a 5-pounder it's always been almost exactly 3 hours to reach low 170s. (That's a little more done than I would prefer to eat it, but safety first!
I marinated the loin for 2 hours in some Cajun Power Garlic Sauce. This is great stuff for those of you who have never tried it. I first discovered it when vaca'ing in New Orleans about 12 years ago and I've been using it ever since. The guest of honor is shown below.
I set up my WSM with a modified Minion method. A sheet of newspaper with a spritz of Pam (dang, that stuff is flammable!!) and it lit right up. I used a full Weber starter and laid down about a 2- or 3-briquette high layer in the firebox. Once going fully, I dumped the coals out and then laid 3 fist-sized dry hickory chunks on top.
Instead of the stock WSM water pan, I decided to use a disposable aluminum pan I picked up at Costco (15-pack for $9) to make the post-smoke clean-up easier (i.e. none!). They measure 21"x13" so I had to bend the edges down in order to fit. I set it on top of the bottom rack rather than try to balance it on the pan holders, even though it fit perfectly. The short side of the pan nestled up against the access door so I bent the side out a little bit in order to be able to add water if needed.
External view of the pan with the access door open. This worked well for adding hot water with my metal Bunn commercial coffee pot.
I started with all vents fully open. After closing up I was at 295 in 10 minutes and it held rock-steady. Smoke wasn't overly heavy but I did see it escaping the lid. At 1:30 I closed all 3 bottom vents 1/2-way.
At 2:00 the temp was 262 and I decided to insert the food temp probe. BOY was I glad I did!! The probe went up to 174F, a full hour before it's usually done in the oven! I used a 2nd food thermo and it read the same thing. So I removed the loin to a plate and let it rest before cutting into it. The dark crust on top of the fat is the carmelized Cajun Power. OMG did this baby smell good -- exactly like a steaming plate of hot bacon!!
It was nice and juicy, though I think it was A TINY BIT overdone at 174F internal. I wish I'd put the probe in earlier and set the temp alarm at 168F. But again, it finished up a full hour sooner than expected so it could have been worse!! Love that little pink smoke ring evident on the bottom of the slice! I'll never roast one in the oven again!