I am fairly new to smoking - and have much to learn.
Yesterday I decided to try smoking two pork loins. Each was just under 2 lbs. I have grilled this size pork loin many times with great success, but have never tried to slow cook one.
To be honest, I was not very happy with the results. The meat turned out great, but the taste was not to my liking, I think because of the rub. It was just too spicy for my liking - either because of the ingredients or that I may have applied too much rub.
The rub I used was as follows:
2 Tbls Dark Brown Sugar
2 Tbls Paprika
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Garlic
1 Tsp Ground Pepper
1 Tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
1/2 Tsp Ground Chipotle Pepper Powder
1/8 Tsp Celery Seed
I applied the entire mixture to the two pork loins. Here is a picture of them going onto the grill.
I use a smokenator on a 22.5 weber kettle for smoking. I have decided to eliminate their water pan (just too small), and now use a bigger one resting on top of the grate above the coals. Based upon today's cook, I think this setup would allow about 3 hours of smoking before having to refill the water pan. That's about twice as long as I was experiencing with the water pan provided with the smokenator.
I set up my smokenator with about 60 Kingsford standard blue charcoal briquettes - removed 12 and lit those - added them back to the smokenator and added two cherry wood chunks. I filled the water pan about 3/4 with boiling water. I also used four large 1+ inch big black paper clips to keep the lid tight. No smoke coming out from under the lid this time!
In the past I thought I had a hard time keeping temps down, but today was the opposite. This is the first time I used a thermometer at the grate level, so my past thoughts may have just been wrong; or it may have been due to a tighter seal this time in the lid due to the large clips. In any event, it took about an hour to get the temp up to 200, and I got there only after opening the bottom vents all the way and the top vents about 67%. I'll need to play with this setup more to get the temp where I want it.
In total I cooked the pork just under 2 hours, pulling it off the grill when it reached IT of 150. Here is what it looked like just before pulling it off the grill.
I then wrapped it in tin foil and let it sit for 30 minutes.
The rub overpowered the smoke flavor, and again, was just too hot for my liking. I liked my prior efforts much better just grilling it after an overnight marinade of Italian dressing.
I think I will try again, but this time adjust the rub to make it less spicy by leaving out the cumin and chipotle, and maybe adding some Italian spices; and using much less rub so that the smoke flavor is not overpowered.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.