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Pork Loin problem

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I smoked a 2 lb pork loin today and it came out a little dry. I cooked it at about 235, hickory pellets on a Traeger, foiled at 140 and pulled at 164. I wrapped in towels and let it rest in a cooler for an hour. I didn't have a chance to spray with AJ every hour as I normally do.

Also, after resting I had 3/4 of wonderful juices; zero fat and really tasty. I have frozen it for a possible future injection. Would it have helped if I had injected the juices back into the roast before cutting? What are other folks doing with this left juices? It was much too tasty to put down the drain.

Good Q'n to ya!
post #2 of 16
hi, CCS ~

i'm going to offer a couple of opinions, but please keep in mind i haven't smoked a pork loin yet, so i could be off base. sooner or later someone will come along that can give a better answer, but for now, a couple of ideas:

the main point is that pork loin is a very lean piece of meat to begin with; lack of fat is typically what makes a cut of meat dry, which is why it is recommended that a person either cooks a dry cut hot and quick or with lots of moisture.

you mentioned that you weren't able to spray with AJ as per your usual mthod, and i am sure that is why this one came out dry. a mop can help add moisture and also, depending on the nature of the mop, it can help deal in moisture to keep it from escaping. i use a mop that has some sort of sugary stuff in it (dr. pepper or some other pop) and also has a little bit of cooking oil (i use olive oil). the crusting of the sugars in the pop and the nature of the oil help keep my meats moist and to seal in juices.

ok - i re-read your post and realized i just answered a question that you didn't really ask - sorry about that!

you definitely made a good move in saving all that juice! should make an excellent base for a sauce or mop in the future. in this case, you might even have been able to use it as a sauce for your loin. i don't know if re-injecting before cutting would ahve worked, but then again, i've never tried it. it seems to me that it would have been easier to use it as a pour-over sauce for each serving. i ahve seen this done.
post #3 of 16

reply

I use the left over juices to pour over the meat or serve it as a dipping sauce. Also, I always drape bacon slices over the loin roast and not only does it keep the roast from drying out but the smoked bacon is pretty tasty icon_wink.gif
post #4 of 16
I love loin on the smoker. The thing you have to remember as TasunkaWitko said, your working with the leanest part of the pig. It and the tenderloin. When I do a whole loin, I pull it just before it gets to 160 and foil it, wrap it in a blanket and let it rest for a minimum of an hour. I've pulled them at 155 and using this method they easily go up to 160 before I unwrap them. I like to put a pan to catch the drippings and I also use this when serving the loin. Another thing you can do is to have a water pan in the smoker. I like to use either apple or cherry juice. I think it adds flavor and I think it makes a difference in the moisture. I never mop. I like to put the meat in... and leave it alone until it's done.

The problem I have now is that I enjoy the stuffed loins so much, I have a hard time putting a whole loin in the smoker. If I don't make CB out of it I usually slice it open and stuff it with stuff. Slice it and lay it on a plate with some toasted raspberry chipotle sauce.... dang....

Hope this helps ya.
post #5 of 16
One of the things that you need to keep in mind is that when you're smoking a piece of meat, doesn't matter if it's a pork shoulder, butt, loin, whatever, that during the cooking process the fat and juices are rendering OUT which means out from all directions. Gravity may make a small contribution downwards, but basiclly it's outwards. All this spritzing and mopping in my opinion is a waste of time and effort. When you spritz or mop all the rendering action is just pushing what you just spritzed or mopped on, off. If I was going to mop or spritz, I'd do it at the very end. Opening the lid of the smoker every hour like some folks do just extends the cooking time. I open the lid of my smoker twice; once to put the meat on and once again to take the meat off. Different strokes for different folks. As a side note, TW, nothing that you put on meat short of polyurethane will seal in moisture to keep it from escapeing.
post #6 of 16
I foil at 140 and pull it off at 150. Let it rest and it's always nice and moist. I also smoke loins at 220 max. I think you just overcooked it a bit. wink.gif
post #7 of 16
I don't find any benefit to spritzing either. In fact, I find that is causes irregularities in cooking temperature and is nothing but a great big hassle. I think folks want to feel like they are doing something while cooking. A good marinade goes a lot further than any spritz job (IMHO).

Regarding the pork tenderloin. I prefer to marinate these and grill over high heat (takes me longer to fire up the coals than it does to cook em).

Don't overcook em.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the thoughts. I had considered topping it with bacon due to the lean nature of the meat, but unfortunately didn't have any on hand. I think the real culprit here was taking the temp too high as I've had good success in the past with loins and tenderloins. Next time outta the smoker at the high 150's and the bacon just to do something new and delicious.

Next weekend I'm shooting for chicken thighs or some salmon. Or maybe even both.

Have a good week everyone.
post #9 of 16
i pull at 150° wrap and let rest 30 to45 mins. smoker runs 215 to 225°.
i run a water pan with plain or stuffed loins never had a bad one yet.
post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by Mikey
One of the things that you need to keep in mind is that when you're smoking a piece of meat, doesn't matter if it's a pork shoulder, butt, loin, whatever, that during the cooking process the fat and juices are rendering OUT which means out from all directions. Gravity may make a small contribution downwards, but basiclly it's outwards. All this spritzing and mopping in my opinion is a waste of time and effort. When you spritz or mop all the rendering action is just pushing what you just spritzed or mopped on, off. If I was going to mop or spritz, I'd do it at the very end. Opening the lid of the smoker every hour like some folks do just extends the cooking time. I open the lid of my smoker twice; once to put the meat on and once again to take the meat off. Different strokes for different folks. As a side note, TW, nothing that you put on meat short of polyurethane will seal in moisture to keep it from escapeing.
Afraid I'm gonna have ta disagree with yall on that en (spritzin). Spritzin er moppin does indeed add flavor ta smoked meats. That bein ifin yer usin the right one.

I use a GOSM fer alota my smokin, most of it is fer cash an carry sales an some fer caterin, the rest a the time fer personal use. I spritz about ever hour, I loose very little heat (bout 9* average) an that what I do loose is recovered in less then 10 minutes. However, I have modified the GOSM with some thermal mass.

I've done smokes without the spritz an can tell the difference between the two. Customers have noticed the difference as well. So, I always spritz. It does help in my opinion.

Now ta the loin problem. Bacon will hep keep it juicier, but each piece a meat is different. Some will tend ta dry out on ya, others won't. Brining can be used ta hep keep meat (especially lean meat) from dryin out. It may not be an option yall be lookin for, but ifin ya never tried it ya should, very good to. By foilin ya also get the benefit of holdin that escapin moisture closer ta the meat what will hep in keepin it juicier. Also don't over cook, there is a certain amount of carry over heat that will continue ta cook that loin after ya pull it outa the smoker. Over cookin will lead ta dry meat most a the time.

An never through that golden nectar out! Save it, put in a mason jar then inta the ice box, that way the fat will seperate out an ya can scrape it off, use the rest ta add back inta yer current dish er save fer another project!

Lots of advice on here, ya just gonna have ta pick through it, try some of it an see what works fer yall. There ain't no one set way a doin anythin in this craft, so, just keep an open mind an yall will find a system that works fer you!
post #11 of 16
Most everything else has been said and I have only one comments. Wrap it in bacon! Pork on Pork love! I have done this a few times and so far mine have come up very juicy.
post #12 of 16
Wow thats hard to read coherently [Green]
post #13 of 16
Ifn you can get past the redneck talkn he has many good things to say. I would take his advice, and have taken it with great results.
post #14 of 16
Pull the loin between 150-155 depending on where the loin roast is from, meaning white or dark meat. 150 for the white meat, 155 for the dark meat.

Be sure to foil to allow final cooking. If you have a full loin, cut it in half. White meat, one half. Dark meat the other half.

If you wait til 160, it will be dry. Cook slowly and really watch the temperatures.
post #15 of 16
First off there is much confusion going on here. There is no such thing as a 2 pound pork loin. You probably meant a 2 pound pork Tenderloin, a big difference. Since that cut is so small you have to be careful to not overcook it. It may be best to wrap in bacon, and pull at 140' or even less, say 135' and wrap in foil, and save the juices.

Never throw away those juices, they are great!!

Good luck on the next one.
post #16 of 16
Sounds like Ron nailed it. Tenderloins go on the grill. While you can smoke them, they just don't stay on long enough to benefit from much smoke. I'll grill till 140-145º then foil and let set for 30 minutes.
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