Pork Loin a la baby back ribs?

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kurt boutin

Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 3, 2011
134
57
Southern NH
I've been toying with the idea of taking a half pork loin that I have and preparing AND cooking like I would my baby back ribs. Has anyone done this? I usually do ribs by 3-2-1(though it's never 1 at the end) and they are fall off the bone, the way I like them. I wonder what would happen if I did my pork loin the same way... thoughts?

Kurt
 
I'm thinking it's a bit lean to cook like that. Probably be more than a little on the dry side. As far as loins go, I make most into back bacon or otherwise. I generally don't make it as a main course. Brining will only keep it so moist, so cooking it to somewhere in the 135-140 range would be max for me.
 
Give it a go Kurt. The only way to know yourself is by doing it.

That said, in my experience, the BB ribs work as FOB because of the bone. But the loin meat becomes dry if cooked past IT of 150F. So they need to be cooked separately to take advantage of both potential. A lot of guys complain when they have to buy BB ribs with extra loin meat attached and that is for the exact reason that once the ribs are perfect the extra loin meat is dry and tough.
 
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Give it a go Kurt. The only way to know yourself is by doing it.

That said, in my experience, the BB ribs work as FOB because of the bone. But the loin meat becomes dry if cooked past IT of 150F. So they need to be cooked separately to take advantage of both potential. A lot of guys complain when they have to buy BB ribs with extra loin meat attached and that is for the exact reason that once the ribs are perfect the extra loin meat is dry and tough.
That was my concern as well, but I wonder if the wrapping will help with that. My guess is that the last step likely won't be needed at all or even a shortened version...maybe 2-1.
 
That was my concern as well, but I wonder if the wrapping will help with that. My guess is that the last step likely won't be needed at all or even a shortened version...maybe 2-1.
Maybe so. But my guess is you will end up with a compromise on both sides. Loin over done (dry) and ribs under done (chewy). Post it up with what ever way you decide.
 
Maybe so. But my guess is you will end up with a compromise on both sides. Loin over done (dry) and ribs under done (chewy). Post it up with what ever way you decide.
Just for clarity: I'm not doing ribs at all. This was just a question/pondering about pork loin technique. I've done pork loin before very successfully...just thought I'd shake things up a bit. :)
 
Never tried it,but I say give it a shot, if it comes out dry just add some extra bbq. Sauce. Who knows it may come out great.
 
Just for clarity: I'm not doing ribs at all. This was just a question/pondering about pork loin technique. I've done pork loin before very successfully...just thought I'd shake things up a bit. :)
My bad Kurt, for some reason I thought you were doing a bone in loin. Thanks for the clarification.
 
I've been toying with the idea of taking a half pork loin that I have and preparing AND cooking like I would my baby back ribs. Has anyone done this? I usually do ribs by 3-2-1(though it's never 1 at the end) and they are fall off the bone, the way I like them. I wonder what would happen if I did my pork loin the same way... thoughts?

Kurt

I've not done it but only because I'm quite sure it will dry out on you before it really wants to fall apart. It's just soooooo lean.

Now if you wanted to smoke it at a low cooking temp for a while and then wrap it air tight in foil I think that would work out. You would basically be doing a round about braise/steam cook on it while preventing juices and liquid from leaving. So I think you would have much better results this way.

In the end though I would cut that sucker into 1.5 inch chops, rub a little oil on it, season well, and cook it hot and fast on the grill like a steak until it hit 140-145F internal temp. You would have AMAZING chops.
When I can get giant center cut pork loin (not the half loin ends) I do this and I make a grilled chop that honestly rivals a steak! Just salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and a pinch of cayenne pepper on each side for flavor not for heat, and OMG soooooo good!
 
I've not done it but only because I'm quite sure it will dry out on you before it really wants to fall apart. It's just soooooo lean.

Now if you wanted to smoke it at a low cooking temp for a while and then wrap it air tight in foil I think that would work out. You would basically be doing a round about braise/steam cook on it while preventing juices and liquid from leaving. So I think you would have much better results this way.

In the end though I would cut that sucker into 1.5 inch chops, rub a little oil on it, season well, and cook it hot and fast on the grill like a steak until it hit 140-145F internal temp. You would have AMAZING chops.
When I can get giant center cut pork loin (not the half loin ends) I do this and I make a grilled chop that honestly rivals a steak! Just salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and a pinch of cayenne pepper on each side for flavor not for heat, and OMG soooooo good!
Ok, so... didn't get to the fall apart stage and that's ok. I did 2 hrs unwrapped...about an hour and a half wrapped and pulled it at 150. Let it rest for about 20 min. or so and it'll work. I'll probably not do it this way again because I didn't get the bark I wanted, but DEFINITELY eatable. Before an d after pics:
1717355746861.png

1717355763822.png
 
If you can get a "ribeye end" off of a loin you can cook it a lot longer than you can the "strip end" - and it will taste 100X better whether you roast it or cut it into chops. Best breaded and fried pork chops you can make, especially if you velvet them a bit. The sirloin is ok, but not nearly as good as the other end. You could bbq them and I think you'd be happy with the result.

It's getting harder to find those ends at my local grocer.

1717371913653.png
 
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It's getting harder to find those ends at my local grocer.
Yes it is. When grocers put the half loins on sale, invariably the loin end is the only thing available and who knows what happens to all the rib ends which is much more desirable to me.

About the only things I use boneless pork loin for is run it through the tenderizer 2-3 times for cubed pork steak, grind it and mix with 25%-35% fat for sausage, or as a protein source in my homemade dogfood. Haven't made bacon with it yet, but that's coming...
 
Ok, so... didn't get to the fall apart stage and that's ok. I did 2 hrs unwrapped...about an hour and a half wrapped and pulled it at 150. Let it rest for about 20 min. or so and it'll work. I'll probably not do it this way again because I didn't get the bark I wanted, but DEFINITELY eatable. Before an d after pics: View attachment 698245
View attachment 698246
Funny how the intrawebs work…after you posted this I saw a post on instagram for the same thing.
That looks really good. And hey your experiment was still edible! So a win!

Jim
 
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It looks tasty to me!

If you can get a hold of a rack of pork I think you would rather enjoy it!

We do a many of them. If you run the smoke at 265 un wrapped and pull at INT 145-150 like you did you will get a nice bark if you have a sugar based rub!

The is the example of one of our last ones we did!
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/throwdown-leftovers-“parts”.324713/
I probably wasn't clearer in my initial post. I have done pork loin a bunch. I just wanted to try a different method just to see what would happen. Not a big deal either way. :) It is still moist and tasty!
 
I probably wasn't clearer in my initial post. I have done pork loin a bunch. I just wanted to try a different method just to see what would happen. Not a big deal either way. :) It is still moist and tasty!
Ah understood, I was just suggesting you try the same method you did with the rack of pork vs a trimmed loin. I know chopsaw chopsaw has spun one up to 180 INT and still juicy and tasty. Its basically some baby backs with a large loin section....
 
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I have done pork loin a bunch. I just wanted to try a different method just to see what would happen.
Thanks for the report . Happy you posted . Make some adjustments and try it again .
Use a Tony C's injection and use the rib end of the loin .
Here's something different to try with lean pork . Adjust the flavors and cooking / smoking to what you like . Internal temp of the loin won't matter as much since it's added to the liquid .
Makes a great sandwich . Nice idea of trying it like you did . I like it like that sliced cold on a sandwich with Mayo and black pepper .

I know chopsaw chopsaw has spun one up to 180 INT and still juicy and tasty.
Those were a half rack of BB ribs .
Slicable temps for pork shoulder is 180 to 190 ish . To high for the lean section of a pork loin .

Hijack73 Hijack73 Excellent info in post 12 . That rib / small end is one of the best cuts of pork .
This is the " good " half of a whole loin . You could have done this to 150 / 160 for slicing .

20221228_095426.jpg
 
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Ok, so... didn't get to the fall apart stage and that's ok. I did 2 hrs unwrapped...about an hour and a half wrapped and pulled it at 150. Let it rest for about 20 min. or so and it'll work. I'll probably not do it this way again because I didn't get the bark I wanted, but DEFINITELY eatable. Before an d after pics: View attachment 698245
View attachment 698246
I'm glad it came out good to go. It's never too painful when experimenting and not hitting a homerun but still getting to eat a good meal out of it :D
 
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