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Pork Loin Troubleshooting

blackhat

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Hey guys, first post here. Need some help understanding my pork loin cook and what to do next.

They had pork loins on sale, so I tried my first pork loins on the newish pellet smoker yesterday. One was stuffed with veggies and a little bit of cheese, the other a while loin with a sweet rub. Put both on a cold grill and set to 225. Checked regularly and turned off when the thickest part hit 145 at about 2:45 into the cook. The thinner part hit about 155 I think. I cooled the grill down by holding the lid open for a bit then let it rest on the rack about 30 minutes while the rest of the food got ready. No spritzing or other tending besides checking temp.

Anyway, it came out chewy and flavorless. Not dry or anything, just tough. The only good parts are the filling and rub. The stuffed one is a lot tougher on the meat - I guess because the meat was thinner, but neither is terribly appetizing.

So two questions:

What went wrong? Or are my expectations unrealistic for this cut?

What can I do to save the meat? I cubed some and fried it in spiced butter to make a kind of burnt ends which worked pretty well. Any other ideas?

Appreciate any help you guys could give.
 

normanaj

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Pork loin generally is foolproof.I take mine to 140 then wrap in foil then wrapped in a towel and finally into a cooler for a minimum of an hours rest but you can rest for several hours.
 

sandyut

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I have made many of these and pulled them at 140 as above. Always juicy and tender. I don't usually put much rub on these as they are not that thick.

One thing I have seen and cooked is a loin roast and it looked more like a brick. tenderloins are long and round smaller diameter. loin roasts are good but not as tender and a tenderloin by a margin. the way these are labeled in the grocery can be confusing - at least it confused me till i knew the difference. Did you start with a tenderloin or a loin roast?
 

Steve H

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I never start a cook on a cold grill. I'm not sure if that alone caused the problem. But I'm thinking it didn't help. Once they hit 140-145 then take them off the grill and let them rest. The carry over should bring them to around 150. Chewy but not dry? Are you certain your prob was telling the truth?
 

Steve H

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I have made many of these and pulled them at 140 as above. Always juicy and tender. I don't usually put much rub on these as they are not that thick.

One thing I have seen and cooked is a loin roast and it looked more like a brick. tenderloins are long and round smaller diameter. loin roasts are good but not as tender and a tenderloin by a margin. the way these are labeled in the grocery can be confusing - at least it confused me till i knew the difference. Did you start with a tenderloin or a loin roast?
I was thinking that too. But he mentioned a thin part. Which made me believe he is dealing with a loin.
 

smokerjim

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Like mentioned did you verify your thermometer is right, or maybe ya just got a bad piece of meat this happens sometimes.
 

thirdeye

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I inject with a lite apple juice brine. Use .75 to 1 gram of salt per ounce of apple juice. Pull @ 142*.
 

blackhat

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So the consensus is pull at ~140 instead of 145 and rest a bit more. Will do that next time.

sandyut sandyut Steve H Steve H It's definitely a "loin roast" and not a tenderloin. About 12 inches long, 4 or 5 inches wide, 3 inches thick, 4-5 lbs. When people say "pork loin" here which do they usually mean?

Steve H Steve H Yeah, chewy not dry. Not inedible or anything, just felt kind of like biting against the grain or something, even though it was cut normal. It was like the meat fibers needed time at higher temperature to break down. But when I cut it, even after chilling overnight it's juicy. Recalibrated the probe. 32.9 in ice water, 211.1 in boiling. So not perfect, but nothing that would cause a huge miss.
 

chilerelleno

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I also will say that 140° is the limit for pork loin, with carry over it's almost always right on the money.
Another thing I prefer to do for loins/chops, time allowing, is to wet brine for tenderness and juiciness.

Loin and tenderloin are two distinctly different cuts, there is no mistaking the two.
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sandyut

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t's definitely a "loin roast" and not a tenderloin.
AHA! yes very different cook and eating experience. the loin roasts are good, but it sounds like you were expecting a tenderloin experience.
 

JLeonard

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Welcome to the forum from Mississippi! Lots of good info here.
Jim
 

zwiller

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I also will say that 140° is the limit for pork loin, with carry over it's almost always right on the money.
Another thing I prefer to do for loins/chops, time allowing, is to wet brine for tenderness and juiciness.
+1; This time of year grab some TonyC's and inject.
 

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