Smoked Pork Loin BBQ Smoker Recipe in 3 Easy Stages

Here is our best recipe for smoked pork loin with a sweet and spicy dry rub.

Pork loin is undeniably one of the best meats to smoke – it has no bones and little fuss about it. That smoky, salty, slightly sweet flavour is unmistakable and mouth-wateringly delicious.

Our smoked pork loin recipe doesn’t need too many ingredients because we are starting with a real stunner of a cut of meat. We’re already on to a winner.

Smoked Pork Sliced to Serve
Smoked Pork Sliced and Served on a Board

We recommend getting a high quality loin from your butcher so you know exactly what you are getting. Your butcher might even be good enough to trim any excess fat off your loin, to save you hassle later.

We are going to smoke our pork loin for around 2-3 hours using  apple wood chips (apple and pork is a perfect pairing). This is recommended but not essential.

You can of course use hickory wood chips, or even the subtle fruitiness of cherry wood.

You will want to have your smoker or barbecue up to a temperature of 225°F or 110°C ready to cook your pork loin. 

Smoked Pork Loin BBQ Smoker Recipe Step 1 Prepare Your Pork Loin

It’s a good idea to pat your pork down with some kitchen roll to remove excess moisture.

If you didn’t get your butcher to do it already, take a sharp paring knife and remove any excess fat on your loin.

Having a fat cap which is around 1/4 inch thick is ideal, although some people like less fat, and still others like more!

Now we are going to use a sharp knife to make a series of criss cross slashes across the top of the pork loin.

Score the fat on the top of your loin with deep, diagonal parallel slashes about 6mm or 1/4 inch thick. Your loin’s fat cap will look like a grid or a series of diamonds. 

We are doing this to allow the fat to render right down, allowing more of our rub and smoke to get right into the centre of the meat for awesome flavour.

Smoked Pork Loin Recipe
Smoked Pork Loin

Do I Have to Score the Pork Loin?

Scoring the pork loin is optional, and some people are happy to leave it out. Consider doing it because it really does help to get flavour into the centre of the meat which can otherwise be hard to do because of the thick fat layer.

Ingredients for Pork Dry Rub

Freshly Ground Salt and Black Pepper

4 Tbsps of Demerera Sugar

2 Teaspoons of Garlic Powder

2 Teaspoons of Sweet Smoked Paprika

1 Teaspoon of Mustard Powder (We like Colman’s English Mustard Powder)

1/2 Teaspoon Chilli Powder (more or less if you like it hotter)

1 Teaspoon of Dried Oregano

Combine all these ingredients in a bowl and mix them together. 

Using your hands rub liberally all over your pork loin. Try to get it into the gaps and scores.

Now you can pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the top of your meat, and pat it down with your hands.

If you want to use a bought rub to save time, Meatchurch’s Honey Hog BBQ Rub is a great choice. We also love to use Killer Hogs BBQ Rub sometimes too.

Time to get your bad boy on the grill.  

Pork Loin Recipe Step 2 Smoke Your Pork Loin at 225F

Your smoker should be at 110°C or 225°F and ready to go. Place your pork loin directly on the coals and close the lid of your smoker or barbecue.

A popular phrase is ‘if you’re looking it ain’t cooking,’ and while there’s a lot of truth in this you will need to refuel every 50minutes-1 hour depending on your smoker or barbecue.

Much like your kitchen oven you don’t want to open it too often or the heat will escape and bring the temperature down.

You will also need to check the temperature regularly to make sure you are still cooking steadily at 110°C or 225°F. 

You will need to smoke the pork loin until the internal temperature of your meat reaches 63°C or 145°F. This will take somewhere between 2-3 hours, and of course will require you to have an internal meat thermometer. 

If you don’t have one, feel free to check out our recommendations below.

Meat Internal Thermometer Recommendations

MEATER Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer

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Pit Boss Meat Thermometer

BBQ Grill Accessories

If at any time you are concerned that your pork loin is drying out too much, just add a splash of cider or apple juice to your meat.

When you are satisfied that your pork loin has come up to temperature you can take it off the grills to rest.

Wrap your loin in tinfoil and leave it to rest for at least 15minutes but preferably up to 30minutes or so.  

Now you are ready to serve!

Smoking Pork Loin Recipe Step 3 Rest and Slice Your Pork Loin

The best way to cut your pork into slice is against the grain. This will ensure your pork slices are lovely and moist. 

The grain is the direction that the white lines of muscle/fat are running in.

Your smoked pork loin can be served with various different accompaniments such as apple sauce, barbecue sauce, mash, chargrilled corn on the cob, chargrilled greens, roast potatoes or fries! It’s up to you.

Smoked Pork Loin Traeger

If you would like another great recipe for smoked pork loin with a focus on Traeger pellet grills we’d recommend this one.

What’s the Difference Between Pork Loin and Tenderloin?

These 2 similarly named cuts of meat actually come from different places on a pig.

The pork loin comes from between the shoulder and the backbone of the pig. It is a wider and flatter cut of meat than the tenderloin which sits opposite it further donw the spine. It can be boneless or sometimes bone-in.

Pork tenderloin is a small muscle that runs along the backbone of the animal. It is a longer, narrower and smaller cut of pork than loin and it is always boneless.

If you enjoyed this article you might like our article on ‘Smoker Recipes for Pulled Pork.’

Or ‘Pork Butt Smoker Recipe in 5 Easy Stages.

If you would like another great article on Smoked Pork Loin you could try this one:

Watch us smoking pork loin in the Instagram video below.


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