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Old 04-08-2008, 10:19 AM   #1
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Need ideas on a large pork loin

My mother-in-law sent my husband home with a large pork loin. Just guessing, but I didn't see any bone in it, so I would think it would be similar to a large boneless loin roast?? Hubby called it a tenderloin, but it's way too big for that (I think). I don't know how many pounds it is, but it was around $32.00 and I would estimate it to be 6-8 inches in diameter.
I've looked around online, and this is what it resembles

So, how do we go about cooking this bad boy? We want to do it on the smoker, but I don't know how to do it. Any tips? We've got a marinade that we like when we do country style pork ribs. Would that be appropriate here? Do you cook it whole or slice it first? What internal temp am I looking for?

Sorry for all the questions. I did a search, but didn't have much luck.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:26 AM   #2
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Deep Fry it

http://www.bbq-4-u.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12057
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:27 AM   #3
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I actually saw that thread when I was doing my search. Unfortunately, we don't have access to a fryer. We'll have the smoker going while we do some briskets and ribs.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:33 AM   #4
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I should have added that we will be camping when we cook this, so all we will have is our large smoker, a charcoal grill, and the tiny oven inside the camper.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:35 AM   #5
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Grilling is a better aplication then smoking...for a pork loin..I would go with the KISS method...just hit it with some rub...and toss a chunck of wood on the fire....
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:45 AM   #6
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Hey Allison.

Good to see you back. I have been wondering where you were.

Hope all is well.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:01 AM   #7
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Allison,
You can also do a "Reverse Sear" with the loin you have. Rub with your favorite rub or seasonings, cook indirect at 250-275* until it reaches 125*, remove from the grill and tent with foil. Then crank your heat to the 450* range and finish with sear on all sides until you get to 140-145 degrees and then let rest for a minimum of 15-20 before slicing. The internal temp will rise considerably after you remove from the heat. If a little "pink" in the pork will not bother you or the folks eating it, I'd pull it at 140*.

If you decide to go with the pork chop route, I'd do it exactly as Stogie described.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #8
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I also found doing thick chops easyest when deep fryin or grillin. As Stogie said theres more surface area for rub, seasoning and smoke to permiate the meat.

It'll cook faster too
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stogie
Larry,

I forgot to tell Allison that my favorite rub for chops is YOURS!!! Keep up the good work!
Ahhh, thanks Kevin!
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:28 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the advice. This is not boding well for our invisions of "set it and forget it". (Well, not really forget it. We've just got our brisket and country style pork ribs along with the way our smoker acts to such a routine, that it doesn't take much effort. Not that effort is a bad thing - it's just that the adult beverages will be flying that day (actually for the entire week) and sticking to the uncomplicated is best for us.

I'm wondering how it would turn out if they were cooked similar to the way we cook our country-style pork ribs, but brining first.

I would envision cutting the loin into thick chops (maybe 1 1/2 inches or so). Brine for an hour or so (this would be the added step). Then prepare like we do ribs. Rub down and place in an aluminum pan (yep, we're pan cookers - do not like stuff cooked directly on the grate). Keep uncovered for the first hour or so with beer poured into the pan to keep them moist. Keep dribbling the juices on the meat - turn them over occasionally... cover with foil for another hour or two... remove foil, brush on some bbq sauce and cook until done, turning once.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:39 PM   #11
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One other option is put it on a spit on your grill which will let you semi set and forget if you have a high heat meat thermometer with the right length probe you can stick in the end.
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonandrews
Thanks for all the advice. This is not boding well for our invisions of "set it and forget it". (Well, not really forget it. We've just got our brisket and country style pork ribs along with the way our smoker acts to such a routine, that it doesn't take much effort. Not that effort is a bad thing - it's just that the adult beverages will be flying that day (actually for the entire week) and sticking to the uncomplicated is best for us.

I'm wondering how it would turn out if they were cooked similar to the way we cook our country-style pork ribs, but brining first.

I would envision cutting the loin into thick chops (maybe 1 1/2 inches or so). Brine for an hour or so (this would be the added step). Then prepare like we do ribs. Rub down and place in an aluminum pan (yep, we're pan cookers - do not like stuff cooked directly on the grate). Keep uncovered for the first hour or so with beer poured into the pan to keep them moist. Keep dribbling the juices on the meat - turn them over occasionally... cover with foil for another hour or two... remove foil, brush on some bbq sauce and cook until done, turning once.
Umm.............okay
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff H.
Hey Allison.

Good to see you back. I have been wondering where you were.

Hope all is well.
Thanks! I looked back through my posts and I hadn't done anything since the summer of 2006. Shortly after that last past, I experienced a death and went into a bit of a depression for a while. But I was able to have luck on some medication, get over that hump, and now I've been off the meds for a couple of months and am still doing fine.

I stopped in some last year to do searches and look at the recipes, but I just didn't feel up to posting. I'll try to do more this year!!
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Quote:
Originally Posted by allisonandrews
Thanks for all the advice. This is not boding well for our invisions of "set it and forget it". (Well, not really forget it. We've just got our brisket and country style pork ribs along with the way our smoker acts to such a routine, that it doesn't take much effort. Not that effort is a bad thing - it's just that the adult beverages will be flying that day (actually for the entire week) and sticking to the uncomplicated is best for us.

I'm wondering how it would turn out if they were cooked similar to the way we cook our country-style pork ribs, but brining first.

I would envision cutting the loin into thick chops (maybe 1 1/2 inches or so). Brine for an hour or so (this would be the added step). Then prepare like we do ribs. Rub down and place in an aluminum pan (yep, we're pan cookers - do not like stuff cooked directly on the grate). Keep uncovered for the first hour or so with beer poured into the pan to keep them moist. Keep dribbling the juices on the meat - turn them over occasionally... cover with foil for another hour or two... remove foil, brush on some bbq sauce and cook until done, turning once.
Umm.............okay
Yep, I'm just being stubborn. I don't want to use high heat.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:02 PM   #15
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The issue here is not overcooking.

Techniques like brining, frequent basting, cooking in foil (or in a covered container) in liquid or not, can give the cook more leeway in terms of time by widening the doneness window (the time that 'done' is reached to the time the meat moves into 'overdone')--but success with any of these methods (just like success without any of these methods) means understanding the meat you're cooking.

Country ribs, e.g., are cut from the butt or the blade end of the loin closest to the shoulder. These cuts have more marbling and this alone offers more leeway. Further increasing this leeway by foiling, e.g., is a way to add to this as is adding liquid(s) to the pan as it lessens the evaporative load on the meat.

This can work with the much leaner loin but timing is not the same. It is important to understand that the meats do not 'soak up' added liquid while they cook--contraction of the muscle fibers occurs and the expels moisture the meat already contains. Marbled cuts get their mouthfeel from the rendered soft fat and gelatinized connective tissue that occurs when enough time is allowed for this to happen, and this rendered fat and connective tissue 'replaces' the juices (read:water) lost during cooking. (Some moisture is trapped during this process but that's beside the point at the moment.)

Cuts that do not possess much in the way of marbling to begin with (center pork loin, pork tenderloin, beef round, chicken breast, much game meat) do not have this 'replacement rendering' capability. If cooked too long theses cuts will dry out--even if they are swimming in liquid. For cuts like this, even with the leeway you can create by various techniques, it is crucial to monitor the cook closely.

Brining (which I often do and recommend), foiling, draping bacon over a brisket, loin or lean game bird, etc., does not 'keep them moist' per se, it lessens the effects of evaporation or reduces evaporative pressure and extends the 'done window'. By how much or for how long utterly depends on the variety, type and size of the cut, cooktemps and, most important, the type and level of internal marbling the cut possesses (or not) on its own.
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Old 04-08-2008, 01:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Kruger
Brining (which I often do and recommend), foiling, draping bacon over a brisket, loin or lean game bird, etc., does not 'keep them moist' per se, it lessens the effects of evaporation or reduces evaporative pressure and extends the 'done window'. By how much or for how long utterly depends on the variety, type and size of the cut, cooktemps and, most important, the type and level of internal marbling the cut possesses (or not) on its own.
Brining causes the meat to absorb additional water/salt/flavors through osmosis. With this being the case, how can brining "NOT keep them moist"?

For example, if you brine a 10lb turkey for 12 hours, the turkey will weigh more when you take it out of the brine because it absorbed the brining liquid, which in turn gives the cook more room for overcooking while allowing the cut of meat to stay moist due to the excess liquid that has been absorbed into the meat.

I do however agree that draping bacon over a cut of meat is a waste of time as far as moisture goes. It will add flavor, but not moisture.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:34 PM   #17
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With this being the case, how can brining "NOT keep them moist"?
By overcooking.

Though greater leeway might be afforded by brining, the meat can still be overcooked. The less soft fat/connective tissue the meat starts off with the easier this is to do. Brining might give you more time till done, it might allow you to go a bit past the high end of the optimal internal window, but meat is meat. As muscle fibers contract they will squeeze out moisture. Cook too long and/or to too high an internal for the meat type/cut, and the meat will be dry. This happens especially quickly with lean meats (even with the wider window) because there is little in the way of internal fat/tissue to render and affect mouthfeel.

As you know, brining is not required--it's just a tool.
Brining can add moisture to meats but it doesn't 'keep them moist'--it makes them 'moister' to start off with. As stated, this "can give the cook more leeway in terms of time by widening the doneness window (the time that 'done' is reached to the time the meat moves into 'overdone')" but keeping the meat moist is up to the cook, not the brine, and that means not overcooking.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Kruger
Quote:
With this being the case, how can brining "NOT keep them moist"?
By overcooking.
Though greater leeway might be afforded by brining, the meat can still be overcooked. The less soft fat/connective tissue the meat starts off with the easier this is to do. Brining might give you more time till done, it might allow you to go a bit past the high end of the optimal internal window, but meat is meat. As muscle fibers contract they will squeeze out moisture. Cook too long and/or to too high an internal for the meat type/cut, and the meat will be dry. This happens especially quickly with lean meats (even with the wider window) because there is little in the way of internal fat/tissue to render and affect mouthfeel.

As you know, brining is not required--it's just a tool.
Brining can add moisture to meats but it doesn't 'keep them moist'--it makes them 'moister' to start off with. As stated, this "can give the cook more leeway in terms of time by widening the doneness window (the time that 'done' is reached to the time the meat moves into 'overdone')" but keeping the meat moist is up to the cook, not the brine, and that means not overcooking.

I thought overcooking was an obvious factor to everyone? Which is why Stogie and myself gave Allison specific finishing temperatures in the original posts that would not overcook the loins.

I also do not recall in the original post anyone saying that brining was required?
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:00 PM   #19
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I'd cook it like Larry suggested.................... But that's just me.
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Old 04-08-2008, 03:19 PM   #20
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Larry explain this osmosis thing...could you use it to smoke an egg in it's shell
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