Pork loin – grilled on a charcoal or gas grill – is a classic favorite. It’s lean, tender, and flavorful, and can easily feed an entire family. A typical roast is anywhere from two to five pounds and can be cut to order. Plan on about eight ounces of meat per person. You’ll find it in the grocery store, labeled as center-cut pork roast; center-cut pork loin (a boneless cut); or center-cut rib roast (a bone-in cut).
Here are four simple steps for creating a scrumptious pork loin at home:
1. Prep the meat. Preparing your roast for grilling is quick and easy! Begin by trimming any connective tissue (silver skin) on the pork loin. Next, drizzle the outside of the roast with olive oil and season well on each side with Smokey Mo’s BBQ Spice Rub. Pat the spices on the ribs so that they stick to the meat. The rub flavors the meat and makes for a thin, crispy crust. The pork loin can be trimmed and rubbed up to 24 hours in advance. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.
2. Fire up the grill. To cook pork loin, we suggest using a grilling technique known as “zone cooking.” One area of the grill will be turned to high, while the other will be low or unlit. Use the high-heat area for direct cooking (getting a crisp crust and char); use the low-heat area to cook it to the correct internal temperature over indirect heat.
If you’re cooking with a charcoal grill, arrange the coals on one side of the grill and leave the other side empty. If you’re using a gas grill, heat one side to high or medium-high heat and leave the other side unlit.
3. Cook. Sear the loin for 5 minutes per side over direct heat. Then, move it to indirect heat. Cook the roast for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. The rule of thumb is 20 minutes of cooking time per pound. Aim for a mahogany color on the outside and a rosy pink inside.
4. Rest the meat and serve. The pork loin will be hot once it comes off the grill. Let the meat rest for about 15 minutes. It will finish cooking from the residual heat, and the juices will settle in for an optimally scrumptious flavor. Slice into ¼-inch slices and serve.
Pork loin goes well with any side dish. Creamy mashed potatoes, baked mac and cheese, or a buttery dollop of grits are a natural! Or pair it with a crunchy slaw, lemon-herb couscous, or warm salad with wilted greens and bacon.