While researching Rutgers and their most popular tailgating recipes, 3 common ingredients kept popping up. PORK......PORK........and more PORK. Since I couldn't get my hands on a New Jersey "Pork Roll", I went with the next best thing. A delicious pork loin fit the bill for this week's recipe. Yay PORK!!!!
2-3 lb Pork Loin (Not Tenderloin)
Basic BBQ Rub (Equal parts)
- Kosher Salt
- White Granulated Sugar
- Dark Chili Powder
- Montreal Steak Seasoning
- A little Cayenne or Chipotle powder if you like some heat
- 1 HOT gallon water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
Mustard Brown Sugar Glaze:
- 1 cup Brown sugar
- 2 TBS flour
- 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 TSP Dry mustard
Mix brine ingredients and stir until seasonings are dissolved. You may need to heat things up in the microwave or on the stove to get seasonings fully incorporated. Allow to cool. Submerge the pork loin in the brine and refrigerate for 12 - 24 hours. A large ziplock bag works great for this or you can use a food storage bucket as seen below. The brine is a great way to add some flavor and moisture to a great cut of meat. Feel free to add different seasonings to your brine. The only basics are water, salt and sugar.
Once the loin has been brined, it's time to set up your smoker or grill for indirect heat. I decided to use my rotisserie for this cook, but it is not necessary. I just like playing with my BBQ toys whenever possible. Score the meat by cutting crossways 1/8 inch deep. This will add a little extra surface for our rub and create some extra crunchy bark. We all love some good bark. Leave the fat on the loin. Add a good amount of your BBQ rub and make sure it gets into the cracks of the loin. You can see the scored meat below. I went a little deeper than I planned on, but it still worked. If you are not using a rotisserie, just place the meat on the cool side of your grill.
We are shooting for a smoker/grill temp of 275 - 300 degrees. Add some pecan or apple wood chunks (Any fruit wood will do) to the lit coals and you are ready to go. We will likely be cooking this for about 90 minutes, depending on the overall size of your loin. We are done when we hit an internal temp of 144 degrees.
After about 45 minutes, you can see the pork start to sweat. This is also where the internal fat starts to breakdown and release some of our moisture. This is where the brine really helps. The loin has very little fat, so the added moisture is needed. Look at those tasty juices trying to escape. MMMmmmmmm.......
After about 70 minutes, my temp was nearing 140 degrees. I decided to make up a glaze to add another layer of flavor. Combine all 4 ingredients for the glaze and heat up. You can put the glaze in the grill/smoker for about 15 minutes and it will melt everything together. Once you get to 140 degrees, it's time to brush on your glaze. Brush every few minutes until you reach 145 internal degrees. Remove from the heat and tent with foil for 15 minutes. This allows the juices to settle and keep things tender.
After 15 minutes, it's time to slice and enjoy. These make great sandwiches as well. Not a bad leftover sandwich when you settle in for the NFL games on Sunday. This is one of my favorites and could not be any easier. Don't be afraid to cook your pork to MEDIUM. Even tho Betty Crocker of the 1950's recommends we cook our pork until it's void of all moisture, 140 plus degrees is perfect for this cut. ENJOY