How Long to Smoke Pork Loin per Pound

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Are you wondering How Long to Smoke Pork Loin per Pound? Dial in your process to get the perfectly moist and tender pork loin and elevate your next BBQ. The perfect smoked pork loin recipe takes preparation and patience, and the key to nailing it is mastering the cooking time and temperature. If you cook it too long, it will be dry. If you don’t cook it enough, it will be too rare.

The ideal smoking time at 225°F is about 35 to 40 minutes per pound. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to achieve that perfectly smoked pork loin, from the essential prep work to the final slice. We’ve got you covered with expert tips and a handy cooking time chart to ensure your pork loin is always juicy, tender, and packed with flavor. Let’s fire up the smoker and get started!

sliced whole smoked pork loin on cutting board

⏱️ Smoking Time Pork Loin per Pound

When it comes to smoking pork loin, precision is key, and our comprehensive smoking time chart is here to be your guide. A full-size pork loin will be up to 10 pounds, so whether you cook it whole or cut it in half, this chart will guide you.

Temperature (°F)3-5 Pounds (Minutes per Pound)7-10 Pounds (Minutes per Pound)
22535 – 4040 – 45
25030 – 3535 – 40
27525 – 3030 – 35
30023 – 2828 – 33
35020 – 2525 – 30
40017 – 2222 – 27
45015 – 2020 – 25

Whether you prefer a low and slow approach or a hotter and faster method, this chart has got you covered. Remember, these times are guidelines to get you started; the actual cooking time may vary based on specific factors like the exact size of your pork loin or the type of smoker you’re using.

Always use a meat thermometer to ensure your pork loin reaches the perfect internal temperature for a delicious, safe-to-eat result!

🔥 Temperature vs Time

Ultimately, cooking times are just a guide. The real secret to perfection lies in the use of a reliable meat thermometer. While our chart provides an excellent starting point, the internal temperature is the definitive indicator of doneness. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145°F for pork, followed by a 3-minute rest time, to ensure both safety and succulence.

🌡️ Best Temp for Pork Loin

Although the USDA recommends cooking pork loin to an internal temperature of 145°F, I pull my pork loin off the smoker when it reaches 140°F – 142°F and then let it rest. The carryover cooking means that as the meat rests, it will rise in temperature to meet that ideal 145°F temperature.

If the pork loin reaches temperatures much higher than 145°F, it will quickly begin to get drier and less juicy. Perfectly cooked pork loin should have a slight pink color in the center.

Pork loin with dry rub on grill grates of smoker.

👨‍🍳 How to Prepare Pork Loin

Before you fire up the smoker, preparing your pork loin is a critical step to ensure maximum flavor and perfect texture. Here’s a simple yet effective preparation process:

  1. Trimming and Scoring the Fat Cap: Remove excess fat, leaving a thin layer to keep the meat moist. Make shallow cuts in the fat cap to help flavors penetrate and render fat evenly.
  2. Brine or Marinade: Soak in a brine or marinade solution to enhance moisture and tenderness.
  3. Dry Rub: Apply a dry rub of choice for a flavorful crust.
  4. Sauce (Optional): Have a BBQ sauce ready to brush on during the last few minutes of smoking, if desired.

🐖 Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin

Pork loin, a larger and fattier cut, comes from the back of the pig and is perfect for smoking due to its size and fat content, which contribute to its juiciness and flavor. On the other hand, pork tenderloin is a smaller, leaner cut from the muscle that runs along the backbone. This cut is more suited to quick cooking methods due to its tenderness and lower fat content, but it can also be cooked low and slow, like pork loin. Choosing the right cut for smoking is essential, and for those sumptuous, slow-smoked flavors, pork loin is your go-to choice.

🐷 More Pork

When it comes to delicious pork dishes, the options are endless. One of my favorites is this smoked pulled pork recipe. If you are planning your next BBQ, check out our resources to learn more about pork. Whether you need to know the difference between pork loin vs pork chop or pork loin vs pork shoulder, we have you covered with these awesome guides and more!

🎬 Final Thoughts

As you fire up the smoker and get ready to throw on your pork loin, remember that patience and attention to detail are key. Use this guide as your roadmap to smoking perfection, and don’t forget to enjoy the process and the delicious results of your efforts. Happy smoking!


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About Joshua Boquist

Josh is an outdoor enthusiast and food fanatic. A License To Grill is his passion project where the outdoors intersects food - grilling, smoking, and all things tasty!

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