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How Long to Smoke a Pork Loin for Pulled or Sliced

How Long to Smoke a Pork Loin for Pulled or Sliced

When you smoke a pork loin correctly it can be tender juicy. Mess it up and you are dealing with shoe leather. The trick is you have to figure out if you want to your loin to be sliced or pulled.

Ready in: 6 hours 15 minutes

Serves: 12

Complexity: very-easy

kcal: 422

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Cook times you need for your smoker
A great dry rub for smoked loin
Finishing sauce for pulled pork loins
Approximate cook times


There are two target temperatures to have in mind when you are cooking a loin on your pit.
The loin will be done and juiciest when it hits an internal temperature of 63°C.
A loin cooked to 63°C can be sliced thin and piled high for a serious platter of great eating.
The loin will start to fall apart and become “shredable” when it hits an internal temperature of 96°C. Again, you will get a serious pile of good eats.
If you pull the loin off the pit anywhere between about 65°C to 90°C, it is going to be a tough piece of meat that is trapped in limbo between the two target zones. So, the answer to the question of how long does it take to smoke a pork loin - it depends on what you want.
107°C: Slicing Stage in 2 Hours, Pulled Stage in 5 Hours.
I started with a 4 kg loin, seasoned it with my favourite pork rub and smoked it with hickory at 107°C. I really don’t recommend cooking an entire loin in one piece as the size is incredibly awkward. The meat was cold when it went on the pit and started at with an internal temperature of 5°C.
The loin reached the slicing temperature of 63°C in 2 hours. I wanted to cook this loin for pulled pork so once it reached 63°C, I wrapped it in two layers of aluminum foil with some barbecue sauce and put it back on the pit at 107°C. It took another three hours for the loin to reach an internal temperature of 94°C for a total cook time of 5 hours.
Be VERY careful when you take something like this off of your pit. The foil is hot, filled with scalding juices and is awkward to handle due to the size.
This loin shredded easily and made some great sandwiches after getting tossed with some sauce.
Before the cook, the loin rested at room temperature for about 30 minutes while my pellet grill came up to the target temperature.
Dry Rub for Pork Loins:
Loins can be pretty bland so it helps to have a flavourful dry rub. Here is a quick recipe that I like a lot.
½ cup raw sugar
½ cup salt
¼ cup black pepper
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp granulated onion
1 tbsp celery salt
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork:
Toss the pork with this sauce after it as been shredded. This is enough sauce for about 2 kg of pulled pork. You can dial back on the red pepper flakes or omit entirely depending upon how your crew feels about heat.
½ cup apple juice
½ cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Should You Inject, Marinade or Brine?
It depends.
I wouldn’t bother using a marinade since those only penetrate the outer 6 mm of the meat.
If I am going to be making pulled pork then I don’t bother injecting or brining since the meat will be tender and flavours will be added with the finishing sauce.
If I am going to be making sliced pork then I will take the time to brine or inject. I tend to prefer brining overnight instead of injecting as I think you get better overall penetration instead of concentrated, streaky flavour pockets.