Smoked Pork Loin Recipe (and Grilled Chops) on Yoder Pellet Smoker

Posted on Leave a comment

Are you looking for a delicious pork loin recipe? In this article I will show you how to smoke a pork loin and turn it into tender grilled chops for an attractive homestyle entree.

Here is a sample to show you what I'm talking about... Smoked, then seared pork chops glazed with the lovely Raspberry Chipotle sauce from Blues Hog.

This in-depth guide covers how to smoke a pork loin without drying it out, how to mix a lip-smacking homemade rub recipe, and how to grill irresistible, tender pork chops with beautiful grill marks and a glaze that will take you back for seconds.

Do you need a tasty seasoning or any kind of barbecue supplies for your Memorial Day weekend or other barbecue party? We carry a wide variety of smokers, grills, charcoal, pellets, sauces and seasonings, and many other outdoor cooking supplies in our retail store. Call us at 717-355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA (store hours at the bottom of this page).

For this cook, I'm using my Yoder YS640 Pellet Smoker fired with Myron Mixon Orchard Blend smoking pellets. My Yoder has the optional 2-piece diffuser which lets you cook with direct heat. I'm using that feature and a set of GrillGrates for searing the meat at the end.

Ingredients

Maple Sugar Pork Rub Recipe

My wife doesn't eat refined sugars, but she can have maple sugar, so I often mix a homemade rub for her sake. This one is bursting with flavor and excellent on pork loin. Yes, it's nearly half sweetness, but it's healthy!

Combine these ingredients into a small container:

  • 4 tablespoons granulated maple sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly cracked
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon Herbamare seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon Real Salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder

If you don't have Herbamare, you can replace it with Lawry's Seasoned Salt or regular salt, for a total of 2 tablespoons salt. If you want some heat, add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Feel free to adjust the ratios and experiment with it.

This makes more than enough for one pork loin, but leftovers of this kind are a good thing.

Do you enjoy both the flavor of wood and the automation made possible by today's sophisticated technology? Yoder Smokers are for those who appreciate fine craftsmanship, and they leverage advanced technology to control the temperature in the cooking chamber, so that you can sit back and enjoy the compliments.


Cooking Timeline

Here's a summary of the cooking process:

  • Fire the smoker at 250 degrees F and put the meat on.
  • Glaze the loins with barbecue sauce and add the carrots about 30 minutes into the cook.
  • The loins will take roughly 1-1/2 to 2 hours to finish with indirect heat, depending on the method (keep reading for the specific steps).
  • Rest the loins for 15–30 minutes before slicing to help retain the juices and keep the meat more juicy.
  • Option 1: If you're searing the chops, get the smoker up to 600 degrees F or prepare a direct heat fire in a separate grill for searing the chops. Probe the chops with an instant-read thermometer to make sure they reach a safe eating temperature (see instructions below).
  • Option 2: If you choose to serve the loin slices without searing, make sure you take the meat up to 140–145 degrees F before removing it from the smoker.

Do you need a tasty seasoning or any kind of barbecue supplies for your Memorial Day weekend or other barbecue party? We carry a wide variety of smokers, grills, charcoals, pellets, sauces and seasonings, and many other outdoor cooking supplies in our retail store. Call us at 717-355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA (store hours at the bottom of this page).

Sides

For the sides, my wife made salt potatoes in her Instant Pot, and we roasted carrot sticks in the smoker. If you've never eaten salt potatoes, you need to try these. They are delicious enough to eat by themselves! They look a bit wrinkly in the photos, but they are very tender and the buttery salt layer on the outside perfectly complements the rest of the potato.

Recipe for Salt Potatoes

  • Dissolve 1 cup of table salt in 6 cups of water.
  • Cook 3 pounds of petite potatoes with the water in the Instant Pot for 10 minutes. 
  • Drain the potatoes and toss them in melted butter.

If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can also make them in boiling water on the stove. Google "salt potato recipe" for a recipe.

Recipe for Roasted Carrots

  • Cut the carrots in half lengthwise, then split them into sticks of equal thickness.
  • Toss them in two tablespoons of maple syrup and two tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Spread the carrot sticks in two shallow 8"x12" foil pans.
  • Set the pans in the smoker until they are soft. I put them into the smoker within 30 minutes of starting the meat at 250 degrees F. I left them in while searing the chops, and they were ready by the time I finished the meat.

Want to make these in your oven? If you're not cooking the carrots with the meat, you can do them at a higher temperature. Roast them at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Smoking the Pork Loins

There are a lot of variables when cooking outdoors, including the quality of the meat you choose. Conventional pork loin you buy at the supermarkets is usually very lean, which makes the meat more difficult to cook to a safe temperature without drying it out. When cooking pork loin, your primary objective is to get it up to a safe eating temperature without overcooking it.

Here are my five tips for making this recipe a success on your first try:

  1. Choose the best marbling. The marbling, streaks of fat running through the meat, vary from one animal to another. Fat equals flavor and tenderness, so choose pieces with the most marbling.
  2. Either dry brine or inject the loin. To dry brine, sprinkle the entire roast with salt for at least several hours or overnight. If using Kosher salt, use 1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat; if using table salt, use 1/4 teaspoon per pound. If injecting the meat, follow the instructions on the package immediately before seasoning the meat.
  3. Do not overcook the meat. Overcooked lean meat becomes chalky dry really fast, so it's critical to carefully watch the meat and follow the methods I explain below. 
  4. Rest the meat 15–30 minutes before slicing it to retain more of the juices. If you slice the loin within 5 minutes of removing it from the smoker, a lot of juices will bleed out and be wasted. It seems this can make a big difference in tenderness of the final product.
  5. Take it easy on the searing. Deep dark sear marks are nice for appearance, but looks are not worth sacrificing tenderness. Probe the meat as you're searing it to avoid overcooking it (instructions below).

In this cook, I'm using center cut pork loins weighing around 4 pounds each or a bit less.

Remove the pork loins from the packaging and trim off any excess fat and loose flaps of meat. The silver skin is tough, so if you have the time, trim off all the fat and silver skin on the surface of the meat before seasoning it.

If you're injecting the loins, use a pork injection, such as one of these:

After injecting the meat, season all sides of the meat with the seasoning of your choice. I'm using Heath Riles Honey Rub on one and a homemade rub (recipe below) on the other one. Don't be afraid to experiment with your favorite rubs. If you prefer an herb mixture, that would be delicious too.

If you're in a hurry, you should have your smoker fired and ready at this point. Otherwise, let the meat sweat while the smoker comes up to temperature.

I'm using my Yoder YS640 Pellet Smoker, which takes around 30 minutes to get hot. Follow the instructions in the manual to get it ready to roll.

I'm burning Myron Mixon Orchard Blend smoking pellets.

Cook the meat in the smoker at 250 degrees F. I used one of the meat probes plugged into the control panel on the smoker to monitor the meat.

If you're making the roasted carrots, get them on within 30 minutes of starting the meat (recipe above).

Is your patio calling for a Yoder Smoker?


Glaze the loins about 30–45 minutes into the cook with Blues Hog Raspberry Chipotle or another one of our favorites for pork loin:

Do you need a tasty seasoning or any kind of barbecue supplies for your Memorial Day weekend or other barbecue party? We carry a wide variety of smokers, grills, charcoal, pellets, sauces and seasonings, and many other outdoor cooking supplies in our retail store. Call us at 717-355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA (store hours at the bottom of this page).

Critical Temperature Notes: 

  • Transfer the pork loins to a pan for resting when they reach 125 degrees F in the center. You will finish cooking these to a safe eating temperature over direct heat.
  • The USDA recommends that pork loin should be cooked to 145 degrees F with a minimum 3-minute rest time. If you're planning to slice and serve the loin without searing it, take them up to at least 140 degrees before removing it from the smoker and let it rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving it.

The temperature will vary from one part of the loin to another, but check it in a couple of places in the center of the loin with an instant-read thermometer to make sure you're reading the coldest part of the roast. Turning the meat or changing its position halfway through the cook can also help each piece cook more evenly.

Important: Rest the loins for 15–30 minutes before slicing.

  • If you removed the meat at 140–145 degrees F, you can thinly slice and serve it now.
  • If you removed the meat at 125 degrees F, it's time to make some juicy, thick-cut grilled pork chops as shown below!

Grilling the Pork Chops

While a pork loin is excellent sliced and served, this extra step will take the meat to a new level in appearance and flavor.

Set the Yoder up for direct heat and add the GrillGrates. Turn the smoker up to 600 degrees and let it get up to temperature. You can easily do this while the loins are resting. If you're not using a Yoder pellet smoker, you can simply fire another grill with direct heat.

Slice the loins into 1"-thick chops (about 12 slices per center-cut loin).

Above: Loin with homemade rub and my wife's sauce.

Sear both sides on the GrillGrates. I like to do 4 chops at a time so I have room on the grate to make cross-hatch marks. Start searing at a 45-degree angle as shown below, then turn the chop 90 degrees and set it on a new position on the grill as shown in the second photo below. Press the chop gently after positioning it to make nicer marks. Repeat this on the second side.

Important:

  • If the GrillGrates are clean and up to temp, you can make a nice sear mark within 15 seconds, or a total of 1 minute with the 4 positions, but use an instant-read thermometer to determine when the chops are ready.
  • Take them up to 140–145 degrees F in the center, but be really careful with this step because you can overcook and ruin the meat quickly without even realizing it.

Keep the GrillGrates scraped clean between batches to make nicer sear marks.

Brush the chops with Blues Hog Raspberry Chipotle Sauce after searing each side. You can also do it before searing; it makes more of a mess in the grill, but the sugars in the sauce help make a really nice grill mark! 

Want Pork Chops Without Smoking the Loin?

If you don't want to cook the loin with indirect heat as we did, you can skip that step and slice the loin before seasoning the meat. Season and grill the chops on the GrillGrates over direct heat as shown above, and serve them with a sauce for a similar result.

Budget Tip: Pork loin is cheaper per pound than pre-sliced pork chops at the store, so you can save yourself quite a bit of money by slicing the chops yourself.

Serve with the carrots and potatoes or your favorite sides for a delicious homestyle dinner.

Do you need a tasty seasoning or any kind of barbecue supplies for your Memorial Day weekend or other barbecue party? We carry a wide variety of smokers, grills, charcoal, pellets, sauces and seasonings, and many other outdoor cooking supplies in our retail store. Call us at 717-355-0779 or visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA (store hours at the bottom of this page).

​About the author: Lavern Gingerich is a writer and the digital marketing manager for Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply​.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *