Pork - The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for the Most Flavorful and Delicious Barbecue - Peter Jautaikis

The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for the Most Flavorful and Delicious Barbecue - Peter Jautaikis (2016)

Chapter 4. Pork

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Smoked Pork Tenderloins

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Seasoned pitmasters and novices alike can agree that this cut of pork is the most tender portion. Pork tenderloins cooked correctly are very moist and delectable. They are so tender you can literally cut them with a fork! Tenderloins are relatively lean, and need not be cooked over 145°F.

Smoke the tenderloin before finishing at 350°F for that extra-delicious savory touch.

Serves: 4 to 6 per pork tenderloin

Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus 2 to 4 hours marinating)

Cook Time: 1½ hours

Rest Time: 10 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory, Apple

2 (1½ to 2-pound) pork tenderloins

¼ cup roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup Jan’s Original Dry Rub (page 169) or Pork Dry Rub (page 170)

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Trim any excess fat and silver skin from the meat.

2. Rub all sides of the tenderloins with the olive oil and dust with the rub.

3. Wrap the seasoned tenderloins in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 230°F using hickory or apple pellets.

2. Remove the plastic wrap from the meat and insert your wood pellet smoker-grill probes or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of each tenderloin. If your grill does not have meat probe capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe then use an instant-read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings.

3. Place the tenderloins directly on the grill and smoke them for 45 minutes at 230°F.

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4. Increase the pit temperature to 350°F and finish cooking the tenderloins for about 45 more minutes, until the internal temperature at the thickest part reaches 145°F.

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5. Rest the pork tenderloins under a loose foil tent for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

Pork tenderloins normally come two per package, giving you the option of cooking both or vacuum-sealing and freezing the second one for later use.

It’s best to remove the silver skin because it is very tough and prevents rub from penetrating the tenderloin.

Pulled Hickory-smoked Pork Butts

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Pulled hickory-smoked pork butts produce moist shreds of succulent pork mixed with strongly seasoned bark (the jerkylike, crusty, chewy, dark, rich, outer shell of the butt). It’s perfect for feeding large groups, and the leftovers freeze and reheat extremely well for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, nachos, pizzas, casseroles…the list is endless!

This recipe uses a technique I call the “Turbo method” which involves wrapping pork butts in foil during the cook in order to bypass the dreaded stall (page 27) while still providing a great bark. It also cooks the pork butts in approximately 6 hours rather than 12 to 16 hours.

Serves: 20 or more

Prep Time: 30 to 45 minutes (plus overnight marinating)

Cook Time: 6 hours

Rest Time: 3 to 4 hours

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory

2 (10-pound) boneless pork butts, vacuum-packed or fresh

1 cup roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

¾ cup Pork Dry Rub (page 170), Jan’s Original Dry Rub (page 169), or your favorite pork rub

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Trim the fat cap and any easily accessible large portions of excess fat from each pork butt as you see fit. Some pitmasters prefer to trim the fat cap to ¼ inch or leave the entire fat cap on because they believe that the melting fat bastes the butts as they cook. This method inhibits the formation of bark in areas covered by fat. Therefore I recommend removing the fat cap to maximize the amount of cherished bark.

2. Cut each pork butt in half. Use silicone food-grade cooking bands or butcher’s twine to hold the meat together during cooking and handling.

3. Rub all the sides of each pork butt with the oil. Sprinkle each pork butt with a liberal amount of the rub and pat it in with your hand.

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4. Individually double-wrap the seasoned boneless pork butts tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 225°F using hickory pellets.

2. Remove the pork butts from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap while preheating your wood pellet smoker-grill. The pork butts don’t need to fully come to room temperature. Insert your wood pellet smoker-grill meat probes or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of one or more pork butts. If your grill does not have meat probe capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe, then use an instant-read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings.

3. Smoke the pork butts for 3 hours.

4. After 3 hours, increase the pit temperature to 350°F and cook until the internal temperature of the butts reaches 160°F.

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5. Remove the pork butts from the grill and double-wrap each one in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Take care to make sure that you keep your meat probes in the butts as you double-wrap them.

6. Return the wrapped pork butts to your 350°F pellet smoker-grill.

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7. Continue cooking the foil-wrapped pork butts until the internal temperature of the pork butts reaches 200° to 205°F.

8. Remove the pork butts and FTC (page 24) them for 3 to 4 hours before pulling and serving.

9. Pull the smoked pork butts into little succulent shreds using your favorite pulling method. I prefer using my hands while wearing heat-resistant gloves.

10. If you’d like, mix the pulled pork butts with any remaining liquids.

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11. Serve the pulled pork with barbecue sauce on a fresh-baked roll topped with coleslaw, or serve the pulled pork with condiments like lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, cheese, and horseradish.

Notes

I prefer to slather my pork butts with extra-virgin olive oil to act as the glue for the rub, but you can substitute yellow mustard, molasses, Carolina Treet Cooking Barbecue Sauce, or even Worcestershire sauce for equally wonderful results.

Every large chunk of meat like a pork butt (shoulder) or beef brisket smoked and roasted low and slow will go through “the stall” (page 27). This recipe however, uses the Texas crutch technique (page 27) to overcome that.

Pork Sirloin Tip Roast Three Ways

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I’ve found the most incredibly tender and juicy pork sirloin tip roasts at Costco. These roasts lend themselves well to various cooking methods and accept a multitude of rubs, seasonings, marinades, and injections. Sirloin tip roasts are cut from the leg area and are said to be the equivalent of a beef tri-tip roast. Ask your local butcher to locate them for you. I guarantee you’ll love these versatile little roasts.

Serves: 4 to 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus overnight marinating)

Cook Time: 1½ to 3 hours, depending on method

Rest Time: 15 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple, Hickory

Apple-Injected Roasted Pork Sirloin Tip Roast

1 (1½ to 2-pound) pork sirloin tip roast

¾ cup 100% apple juice

2 tablespoons roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

5 tablespoons Pork Dry Rub (page 170) or a commercial rub such as Plowboys BBQ Bovine Bold

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Pat the roast dry with a paper towel.

2. Use a flavor/marinade injector to inject all areas of tip roast with the apple juice.

3. Rub the entire roast with the olive oil and then coat liberally with the rub.

4. Use 2 silicone food-grade cooking bands or butcher’s twine to truss the roast.

5. Wrap the tip roast in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Remove the roast from the refrigerator and rest it on the counter while preheating your pit.

2. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 350°F using apple pellets.

3. Remove the plastic wrap and insert your wood pellet smoker-grill meat probe or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of the roast. If your grill does not have meat probe capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe, then use an instant-read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings.

4. Roast the meat until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, about 1½ hours.

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5. Rest the roast under a loose foil tent for 15 minutes.

6. Remove the cooking bands or twine, and carve the roast against the grain.

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Teriyaki-Marinated Pork Sirloin Tip Roast

1 (1½ to 2-pound) pork sirloin tip roast

Teriyaki marinade such as Mr. Yoshida’s Original Gourmet Marinade

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Pat the roast dry with a paper towel.

2. Using a 1-gallon freezer storage bag or a sealable container, cover the roast with the teriyaki marinade.

3. Refrigerate overnight, rotating every few hours when possible.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Remove the roast from the refrigerator and the marinade, and pat it dry. Truss the roast using 2 to 3 silicone food-grade cooking bands or butcher’s twine to make sure the roast maintains its shape during cooking.

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2. Rest the marinated sirloin tip roast on the counter while preheating your wood pellet smoker-grill.

3. Insert your wood pellet smoker-grill meat probe or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of the roast. If your grill does not have meat probe capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe, then use an instant-read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings.

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4. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 180°F using hickory pellets.

5. Smoke the meat roast for 1 hour at 180°F.

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6. After an hour, increase your pit temperature to 325°F.

7. Cook the roast until the internal temperature, at the thickest part of the roast, reaches 145°F, about 1 to 1½ hours.

8. Rest the roast under a loose foil tent for 15 minutes.

9. Remove the cooking bands or twine, and carve the roast against the grain.

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Hickory-Smoked Pork Sirloin Tip Roast

1 (1½ to 2-pound) pork sirloin tip roast

2 tablespoons roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

5 tablespoons Jan’s Original Dry Rub (page 169), Pork Dry Rub (page 170), or your favorite pork rub

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Pat the roast dry with a paper towel.

2. Rub the entire roast with the olive oil. Coat the roast with the rub.

3. Truss the roast using 2 to 3 silicone food-grade cooking bands or butcher’s twine to make sure the roast maintains its shape during cooking.

4. Wrap the tip roast in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Remove the sirloin tip roast from the refrigerator and rest the roast on the counter while preheating the grill.

2. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 225°F with hickory pellets.

3. Remove the plastic wrap and insert your wood pellet smoker-grill meat probe or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of the roast. If your grill does not have meat probe capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe, then use an instant-read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings.

4. Place the roast directly on the grill grates and smoke the roast until the internal temperature, at the thickest part of the roast, reaches 145°F, about 3 hours.

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5. Rest the roast under a loose foil tent for 15 minutes.

6. Remove the cooking bands or twine, and carve the roast against the grain.

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Double-Smoked Ham

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Double-smoking an applewood-smoked, boneless, fully cooked, ready-to-eat ham adds a new dimension to any Easter, Christmas, or Sunday dinner. You’ll notice a remarkable difference from merely cooking the ham in your oven. Double-smoking works equally well with bone-in hickory-smoked hams. This recipe uses a fully cooked, ready-to-eat ham and enhances the flavor by re-smoking the ham before heating it to temperature.

Serves: 8 to 12

Prep Time: 15 minutes (plus 30 minutes rest time)

Cook Time: 2½ to 3 hours

Rest Time: 15 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple, Hickory

1 (10-pound) applewood-smoked, boneless, fully cooked, ready-to-eat ham or bone-in smoked ham

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Remove the ham from its packaging and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 180°F using apple or hickory pellets depending on what type of wood was used for the initial smoking.

2. Place the ham directly on the grill grates and smoke the ham for 1 hour at 180°F.

3. After an hour, increase pit temperature to 350°F.

4. Cook the ham until the internal temperature reaches 140°F, about 1½ to 2 more hours.

5. Remove the ham and wrap in foil for 15 minutes before carving against the grain.

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Notes

Pay close attention to the difference between “Ready to Eat” and “Ready to Cook” hams. The main difference is that the “Ready to Eat” hams are fully cooked and only need to be taken to an internal temperature of 140°F, but “Ready to Cook” hams are only partially cooked and need to be taken to an internal temperature of 160°F.

Hickory-Smoked Prime Rib of Pork

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Impress your family and guests with a prime rib of pork seasoned to perfection and slow-smoked with hickory. This roast will deliver the most tender, flavorful cut of pork you’ll ever have. Its counterpart is a standing beef rib roast or a rack of lamb.

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus 2 to 4 hours or overnight marinating)

Cook Time: 3 to 3½ hours

Rest time: 15 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory

1 (5-pound) rack of pork, about 6 ribs

¼ cup roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

6 tablespoons Jan’s Original Dry Rub (page 169), Pork Dry Rub (page 170), or your favorite pork roast rub

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Trim off the fat cap and silver skin from the rack of pork. Just like a slab of ribs, a rack of pork has a membrane on the bones. Remove the membrane from the bones by working a spoon handle under the bone membrane until you can grab the membrane with a paper towel to pull it off.

2. Rub the olive oil liberally on all sides of the meat. Season with the rub, covering all sides of the meat.

3. Double wrap the seasoned rack of pork in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours or overnight.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Remove the seasoned rack of pork from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

2. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 225°F using hickory pellets.

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3. Insert your wood pellet smoker-grill meat probe or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of the rack of pork. If your grill does not have meat probe capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe then, use an instant- read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings.

4. Place the rack rib-side down directly on the grill grates.

5. Smoke the rack of pork for 3 to 3½ hours, until the internal temperature reaches 140°F.

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6. Remove from the meat from the smoker, and let it rest under a loose foil tent for 15 minutes before carving.

Notes

The prime rib of pork is composed of the pork sirloin and baby back ribs. The prime rib of pork is also known as a rack of pork or pork rib roast.

Tender Grilled Loin Chops

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The secret to tender, extra-meaty pork loin chops is to ensure they are at least 1-inch thick. The best way is to cut them yourself from a whole pork loin (see note on page 131). Brushing your loin chops with extra-virgin olive oil seals in the natural juices as the chops grill. Be careful not to overcook the chops.

Serves: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus optional 12 to 24 hours brining)

Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes

Rest time: 5 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any

6 boneless center-cut loin pork chops, 1 to 1½ inches thick

2 quarts Pork Brine (page 166)

2 tablespoons roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons black pepper

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Trim excess fat and silver skin from the pork chops.

2. Place the pork chops and brine in a 1-gallon sealable bag and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight.

3. Remove the pork chops from the brine, and pat them dry with paper towels.

4. Rub each pork chop with the olive oil on all sides, and season all sides with the pepper. Do not salt the brined pork chops before grilling, as the brine provides the necessary salt.

5. Allow the pork chops to rest while the wood pellet smoker-grill is preheating.

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ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Use searing grates to configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for direct cooking. Spray the surface of the grates with cooking spray.

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2. Set the grill to high and preheat to at least 450°F using any pellets.

3. Sear the pork chops for 3 minutes on one side.

4. Rotate the pork chops 90 degrees to achieve those aesthetically pleasing cross grill marks.

5. Grill the chops for an additional 3 minutes.

6. Flip the pork chops and continue grilling until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, 6 to 8 more minutes.

7. Brined pork chops cook faster than un-brined chops, so be careful to monitor internal temperatures.

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8. Rest the pork chops under a foil tent for 5 minutes before serving.

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Notes

I recommend using a pig tail food flipper to rotate and flip meat rather than tongs. With tongs, you might apply too much pressure while squeezing the pork chops, causing succulent juices to escape.

Florentine Ribeye Pork Loin

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This delicious and impressive Florentine ribeye pork loin is extremely simple to put together, and you’ll enjoy the flavorful stuffing of spinach, mozzarella, bacon, and onion.

Serves: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 60 to 75 minutes

Rest time: 15 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any

1 (3-pound) boneless ribeye pork loin roast

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons Pork Dry Rub (page 170) or your favorite pork seasoning

4 bacon slices

6 cups fresh spinach

1 small red onion, diced

6 cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers

¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Trim away any excess fat and silver skin.

2. Butterfly the pork loin or ask your butcher to butterfly it for you. There are many excellent videos online with detailed instructions on the different techniques for butterflying a loin roast.

3. Rub 2 tablespoons of the olive oil on each side of the butterflied roast, and season both sides with the rub.

4. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble and set aside. Reserve the bacon fat.

5. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat, wilt the spinach, and set aside.

6. Using the same large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 additional tablespoons of bacon fat and cook the onion until it is translucent, about 8 minutes.

7. Layer the wilted spinach, garlic slivers, shredded mozzarella, crumbled bacon, and onion in the center of the butterflied pork loin.

8. Roll the butterflied pork loin tightly. Tie off the stuffed ribeye pork loin with butcher’s twine at 2-inch intervals.

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ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 375°F using any pellets.

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2. Insert your wood pellet smoker-grill meat probe or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of the pork loin. If your grill does not have meat probe capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe, then use an instant-read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings.

3. Grill the pork loin for 60 to 75 minutes, or until the internal temperature at the thickest part reaches 140°F.

4. Rest the pork loin under a loose foil tent for 15 minutes before carving against the grain.

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Notes

The ribeye portion of a pork loin is characterized by the marbled fat.

You can substitute the sirloin portion of a pork loin for this recipe.

There are many excellent video online showing how to butterfly a pork loin. Here is one I find very approachable: http://bit.ly/S4YM5B.

Naked St. Louis Ribs

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Naked St. Louis-style ribs are smoked low and slow without barbecue sauce, allowing the true flavor profiles of the rub and meaty pork ribs to shine. St. Louis ribs are trimmed-down spare ribs and are bigger and a bit tougher than baby back ribs. However, you’ll love the results once the fat has been rendered out.

Serves: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 to 6 hours

Rest time: 10 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory, Apple

3 St. Louis-style pork rib racks

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon Jan’s Original Dry Rub (page 169) or your favorite pork rub

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Remove the membrane on the underside of the rib racks by inserting a spoon handle between the membrane and rib bones. Grab the membrane with a paper towel and slowly pull it down the rack to remove.

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2. Rub both sides of the ribs with a liberal amount of the rub.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 225°F using hickory or apple pellets.

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2. If using a rib rack, place the ribs in the rack on the grill grates. Otherwise you can use Teflon-coated fiberglass mats, or place the ribs directly on the grill grates.

3. Smoke the ribs at 225°F for 5 to 6 hours with hickory pellets until the internal temperature, at the thickest part of the ribs, reaches 185°F to 190°F.

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4. Rest the ribs under a loose foil tent for 10 minutes before carving and serving.

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Notes

Perform the following rib tests to check for doneness:

✵The internal temperature should be 185° to 190°F.

✵Pick up the rack in the center with tongs—the rack should bend into a U-shape.

✵The meat should pull off the bone and not fall off the bone.

Buttermilk Pork Sirloin Roast

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A sirloin roast is cut from the back of the loin area and lends itself well to low-and-slow cooking. With low calories and fat, the sirloin is considered very lean, so care must be taken to avoid drying it out. The tender and moist results will have friends and family begging you to make it again.

Serves: 4 to 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus marinating overnight)

Cook Time: 3 to 3½ hours

Rest time: 15 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple, Cherry

1 (3 to 3½-pound) pork sirloin roast

1 quart Buttermilk Brine (page 167)

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Trim all fat and silver skin from the pork roast.

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2. Place the roast and buttermilk brine in a 1-gallon sealable plastic bag or brining container.

3. Refrigerate overnight, rotating the roast every few hours when possible.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Remove the brined pork sirloin roast from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Insert a meat probe into the thickest part of the roast.

3. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 225°F using apple or cherry pellets.

4. Smoke the roast until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, 3 to 3½ hours.

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5. Rest the roast under a loose foil tent for 15 minutes, then carve against the grain.

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Notes

Butchering a whole boneless pork loin is extremely economical and affords you many options. The cut on the bottom left is considered the sirloin portion, while the cut on the bottom right is the ribeye (note the marbled fat). The center cut is considered the steak. Cut the steak portion into 2-inch-thick chops. Each portion will easily feed three to four people. You’ll be amazed at the savings you’ll achieve.

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