Primo Smoked Chinese BBQ Pork Loin


A smoked pork loin that is sliced and presented with broccoli, kale, and sweet potatoes
Cherry Smoked Chinese BBQ Pork Loin

Cherry smoking chunks add a scrumptious flavor boost to a Chinese BBQ glazed pork loin, as it smokes in a Primo Oval XL. The Primo Grill delivers moist and flavorful pork loin every time due to the grill’s design to hold and main low temperatures. With a tangy fruit glaze and a fire finish, a 5 pound pork loin can be served in about 1.5 hours!


This post is sponsored by the Primo Grills, all opinions and commentary are my own. As you probably can tell from social media, I absolutely love my Primo Oval XL 400. It’s easy to adjust and maintain the grill’s internal temperature, This is due to the grill’s easy to use vent system. The entire design of the grill makes every one of my smoky delish dishes successful! And I am not exaggerating!


Onward, let’s smoke pork loin!

Pork Loin is in a marination bag with tangerines.
Chinese BBQ marinade with hints of Chinese-5 Spice and Citrus that can double as a glaze.!

TO MARINATE OR NOT

I have marinated pork loins with a great infusion of flavor. Subsequently, I have rubbed pork tenderloin with different spice blends and had great success as well. The key to serving tender, moist, and flavorful pork loin is LOW TEMPERATURE! And that is where a #CeramicGrill is your best friend. I find 250°F-275°F is right for me. I know many pitmasters love 225°F but Gramma Merry does not want to wait any longer than 1.5 hours when smoking a pork loin. If you are going to marinade 3 hours is your minute time.


A pork loin that sits on a smoky grill.
Pork Loins are so economical, and so easy to smoke.

TIPS ON SMOKING PORK LOIN

  1. Buy the right pork! You may laugh, but I have sent friends to the store for a pork tenderloin, and they came home with a pork loin. Additionally, I have given friends a pork loin recipe, they buy pork tenderloin and wonder why the pork turned out dry. Hello ~ pork tenderloin and pork loin are vastly different in how they behave on the grill! Pork loin is a center cut loin chop cut from tissue along the upper side of the rib cage. Pork tenderloin, on the other hand, is cut from the muscle that runs through the central spine of the pig. It is the most tender portion of the pig.

  2. So economical! Pork loins are about 1/4 of the cost of pork tenderloin! When serving more than 7 people a pork loin is a smart choice!

  3. To Rub or to Marinade! Season your pork loin with marinade or a rub 3 hours or up until overnight for maximum penetration of flavor.

  4. Score the outside! When you score the outside of the pork loin, be aggressive! 1/2-inch is great. Make sure you score the meat before placing in the marinade. When using a rub, score the pork before or after seasoning. Not only does scoring the pork allow full penetration of seasoning but of smoke too. Plus, don’t you just love the look of a scored pork loin? So cute!

  5. Use 2-4 smoking chunks. For pork loin, I love to add cherry, hickory, maple or peach wood chunks to the lump charcoal. One application of the wood chunks will be plenty. I actually think 3 wood chunks is ideal. Pork loin is a sponge and will easily absorb the wood scent.

  6. Pork’s Internal Temperature. I pull the partially cooked pork loin off at 128° to 132°. Remember, a fire finish will up the internal temperature and add a scrumptious add flavor. Once the grill is blazing hot, around 500°F grill pork on all sides, until it reaches 140°F. As the pork rests for 20 minutes the temperature will climb to 145°F.

  7. Serve Pork Loin Hot or Cold. I have had fantastic compliments after smoking a pork loin the day before a gathering. The smoky flavor settles in by the next day. And when pork loin is chilled you can slice it super thin. Try it for your next charcuterie board! You will be delighted with the comments. Shaved smoked pork loin is delicious on a cracker with a creamy cheese, spicy fruit jam and a fresh herb or slice of apple.

Smoked Pork Loin rests on a bed of kale and broccoli.
A fast fire finish is a great way to add a touch of char.

WHAT SIDE DISHES GO WITH PORK LOIN

  • Gosh, the list is endless when it comes to sides and pork loin. In addition, pork loin can be served at a fancy Holiday Dinner or a casual summer BBQ. Some of my favorite dishes with pork:

  • Crisp Apple Salad with Tart Vinaigrette (acid cuts the smoke)

  • Cheesy Mac ’N Cheese or Cauliflower (pork loin likes creamy cheesy dishes)

  • Scallop Herb Potatoes (pork loin likes creamy dishes)

  • Spicy Beans but not baked beans (pork is sweet enough don’t serve a sweet on sweet)

  • Applesauce (balance the apple sauce with lemon juice and add warm spices)

  • Smoked Fruit and Vegetables

  • Add leftovers to fried rice and potato hash

A pork loin sits in a V-grill rack and is ready to place on a grill.
Primo Ceramic Grills are designed so well and make regulation of grill temperature super easy.

HOW TO SMOKE PORK LOIN

  • Trim, marinade or rub the 4-6 lbs pork loin.

  • Preheat the Primo Ceramic to 250-275°F.

  • Add 2-4 BBQ smoking wood chunks.

  • Set grill for indirect smoking or two-zone cooking.

  • SMOKE for 60 minutes before peeking!

  • Remove the partially cooked pork loin from the grill at 128°F. Open the vents of the grill and get the grill glowing, about 500°F!

  • Now throw that pork loin back on the blazing hot grates and char on all sides. Now is the time to start brushing the pork with a glaze.

  • The pork is ready to be removed from the grill at 140°F. As the pork rests for 20 minutes the temperature will climb to 145°F.

An amber brown pork loin that is sliced to show the light pink center.
Cherry Smoked Chinese BBQ Pork Loin is fancy enough for a holiday meal yet inexpensive enough for any day eats!

HOW MANY SERVINGS ARE THERE IN A PORK LOIN

By the book, you serve 8 ounces of pork per serving. Doesn’t that sound like a lot? I thought so, I weighed an 8-oz portion and a 5-oz serving of cooked pork loin. Oh my gosh, you certainly don’t have to plan on 8 ounces of pork per serving! That is 3 large slices of pork, and each slice is about 1/2-inch thick.

I’d suggest serving 5 oz or pork loin per person. A 10 pound pork loin feeds 30 people for under $20! What a deal!

LET’S SMOKE ON A PRIMO GRILL!

INSPO:

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Smoked Pork Loin with side dishes of sweet potatoes, salad, broccoli, and kale.
Let's eat Cherry Smoked Chinese BBQ Pork Loin! Oh Yum

Recipe Primo Smoked Chinese BBQ Pork Loin
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Primo Smoked Chinese BBQ Pork Loin

Quick Info

Serves: 8

Brine Time: 3 hours to overnight

Pork Internal Finished Temperature: 145°F

Season: Year Round

Category: Pork


INGREDIENTS:

1 (4 to 6 lb) pork loin

Garnish:

For the Brine and Glaze:

1/2 cup red plum jam

1/4 cup orange marmalade

1/4 cup coconut aminos

1/4 cup Hoisin Sauce

2 tbsp Chinese garlic chili sauce

3 garlic clove, chopped

1/4 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp salted butter

1 tbsp fish sauce

1-2 tsp Chinese 5-Spice

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tbsp honey or agave syrup

2 tangerines, sliced

Optional Side Dishes:

Sautéed Garlic Kale or Spinach, sweet potatoes or fried rice, vinaigrette salad

Smoking Wood Chunks: 2 Hickory wood chunks and 2 Cherry wood chunks

PREPARATION INSTRUCTION

1. Prepare the Pork: Use a sharp knife to score the pork loin on all sides. knife under the membrane found on the inside surface of the rib bones, and lift up diagonally in two directions.

2. Prepare the Brine: In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients in the brine and glaze list. The quantity of Chinese-5 spice can start with 1 tsp then after simmering add more if you like. Bring the sauce to a boil on high then simmer on low for 10 minutes to thicken. Cool the brine in the refrigerator. Divide 1/2 of the sauce for the brine and 1/2 for the glaze.

3. Brine the Pork: Place prepared pork and 1/2 of the brine into a large resealable plastic bag or a marination bowl. Refrigerate for 3 hours or up to overnight.

4. Prepare Grill: Fill the fire box with Primo Lump Charcoal. Wedge 1 or 2 Primo Quick Light starter cubes in the charcoal, and light. Wait 5-10 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers. Close the dome, and fully open the draft door on the bottom. Adjust the top vent as the thermometer begins to reach 250°F. Add 3 smoking chips. Insert heat deflector rack and plate. Once the temperature has reached 275°F, close the top and bottom vent to 1/4-inch open. Wait 2 minutes for the temperature to stabilize. Increase or decrease the airflow on the top and bottom vent as needed to retain 275°F or as low as 250°F.

COOKING INSTRUCTION

Remove pork loin from the marinade and lightly pat with a paper towel. Place pork loin on a grill rack above a rimmed baking pan or dripped pan. Pour 1-2 cups of water into the pan.


Close the lid and smoke for 60 minutes, or until internal temperature has reached 120°F to 125°F. The pork has not finished cooking at this point.


Remove pork from the grill, and set aside. Remove the deflector plates, and increase grill temperature to 500°F by opening the bottom draft vent and the daisy top vent.


Once the grill is extremely hot, brown the pork loin on all sides, over direct heat, about 3 minutes per side. If the pork rib roast is sufficiently browned but has not reached 145°F place it back over indirect heat to finish cooking.


Remove pork loin from the grill when the internal target temperature range reaches 140°F. The pork loin should reach 145°F as it rests.


Rest pork loin for 20 minutes before slicing. Serve on a platter of garlic kale or spinach or even seasoned ramen!

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