Basic Pork Loin Questions

Discussion in 'Pork' started by houstoncreed, May 28, 2016.

  1. houstoncreed

    houstoncreed Newbie

    Okay, I feel bad posting this on here, as there are many forum posts about smoking pork, but it's a bit of overload for me, so I thought I would put down my specific issues on here (I do use this site a lot after all).

    I use a ProQ Smoker. I have trouble getting the temp above 210 degrees. I can feed charcoal in there on and off and it just hovers around that temp. Once I got it up to 230 or so, and I think that was due to keeping it out of the wind.

    I am smoking a medium pork loin today. I read that the IT needs to be at least 145 degrees. My basic meat thermometer reads in celcius, and it shows pork being done about 85 degrees (185 F).

    I smoked the loin around 210 for 3 hours with some oak chips. The internal temp read 75 C after I took them off the grill (167 F). This loin had been cut in half. I then cut the halves in half to check them. They looked pretty good except for a bit of pink around the outer edge. I put them back on the grill (still 210 F) with the freshly cut side down on the grill just above the water pan.

    Any tips on two things:

    1) Getting a ProQ hotter.

    2) Safe IT for a small pork loin.

    I'll also take any tips on anything you see in this post that should be avoided.

    I know this post is probably repetitive, but I'd like to say I did pull off some oak smoked corn and garlic after 2 hours that proved the be fantastic. There is hope for me yet.

    Let me know what you all think.

    Thank you.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I'm not familiar with your smoker so I can't help you there.

    As for the pork loin. USDA safe temp for pork is 145 F. I would pull it off at 138-140 and rest it on the counter for a half hour. The carryover cooking will bring it up to 145. It will be a little pink, but that's OK. It will be very tender & juicy.

    houstoncreed likes this.
  3. lancep

    lancep Master of the Pit

    Al's got you on the IT for sure and if it was a little pink on the outer edge, that's normal for smoked meat. As to your smoker temps how are you building your Fire?
    houstoncreed likes this.
  4. houstoncreed

    houstoncreed Newbie

    My IT was perfect then. I actually could have taken it off the first time and had it be a bit juicier, but I put it back for  45 minutes. It was very nice though, if a bit dry. Thanks for the advice.

    I build my fire with coals I get going in a charcoal chimney. I put this in the smoker, and make 1 to 2 more chimneys full of charcoal. I always make sure to clean the bottom out well and keep the vents open, but it just always hovers around 210 degrees. I think part of my problem is just exposure to the wind, but any advice will help. Some of the things I want to try require higher temps for longer times than I did today (and normally do).
  5. lancep

    lancep Master of the Pit

    Ok, first, I'm assuming that's your smoker in your profile pic. If so, I figure it's probably similar to the WSM I use so I'll just pass on what I do and go from there. Also, make sure you have an accurate way to monitor your temps because it's possible that you're cooking hotter than your therm is telling you.

    So my procedure:

    1. Fill chimney starter half way, light, and place it on the charcoal grate in the bottom of the smoker.

    2. Place the middle section/s in place with nothing but the top grate on and put 1-2 wood splits on top to preheat.

    3. Once the chimney coals are fully lit, remove the middle section and chimney, fill the charcoal ring with unlit coals and pour the chimney coals on top. Then place the preheated split on top of the lit coals.

    4. Splits should catch right away. Let them burn for a about 10 min and then move them to either side of the ring. Assemble smoker and fill water pan with hot water.

    5. Bring smoker up to temp. Once smoke is thin and blue, about 30-50 minutes, add meat.

    Now that's how I run my smoker in the 225-250 range. For 300-350 I go with an empty water pan and start with a full chimney of lit coals. If you're using water in the pan make sure its near boiling before you put it in. This will get you up to temp a lot faster. I usually put a large stock pot of water on the stove to boil while I light my fire. That way it's ready to go when my fire is. Hope all this helps and let me know how it works out for you.
    houstoncreed likes this.
  6. houstoncreed

    houstoncreed Newbie

    I just wanted to let you know that I used some of these tips this last weekend, and I was able to get my smoker up to 400 degrees. I was quite chuffed with that being my highest temp ever, so thanks again for the hints.

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