Boneless Loin for pulling?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by fitzdawg79, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. fitzdawg79

    fitzdawg79 Fire Starter

    Has anyone ever used a boneless pork loin for pulling? I've got two (really just one that's cut in half) ready to go in the smoker and I was going to slice one for sure, but was wondering about experimenting with cooking the other to pulling temps. With that particular cut of meat, would cooking that long dry the meat out too much due to the lower fat content (compared to a butt or shoulder)? Sorry for the noob question!
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have never tried pulling it. I always stuff mine and smoke them and slice them. But like you said I would be worried that since the loin doesn't have much or any fat in the meat it would dry out. If I had to guess it wouldn't work very well. But then again what do I know??? haha
  3. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yeah, the loin will be far too lean for pulling, and yes, it will begin to dry out somewhere between 165-170* I/T.

    Go to 155* max I/T and wrap in foil and towels to rest for an hour or so...carry-over heat will bring the internal up several more degrees during resting. You will have delicious sliced pork.

  4. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    hey, fitz - no worries; it is a valid question ~

    the short answer is that a pork loin just isn't the right cut of meat for what you are proposing. meat that is done and meat that is barbecue are two different things; we can argue semantics all day, but barbecue is taking a cheap, tough piece of meat and giving it long slow cooking in order to break down the connective tissues that make it tough. the fat keeps it moist while this is happening. the rendered fat and the melted collagen (gelatin) keep the meat tender, moist and flavorful. cuts such as pork shoulder have the fat content and the connective tissue necessary to turn meat into barbecue.

    your concerns are valid; loin has neither the connective tissue to make this necessary nor the fat content to keep it moist while it is happening. you would end up with very over-cooked, dry, tough meat that is unappetizing. better to take that thing to 155-160, let it rest 10-15 minutes and slice it.

    now, having said all that, i did once take some deer tenderloins and cooked them with a good amount of oil-based mopping to the point where they were just done. after resting, those babies were so tender that when i tried to slice, they pretty much fell apart and shredded themselves into "pulled venison!" you can read about it here:
  5. fitzdawg79

    fitzdawg79 Fire Starter

    Thanks for the quick answers, sounds like two slicers for me. One quick qualifier though...would it make it any different to wrap one of the halves in really fatty bacon?
  6. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmm, I've been waiting for a reply here from someone who's on-line has tried what you're considering I guess.

    I have seen many members use bacon wrap on loins, I'm just not sure it would retain much of the interior does add a lot of flavor, for sure.

    The main thing is, with meats for pulling, you need the interior fat content/connective tissues to really make it work.

    Something to consider with your leftover chili...great with smoked pork wife creates this dish very well.

  7. dirt guy

    dirt guy Smoking Fanatic

    Your perceptions and expectations are right on track, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to experiment.[​IMG] (Wait until you can get the meat on sale, though--in case the results aren't very good.)

    You could try my Pork-U-Pine method if you want to keep it moist and add some flavor. The idea of wrapping a bacon blanket around a Pork-U-Pine has given me a hankerin' to fire up some wood!

    I do my loins different than most. I only give them smoke between 60 and 90 minutes depending on how they look like they are doing. After that, I pan them and cover them to make sure they retain as much moisture as possible. You still get a nice smoke ring and flavor, but not much bark at all.

    If you take the covered loin on up to 180-190 (dependent on that particular piece of meat), you will get similar results to pulling (as discussed about the deer loin). If your knife isn't very sharp, it will fall apart rather than cut.

    I will also sometimes chop the leftover slices for use as sandwiches, nachos, or other dishes as they come to mind. Keep us posted on what you did and what your results were.[​IMG]
  8. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    some great suggestions, DG[​IMG]

    about wrapping in bacon, i would say that it sure can't hurt, and will definitely add a lot of flavor. i would think that when you wrap in bacon thisly, you are, in effect, giving it a "fat cap," which could help retain moisture and should definitely add basting effect. the result won't be the same as pulled pork, but when used with DG's method, it sounds like it would be awfully good!
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm with you Eric (forluvofsmoke) or second it. It will start to dry out for sure. I would slice it for sandwiches or you can like Rbranstner said and filet it and stuff it. I have done that and it is really awesome [​IMG]too.
  10. fitzdawg79

    fitzdawg79 Fire Starter

    So I'm going with slicing both halves of the loin, and here are the pics so far...

    Only had enough bacon to wrap one.

    My friends for the smoke
  11. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

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