Pork loin vs butt?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mummel, May 22, 2015.

  1. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Which one do you guys feel comes out juicier?  The pork loins we've done in the oven tend to be drier and tougher than I would prefer.  We've never done a butt.

    For a 2nd smoke after my ribs!, would you go with a butt or a loin for juicy, tender type meat?  Thanks.

  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Either can be a juicy cut of meat.

    Just don't over cook the loin.
  3. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's apples vs oranges. The loin is nearly free of fat and connective tissue, so is best cooked to 145° internal temp. It will be tender and juicy at that temperature, but like you found out, dry and tough if overcooked.
    The butt on the other hand, has more than its share of fat and connective tissue. So much so that it needs to be taken to a much higher internal temperature to be tender. Most say 180° for slicing, and 195°-205° for pulled pork.
    Time is also another factor. A loin can be done in a few hours, while a butt takes much longer.
  4. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Good point Re: the time required.  Thanks,
  5. The loin is a very lean cut of meat.  I would consider cooking it to 135-140 degrees(final rested temp), but i usually get pork sirloins, from Costco, instead.  They are so much cheaper(they are ~$1.70/lb) and they taste very similar.  Costco also "Enhances" them with solution and they always come out juicy.  I accidentally overcooked a couple to 155(rested temp) the other day and they were still good.  

    Pork shoulder is the cut you want to use for pulled pork, pernil, braises and other stuff that takes a long time, as stated in the posts above.  
  6. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You can also butterfly parts or all of the boneless pork loin for boneless country style ribs, cut it into chops or roasts.  Like others have said, you can make a loin tender and juicy as described above.  The "rib eye" end of the whole pork loin tends to be a tad more tender as a rule.  It has the most fat internally of the the whole loin.  I also make Canadian bacon out of the pork loin as seen in the Bacon forum.  Reinhard
  7. I myself prefer the pork loin roast to the Boston butt. I rub it down with Jeff's rub, wrap in plastic wrap to sit for 2-3 hrs. Smoke at 220 with apple/cherry mix. Mop down with Mahogany sauce at 225 IT then every 30 minutes till its done at 145 IT. Dang it, now I got a hankering to smoke a loin, as if I need an excuse.
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like getting creative with pork loins smoked/cooked to an IT of 145F.  Juicy and tender.  You can do all kinds of things with fruit; apples, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums, strawberries, pears, raisins, cranberries, yada yada.  Can do magic with maple syrup too.  Been on a Canadian bacon kick though with loins recently.   

    Butts always end up pulled at our house.  A coworker said he was moving in with me after eating my pulled pork today at a pot luck.  My wife cracked up laughing and said "okay."  [​IMG]
  9. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I found a huge piece of meat at Market Basket this weekend, "whole center cut boneless pork loin" at $1.89 / lb.  How does this differ to Costco's pork loin boneless piece at $1.99 / lb?  Same piece?  The Market basket one looked much bigger? It did weigh 3lbs more.  Costco = just cut short?  Smaller pig?
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  10. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    One was probably a half loin and the other a whole loin......
  11. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    M, try a stuffed pork loin,the stuffing options are endless. It's a crowd pleaser at my house ! Hit the search bar above  for great ideas and hints.
  12. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  13. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Butt is the better of the two , you have to cook the Loin to 165*F and wrap and rest for a juicy cut . They dry out too quickly.

    Butt is great , you get  lots of Bark , it pulls great and if you want sliced meat , use the Money Muscle , the roundish part in the center of the mass. his is great

    with a nice flavorful Sauce .

    Have fun and . . .
  14. The USDA reduced their pork temperature guidelines to 145, recently.  I know we all grew up cooking the crap out of pork, and it's scary to not cook it done, but it sure does taste good for the leaner cuts, like loin and sirloin.
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
  15. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

  16. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

  17. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Definitely agree with oldschoolbbq, go for the butt.  Very hard to mess up and always juicy :D
  18. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Fun with a pork loin:

    The Object At Hand

    I set up this cutting jig with a long narrow serrated carving knife

    The loin, cut open

    Now for the diced apple stuffing, also some sage and salt&pepper

    Rolled, skewered, roasted

    As served

    kenafein likes this.

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