Smoked Pork Loin for tacos?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by ynot2k, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    I have two event coming up in 2 weeks, one Saturday and one Sunday and I want to supply pork tacos.  Ordinarily I would do pulled pork with a Boston Butt but I happen to have access to "free" pork loins.  Lots of them.  As much as I could possibly need.  Five of them, each about 9#.  I only actually need one loin for each event.

    My question is - has anyone smoked a pork loin and then cubed it up for tacos?  Should I trim more fat that normal?  Any difference in finishing temp?  I generally pull a loin at 145 and wrap and rest if I'm going to slice it.
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are the loins commercial or home grown?  Home grown take them to 160F.  Commercial, 145F is fine.

    At my grocer I've seen pork loins with a LOT of fat and some with barely any.  I guess the trimming would depend on each loin.  I like around 1/8" to 1/4" max.

    Hmmm, I just smoked a couple pork tenderloins tonight to 145F using just EVOO, Kosher salt and course black pepper.  Never crossed my mind to cube them up, season them, and put them in tacos.  Sounds like a plan for tomorrow night's dinner with the leftovers.  Thanks for the idea!
  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    That sounds good to me!  I bet they'll be tasty.  Loin is a lot leaner than a shoulder or butt, so they don't pull well...but cubed would be good.  As Noboundaries indicated, finished IT should be between 145*-160*, depending on how 'done' you like it.  

    Let us know how it turns out!  [​IMG]

  4. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    I'll add some Qview tonight when I rub and wrap the "test" loin and then add more Qview as the testing continues...

    Thanks for the responses - I think it will work out just fine.
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Pork loin would make good tacos. But, unlike the beef, the pork loin covers everything from the shoulder to the ham.

    But for tacos?  Some cheaper cuts come to mind.

    I like the "pork sirloin" for lots of things.  Just the back end of the pork loin.  Lean yet tender and juicy. Cheaper than the front part of the loin which includes the pricier cuts.

    Not enough fat to worry about.

    Good luck and good smoking.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2014
  6. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    I agree, cheaper cuts do come to mind.  The fact that I'm getting the pork loins for free makes it a no-brainer for me.

  7. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If people can make Fish tacos, why not Pork Loin tacos ??

    You could also make some wraps adding some pork, tomatoes and peppers. Don't forget the Hot Sauce !!
  8. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Made the tacos tonight using the some of the leftover pork tenderloin and a DIY taco seasoning recipe I found online. It was yummy!
  9. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    Good to hear that others are giving this a try!

    The fat layer on this loin was quite thin, maybe 1/8".  I did not trim at all.  I quartered this huge loin and rubbed and wrapped two chunks.  I had some bacon handy, so I rubbed and then did a bacon weave on the other two.  Rub was SPOG, heavy on the G.  They go on the smoker at 4 pm today to be ready to serve at a little party we're hosting tonight for 14 people.

    I plan on serving the bacon wrapped loins first.  I'm sure there will be some leftovers (I also have a 12# brisket on the smoker right now).  I'll use the leftovers to cube and test as taco filling.

    More Q-view on the smoker, plated, and sliced coming soon.

  10. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower

    Just put these guys on the Traeger.  Planning on, oh, 3-4 hours @ 225.  Will pull at 145 IT and foil and rest until time to eat.

    Excited to see how this turns out.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  11. ynot2k

    ynot2k Smoke Blower finish pics.  [​IMG]

    Things got busy, guests arrive early, lots of hubbub = no pics.

    I can tell you all that I did pull at 145 IT and placed in aluminum roasting pan, added apple juice, apple cider vinegar mix, and rested for only 15 minutes.  When carving the first bacon-wrapped loin, the juices did not seem to flow out of the loin at all - instead the meat had absorbed it and glistened on the surface of the slices.  Everyone commented how moist and tender the meat was.  I'm sold on 145 IT for loins.

    Thanks to all for the comments and guidance.  Happy smoking!
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  12. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Final Q view pics missed, it happens ! You'll just have to send us all a sample of your next smoke and things will be alright ..... LOL. :ROTF
    Seriously looks good, great job ! Thumbs Up

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