Grilling a pork loin can be done a couple of different ways. These loins will be marinated in Grill Mates Garlic Wine and Herb marinade but feel free to make up your own marinade like: Italian Salad dressing or a french onion soup mix. To maximize our marinades flavor penetration into the pork we will be grilling it using indirect heat on our trusty Weber Kettle with natural lump charcoal and charcoal baskets.
Pork loins come in many different sizes so your grilling time will vary. The ones that we are grilling are end cut, you can tell by the tapered ends and larger and in the 2 to 2.5 pound range, you can find them as small as 3/4 of a pound or up to 5 pounds depending on how they are cut. A whole pork loin can be 36 inches long.
The difference between a pork loin and a pork tenderloin is very visible. A loin cut is virtually the same thickness all the way across and usually has a nice fat cap across the top. While a tenderloin is smaller, narrow, has a thick end and tapers almost to a point while showing little to no fat.
The day before your planing to grill your pork loin, mix the Grill Mates Garlic Wine and Herb marinade (or the marinade of your choice) as per the instructions on the package. If you don’t have at least 3 hours to let the meat rest in the marinade I suggest you inject the marinade it into the meat.
Place the pork into a large Ziploc baggie and pour 3/4 of the marinade in. Seal the bag and massage the meat to mix the marinade in and refrigerate over night. I like to flip the bag and massage the meat in the morning as well. Seal and refrigerate the excess marinade aside for basting during the cook.
Pre-heat your grill and get it set up for a medium to high heat indirect cook.
To do this on our kettle grill we will use 5 lbs. of natural lump charcoal poured into 2 charcoal baskets placed on either side of the grill, with drip pans placed in the middle. We are looking for a grill temp of about 350 degrees on your hood thermometer.
Once your grill is up to temp remove the tenderloin from the baggie and shake off excess marinade. You will want to leave a light coating of the marinade on the pork. Place the in the area of the grill you have set up for indirect heat, over your drip pans.
Since these are larger pork loins we will let them sit on the grill for 20 minutes and then turn and cook for an additional 15 minutes on the other side. Take the excess marinade and baste the meat on both sides when you flip it. Grill for 35 minutes total over indirect heat.
You may want to check your temps here, remember we are shooting for about 140 degrees max. At this point ideally the center of your meat is somewhere around 115 degrees.
Now we will move the pork directly over the heat placing it over the coals to brown for 5 minutes each side, 10 minutes total. If your meat is above 120 degrees shorten this time to two to three minutes if it is on the cold side add a minute or two.
Ideally now your tenderloin is at 140 degrees in the center. If you have reached that pull the pork from the grill tent with tinfoil and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. This will allow the meat to reach 145 degrees. If you’re not quite there yet I suggest moving it back to indirect heat to slowly bring the temperature up before removing from the heat.
Depending on how you want to serve it will dictate how thick you want to slice it. For sandwiches or sliders we suggest 1/2 thick if serving it as is an inch thick is ideal.
About the author: Mike is the owner of 4thegrill.com, a Certified Food Safety Professional and KCBS member.
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