Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pork Loin, Not Tender

I've never eaten or cooked a pork tenderloin that turned out anything but dry.  It seems so appealing in the grocery store. They even have some that are preseasoned or marinated that may seem tempting.  It's large enough to feed a family of 4.  It's quick cooking.'s always dry.  If you have a recipe that turns out moist, well, then you're doing a lot better than me.  

Now, I've seen pork loin, which is an entirely different cut of meat, but I've never tackled it before.  I've heard that they are juicier and more flavorful.  It's like the tenderloin is the white meat and the loin is more like dark meat, even though it's not dark.  I stumbled across a recipe for a pork loin recipe that intrigued me.  Put a good rub on it, wrap it in bacon, and grill it, basting with BBQ sauce.  We did a fancy weave of bacon. We made our own rub.  We made our own sauce.  We grilled it.  

Let me tell you, it was so darn good that I stood in the kitchen practically licking the BBQ sauce and bacon drippings off of the pan my husband brought it in on.  I actually really made a spectacle of myself.  It was like a kid licking the cake batter off of their momma's spoon.  The bacon almost tasted like bacon candy.  This stuff was awesome!  And, whether you make a fancy bacon weave like we did or wrap the bacon willy nilly around the loin, who cares!  It tastes so good and is so juicy and flavorful that it doesn't matter what it looks like! Enjoy.

4-5 lb boneless pork loin (not tenderloin)
About 20-25 slices bacon (thin slices)
Vegetable oil

2 C ketchup
3/4 C water
3/4 C brown sugar
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 T molasses
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
2 T minced garlic
1 T paprika
1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped

2 T salt
2 T black pepper
2 T garlic powder
2 T onion powder
2 T smoked paprika
3/4 C brown sugar
Cayenne pepper, to taste

NOTE:  You will need to use thin sliced bacon for this.  If you must use thick sliced bacon, you will need to put the wrapped loin under the broiler (both sides) to partially cook the bacon. Otherwise the bacon will never get done.  Whether you do a weave or simply wrap the loin with the bacon, you will need to secure the ends with toothpicks, which can be challenging for cooking.  You can broil the toothpicked side so that you don't need to sear that side and then sear the other side on the grill.  You will need a grill safe thermometer for making sure the pork is done inside.  You will also have rub leftover, so you can save it for another use or halve the recipe.

For the BBQ sauce, put all of the ingredients in a pot. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is thick and bubbly.  Refrigerate until you're ready to use it.

Mix the rub ingredients together and set them aside. Reserve about 1 C of the BBQ sauce for serving.  Two hours before cooking the loin, let it come to room temperature.  Preheat the grill to 500 degrees.  Trim any excess fat off of the pork loin.  Rub the loin with vegetable oil and then sprinkle some rub onto the loin on all sides.  You can do a bacon weave or just simply wrap the slices of bacon around the pork loin and secure the ends with toothpicks.  Sprinkle some additional rub all over the bacon.  

Sear the pork loin (not the toothpick side) on the grill over direct heat for around 7 minutes to cook the bacon.  Put the loin on top of a rib rack or a roast rack and put the rack on a sheet pan or foil.  Turn the grill down to low to medium heat. Grill the meat, basting occasionally with BBQ sauce, until the internal temperature is 150 degrees (ours took somewhere between 30-45 minutes).  Take the meat off of the grill and cover it with foil.  Let it rest until it reaches 160 degrees. Slice the loin and serve with the reserved BBQ sauce.


  1. The pork loin sounds mouth watering ly delicious. As for tenderloin , I know Jamie Oliver has some recipes. I've also used it diced, slow cooked in a casserole version of Chicken Chausseur and it was delicious and not dry. Hope that helps Sammie x

    1. Thank you so much, Sammie! This was by far the moistest, best tasting roast I've ever done in 25 + years of cooking! Enjoy!