Bone-In Pork Loin

Bone-In Pork Loin Recipe

If you want to impress your Holiday guests this season, do I have a recipe for you!  This is my sure-fire pork loin recipe, and it is guaranteed to be the talk of the dinner table.  What makes it unique is that it’s a Bone-In pork loin. Everyone knows that cooking meat on the bone gives it a ton of flavor and the presentation of this roast will make your mouth water.

This time of year you can find bone-in pork loin roast at your local grocery store. They typically come in 7-8 bone center cut sections weighing around 4-5lbs.  If you can’t find it in the meat case, ask the butcher to specially cut one.

I bought this roast at Costco for around $18.  It came semi trimmed, but there’s still a few things that need to be done before we get to the cooking.  First you want to feel along the back side of the roast for any pieces of the chine bone.  This is where the loin attaches to the spine.  Use a filet knife and carefully work the pieces of bone off.  It will make carving easier when the roast is cooked, and your guest won’t have to worry with tiny pieces of bone when they’re devouring it.  Also, remove the silver skin.  This is the tough membrane-like connective tissue on the top side of the loin.  No matter how long you cook it, the silver skin won’t render.  Next remove the membrane off the back side of the ribs.  The easiest way is to use a butter knife or spoon to life the membrane away from the bone and grab it with a piece of paper towel.  It should come off in one big piece.  If you had your butcher specially cut the loin roast, you can have him “French” the bones.  This process if fairly easy to do yourself as well; just cut down about 1 ½” on each side of the bone and take out a chunk of the meat.  Use the filet knife to scrape away any meat or membrane from each rib.  This is purely for appearance but it will make the roast look like it was prepared in a fancy restaurant.  Last but not least tie several pieces of butcher twine around the roast every few inches.  It doesn’t need to be tight, just enough to shape the roast.

To pack the roast with flavor and moisture, I brine it for at least 6 hours.  Here’s the recipe for the brine:

Brine

  • 64oz Apple Juice
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 1 cup Salt
  • Herb Bundle: Fresh Rosemary, Thyme, and Sage

Bring the apple juice to a simmer in a large stock pot.  Add the salt and sugar and stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat and add the herb bundle. Allow the brine to cool to room temperature.

Place the pork loin in a 2 ½ gallon ziplock bag and pour the brine over it.  Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator.  It needs 6 hours but it won’t hurt to leave it in there overnight.  Be sure to sit the bag in a container big enough to hold the liquid just in case there’s any leakage.

After 6 hours remove the roast from the brine and pat it dry with paper towel.  To season this roast I use a mixture of fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.  Here’s the recipe:

Fresh Herb Rub

  • 2 TBS Sea Salt
  • 1 TBS Course Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 TBS Fresh Rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 TBS Fresh Thyme finely chopped
  • 1 TBS Fresh Sage finely chopped
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic minced

Brush the surface of the pork loin with a good coating of Olive Oil. By hand, apply the herb mixture to the entire loin.  Don’t be stingy here, you want good coverage.  The fresh herbs aren’t as strong as their dried counter-parts, so if you’re substituting half the amounts of each.

Now the Bone-In Pork Loin is ready for the smoker.  Today I cooked the loin on my Yoder set to 300 degrees.  For fuel and smoke I used BBQ’rs Delight cherry pellets.  The fruity smoke from these pellets goes great with pork loin, and it’s mild enough not to overpower the meat.

There are two steps to cooking this pork roast:

First place the loin on the hottest section of the grill bone side down.  On my Yoder it’s the far right of the cooking grate closest to the exhaust port.  I won’t the higher heat to brown the outside of the loin to lock-in the juices.  Let it cook for 15 minutes on this side and then flip it over to the top side and repeat.

Once the roast is browned on both sides, 30 minutes of cooking, move it to the middle section of the rack.  The temp in this section is right at 300 degrees.  For the second part of the cooking process, simply let the smoker do its job.  After 45 minutes check the internal temperature to see where things are.  It should take about 1 ½ hours to get to an internal of 140 degrees which is perfect for pork loin.  The total cook time is roughly 2 hours from once it hits the hot side of the smoker until it’s completely finished.

As soon as you see 140 degrees in the center of the roast, remove it from the smoker and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.  I know it’s hard but resist the urge to slice into it right away.  You don’t want to lose any of the juices that are trapped inside!

To serve use a carving knife and carefully slice in between each rib bone creating one portion.  Normally each chop will feed one person, but I guarantee you everyone will come back for more!

If you’re looking for something a little different than your ordinary turkey or ham for the holidays, give this bone-in pork loin a try.  It’s a winner in my book!

About Malcolm (the Author)

For over a decade now Malcom Reed has been competing in barbecue competitions... and it didn't take long for this hobby to develop into a full-blown addiction. After being inspired by the comradery and brotherhood of the sport, Malcom developed HowToBBQRight.com, a website devoted to sharing BBQ techniques and promoting the Competition BBQ Lifestyle. Through his cooking team, The Killer Hogs, and his barbecue business, Malcom is a constant student of 'Que... and his goal is to and his goal is to share his knowledge and passion with everyone.