Grilling a Perfect Pork Loin Roast

This mouthwatering Grilled Pork Loin is slow-cooked to tender perfection and then seared to create a crispy exterior. Say goodbye to a hot kitchen and hello to a simple, delicious summer meal. Learn how to master the reverse sear technique on the grill to achieve a pork loin that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. With a customizable seasoning blend, this dish is ready in about an hour. Let’s get started!

Understanding the Difference: Pork Loin vs. Pork Tenderloin

Before we dive into grilling the pork loin, it’s important to differentiate between a pork loin and a pork tenderloin. Despite their similar names, they are distinct cuts that come from different parts of the pig.

The pork loin is a large cut of meat located at the back of the pig and can be sold bone-in or boneless, typically weighing between two to five pounds. For grilling, we recommend using the two-zone cooking method. Begin by cooking the pork loin over indirect heat and then finish with a reverse sear over direct heat. If you prefer an alternative cooking method, roasting it in the oven is also a great option.

On the other hand, the pork tenderloin is a thin and small cut of meat that runs from the hip to the shoulder of the pig. Typically weighing around one pound, this tenderloin is best cooked quickly over high heat. Due to their distinct characteristics, it’s crucial not to substitute one for the other.

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Preparing the Grill: Embracing the Two-Zone Method

To ensure perfectly grilled pork loin, it’s essential to prepare your grill using the two-zone method. Follow these steps based on your grill type:

  • Three Burner Gas Grill: Turn the left burner to medium-high and ignite it.
  • Four Burner Gas Grill: Turn the two left burners to medium and ignite them. Leave the two right burners off.
  • Charcoal Grill: Fill a chimney starter with charcoal and light it following the manufacturer’s instructions (avoid using starter fluid, as it can leave a chemical taste). The coals are ready when the edges turn grey and ashy. Pour the charcoal onto one side of the grill, leaving the other side free of coals. Preheat the grill for 5 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grates. The ideal grill temperature should range between 300 – 350˚F.

The Cooking Process: Grilling a Whole Pork Loin

Now that we have the differences between pork loin and pork tenderloin covered, let’s focus on the preparation and cooking method. By following these steps, you’ll ensure your pork loin turns out juicy and full of flavor.

  1. Start by seasoning the pork loin to enhance its taste and create a delectable crispy exterior. I highly recommend using my Homemade Pork Rub and Seasoning Blend, specifically crafted for pork. Although the base recipe is provided here, you can click over to the recipe for variations that suit your preferences.

  2. Before applying the seasoning, pat the pork loin dry to prevent excess moisture from affecting the cooking process.

  3. Once seasoned, it’s time to fire up the grill. As mentioned earlier, we’ll be employing the two-zone grilling method. This entails grilling the pork loin over low heat (around 300 – 350˚F) for approximately 1 hour, followed by a reverse sear to achieve a caramelized crust without burning the seasoning.

  4. Place the seasoned pork loin on the cooking grate over the non-lit burner(s) or the side without charcoal. Keep a close eye on it and check the internal temperature at the 30-minute mark. We’re aiming for an internal temperature of 130˚F when measured with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork loin.

  5. Once the desired temperature is reached, transfer the pork loin to the cooking grate directly above the lit burners or charcoal. Sear it until the internal temperature reaches 145˚F. Afterward, remove the pork loin from the grill, cover it with tin foil, and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

  6. For a delightful pairing, I suggest serving this juicy pork loin with my Apple Potato Salad. It’s the perfect accompaniment to complete your meal.

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Grilled Pork Loin

Now you’re ready to impress your friends and family with this incredible grilled pork loin recipe from Hook’d Up Bar and Grill. Enjoy the juicy tenderness and irresistible flavors right from your grill. Happy grilling!