Posted by johngl
Pork loin can be a little fickle: it’s rather lean and can dry out amazingly quickly when cooked conventionally.
These were cooked sous vide (in separate bags) for 4-5 hours at 131°F. They’ve been in the freezer for a couple of months, so I thought it time to finally smoke ’em.Here they are still frozen solid and headed to the smoker. There is no reason to thaw them.
Let’s back up a minute.
Veteran charcoalers will no-doubt recognize the layout of the briquettes. This is called a snake. It allows for a controlled burn for an extended period.This particular layout burns 45° of the charcoal arc every hour and keeps this particular smoker at 225°F with the vents open half-way. I wasn’t sure just how long these frozen loins would take, so I allowed for at least 6 hours.Note how this chimney starter is nearly empty. It doesn’t take much to get the snake going. When the charcoal got to this point in the chimney, I dumped them.Those are thin oak strips I placed along the top of the snake.
So where’s the smoke? Believe me, it IS there, you just can’t see it. If your equipment is belching thick smoke, you’re doing it wrong.
I wanted to get these pork loins up to 140°F internally. Given that, I didn’t even start to check the meat temp until three hours in. It was 114°F at that time. I gave them another hour and they came out at 142.5°F.You don’t even have to let the meat rest prior to digging in! We ate several thin slices immediately. It just smelled too good!
Tender, juicy, and delicious, this method takes all the fickle out of the equation.