Grilled Pork Loin Roast
A boneless pork loin roast is a great choice for an economical Sunday dinner, but it can lack flavor and tends to dry out if not cooked properly. Both problems are easily solved with an optional, simple overnight brining. I’m totally sold on the brining step when it comes to juicy pork as well as chicken and turkey (my foolproof brined turkey recipe is here). The science behind brining allows thorough cooking while guarding against dry, lifeless meat. Add a bit of extra flavor from outdoor cooking on a grill (with or without wood smoke) and the result is a juicy, easy to carve pork roast that can’t be beat for entertaining.
The process is easy…brine overnight, tie the roast for even cooking, season and cook. Even though the brining will help keep the roast moist, the best insurance is a meat thermometer. Many older cookbooks recommend an internal temperature of 165 degrees which accounts for the bad reputation given to generations of dry, overcooked pork roasts. The USDA now recommends that fresh pork be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees. All roasts should be allowed to rest before carving for about 10-15 minutes to allow the juices inside to redistribute. During this resting time, the temperature of the roast will continue to rise another 5-10 degrees.
Many supermarkets sell whole boneless pork loins in cry-o-vac packages. Since pork freezes well, and when I find them on sale, I purchase the whole loin, cut it into two or three portions and freeze what I don’t need for future meals. To gauge how much to buy, figure on 6-8 ounces of pork per person, I always cook a larger roast than I need, the leftover pork is wonderful sliced thinly and reheated in BBQ sauce the next day for easy sandwiches.
Grilled Boneless Pork Loin
1 boneless pork loin roast
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, mashed
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp light brown sugar (aids in browing)
½ tsp dried thyme
Optional Brining Step: wash & pat the roast dry with paper towels. Do not trim the thin layer of fat on the outside of the roast. Rub the roast all over with the sugar and salt. Place in a zip lock bag and refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, remove the roast from the bag, rinse well and pat dry.
Tie the roast in several places with kitchen twine (helps the roast to cook evenly). Rub the roast all over with the garlic, pepper, soy sauce, brown sugar and thyme. Let sit until roast comes to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Preheat grill. Place the roast on one side away from direct heat and grill, turning occasionally with tong to cook evenly for about 35-45 minutes (depending on thickness of the roast, until the internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees.
Remove from the grill and let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Remove the kitchen string and slice as desired.