Boneless pork loin is tough to cook. Modern pork is bred to be very lean*, and pork loin was a lean cut to begin with, even before it became “modern pork”.
*Cooking shows have renamed pork to “Modern pork is bred to be very lean”. Just watch – the next time it’s mentioned, you’ll hear those exact words. I don’t think this is what the “other white meat” people were looking for, exactly.
Because it’s so lean, it goes from cooked to overcooked in a flash. Also, since fat carries flavor, it doesn’t have a whole lot of flavor on its own.
What can you do about this? That’s what I’m here to tell you. In this recipe I pull out all the stops: this roast loin is brined, rubbed, cooked on the rotisserie to give it a nice, brown crust, and then glazed with maple syrup at the last minute. In the end, you get pork that is sweet, spicy, juicy, and flavored all the way through.
Recipe: Rotisserie Boneless Pork Loin Roasts, Brined, Rubbed and Maple Syrup Glazed
- Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I use a Weber Summit with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here is the current version of my grill.)
- Aluminum foil drip pan (9“x13”, or whatever fits your grill. I use an enameled steel roasting pan.)
- Butchers twine
- Instant Read Thermometer
- One bunch thyme and a couple of sprigs of rosemary, tied at the stems to use as a basting brush (or, just a regular basting brush)
Rotisserie pork loin, brined and glazed with maple syrup.
- 2 (2 pound) boneless pork loin roasts (aim for the thickest roasts you can find, and try to get them roughly the same length)
- 2 quarts water
- 1/2 cup table salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, whole
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, whole
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, (preferably “Grade B” maple syrup)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon reserved rub
- Brine the pork roasts: Stir the brine ingredients in a large container until dissolved. Add the pork loins and refrigerate for 3 to 8 hours.
- Prepare the grill: A half hour before cooking, prepare your rotisserie for cooking on indirect high heat (450°F+). For my Weber kettle, I light a chimney starter full of charcoal, wait for it to be covered with ash, then pour it in two equal piles on the sides of the grill, and put the drip pan in the middle, between the piles.
- Make the rub and glaze: While the grill is heating, crush the whole seed ingredients into a coarse grind, then stir in the other rub ingredients. (I do this using a mortar and pestle – or using a coffee cup and a spice jar as the mortar and pestle,). Whisk the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.
- Truss and spit the pork roasts: Remove the pork loins from the brine, and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Score the fat on the top of the roasts in a 1″ diamond pattern with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut into the meat. Cut a slit through the side of the roasts, until it just reaches the far side, but don’t cut all the way through – you want to open the roast up like a book. Sprinkle the roasts evenly with the rub, patting to help it stick to the meat. Close the cuts back up, then put the roasts back to back, with the fat sides facing out. Truss the two roasts together, making one big roast, spacing each tie about 1 inch apart. Finally, run the spit between the two tied roasts, making sure the prongs on the spit go into the roasts.
- Rotisserie the pork: Put the spit on the grill, and turn on the rotisserie motor. Cook with the lid closed. It should take 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the thickness of the pork roasts. 2 (2 pound) roasts should be done in about 1 hour. It’s better to go by temperature, though – you want the thickest part of the roast to measure 145°F for medium (or 135°F for medium-rare plus, with just a hint of pink). Start checking the temperature at the 30 minute mark. When you check the temperature at 30 minutes, brush the roast with the maple syrup glaze, and then brush it every 10 minutes after that.
- Rest, carve and serve: Remove the spit from the grill, remove the roasts from the spit, and remove the trussing twine from the roasts. Brush the roasts once more with the maple syrup glaze, then let them rest for 15 minutes. Carve into 1/2″ thick slices and serve.
- This next note gets into the details bacteria in pork. If you’re squeamish about that kind of thing, you may want to skip down to the credits, below. 1 Cooking pork to medium is almost a requirement for this recipe; that’s why I recommend only cooking it to a maximum of 145°F. Modern Pork is trichinosis free*.2 Why? Because trichinosis comes from the feed of the pigs (um…well, basically they have to eat garbage to get it. See the link above, if you want all the squeamish details.) If you buy your pork from a grocery store, you’re not going to get trichinosis. If you insist on cooking your pork to well done, use a cut of Pork Shoulder (aka Boston Butt Roast), and the recipe I link to below instead. Pork shoulder has the internal fat to stand up to being cooked well done without turning into sawdust.
- Oh, and by cooking to 145°F, with a three minute rest, the carry-over cooking from the heat in the meat will take it over the point where the USDA says that trichinosis is definitely dead.
Comments? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
I got the idea for tying the pork loins together to make a thicker roast from Weber’s Way to Grill cookbook:
|Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.|
Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
plus 50 (mostly) new recipes to get you cooking.
It’s a Kindle e-book, so you can download it and start reading immediately!
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