Smoked pork loin is a popular delicacy enjoyed by many. But what if I told you bacon is the answer to making this delicious dish even better? Bacon adds a crunchy, flavorful element to this already amazing dish.
Together, each mouthful of crispy bacon and tender pork is infused with a smoky flavor that adds a mouthwatering taste that elevates the meal to a new level.
I first learned how to prepare bacon wrapped pork in culinary school, and over the years, I’ve refined the recipe to perfection. Today, I’ll show you exactly how I make this dish. By the end of this article, you’ll be the star of the cookout.
How to Smoke Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin?
- 2 1-pound pork loin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Barbecue sauce
- 20 oz. bacon
- Step 1: First, use a sharp knife to remove the silver skin on the meat, Then apply 1 teaspoon of kosher salt to each pork loin. Place the pork loins in the refrigerator for about two hours. In addition to improving flavor, the kosher salt allows the meat to loosen up a little bit, allowing moisture to penetrate deeper into the fibers. This simple step ensures your loin is more moist.
- Step 2: Prepare the bacon. Arrange the bacon on the cutting board so that the edges overlap. 10 ounces of bacon will be enough to wrap a 1-pound loin. After that, arrange the pork loin on top of the bacon.
- Step 3: Wrap the pork loin with bacon in a crisscross manner. You’ll need eight slices of bacon. Weave the bacon strips together to resemble a basket weave. Then, mix kosher pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl and apply it over the wrapped loin.You can also wrap the bacon around the loin and tuck it in underneath. This method uses fewer bacon pieces and is much quicker. Then, use a toothpick to secure the bacon weave on the loin.
- Step 4: Preheat your pellet grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Then add in your preferred fruit wood chips. I blend apple wood and cherry wood.
- Step 5: Place the bacon wrapped pork loin onto the grill grate. Then, cover the hood and smoke for 1.5 hours.Open the grill after 1.5 hours and slather the meat with bbq sauce. Then, smoke the meat for a few more minutes till it reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an internal read thermometer to check if the pork loin has achieved this temperature before turning off the smoker.
- Step 6: Rest and serve. Once the meat reaches the desired internal temperature, take it out of the smoker and let it rest for 10 minutes. Next, slice the meat into 2-inch cuts, serve, and enjoy!
Other Ways to Cook Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
There are other delicious alternatives to using a pellet smoker for this recipe. Here are other ways to prepare bacon wrapped loin.
- Step 1: First, follow the dry brine process in the first recipe. Then, wrap the pork in the bacon slices, gently overlapping, and secure the bacon weave with toothpicks. Remember, to cut off the silver skin on the meat, if any.
- Step 2: Preheat the fryer to 400°F. Then, spray cooking spray on the fry basket. Season the wrapped pork with onion and garlic powder, paprika, and salt mix. Then, add the pork to the basket and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the meat halfway through. Confirm the meat is cooked by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. The thermometer should read 145 degrees.
- Step 3: Place the pork on a carving board and give it 10 minutes to rest. Then remove the wooden picks and slice.
- Step 1: Like the other recipes, prepare the loin with the dry brine. Don’t forget to cut off any silver skin you find. Then, wrap the meat in the bacon strips, creating a bacon weave.
- Step 2: Set the oven to 425 degrees. Then, season the meat with my spice rub of kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. Cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and place the meat inside. Remember to add BBQ sauce for a classic BBQ flavor. You can try Kraft sweet bbq sauce, I love how it complements this recipe.
- Step 3: Place the pan in the oven and bake for around 25 minutes. Check the meat’s temperature at intervals and remove it once it reads 145 degrees F. Take the pork out of the oven, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes. You can even add extra BBQ sauce before covering it with foil. Then, serve and enjoy.
Tips for Smoking Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
Here are some extra pointers to help you consistently prepare the tastiest smoky bacon wrapped pork loin.
- Start with a high-quality pork loin for the best results. Look for an evenly-sized cut that has some marbling.
- Use a sharp knife to remove any silver skin that may be present on the pork loin before seasoning the meat. If you fail to cut off the thin membrane, the meat will be chewy, which will affect the overall taste and quality. The silver skin may also impact the way that flavor passes through the meat and may even lead to unevenly cooked meat.
- Trim any excess fat from the loin before wrapping it in bacon.
- Ensure you wrap the loin in regular or thick bacon to prevent the bacon from burning during smoking.
- Remember to use a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of this meat should reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit before taking it out of the cooker. So, check the temperature at intervals by inserting the thermometer probe into the middle of the loin. Ensure the probe sticks into the loin cut under the bacon.
- If necessary, secure the salty bacon strip with toothpicks to securely wrap the pork loin in the bacon. There should be no gaps in the bacon covering the pork loin. You can also use kitchen twine to hold the bacon.
What is Pork Loin?
Pork loin is the common cut taken from the muscle between the pig’s ribs and the back fat. Whole pork loins typically have a thin layer of fat running over the top called the fat cap.
Pork loin can be purchased bone-in or boneless from a store. Although boneless pork loin cooks more quickly, it is more likely to get dry if overcooked. On the other hand, bone-in pork loin cooks more slowly but maintains its moisture better.
Pork Tenderloin vs. Pork Loin
Pork loin and pork tenderloin may have a similar names, but they are different meat cuts.
A pork loin is a wide, rectangular cut from the loin muscle located at the midsection that runs from the shoulder to the rear. The pork loin is often sold as a roast or divided into various smaller pieces.
The pork tenderloin is a long, boneless meat cut that runs along the backbone of a pig. This cut comes from the back of the pig loin, inside the rib cage.
Pork tenderloins are very tender because they come from a region that’s minimally exercised. Pork tenderloins are typically sold separately or in double packs.
An easy way to distinguish between these two meat cuts is by their size. When placed side by side, the pork loin is usually the larger cut.
Because the pork loin is larger, you need to cook it at lower temperatures for a longer duration to achieve more tender results.
On the other hand, pork tenderloins can be prepared more quickly and at a little higher temperature than pork loin since it is smaller and naturally more tender.
How to Buy Pork Loin?
Pay attention to the color of the meat. It should look slightly pink with some marbling on the meat. Make sure you buy an unseasoned pork loin for this recipe
Typically, a pork loin weighs between two and three pounds. A pound of loin should feed two people. But, of course, there’s nothing wrong with eating more.
Dishes to Serve with Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin
A delicious bacon-wrapped pork loin can complement several sides. Here are some of my favorites:
- Mac and cheese
- Cheese mashed potatoes
- Collard greens
How to Store Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin?
When storing a pork loin, I recommend packaging the pork loin in plastic wrap. Keep the meat in a resealable bag to prevent it from drying out. Then, place the meat in the fridge or freezer.
To reheat the leftovers, cover the bacon loin with foil and bake at 325°F for 10 to 15 minutes. If you’re using a microwave, reheat the leftovers in 30 second intervals for 2–3 minutes.
The Best Smokers for Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
The pellet smoker is my favorite smoker to cook this tasty bacon wrapped loin. However, there are other excellent smokers you can use for this recipe. Let’s look at the three best smokers for bacon wrapped pork loin.
A pellet grill is great for this recipe because it provides a consistent stream of low heat to thoroughly cook the meat. Pellet smokers are more fuel-efficient than other smokers, and you can finish a barbecue without needing any extra fuel.
Pellet smokers impart a smokey flavor to the meat. They also perfectly maintain the moisture of the meat by cooking the pork in a heated chamber.
Bacon wrapped pork loins cook perfectly on electric grills. This grill handles cooking at a low temperature really well and consistently produces delicious results. Electric grills are easy to use, fuel-efficient, and include features, such as a thermometer, for more reliable cooking.
Charcoal smokers aren’t as fuel efficient as a pellet or electric smokers. But the smoker imparts a unique flavor to the pork loin. These grills are also more compact and cheaper than the other two smokers. However, they require more attention, so you must check the meat at regular intervals to avoid burning it
The Best Wood Chips for Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
The best wood chips for this dish are fruit wood chips because they offer a sweet smoke that complements the meatiness of the dish. For this recipe, I use applewood chips because the smoke is mild and not overbearing. Other mild wood chips like cherry, and peach work quite well. Alternatively, you can use a blend of fruit woods for this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Long Should You Smoke Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin?
1-pound crispy bacon wrapped pork tenderloin typically takes 2 hours to fully cook on a smoker preheated to 275 degrees F. Remember that this cooking time will vary with the size of the pork loin.
Note that if you cook to temperature rather than time, you’ll have more success with your smoked bacon wrapped tenderloin. So, ensure you use a dependable instant-read thermometer. This will guarantee that the smoked bacon wrapped pork tenderloin is not overdone and is safe to eat.
2. Should Smoked Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin Look Pink?
Smoked pork tenderloin may appear pink even when cooked. So, don’t worry, the meat is safe as long as its internal temperature is 145°F. Remember to cook your pork loin uncovered to allow it to cook and to get that bacon nice and crispy.
3. At What Temperature Do I Smoke Bacon-wrapped Pork Loin?
Smoke pork tenderloin at 225–275 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature should not be too high to prevent the meat from drying out.
4. Can I Use Smoked Pork Loin for Pulled Pork?
Yes, you can make pulled pork from pork loin. Although pork shoulder is frequently used for pulled pork, loin also works great and produces flavorful meat.
This smoked bacon-wrapped pork loin recipe will certainly blow your guests away. Remember to cook the meat slowly so that the fat on the bacon can melt and baste the meat for better flavor.
This meal also works well with several other dishes, so you can enjoy it in many delicious ways. You’ll find this recipe to be straightforward and flavorful. So light up your smoker and start grilling.