Whole pork loin goes on sale at least once a month for under two dollars a pound. I’ve seen it for $1.77, $1.88 or $1.99 a pound. The only drawback is the requirement to purchase a large amount of meat at the same time which usually amounts to 8 to 10 pounds of meat.
The upside is you can grill the whole thing at once and end up with enough cooked meat for several meals depending on how many people you are feeding and whether they are adults or children. You could even host a dinner party with one of these huge hunks of meat.
If your grocery store has a butcher, they usually will cut the loin for you free into roasts or chops so that’s also an option. But for this recipe you’ll be using the whole pork loin.
I have to tell you this is my new favorite way to have pork loin. We’ve bought pork loin for years and I usually cut it into chops but they are always dry and tough. I’d settled on trimming all the fat, then cutting it into cubes and frying it in coconut oil or butter. But that is a lot of work and effort, and the little chunks still are on the dry side.
This way all you need to do is rinse the meat, spread on the rub and put it in the grill. The best part is this method is not only simply but it makes the pork loin juicy and tender. My favorite part, which in the past I’ve always hacked around is the part of the loin which is where the tenderloin was taken. You’ve seen the slender tubes of meat called pork tenderloin. This is the “brown” meat of pork and very similar to beef roast and super tender. There will usually be a few pieces of the tenderloin on one side of the pork loin, usually you will find it on the side that is not coated with a layer of fat. Once browned and grilled, these morsels of meat are spectacularly delicious. Definitely the cook gets these tidbits as reward for cooking dinner.
By the way, the inspiration for this recipe comes from All Recipes Rubbed and Grilled Pork Loin. I haven’t tried their rub but devised one of my own based on taste testing, and I used the recipe’s instructions for grilling but have added some instructions which I think will be helpful.
Delicious Grilled Pork Loin
- 3 tablespoons Celtic sea salt, crushed
- 2 tablespoons granulated onion
- 1-1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- chipotle pepper (optional) *Amazon Affiliate Link
This rub is enough to coat an 8 pound pork loin.
To make the rub, place the Celtic sea salt on a cutting board and using a rolling pin crush into smaller pieces. I really like using the Celtic sea salt (which I bought in bulk at a good price through my food coop) as it coats the meat in larger chunks of salt. You could also use regular table salt if you prefer.
Add the crushed salt to a bowl and add in the rest of the spices. Mix together.
I prefer to work in my kitchen sink so first I make sure to clean the sink carefully and rinse all the soap down the drain.
Usually pork loin comes in a plastic bag. Place the bag in the sink and cut open one end. Slide the pork loin out. There is usually a thick liquid in the plastic bag. It can be pretty sloppy at this point so be careful as you move the plastic bag to the garbage pail.
At this point I cut the loin in half if it is not already cut in half.
Rinse with cool water. Slide your hand along each side to remove as much water as you can.
Place the pork loin in a cutting board and pat dry with paper towels or with a clean kitchen towel. If you use a kitchen towel do not use again until you have washed it and disinfected it as you don’t want to transfer any bacteria.
If you like some spice to your food, lightly sprinkle both sides of the pork loin with chipotle pepper first.
Take the rub and sprinkle on all sides of the pork loin, including the edges. Do not trim or remove any fat! In the photo below the tenderloin part which I mentioned earlier is on the bottom side. In the next photo you can see one half of the pork loin has the fatty side up, and the bottom loin has the meat side up. I’ve placed a bit of text to show you where the tenderloin tidbits can be found.
In this next photo I have flipped the pork loins over to the other side. They are all nicely coated with the rub.
Light your grill and heat to 400°F. Place the pork loin over the flame and brown for 10 minutes on the top and bottom. As you can see in my next photo my pork loin ended up getting blackened on one side, which is okay since this was the side with the fat and I won’t be eating that part anyway.
Lower the grill heat to low flame. Move the pork loin to indirect heat. My grill has three burners so I browned the pork loin on the left and right burners, and then when I was done browning I moved the loins to the center . In the photo above it kind of looks like the flames are right under the left and right sides of the pork loin but it is not, there is plenty of room so that the ends are not constantly exposed to the flames.
If you only have two burners you can leave one burner on, and finish grilling your pork loin on the side where you’ve turned off the burner.
Close the lid on the grill and allow to cook for 70 to 90 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. You will be glad you checked the temperature when you eat it because it is so tender and juicy and pink looking in some places that you might worry that it wasn’t done completely. Mine ended up getting done to around 180°F and was still juicy and tender.
In the next photo you will see the other side of the pork loin once it is done. It is not completely blackened on this side, only the area where the meat touched the grill plates.
Here is a photo of how we had the pork loin for dinner. We sliced it and served with salad and steamed vegetables. We only ate a portion that first night, however. There was a lot left over. I’ll share some other ways to use up the rest of your pork loin.
Start by cutting it into meal sized portions. Freeze using good freezer bags if you won’t be using it within a couple of days.
As you can see in this next photo I was able to slice the meat very thin slices for sandwiches. Delicious on rye with brown mustard, onions and tomatoes!
You can also slice into hunks and take for lunch. Be sure to keep the pork cold until you eat it. I’m fortunate to have refrigerators where I work but if you have to bring lunch in a lunch box be sure to use something frozen to keep the pork cold.
Finally, here is some of the pork loin cut into cubes which we will have in salad, stir fry or curried pork.
Here is a super easy curry sauce recipe:
- 2 teaspoons butter or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (this is my favorite homemade curry powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, optional
Melt butter or coconut oil in a small pan. When melted, add coconut milk. Boil for three minutes, then add curry powder. Stir quickly and allow to boil another 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Add salt and chipotle powder, if desired.
How do you make pork loin?