OK, this is for you folks who have been politely nudging me to write more about my barbecuing.
Seven pounds of pork loin!
In recent weeks, I’ve done burgers, hot dogs and chicken, but realized I had to get back into the bigger, better cooks.
It started with the most recent chicken effort. A nice bit of seasoning and a bag of Caesar salad, combined with some wraps make for a simple, fast meal, but is an upgrade from the everyday.
I then moved onto salmon last week, doing the maple syrup, soy sauce and garlic glaze. Well, Mary did the glaze. Instead of cooking it on a griddle, I tried it on indirect, with the salmon on a grill.
Our daughter Brenna, the biggest salmon fan in the house, loved it. Because it wasn’t cooked on the griddle, the bottom was not crisped, something my wife didn’t like about it.
Back to the griddle next time. Best option for everyone, myself included.
Through those recent cookings, I’ve had that big piece of pork in the fridge (don’t worry, the best before date was for this coming weekend). I snagged it at an awesome price, for starters.
But how to cook such a hunk of meat? That was my question. Naturally, my first thought was to smoke it over low heat. But since it is a relatively lean cut of pork, I went the indirect roasting method.
I’m still learning about the various cooking processes. While I’m sure the pork loin would have been fine had we smoked it, it seems that process is best suited for fatter cuts of meat. The fat breaks down and helps keep the meat moist during the long, slow cook.
Leaner cuts tend to dry out more quickly.
Now, with the Big Green Egg, I am fortunate, as it’s a very forgiving cooking device. Meat tends to really stay moist in the ceramic cooker. But I still wanted to keep it as moist as possible.
So after some event coverage for the paper Saturday (whoever says there is nothing to do in Chatham-Kent should just talk to any newspaper staffer working on a weekend), I pulled out the pork loin. I had given it a thin coating of mustard and then a nice crust of Dizzy Dust seasoning.
As the meat warmed up a bit, I fired up the Egg and set the temperature for 350 F. I had never used our Digi-Q temperature regulator for a roasting effort before, so I worried a bit about the fan keeping enough airflow. Then again, I just opened up the top vent a bit more and the temperature was fine.
I anticipated upwards of a three-hour-plus cook time, but in just over 90 minutes, the pork was done to 145 F internal.
Because we tented it in aluminum foil and let it rest for a bit, next time I will pull the meat off at 140 F. It’s recommended pork is cooked to 145 F, but the extra five degrees easily come after you pull a piece of meat off the barbecue that has an outside temperature of 350 F, you tent it to keep in the heat, and let it rest.
Regardless, it was delicious. We had it the first night with various salads. The second night, I sliced it thinner and put it on a bun with some cheese and barbecue sauce, with more salad on the side.
I now wish I’d picked up half a dozen of the pork loins at the $1.98 a pound price. Duh.