Smoked Pork Loin for Mid-week Meal

Critter 1Putting dinner together is always challenging when cooking for five. Our sixth and seventh graders are just hitting their eating stride, and picking up speed fast.

One way to prepare a couple entree items at one time for use over several days is to fire up my Brinkmann smoker. By utilizing the upper and lower racks I can crank out three days worth of meals.

I marinated a boneless pork loin and 8 thick cut chops in melted butter and Worcestershire sauce, spicing both with Creole seasoning, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, Rocking River Grinder Blend and Everyday seasoning.

I gave those 30-plus minutes for the marinade to sink in. While this was going on I went out on my back porch and plugged in the electric smoker. It takes a good half-hour to get the heat level cranking.

I soaked my hickory wood chips for several hours earlier in the day to allow the water to penetrate the wood. I added the chips to the drip pan in the bottom of the smoker, with a little water, and got that boiling.

I loaded the pork loin solo on the bottom tier of the smoker closest to the heat, and put the eight chops, along with some Conecuh smoked sausage, on the top rack. Any remaining marinade was applied to the chops liberally, so it could also drip down onto the pork loin below.

Once the lid was returned to the smoker, I left the heat and hickory to do its work.

It’s good to check the critter every 30 minutes or so to be sure all is well. After 75 minutes I pulled the chops. They were plump and juicy. I transferred the pork loin up to the top rack with the sausage, and kept cooking that another 45 minutes.

I lit my gas grill to finish the chops with some barbecue sauce. Placing the chops on the upper grill level, it kept them away from direct heat, which is best since they’re already cooked. I placed the heat setting on low, sauced each side and grilled for 6 minutes.

I served the chops Wednesday night to my crew and my folks with garlic butter mashed potatoes with cheddar cheese and steamed broccoli. Those all got rave reviews.

Smoking the chops gives them a totally different texture from grilling, more supple and rich. These worked beautifully with the mashed potatoes.

The pork loin was luscious and smoky. I served it with a cheddar and broccoli pasta dish as the side item Thursday night. To warm it up I dropped it in the oven covered with aluminum foil at 250 degrees for 20 minutes and it came out moist and warm.

The remaining sausage can be chopped up and added to a variety of pasta or rice dishes and has several days of shelf life.

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