Want to know how long to smoke a pork loin?
Whatever the situation, I am here to help!
Finding the ideal temperature is vital.
It allows you to estimate the smoking time.
Bringing you one step closer to perfectly cooked pork
Let’s start cooking!
Table of contents
So, How Long Does It Take to Cook Pork Loin at These Temperatures?
Below are the average cooking times I get when smoking at these temperatures.
Remember that there are a variety of other factors to consider.
So make sure you read further to get the bigger picture.
Pork loin cooks at a rate of 40-45 minutes per pound at 200°F.
Pork loin cooks at a rate of 35 minutes per pound at 220°F.
Pork loin cooks at a rate of 20-25 minutes per pound at 275°F.
An Example of Cooking Pork Tenderloins at These Temps
Let’s say your piece of pork loin weighs 5 pounds.
Below are the average timings you can expect during the cooking process.
I am working this out on the higher end of my calculation average.
Because it is always better to go over than under.
Especially if there is a risk of food poisoning.
Plus we will be monitoring the internal temps carefully.
With a digital meat thermometer.
As the absolute way of knowing the finished meat temperature.
A 5-pound pork loin will take 225 minutes at 200°F
A 5-pound pork loin will take 175 minutes at 220°F
A 5-pound pork loin will take 125 minutes at 275°F
Remember – The Timings Are an Estimation
Before going any further, I want to clarify a point regarding cooking timings.
These estimations will allow you to plan and control.
The control gives when preparing other side dishes.
Or let hungry family members know when they are likely to eat!
But it should not be regarded as the best way to know if your pork loin is cooked.
I will first address how to best be prepared when working out the timings.
As well as addressing the other factors when working out the cooking time.
And lastly, the best way to know if the meat has been cooked.
Preparation for Accurately Monitoring the Cooking Time of Pork Loin
Know the Exact Weight
Make sure you know the exact weight of the pork loin.
This will be on the packaging if you got it in the store.
However, I recommend you buy fresh and free range from a butcher.
And if you do, make sure they confirm the weight.
What Type of Smoker Are You Using?
The type of smoker you are using can influence the cooking time.
An electric pellet smoker and a charcoal smoker are the most popular.
The pellet smoker is like a computer, with lots of gadgets to maintain a consistent temp.
The charcoal smoker is more old-school and without temperature control.
This is why it is important to have an accurate way of monitoring temperature.
The Experience Matters
Gaining a level of understanding of the nuances of your smoker is an advantage.
It sounds silly, but you need to be at one with how your smoker works.
This comes with hours of cooking and experience.
Start with just reading the manual or watching videos on how each part works.
Does your charcoal smoker have air vent holes that can be adjusted?
Have you recently cleaned your pellet smoker and the RTD probes?
The Type of Fuel Can Be a Factor
Wood chips or briquette charcoal.
Each type of fuel has a specific temp they burn and also the timeframe.
Understanding the fuel and smoker heat is another factor to consider.
Are You Smoking an Entire Loin or Medalion?
The loin can come as a whole piece or in pork steaks.
This isn’t necessarily an issue, as we are working out the cooking time based on weight.
But individual steaks will drop their temperature at a quicker rate.
And are more likely to evaporate moisture.
This can alter the cooking times.
If you are cooking for a group of people it’s better to cook a pork loin.
The Optimum Temperature Ranges
The standard temp range for a smoker is 20°F above or below the set range.
This difference can affect the calculated hour per pound you have estimated.
The Internal Temperature for Pork Loin Meat
The internal temperature for pork loin meat is 145°F before consumption.
Did You Know?
Raw pork meat products can contain a deadly worm parasite.
But uncommonly known, this was more of a danger 20 years ago.
It is very rare for commercially raised pigs to contract this present day.
As there are lots of testing and improved policies.
Accurately Monitoring the Internal Temperature With a Meat Probe
Arguably the most important tool in any smoking process.
Have calibrated temperature probes to accurately monitor the internal temperature.
Especially for recipes that have extended periods of time.
These are a type of digital thermometer you insert into the loin during cooking.
They update you in real time for an accurate reading.
You can even set a high-temp alarm, just in case it goes over your set level.
Calibrating a Temperature Probe
To calibrate and be sure you know the actual temperature, do the following;
– Fill a glass with ice and top it up with cold water.
– Wait 2 minutes.
– Place the probe at the bottom of the glass.
– Wait 5 minutes.
– If the probe reads over 5°F then it is faulty.
What Does Smoking Do for Cuts of Pork Like the Tenderloin?
Smoking is our cooking method and adds extra flavor.
The smoke flavor is a seasoning by its own merit.
Fat = flavor and the loin doesn’t have a lot.
So smoking will help develop flavor in each layer of meat proteins.
You can also get creative with a spice mix.
Kosher salt and black pepper are staples.
But what about a Cajun influence?
Or classic garlic and lemon as the meat cooks.
Chemical Reactions for Tender Meat
The smoke and temperatures will also create some tasty chemical reactions!
The heat will partly evaporate the moisture within the proteins.
The juices will then baste which keeps tenderizing the pork.
If you cook at a higher temperature you are more likely to develop a crust.
The lower temperatures will produce juicer meat that falls apart on the plate!
The loin is a versatile cut so don’t feel like you have to succumb to one style!
Loin of Pork – Understanding the Meat Before Cooking
The average pork loin weighs 1 pound but it can go up to 7!
Which all depends on the size and breed of the pig.
It has mostly lean meat with a very low-fat content.
This is why we can apply a dynamic temperature range.
Cuts like pork butt or pork shoulder need more time for the fat to render.
You can’t smoke with high and direct heat.
As the meat proteins will dry out and then burn.
But this is a lower risk for the humble pork loin.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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