Best ways to cook a pork loin

By on March 14th, 2016

Whether it be a pork loin, tenderloin or a chop – the key to a juicy and tasty piece of pork starts with a flavorful brine. Brining is simply a salty water solution – that hydrates the cells in the muscle tissues of the meat via osmosis. Brining is also a form of preservation, but this recipe only requires a 4-hour soak.

It is best to prep a day in advance.

1 gallon water
12 cloves garlic, smashed
3/4 cup kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1 ea. Spanish onion, rough chopped
1 ea. navel orange, cut in 1/2
1 bunch sage
1 sprig rosemary
3 T toasted coriander seeds
1 T crushed red pepper flakes

First, toast the coriander seeds in a dry saute pan over medium heat, constantly moving the pan. Do not burn! Turn off the heat and take the seeds out of the pan as soon as they are toasted. You will hear some slightly popping in the pan. This is a good indication that they are done. Also, you will certainly smell it.

Then, simply combine all the ingredients in a sauce pot, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium/low, and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Strain the mixture into another receptacle, and allow to come to room temp. It is absolutely imperative that this mixture is then chilled thoroughly.

Soak the pork in this COLD brine, approximately 4 hours for pork chops. A whole pork loin would require about 6-8 hours, and pork tenderloin about 2-3 hours.
Remove from the brine, and rinse the pork under cold running water. Discard the brine. Pat the pork dry with single-use paper towels and allow it to air-dry, uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

Now, the best way to cook pork – undoubtedly – is in a charcoal grill. Always use an “All-Natural” hardwood charcoal. A favorite is “Cowboy Charcoal.” There are no fillers, chemicals or petroleum in this brand, and using all-natural hardwood charcoal yields much less ash and minimal clean-up.

Preheat your charcoal grill. Have the grill insert clean and well oiled. Avoid using non-stick spray or pan-release. Not only is it extremely dangerous to spray into a hot grill, but many of these aerosol products actually contain flour, or some sort of starch – believe it or not – and will end caking on your grill.

Use an old dish rag. Roll it up tight into a cylinder shape and tie it up with either butchers twine, or a couple of elastic bands. Using tongs, always, dip the rolled-up rag into canola or vegetable oil and rub the grill rack liberally.

Take the pork out of the refrigerator 30-minutes before cooking, and lightly oil all sides of the pork. No need to season the meat with salt, since there was plenty of it in the brine. However, you could give the pepper mill a few good cracks over it if you like.

Lay the pork onto the preheated grill, and do not touch touch it! Wait at least a minute before you go poking around, and don’t turn the pork until it releases itself from the grill. If not, you’ll just tear the meat and it will be nearly impossible to get a nice char on it.
Rotate it 45-degrees every few minutes. This will ensure a nice, even browning on the meat.

When it is well-colored, turn the pork over. Cook until the meat registers 140F, internal temperature. Anything more than that will be way over-cooked. Wait about 7 minutes before cutting into the chops, or 15 minutes for a whole loin. Enjoy!

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