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BRINED AND SMOKED CENTER-CUT PORK LOIN ROAST

Brining is one of those chef’s secrets that has escaped into mainstream cooking. It’s a winner of a trick that ensures moist and flavorful pork or poultry. It’s not recommended for red meats, however. Another secret to cooking pork today, because it’s so lean, is that you want to be real careful not to overcook it. Most chefs we know like to cook their pork to an internal temperature of about 145 degrees. It’ll be tender and juicy – fit for a king!

Ingredients

Serves 6.

Pork:

Brine, see recipe below
1 (3-4 pound) boneless, center cut pork loin roast
Olive oil
Fredericksburg Farms East Texas Rib Rub
Fredericksburg Farms Peach Pecan Bar-B-Q Sauce

Brine:

1½ quarts water
¾ cup kosher salt
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup toasted cumin seeds
¼ cup crushed red pepper
4½ quarts ice water

Instructions

Make the brine first. Combine the 1½ quarts of water, salt, brown sugar, roasted cumin seeds, and crushed red pepper in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Place the pork loin in a large, non-metal storage container with lid. Pour the cooled brine over the pork and add the 4½ quarts of ice water to completely submerge the pork. Brine overnight, refrigerated. (If your refrigerator is not large enough to hold the container, then put it in an ice chest, surrounded by ice.) Drain the meat and pat it dry using absorbent paper towels.

Build a fire in your smoker and let it cook down to medium heat. Combine olive oil with the East Texas Rib Rub to make a spreadable paste. Rub the mixture all over the pork loin, then place the meat in the smoker. Cook until the internal temperature of the pork reads 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 1½ hours. During the last 30 minutes of cooking time, begin to baste the roast with the Peach Pecan Bar-B-Q Sauce. Baste every 10 minutes, turning the roast each time.