a pair of tongs taking a slice of smoked pork loin roast
Print

Smoked Pork Loin Roast (Whole30, Paleo)

This Smoked Pork Loin Roast is a juicy and tender meal that happens to be paleo and Whole 30 compliant. Brined in an apple juice mixture and stuffed with apples, apricot, pine nuts, and rosemary, it's then cooked low and slow on a wood pellet grill. Eat half for dinner then save the rest for delicious leftovers!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword #pork, whole30
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Brining Time 8 hours
Total Time 11 hours
Servings 10
Calories 37kcal
Author Taryn Solie

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 pound pork loin roast

For the brine:

  • 5 cups apple juice Whole30 compliant
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

For the stuffing

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 6 dried apricots
  • 1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 apple

Instructions

  • Select a container that will fit the pork and brine mixture but not be too big. Measure out the apple juice and water with a measuring cup and pour both into the container. Measure out the salt with a measuring cup and pour it into the juice mixture. *Note: this recipe calls for Diamond Crystal brand salt, which is less salty than other salts. If you use a different salt, you'll need to adjust the amount - see this article on salt ratios for brine solutions to determine what you'll need. Stir the salt into the juice mixture with a whisk until it is completely dissolved (2 to 3 minutes). Add the bay leaf and sprig of rosemary, then put the pork in, making sure it is covered by the brine. Cover the container (with a lid if you have one, or plastic wrap) and put it in the fridge for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Remove the container from the fridge and dump out the brine mixture. Place the pork on a cutting board and set aside.
  • Now is the time to get your wood pellet grill or smoker going. Make sure there are pellets or wood in it and set it to 225 degrees F.
  • Measure out the pine nuts with a measuring cup and place them in the bowl of a mini food processor. Chop up the rosemary and apricots (doesn’t have to be together) with a sharp knife and a cutting board and place them in the food processor as well. Measure the salt and pour that into the food processor, then put the lid on and chop up the mixture for a couple pulses - just enough to combine things. Next peel the apple with a vegetable peeler and chop it into chunks with a large sharp knife on a cutting board. Put it in the food processor and combine every together until a chunky paste is formed. You may have to scoop down the sides with a spoon or spatula to make sure everything gets combined. Ultimately, you don’t want any bits bigger than the size of a small pea.
  • Next you want to create a pocket in your pork roast. First take a look at your roast on the short end and find where the middle is (approximately). This is where you’ll aim to make your pocket, so that neither the top or bottom of the pocket is too big. Take a large, sharp knife and make an incision about half an inch in from the end of the roast on one of the long sides. Start slicing down the roast in as straight a line as you can, stopping about half an inch away from the other end of the roast. You only need to go in about an inch or two deep for this first cut. Once you’ve got that, you can lift the flap you’ve created and start cutting deeper into the roast to create a deeper pocket. You want to cut as far into the roast as you can without going all the way through. Simply work the knife back and forth until you’ve created a large pocket. Make sure you're not breaking through to the other sides of the pork.
  • Using a spoon or small spatula, scoop the apple mixture out of the food processor and place it into the pocket you’ve created in the pork. Spread it around as best you can, making sure to get as far back as possible. Get some kitchen twine and with scissors, cut off three pieces large enough to go around the roast and be able to tie them. Tie one in the middle of the roast with a simple knot. Tie the other two evenly spaced between the middle and each end of the roast.
  • Place your roast on the grill or smoker using a pair of tongs or other utensil. If you have it, place a temperature probe into the thickest portion of the meat (usually somewhere in the middle). Set the probe to 145 degrees F. If you don’t have a temperature probe, check the pork after 1.5 hours with a meat thermometer to see where it’s at, then check again every half hour or so and pull it once it reaches 145 degrees F in the thickest part of the roast.
  • Once the pork is done smoking, check the temperature one final time with a meat thermometer (we love our Thermapen, which is the one pictured). Then pull it off the grill or smoker and onto a cutting board, covering it loosely with tin foil. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then cut the kitchen twine off using a knife or scissors. Gently slice the roast into roughly half inch portions with a large sharp knife (and meat fork if you have it). Some of the stuffing in the middle may come out as you slice, but you can either put it back into the roast or spread it on each slice . Serve immediately.

Notes

* Setting the pork aside while you make the apple mixture will help it warm up a bit, which you want after it’s been cold in the refrigerator. Meat can cook unevenly if it’s too cold when placed on a grill or smoker - on a grill the outside cooks and the inside stays cold; in a smoker, the the inside can take too long to cook and the outside overcooks.
* Don’t cut the pork with a serrated knife - it will tear up the meat. Use a large pointed knife that’s been recently sharpened for the easiest cut.
* To easily measure out the kitchen twine, I take the twine and measure it against the short end of the roast. I do that three times and then cut it, and usually that’s long enough to tie around the roast with a little extra to spare.

Nutrition

Calories: 37kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 117mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg