Spice-Glazed Grilled Pork Loin

Rather than tossing pork chops on the grill and allowing them to dry out (it’s true, you know it), reach for this grilled pork loin recipe, which cleverly calls for a loin to be brined, grilled whole, and then sliced, a tactic that all but ensures moistness.–Adam Perry Lang

LC Acts of Covert Cleverness Note

There are a few acts of covert cleverness tossed into this recipe. Each helps ensure untold tenderness and unabashed happiness the likes of which you may not have ever experienced from pork–not the least of which is plonking a cold beer down near the grill as you tend to the pig. See if you can find the rest of these acts.

Spice-Glazed Grilled Pork Loin Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 15 H, 30 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • For the brine
  • 5 tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grated or finely chopped sweet white onion
  • 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 6 cups cold water
  • Two 2 1/2 pound pork loin roasts, preferably boneless
  • Canola oil or vegetable oil
  • For the spice glaze
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • For the board dressing (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Sea or kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Grated lemon zest
  • Chopped fresh chives

Directions

  • Brine the pork
  • 1. Combine all the brine ingredients except the pork loin and oil in a large bowl or resealable plastic bag. Mix and mash the ingredients with your hands, directly or through the bag, squeezing them to release the maximum flavor. Transfer half the brine to a second large bowl or plastic bag.
  • 2. If desired, to increase the surface area of the meat for seasoning, score the fatty side at 1/4-inch intervals, making 1/4-inch deep cuts in a crosshatch pattern.
  • 3. Place a pork loin in each bag or bowl of brine and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Make the spice glaze
  • 4. Combine all the spice glaze ingredients in another resealable plastic bag.
  • Grill the pork loin
  • 5. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking and bring it to 325°F (162° C).
  • 6. Drain the pork loin, discarding the brine, and pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the meat with just enough canola oil to make it glisten.
  • 7. Carefully oil the preheated grill rack, using tongs and a paper towel dampened with oil. Place the loin on the well-oiled rack, fatty side up. Close the grill lid and cook, covered, for 45 minutes.
  • 8. Transfer the pork loin to a plate. Cut off a bottom corner of the plastic bag of glaze and drizzle the glaze over the pork, turning it to coat it completely.
  • 9. Return the loin to the grill and cook for an additional 45 minutes to allow the glaze to permeate the meat. The pork is done when it registers 160°F (71°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
  • Serve and devour
  • 10. Combine the board dressing ingredients on a clean cutting board. Slice the grilled pork loin, place it on the dressing, and turn to coat each slice. Serve immediately, preferably with a cold beer.
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Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Brenda Carleton

Sep 14, 2010

A wonderfully fabulous recipe. I’m a brine nut, and this one is incredible—it contains lots of ingredients that work together very well. As in the instructions, cross-hatching the fat really enables the brine (and then the glaze) to penetrate. My pork was in the brine for 24 hours. We used applewood chips, which gave incredible flavour and depth. Grilling added yet another dimension, and then another on top of that with the sublime glaze. (There’s no need to pour drizzle it. You can just brush it on.) I must confess to cooking it to just 150°F instead of 160°F as we prefer our pork pinkish. Honey and cumin are such a lovely combination, and the chives added just that tiny bit of something. I’d make this again and again. I’m practically licking my chops just thinking about it! Sure, it requires a touch more work than some recipes but it’s oh-so worth it.

Testers Choice
Julie Dreyfoos

Sep 14, 2010

This pork loin is full of flavor and very tasty. A little labor intensive, but well worth the results for a very succulent pork dish. I put the pork loin in the brine for about five hours. I liked this brine for a variety of reasons, one being that it didn’t leave the pork with an overly salty flavor. There was a good balance with the herbs and the sweetness of the brown sugar. To grill, I used applewood chips that were soaked in white wine. This really gave the pork a mild, smoky flavor without drying the pork out.

The glaze was very good, though I didn’t think I needed to put this in another bag to drizzle on the pork. I just mixed it up in a measuring cup and slowly drizzled over the meat and then rolled the pork loin in the excess on the platter before putting back on the grill. Next time, I’ll double the glaze recipe and put half of it aside to pass with the pork when serving. This was a hit with everyone, no leftovers here…


Comments
Comments
  1. Paris Smith says:

    Am confused with respect to the comment in Step One under “brine the pork” where it says: “Transfer half the brine to a second bowl or plastic bag.”

    I don’t seem to find a later instuction as to what one does with the brine which has been set aside.

    • David Leite says:

      Hi, Paris. There are two roasts called for in the recipe. You prepare the brine, divvy it up, and place one roast in each bag or bowl.

  2. I have to say, I don’t eat much pork but this recipe looks delicious. I may just have to break down and try this.

  3. kathy says:

    I really wanted to like this. But, it was suprisingly bland. Darn!

    • David Leite says:

      kathy, I’m sorry you didn’t have good results. Let me ask you, did you make the brine, glaze, and dressing as specified? Did you make any substitutions or hold back on the salt?

  4. annie says:

    What the heck does “prepare the grill for indirect cooking” mean? I have a gas grill.

    • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

      Hi Annie, in indirect grilling, the food is placed next to the heat source as opposed to directly on top. To indirect grill on a gas grill, light one side on high and cook the food on the other. This method functions as a type of outdoor oven, and can cook larger cuts of meat over a longer period of time without burning or drying out the meat.

      • Annie says:

        Thank you! As you can tell, I have not used that grill much. However, this looks awesome and my freezer is full of cuts from our 300+ pound hog. I’m looking forward to trying it.

        • Beth Price, LC Director of Recipe Testing says:

          You are more than welcome, Annie! A freezer full of pork? Wow, I’m envious…

  5. Mark Lyon says:

    Thanks for the great recipe. This was my 1st brining experience and I’m now a believer. I had actually started brining a whole boneless pork loin (halved) in a gallon of water, 1 1/2 c kosher salt, and 1/2 c brown sugar. My loin was almost 9 lbs. I had alredy been brining overnight and found this recipe in the morning and added the spices, garli, and herbs. Doubled them all as I had far more liquid and continued the brining for another 9 hrs for a total of 24 hrs. Removed from brine, rinsed, patted dry, and allowed to come to room temperature for an hour before smoking in a Weber with hickory. Just put a large pile of coals on one side and the halved loin on the other, rotating after an hour. My BBQ temp was probably less than you had and I glazed when internal temp was 120 degrees. Removed the meat to rest around 150 internal temp. Next time I’ll pull at 145, as taking it to 160 on the grill would, I think, overcook it. I confess to thinning the glaze just a little with the juice of one of the zested lemons. The glaze was still VERY thick, but I simply slathered it on with a spoon and a silcone brush. I had doubled THAT recipe, too, and had a little left over. Made the board sauce, but most passed it by. The pork stands alone very well and makes GREAT sandwiches the next day! I’d like to try it in eggs benedict. Very like a good Canadian bacon. The pork loin was the most juicy and tender I have ever had. I’ve smoked them before but they’ve been on the dry or tough side. Thanks again!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Terrific, Mark! You’re quite welcome. And thank you for letting us know your approach. Love how you just sorta MacGyvered things. Looking forward to hearing which recipe from Leite’s you try next….

  6. tennille says:

    When you say covered, does that mean grill lid down or actually cover with foil? Also, fat cap up, correct?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      tennille, excellent questions. Yes, grill lid down. And yes, the pork ought to be situated on the grill rack so that the fatty portion is on top, that way as the fat warms and melts, it will bathe the roast as it drips down, keeping it moist. We reworded the recipe to make it clearer to other readers. We so appreciate your query, and would love to know what you think of the recipe when you make it….

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