I have been wanting to get a smoker for ages, because what is better than smoked meat?? So since I can't bring myself to buy a real smoker quite yet, I bought a cute little smoke box on Amazon for $10. This is a nifty little metal box that you can put wood chips in and just set on your normal has grill to harness some of that smoky goodness. I had a smallish pork loin stashed in my freezer so I figured it would be a good first victim. Wouldn't be a huge loss if I messed it up, but would also be a nice Sunday dinner if it turned out.
While reading up on where to start, I was getting mixed signals on whether or not to soak the woods chips first, so I decided to do what the wood chip bag said and soak them. While those were soaking, I prepared the pork loin. You'll need the following;
Wood chips (I used apple rum chips)
Mustard (I used southwest mustard)
Rib Ninja asian rib rub
Apple cider vinegar
Start by rubbing the mustard all over the pork, just a thin layer. I learned here that it probably would have been best to use some paper towels to pat down the meat first. Then put a nice even coating of the seasonings all over the pork to your taste. I went heavier on the Asian blend. Then I let the loin rest while I prepared the sauce.
This is what the Rib Ninja seasoning looks like:
I made another batch of scratch BBQ sauce to go with this. This one honestly wasn't as good as the last one and I'm not sure why. I thought smoking half of an onion was going to provide a unique and delicious flavor, but it just didn't end up how I envisioned. Here's what went into it:
Rice wine vinegar
Chili garlic paste
1/2 onion (smoked)
So I mixed everything together except the onion and let it sit in the fridge. Once the onion was done on the grill, I blended everything up and let it simmer on the stove for a little bit to come together. I ended up adjusting the spices quite a bit. It still ended up decent, had a hint of sweetness and a low burn, but man my last batch was so much better.
Back to the pork though! Since this was entirely experimental, I had to play around with the heat and burners a bit. I started with just one burner on high with the smoker box over the flame. After the grill was preheated, I put the pork and onion over the burners that weren't on. Once every hour I would check progress and spritz the pork with apple cider vinegar. I took the onion off when it was nice and soft (this is when I blended it into the sauce and started it on the stove). Part way through we ended up turning a second burner on medium high, and at about the last 30 minutes I moved the pork closer to the heat and brushed it with a bit of my BBQ sauce. All in all it took the pork about 4 hours to cook, which was a bit longer than it should have been I think. Next time I know to start with both burners and to invest in a secondary grill thermometer. This is what the final product looked like!
It ended up really tasty! Just a hint of smokey flavor since I only used a smoker box, but still so good! It was very tender and moist! I sliced that bad boy up and served it with the sauce, and a simple pasta side since I didn't have many sides on hand given this wasn't really planned.
Next time I know where to start and what to do differently. I can't wait to try out some smoked chicken! Paired with my homemade coleslaw and mac n cheese!... maybe I'll smoke the mac too 🤔🤤
Have you ever smoked anything on the grill? How did it turn out? What was your process? Let me know!