Perfectly Smoked Pork Loin + Flavor Packed Marinade

bacon wrapped pork loin

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Are you looking to cook the perfect pork loin.? To me, creating a perfectly smoked pork loin comes down to a flavor-packed marinade and smoking technique.

We created this recipe not only to enjoy, but to help you choose the correct pork cut, proper storing and reheating, and the best side dish to go with your meat.

Here’s what we will cover:

Understanding Pork Loin vs. Pork Tenderloin



Pork loins are a larger cut of meat that comes from the back of the pig. Sold as bone-in or boneless, you can cut and cook a few different ways. Cut up into pork chops, roast it in the oven or you guessed it – smoke it!

Pork tenderloins are smaller and leaner cuts located inside the ribcage. It cooks quickly making it great for grilling, roasting, or stir-frying.

You can essentially smoke both for a delicious smoked pork recipe and our smoked pork tenderloin is equally as yummy.

To smoke a pork loin perfectly, look for a cut of meat with visible marbling. Choose whether you want to work with a bone-in or a boneless pork loin. They’re both great to smoke. I feel the bone-in gives a bit more tenderness and flavor to the meat, but if you’re serving for a large crowd then boneless is definitely easier to work with and slice up.

Plan for approximately 8 ounces per person when serving.

Smoking Your Pork Loin: Techniques and Tips

For an amazing smoky taste, here are our techniques and tips for preparing the smoked loin. Start by trimming off any excess fat or silver skin from the meat. If it has a fat cap then leave it intact but score in a 1/4″ crisscross pattern before adding oil to coat. Rub the dry rub on all sides. Refrigerate for at least three hours to one day prior to cooking to ensure top flavor results when placed on your smoker.

Ideal Smoking Temperature and Time

The ideal temperature while smoking your pork loin should be 225°F until the internal thermometer reads 145°F, so have your meat thermometer on hand! The estimated time spent per pound of meat for this temperature is 30 -40 minutes. To really add that extra depth we advise using oak, pecan, cherry, or apple wood pellets or wood chips which create wonderful smokey notes throughout. Choosing to use a pellet smoker or wood-burning grill comes down to preference

Essential Ingredients for Smoked Pork Loin

dry rub for smoking pork loin
dry rub

Now that we have chosen the perfect pork loin cut and techniques to prepare, let’s talk about the best pork loin rub. If we’re talking store-bought or premade smoked pork loin rub then Snake River has you covered. If you’re looking to get creative to work with ingredients you have on hand then we have a great go-to rub below.

Creating a Flavorful Marinade

To increase taste as it smokes on the grill or smoker, make sure to allow the smoked pork marinade to sit in the refrigerator for 3 hours or preferably longer in the juice rub is recommended.

It is important to score the fat cap of the loin in a cross-hatch pattern before applying any spices or condiments, around a quarter inch deep so that all flavors will be fully absorbed.

Smoked Pork Rub (for every 2-3 lbs)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness)

Enhancing Your Smoked Pork Loin

stuffed pork loin
stuffed pork loin

There are many ways to kick it up a notch when smoking pork loin. Here are a few of our favorite add-ons:

Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin

For an even more delicious smoked pork loin, why not wrap it in bacon and glaze it with an amazing maple-bourbon combination for extra flavor? The bacon not only adds a smoky and savory flavor to the pork loin but also helps to retain moisture during the smoking process, preventing the meat from drying out.

How to wrap bacon on pork Loin

Make sure to use the seasoning rub and marinate the pork prior to wrapping. Try to use thin slices of bacon when wrapping to help evenly cook throughout. Bacon wrapped smoked pork loin roast may seriously be my favorite thing!

Stuffed Pork Loin

To stuff the loin roast your options are endless. Here are a few tips:

  • Slice

    Make sure to use a sharp knife and cut down the center lengthwise. It’s important that you don’t cut fully through. Just enough so that you can separate to put your stuffing in.

  • Stuff

    Spread your chosen filling evenly along the length of the pork loin, ensuring it fills the cavity created by the slit. Be generous with the filling, but avoid overstuffing, as it may make it challenging to roll and secure the pork loin.

  • Secure

    Carefully roll the pork loin back into its original shape, encasing the filling inside. Use kitchen twine to secure. Tie the twine at intervals along the length of the loin to prevent the filling from escaping.

  • Season & Smoke

    Season the loin with your preferred dry rub or seasoning, ensuring all sides are evenly coated. Allow the smoked pork loin marinade to sit for at least 3 plus hours. Smoke the pork loin until it reaches the recommended internal temperature for doneness (145°F/63°C for medium-rare or 160°F/71°C for medium).

Popular Pork Loin Stuffing
  • Apple and Sage: Sliced apples, sautéed with onions and seasoned with fresh or dried sage.
  • Mushroom and Swiss cheese: Sautéed mushrooms with Swiss cheese.
  • Cranberry and walnut: Dried cranberries and chopped walnuts, sweetened with a touch of honey or maple syrup.

Properly Storing and Reheating Smoked Pork Loin

After enjoying your smoked pork, allow your leftover smoked pork loin to cool off before wrapping in plastic or placing it into a storage container. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or use freezer-safe vacuum seal bags for up to 6 months of cold storage.

For reheating instructions you can either use an oven/grill combination if time allows. Put the smoked pork inside a covered dish with just two tablespoons of water as this will help keep the roast moist while heating at 350°F (177°C) for 15-20 minutes. You can also use the same technique and microwave if you’re pressed for time. Make sure to check on the pork about every 45 seconds until it’s heated through.

Complementary Side Dishes for Smoked Pork Loin

side dish


You can serve some great sides of BBQ favorites like coleslaw and baked beans. Whip up yummy sweet potatoes or other unique potato recipes. If you’re looking to keep your side light and delish you, can opt for a side vegan salad.

Additional Smoked Pork Recipes to Try

Once you’ve got the hang of making smoked pork loin, why not try out other variations? Pulled pork barbecue or Boston butt and smokey burnt ends made with a cut from the belly are all fair game. See what kind of results different brines, seasoning rubs or recipes can bring about!

Remember to make sure your thermometer is always on hand while working with meat so that its internal temperature stays within safe limits – plus don’t forget which wood chips will add just the right touch for desired flavors.


  • Understand the difference between pork loin and pork tenderloin for your smoking preferences.
  • Choose the right cut of pork loin and explore flavorful marinades to enhance the smoky taste.
  • Learn smoking techniques, including wrapping in bacon or stuffing the loin for added flavors.
  • Discover ideal side dishes, proper storage, and reheating techniques.
bacon wrapped pork loin

Smoked Pork Loin

Jenna Hansen
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine BBQ
Servings 6


  • 3-4 pounds Pork Loin
  • 1 pack bacon slices optional if wrapping - see notes

Dry Rub Ingregients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper adjust to your preferred level of spiciness


  • Start by combining all the herbs together to create a dry rub for the pork loin.
  • Rub the dry rub mixture all over the pork loin, ensuring it's evenly coated. Allow the pork loin to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or more.
  • Preheat your smoker to a temperature of around 225.
  • Place the marinated pork loin directly on the smoker rack, fat side up.
  • Close the smoker and let the pork loin smoke for approximately 2 1/2 - 3 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C). Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature.
  • Once the desired temperature is reached, remove the pork loin from the smoker and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.
  • Slice the smoked pork loin into thin, pieces and serve.


If you want to add wrap the pork loin in bacon:
Once the pork loin has marinated in the rub for 3+ hours, wrap the slices of bacon around and then continue with the directions above to place the meat on the smoker.
Keyword pork loin, smoked pork loin, smoking pork loin
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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to smoke pork loin at 225?

We recommend about 35 minutes per pound of pork loin when it’s being smoked at 225°F or until its internal temperature reaches 145°F. Allow the loin to rest after the cooking process to reach the proper temperature and lock the juices in.

How do you keep pork loin from drying out when smoking?

Try not to overcook a smoked pork loin to keep it from drying out. Aim for an internal temperature of 145°F for medium-rare or 160°F for medium doneness. Remember to allow the loin to rest. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing to lock in all the flavor and moisture.

Should I smoke pork loin at 225 or 250?

To ensure the pork loin has juice and flavor, smoke low and slow. We recommend smoking at 225°F

How long to smoke a 4-pound pork loin at 225 degrees?

Smoking a 4-pound pork loin should take about 2 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of 145°F for medium-rare or 160°F for medium doneness.