Cedar Planked Pork Loin? Wait, cedar planks are for salmon right? Who the heck made that rule? Why do we only impart the sweet cedar smoke into salmon? Why not for other proteins? So I’m going to cedar plank this pork loin. But, planking is for thin pieces of meat like a salmon steak or shrimp, right? Wrong. I’m going to plank this hunk of meat!
And I’m going to do it on a gas grill. Yes, you can smoke on a gas grill.
A little about wooden grilling planks. They really add flavor from both the smoke they produce and the oils in the wood that leaches into the meat.
Now back to the recipe. First, soak the plank in water for an hour or so. While the cedar plank soaks, prep the pork loin. This is more of a process than a recipe. I’m simply going to coat the pork loin with salt, black and white pepper, Italian herbs and some garlic infused olive oil:
Cedar Plank Pork Loin Ingredients:
2 lb pork loin
Garlic infused olive oil
No amounts here. Just coat the sucker. I coated all sides with the salt, black pepper, white pepper and Italian herbs:
Then drizzled the garlic infused olive oil (thanks sis for that Christmas gift! I love me some infused oils.)
I let the herbs and oil work their magic on the pork loin for about an hour while the plank soaked:
Then I prepared the grill for high heat grilling and placed the plank on the grill. I closed the lid and waited three minutes. Then flipped over the plank. You can see some blackening around the edges:
I had to put the pork loin off to the left as the Grill2Go has a built in thermometer in the lid that sticks down a couple inches:
I placed the pork loin on the cedar plank and closed the lid:
Here is the pork loin a few minutes in to show you the smoke action from the cedar plank:
Now that I have some smoke, I cut the heat down between medium and medium high. Basically, I want enough heat to keep the plank smoking, but not too much heat to burn the meat. If this pork loin were four pounds instead of two, and I left it on high, the outside would be burnt and the middle would be raw.
Here is the cedar planked pork loin about 30 minutes in:
I can’t tell you exactly how long this took as my propane can ran out during the process. I don’t know how long the grill was basically off. Essentially, you want to take this thing to 145 degrees or more. I used my ThermaPen to check the internal temperature. I over cooked this one a bit in that it was about 155 when I pulled it off rather than my desired 145, but that’s OK.
Here we have the cedar planked pork loin on the cutting board, resting:
Resting is pivotally important to ensure a juicy piece of meat. The juices inside are in an excited state from the heat and moving a million miles an hour. Letting the meat rest allows those juices to calm down and redistribute throughout the meat. Let’s see if it’s still juicy despite going a little long on the grill:
I’d call that juicy.
And the crust along the outside was fantastic!
When it comes to planking salmon, I generally don’t go for cedar. I prefer maple planks for salmon, but for this pork loin, the cedar smoke was fantastic. The combination of the herbs, garlic, pork and cedar smoke was a home run. The lesson here, expand your grilling horizons. Get out there and smoke on your gas grill and plank things other than salmon.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.
Full disclosure, Bob’s Smokin’ Hardwood compensated us for being mentioned in this post. But I would only promote someone who makes top notch products. Order from them just one time and you will understand!
- 2 lb pork loin
- Black pepper
- White pepper
- Italian herbs
- Garlic infused olive oil
- Soak the cedar plank in water for an hour
- While the plank is soaking, coat the pork loin with salt, pepper, herbs and olive oil
- Prepare the grill for high heat grilling
- Place the plank on the grill and close the lid
- After three minutes, flip the plank over and place the pork loin on the plank
- Close the lid
- Once the plank starts smoking again, reduce the heat to medium to medium high
- When the pork loin reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees, remove from the grill and allow to rest for 7-10 minutes
- Slice and serve