This spiral sliced and stuffed pork loin is inspired by Thanksgiving dinner. With a really severe avian flu outbreak in 2022, it might be difficult to find a gobbler for Thanksgiving. Just short of 50,000,000 turkeys and chickens have either died from the avian flu or had to be destroyed to stop the spread of the highly infectious disease. It got me thinking what I would serve if I couldn’t get a turkey and I came up with this. It’s like an entire Thanksgiving dinner all in the entrée. This pork loin recipe has cranberries, deconstructed stuffing, pecans, brussel sprouts and some wonderful smoke and caramelized proteins.

I want to say this, before I go any further, for me, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. And if I can’t get a turkey sando on sourdough bread with crisp iceberg lettuce, sharp cheddar, ripe tomato and a little aioli, I just might cry. The good news is, as I type this, there is lovely 18 lb bird in my freezer right now that will be the centerpiece of my dinner table in a few weeks. Also, if you have a favorite sandwich made with the leftovers from Thanksgiving, please leave it in the comments below. I am thinking of adding a couple more sandwich recipes for the days after Thanksgiving. I mean that’s a long weekend! I might eat 3 or 4 sandos from Friday through Monday!

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin Ingredients

  • 1 cup brussel sprouts sliced lengthwise, lightly sautéd
  • 2 pats of butter (two sauté the brussel sprouts
  • 1 pork loin, approximately 2.5-3 lbs
  • Salt to taste, divided
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce with cranberry chunks
  • 1/3 cup of box stuffing mix (the coarse breadcrumbs in the bag)
  • 1/3 cup crushed pecans
  • Fresh herbs (we used oregano because that was what was available, but sage would be better for this recipe)
  • Your favorite BBQ rub

Other necessary equipment

  • plastic wrap
  • meat mallet
  • Bakers twine

So when we cooked the dish and took all the pics, we left out a step. It happens. What we forgot was to sauté the brussel sprouts for a few minutes to soften them up. They don’t need to be cooked all the way through, but we need to soften them a bit because cooking the pork loin will only take them to al dente. Either on the grill or on the stove, simply toss the butter in a pan set at medium heat and throw in the sprouts (and a punch of salt) and allow them to soften and absorb that butter (and salt). 

How to spiral a pork loin

Next up, begin by running a sharp knife down the side of the pork loin about an inch deep. Then rotate the pork loin and roll the thick section away from that inch thick cut and slice a little deeper. Keep unrolling the pork, exposing the slice and make it a little deeper each time until the pork loin lays flat. Eventually, more ingredients will be layered along the pork loin at which point the loin will be rolled up forming a spiral of meat with some tasty ingredients laced throughout. Below are step by step pictures of the process:

Now our formerly round log of pork is a flat piece of meat. We want to make it a little bigger and also tenderize it at the same time. We do that by laying down piece of plastic wrap over the flattened loin and pounding it with the flat side of the meat mallet:

Don’t use the side with the little sharp points. We don’t want to risk putting a hole in the meat as that gives the stuffing a chance to leak out. That’s particularly problematic if we use cheese to stuff the pork loin.

First thing after pounding out the meat a little, tenderizing it and making the sheet of meat a little larger, sprinkle salt all over the top. We’ll salt the other side later.

Spiral slice it, to get that round cut of meat to lay flat, season it and then layer down other ingredients like cheese, thin sliced meat (think pepperoni or prosciutto), nuts, spinach, herbs, sauces, and countless other options and then take one side and roll it over until the meat rolls up into a spiral.
 

Before we get to the Thanksgiving dinner stuffed into a pork loin, let’s look at a couple other options should you want to go with something different. For these two recipes, skip the cranberries, bread crumbs, pecans, brussel sprouts and herbs. Instead layer these ingredients onto the pork loin, leaving an inch or so around the outside edge:

  • 12 slices of pepperoni, sandwich size
  • 6 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh oregano

And then roll up the pork loin, pepperoni, cheese and herbs:

This is the point where we would truss up the pork loin and then season with salt and the BBQ rub. BUT, we’ve got another option here. Again, skip the Thanksgiving themed stuff and go with these ingredients layered over the salted, flattened pork:

  • 6 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper cut in long skinny strips
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper cut in long skinny strips
  • 1/2 purple onion, sliced thin
  • 2 ounces fresh spinach

Then roll up the pork loin to spiral it:

That was option #2. Time to get back to our Thanksgiving Dinner with the primary ingredients. Start with the cranberry sauce with whole cranberries (this is straight from a can because I have no idea how to make that dish from scratch):

Then sprinkle with the box stuffing mix:

Then the pecans:

And then the brussel sprouts. Imagine these are softened in the butter:

Remember to leave an edge open around the outside of about an inch. If you don’t anything there will just fall out when moving or when cooking.

Now, roll it up:

Then truss up the pork with the bakers twine and hit it with the salt and BBQ rub:

Make sure to season it all the way around and use the excess on the cutting board to season the ends simply by dabbing the ends in the seasoning:

How to Grill a Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

Set up the grill for two zone or indirect grilling. I am working with a Hasty-Bake Legacy 131. The Legacy 131 allows me to cook indirect a number of ways. I can lower the coal bed all the way to the bottom. I can put the heat shield between the coals and the grill grates. I can also simply put the coals on one side and the meat on the other. I did the latter here with a temp inside the grill right around 275F.

I started by loading up with some phenomenal Rockwood lump charcoal:

Then the stuffed pork loin went on the side of the grill with no hot coals:

Here’s a close up of the grill set up with the spiral pork loin on the far side (along with a small pork shoulder finishing up in the Texas crutch) and the coals on the near side and a couple chunks of pear wood for smoke flavor:

If you need to know what smoke woods pair with what meats, click here

Close the lid, which will cut the air down on that pear wood and allow the smoking to process to happen. This is the reverse sear method which begs the question:

What is the Reverse Sear Method?

To reverse sear is to smoke the protein first in a grill that has an internal temp of anywhere from 200F -300F. Once the meat gets to about 10 degrees short of the desired doneness, then crank up the heat to above 500F at the grill grates and then sear off the protein to caramelize the proteins on the outside and take it to the desired final temp. 

Once the pork loin hit 140F (about 70 minutes at 275F)

Here’s that sear:

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

And a close up:

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

Once the spiral sliced and stuffed pork loin is above 145F degrees, we can remove it from the grill and allow it to rest:

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

Yes, we only have to cook pork to 145F according to the USDA. Allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes and then slice:

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

This is a better angle:

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

We pulled the spiral sliced and stuffed pork loin at about 150F and here we have glistening pork. 

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

Spiral Pork Loin Recap:

Smoky, savory, a little sweet, a little salty and oh so delicious. This is such a magnificent meal and can be adapted to all manner of ingredients for the stuffing. It’s the method of the spiral slicing and stuffing, and subsequent reverse searing, that matters here. It is always impressive on the platter and the plate. Take that method and apply whatever stuffing you wish. Goat cheese, onions and herbs would be amazing. Softened apples, cinnamon, and walnuts would be divine. Use whatever you want.

If you have any questions about the above recipe please feel free to comment below or email me.

Also, you can follow us on our GrillinFools Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube feeds

One last thing. I am not paid to create recipes for Hasty Bake Grills or Rockwood Charcoal. These are just products I use all the time because of the high quality and both are made in the USA, the latter is made in my home state of Missouri. 

Spiral Sliced and Stuffed Pork Loin

A spiraled pork loin, stuffed and reverse seared for an amazing presentation. We offer three different ways to stuff this spiral sliced and stuffed pork loin
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Entree, Pork Loin, Pork Loin Roast, Pork Roast
Cuisine: American, American Fare, Barbecue, BBQ, Holiday Meal, Pork, Thanksgiving Dinner
Keyword: #Grilled, #Smoke, #Smoked, Barbecue, BBQ, Brussel Sprouts, Charcoal, Hasty-Bake, reverse sear, reverse seared, Smoke Wood, Smoker
Servings: 8 people

Equipment

  • Plastic wrap
  • Meat mallet
  • baker's twine

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Brussel sprouts Sliced lengthwise and sautéd in butter
  • 2 pats Salted butter
  • 1 Pork loin Spproximately 2.5-3 lbs
  • Salt to taste, divided
  • ½ cup Cranberry sauce with cranberry chunks
  • cup Box stuffing mix the coarse breadcrumbs in the bag
  • cup Crushed pecans
  • Fresh herbs We used oregano but would prefer sage
  • Your favorite BBQ rub

Alternative Stuffing Ingredients #1

  • 12 slices Sandwich size pepperoni
  • 6 slices Mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh oregano

Alternative Stuffing Ingredients #2

  • 6 slices Provolone cheese
  • ½ Yellow pepper, cut in long skinny strips
  • ½ Orange pepper, cut in long skinny strips
  • ½ Purple onion, sliced thin
  • 2 ounces Fresh spinach

Instructions

  • Place a skillet over medium heat and add the butter
  • Salt and sauté the brussel sprouts to soften them a bit, but don't cook all the way
  • Remove the brussel sprouts from the heat and set aside
  • Run a sharp knife down the side of the pork loin about an inch deep.
  • Rotate the pork loin and roll the thick section away from that inch thick cut and slice a little deeper.
  • Keep unrolling the pork, exposing the slice and make it a little deeper each time until the pork loin lays flat.
  • Lay down piece of plastic wrap over the flattened loin and pound it with the flat side of the meat mallet to thin it a bit and make it a little larger.
  • Season the top of the pork loin with salt
  • Spoon the cranberry sauce over the pork loin, leaving an inch around the outer edge free of any ingredients other than salt.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the cranberry sauce
  • Then lay down the pecans
  • Add the brussel sprouts
  • Grab one edge of the pork loin and fold it over, rolling it up into a spiral sliced and stuffed pork loin
  • Truss the pork loin with bakers twine so it doesn't unroll
  • Season all the way around, including the ends, with salt and your favorite BBQ rub
  • Prepare the grill for two zone or indirect grilling with hot Rockwood lump charcoal on one side and nothing on the other
  • Target temp inside the grill is 275F
  • Place the pork loin on the side of the grill with no Rockwood and a couple chunks of fruit wood on the hot coals
  • Smoke until the stuffed pork loin reaches 140F degrees internal
  • Stoke up the Rockwood charcoal until the temp is 500F+ at the grill grates
  • Sear the pork loin all the way around to caramelize and brown the outside of the meat
  • Once the loin is seared all the way around, and has reached a temp north of 145F internal, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest for 10 minutes
  • Slice and serve

Video

 

 

 

 

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

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