I usually go for a full pork loin and then cut it in half right away. This gives me (2) ~4 lb roasts so I can use one and freeze one or cook both of them and then freeze the leftovers.
In this recipe, I butterflied one of them and cut a pocket into the other one. Both of them are stuffed but it serves to show you (2) different ways to stuff a pork loin.
Once you cut it in half or even thirds, grab a really sharp knife and remove all of that fat and silver skin on the top side. Some folks leave this on and I have done that but it just makes a better bite if you remove it right up front.
I removed the fat/silver skin from one of the halves but not the other.
There are various methods for creating a butterflied pork loin and I use all of them from time to time. The easiest one in my opinion is to make a vertical cut right in the center of the pork loin down to about ¾ inch from the bottom.
The start cutting horizontally at the bottom of the “V” to complete the cut. Stop cutting when you get about 3/4 inch from the left side.
Repeat this horizontal cut on the right side to complete.
You end up with a butterflied pork loin with fairly even thickness all the way across. If you want the meat to be thinner or more even, just cover with a piece of plastic wrap and hammer on it with a meat mallet until you like how it looks.
Make a vertical cut down into the meat beginning about 1 inch in on both ends of the pork loin and down to about ¾ inch from the bottom of the pork loin.
Then make horizontal cuts within that same “V” to the left and the right without cutting all of the way through the sides. This creates a nice pocket that will hold the stuffing.
To read about dry brining, see my information page HERE.
I recommend performing the dry brining, seasoning, stuffing and rolling a day ahead of time or at least 4-6 hour before you are ready to cook to give the salt time to work it's way into the pork.
Sprinkle coarse kosher salt onto the top of the butterflied pork loin at a rate of about ½ teaspoon per pound or about 2 teaspoons of salt per pork loin half.
Once the salt starts drawing the moisture to the surface of the meat, you can apply a generous coat of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).
The pocket-cut pork loin can be handled in exactly the same way with the salt first and then the rub.
There are (2) schools of thought where stuffing is concerned.. one is to layer the ingredients onto the meat and then roll it up with the other being to premix the ingredients and then spread the mixture onto the meat and roll it up.
Both are very good and work equally well. It just comes down to what you find to be easier. I layered mine and then mixed up the ingredients to stuff into the pocket of the other half to show you both options.
First I laid out the peach pie filling, then the sliced almonds and finally the spinach leaves.
Roll it up and tie it with string to hold everything together. It's really nice to have a helper for this part of the process.
You will notice that I don't get fancy with the tying.. basic square knots about every 1.5 inches or so.
Expect some squeeze out of the stuffing and that's perfectly fine.
For the pocket version, I mixed up everything ahead of time including the pie filling, sliced almonds and the spinach. I cut up the peaches in the pie filling to make the stuffing a little more consistent.
Stuff it all down into that pocket..
And tie it up carefully.
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225-240 °F using indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
I used the Lone Star Grillz 20×36 for this cook and as usual, it did a fantastic job. I used lump charcoal to get it going and a single split of oak on the side to provide a steady stream of smoke.
If you are using a pellet grill for this, start it on the smoke setting for the first hour for good smoke flavor and then turn it up to 225-240°F to finish.
Place the butterflied pork loin(s) directly on the grate or use a pan and rack like I did to keep the smoker clean.. your choice. The rack in a pan allows the smoke to flow all the way around the meat and I get great results while reducing my cleanup time. To further reduce cleanup time, wrap the pan in heavy duty foil.
About halfway through the cook or about 2 hours in, melt a stick of butter, stir in a tablespoon of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) and brush that onto the top of the meat. This keeps the meat from drying out and adds another layer of delicious flavor.
Be sure to use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.. I used the Signals by ThermoWorks as it connects with my WiFi and allows me to go and do whatever I need to do while still monitoring the temperature of my smoker and the meat.
You can also just use an instant read thermometer such as the new Thermapen ONE that reads in only 1 second if you are so inclined.
You can expect the pork loin to take about 4 hours to reach 145°F in the center of the meat.
When the stuffed butterflied pork loin is finished cooking, let it rest for about 10 minutes and then slice it up.
You can slice between the strings and serve the pieces still tied or remove the strings and slice them a little thinner.
Be sure to have extra peach pie filling mixed with spinach and sliced almonds to serve on top of the slices.
- Something I haven't tried but I know would be good is to add a little heat to this.. maybe some red pepper flakes or perhaps some minced habanero. If you try this, let me know how it goes.
- If you feel really intimidated by the butterflying procedure, don't feel bad. I need to do a video of this procedure but until I do, there are lots of other videos online showing how to do this and it may help to watch a few videos before attempting it on your own.