Note: to read about brining, read our page on brining meat.
This recipe makes 1 gallon of brine
. Depending on how big your crown roast is, you may need more than this. Multiply recipe as required.
- Place 3 quarts of cold water in a gallon-sized pitcher and stir in 1 cup of kosher salt until the salt is dissolved
- Add 1 quart of apple juice (or apple cider), 3 TBS of my original rub and 1/3 cup of honey to a sauce pan and heat over low heat (a gentle simmer) for about 10 minutes. The heat helps to bring out the flavors of the rub and melts the honey so it can mix better with the liquid.
- Add the 1 quart of heated apple juice/cider mixture to the 3 quarts of water in the pitcher.
- Let the brine cool in the fridge for several hours before using. it must be below 40°F at all times during the brining process.
Brining the Pork Crown Roast
Place the pork crown roast down in a large brining bag, lidded plastic container or other non-reactive container. Cover with cold brine and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. I like to use the large 2.5 gallon ziploc bags for this task.
To contain any possible leakage, place the bag with the pork crown roast and brine into a large stock pot or mixing bowl before placing it into the fridge.
After brining, rinse the roast with cold water to remove any salt still present on the outside of the roast.
Place the roast on a Bradley rack or a Weber grill pan or sheet pan for seasoning.
Apply spicy mustard to the top and sides of the pork crown roast to help the rub to stick to the meat.
Now for the fun part! Sprinkle my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) all over the pork crown roast and massage it in with your hands. Be sure to get the rub into the narrow cuts between the ribs.
Don't forget the middle..
The pork crown roast is now ready for the smoker.. wasn't that easy!?
I wanted a lot of smoke flavor so I decided to use my Meadow Creek wood smoker even though it was 16°F and the ground was snow covered.
You could also use another smoker or grill of your choice if you like as long as you maintain the same temperature recommendations.
The pecan I wanted to use had snow on it as well.
A little snow don't stop me!
Use whatever smoker you have and set it up for smoking at about 225°F.
Once it is holding steady, you are ready to smoke!
Place the pork crown roast on the grate of the smoker.
If you used a Bradley rack or a Weber grill pan, you can just place the rack on the smoker grate to make it easy.
I recommend pecan wood but you can also use apple, cherry or even hickory, if you so desire, with great results.
Smoke the pork crown roast until it reaches about 140°F in the thickest part of the meat. Our ultimate goal is 145°F but it will go up some during the resting period and we don't want to overcook this at all.
When it reaches 140°F, remove it from the smoker and place it on the counter covered with foil for about 20-30 minutes to allow it to rest.
During the resting phase, it will continue to raise in temperature for a few degrees and the internal juices will redistribute throughout the roast.
Set the finished smoked pork crown roast on the table and wait for everyone to ooh and ahh a bit before slicing it.
Remove any twine used to hold the smoked pork crown roast together and slice between the bones.