How Long To Smoke A Pork Loin? Different Answers!

It doesn’t take an avid food lover to see that smoking is one of the best cooking techniques. There is something about the smell and the flavor of meat soaked in smoke that makes every mouth water. Plus, smoking meat may reduce the risk of cancer for enthusiastic eaters. It is healthy, classic and especially great for your pork loin.

So, you have made a good decision to smoke your pork. But cooking is full of challenges. Do you know how you are supposed to smoke? How long to smoke a pork loin? Is there any tip to guarantee a good meal? Keep reading to get all the answers you want.

If you are looking for a specific number to follow, you may be disappointed because there are many variations on the smoking time for pork loin. Cooking is not mathematics, so nothing is applicable to all cases without little adjustments.

How long to smoke a pork loin depends on 2 main factors: the size of the pork loin and the internal temperature of the smoker. Don’t stress yourself out because it is not that complex. I will show you why there are differences in smoking time, provide detailed recommended smoking time for different pork loin weights and address any concerns you may have about adjusting the internal temperature of your smoker.

Why Are There Time Variations?

To answer this question, you first need to know the general (also the best way used by experienced smokers) steps to accomplish good-quality smoked loin.

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    Step 1: Pork loin is put into the smoker and the internal temperature of smoker is adjusted to begin at 225 degrees F (about 107 degrees C). Experienced smokers don’t usually worry about the weight because they know the most important factor is the smoking temperature.
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    Step 2: Let the smoker do its job and make sure the temperature is maintained at 225 degrees F.
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    Step 3: After a few hours (depend on the size of the pork loin), the smoker’s temperature will drop to 145 degrees F (about 63 degrees C), at which point the loin is taken out and left to rest for at least 3 minutes before slicing.

You need to let your smoked pork loin rest at least 3 minutes for the sake of safety in food consumption recommended by USDA Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart. And you should take your meat out at 145 degrees F because that is the perfect temperature for the most flavorful and juicy meat. If you pull your loin out too soon when the temperature is much higher than 145 degrees F (say, 160 degrees F), you may end up with dry meat.

So, you see, time variations come from the size of your pork loin. The beginning and finished temperatures do not (and should not) change much. But you don’t have to worry about timing. Instead, you should worry about temperatures.

Typical Smoking Time for Different Pork Loin Sizes

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    If your loin weighs 2lbs, the temperature may take about 2 hours to drop from 225 degrees F to 145 degrees F.
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    If it weighs 4lbs, the time may be 3 hours.
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    If it weighs 5lbs, the time may be 4 hours.
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    If it weighs 6lbs, the time may be 5 hours.

How to Maintain the Right Temperature for Different Smokers?

Photo credit: Wicker Paradise

These smokers usually have their own controllers for setting the smoking temperatures. If you do have one, just set the temperature at 225 degrees F, wait about 30 minutes for your smoker to preheat fried chicken, then you can put your loin in.

If you do not have a controller, find detailed instructions from the manufacturer about using wood chunks or pellets for smoking. Remember to follow instructions carefully to avoid electrical problems.

One more thing you need to pay attention to is the water pan. Not all smokers are sold with these pans. If you have one, consider filling it fully with water to control temperature and add more moisture to your food.

Charcoal / Wood Smokers

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If you use charcoals to smoke, you need to make sure the firebox has enough charcoals to keep the temperature at 225 degrees F during smoking. If you use wood, there should be enough wood to burn to maintain the same temperature.

 If you have a small charcoal smoker that comes with a small firebox, you should use lump charcoal for easy temperature control. But keeping the heat alone is not enough, how about the smoke? To create smoke, you can put 5 or 6 wood chunks the size of your fist right beside or above the coals.

Gas Smokers

Photo credit: notthatwillsmith

For this kind of smokers, there is a knob for users to freely switch the temperatures however they like. So, it is easy to set the temperature at 225 degrees F. If you have a water pan that comes with your gas smoker, do not fill it all full but just a little bit under the top to better control the temperature. And, you may want to adjust the top and bottom vents so that they are open about a quarter. This should give you better smoke.


Now that you’ve got your answer to the question of how long to smoke a pork loin, I sincerely hope that you are well on your way to produce the best smoked loin for your friends and family. Remember that cooking is all about joy. You should not stress out over your dish because that negative energy is likely to ruin the cooking process and the joy of eating your meal.

 What’s the point in smoking anymore? Let’s us know by leaving your comment in the box below. Thank you!

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