How to Butterfly a Pork Loin + a Brown Sugar Rub Recipe

Today is John's birthday. We celebrated hard last night, and relaxed in the yard (whilst doing yard work, of course) all day today while taking in the aroma of a pork loin on the smoker.

And lets be real here, there's nothing better than a home cooked birthday dinner. I remember my brother, sister and I requesting a birthday meal when we were little. Ryan always asked for spaghetti, Stephanie wanted something grilled (usually a steak), and I asked for enchiladas. This was definitely a tradition I want to continue, and was happy to oblige when John asked for a smoked pork loin.

So I whipped up a rub.

I don't know the exact recipe: about 3 spoons of brown sugar, some seasoned salt, ground rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, ground black pepper.
Then I butterflied the loin so I could use the rub on the inside and outside. 
To start, make a cut 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the loin. Don't cut all the way through. 
Then, lay that flap out flat. 
Make a second cut another 1/3 of the way through the loin. 
You'll be able to lay your loin out flat and prepare it as you wish. 
So I slathered on about 1/2 of the brown sugar rub. 
Then rolled the loin back up and attached the loose end with 6 toothpicks. I usually use cooking string, but ran out. DO NOT use craft string in place of cooking string, it likely was treated with bleach or other chemicals. 
I applied the other 1/2 of the brown sugar rub to the outside and let sit in the fridge for about 4 hours. Some recommend letting your loin sit with a rub or marinade overnight. I don't recommend using a marinade when smoking. Use a simple rub and let the smokey flavor shine through!

Are you guys ready for this?

This is one serious pork loin.

Because we both like a little "crust" on our meat we put the smoked loin on the grill (about 250 degrees) for about 15 minutes. 
While in Memphis last year we learned from some of the local grill masters that you can tell when meat has been perfectly smoked if it has a pink ring on the outer edge. Ya'll see that pink ring? See that delicious crust? What about that rub in the center?
I know.


  1. YOur smoked pork loin looks amazing...I am going to have to try that recipe.Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  2. This looks wonderful! how long did you smoke it?

    1. I use this chart to determine smoking time and temperature:

      It's never led me astray so far! Good luck :)

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  4. wow thats looks so yummy. I will make this recipe for my birthday on this day too. Leather Vest

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