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Pulled pork using whole boneless pork,loin

I know this isn't the right cut of pork for this but I found two whole boneless loins in the freezer at the soup kitchen where I volunteer. And when the food bank gives you pork loin - which just about never happens - you make something with it. And I'm going to make pulled pork.

So when I make pulled pork in the oven with a whole shoulder, I do it low and slow (250o for at least 10 hours). I don't add any liquid - just rub with spices and roast uncovered. Any suggestions on how to adapt for loin? I will NOT be using a slow cooker, so please no suggestions using one. I don't know exactly how much meat I have - maybe 15 to 20 lbs. Will cook pork at home and pull the day before serving. Reheat with BBQ sauce at the soup kitchen the next day.

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  1. Frankly I wouldn't cook the loin low & slow. I'd treat it, no matter what the weight, like a roast pork loin. Meaning about 375F - 400F, seasoned. Take it from oven when internal temp. reaches 150F and let it rest while you get your BBQ sauce together.

    I find low & slow for a loin cooks it too long for no reason. Although there's fat in the loin there's not enough to make it tender and juicy.

    1. However you decide to cook your loin, brine it for 12-24 hours first in salted water with bay leaves, peppercorns, brown sugar. This will keep the pork loin moist while you cook it in the oven. If you want to make pulled pork out of it, you mat want to opt for chopped pork as it may be difficult to pull this cut. Good luck with your roasts.

      1. I just made pulled pork with a loin a few days ago. It was only about 4 lbs of meat, but I agree with Gio on the higher temp, less time thing. I did 375 and it took about 40 mins (not sure exactly, I just kept checking temp). I did it in a giant packet I made of foil to keep the moisture in, and as I pulled the meat, I'd put it back in the liquid fat left in the packet so it could soak up the juice.
        I did the whole loin with just with salt, pepper and spices, then simmered the shreds in my sauce later in the day. Turned out pretty decent.
        Good luck!

        1. I use pork loin all the time for pulled pork. I put rub it with salt and pepper and then put it in the crock pot with onions, a can of coke (sorry gourmands), chopped onion and barbecue sauce. Sometimes I mix up my own sauce, but if I'm in a hurry I use bottled sauce. Then I cook it on low for 8 hours. Sometimes the sauce is a little thin, in that case I pull some sauce out at the end and heat in a sauce pan with flour and then put back in the pot.

          1. I'd roast it too. Pork loin just won't cooperate with low and slow, IME. I'd roast, cut into slices, cover with gravy, and reheat the next day.

            7 Replies
            1. re: tcamp

              Because this is for a soup kitchen, where we absolutely have to stretch the meat as far as possible, slicing it and serving like that just won't do. We have too many clients and the number can't be predicted. Some days we have 140 people, other days 90. You have to be prepared to adjust servings to accommodate the crowd. So although we have done loin as a roast, we only do that when we have LOTS of meat available. We need to turn this into something different - pulled would work well. I assume it can be done.

              What if I "simulate" a slow cooker by cooking it low with some liquid? Would that be better? Or am I best to just roast til done, then pull as well as possible and reheat in sauce?

              1. re: Nyleve

                Nyleve, it Can be done. <"What if I "simulate" a slow cooker by cooking it low with some liquid? Would that be better? Or am I best to just roast til done, then pull as well as possible and reheat in sauce?">

                Roast till done, pull as well as possible, reheat in sauce. That's my final answer. LOL. Good luck, Nyleve. You have been doing such a great job with this assignment.

                1. re: Nyleve

                  The reason for the coke is to help breakdown the meat.

                2. re: tcamp

                  I think using the liquid to simulate the slow cooker would work. The flour-thickened sauce and onions really stretch the meat. I usually cook a 2.5-3lb loin and it fills the pot by the time it's done. You can serve it over hamburger rolls or white bread to save money with some coleslaw. This is not an elegant meal, but it is hearty and affordable.

                  1. re: juliep999

                    That's what we plan to do. Buns, cole slaw. Maybe pickles. Probably some dessert - either day old cakes from a friendly supermarket or some fabulous thing we make ourselves. If it's hot, just watermelon would be good too. One of the other volunteers will be making the barbecue sauce from ingredients collected in the soup kitchen pantry (starting with a giant can of ketchup).

                    1. re: Nyleve

                      I think bbq with coleslaw is a great way to stretch that food. When you reheat it in the sauce, it becomes plumper and truly seems like more food when it hits the belly. Loin is not that hard to pull. It won't look quite like the real thing, but should be quite tasty. Here is a pic of some of my pulled loin before sauce from the weekend so you know about what to expect.

                       
                      1. re: alliegator

                        That looks just fine to me! Thanks!