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A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.
Annabelle is an experienced food writer and editor. She focuses on common sense, easy to replicate recipes formulated
to help keep things fresh and exciting while fitting into her day to day life as a wife and mother.
If you like the mild flavor and juicy texture of roasted pork loin, but you feel like it’s missing a sweet, aromatic kick, try smoking a pork roast in your electric smoker.
This form of slow-cooking allows the meat’s fat time to render down into the pork, infusing the cut with moisture and intense flavor. This cooking process also imparts a woody, slightly sweet smoke that browns your meat and lends it an earthy taste.
Here’s our step-by-step breakdown of how to smoke a pork roast in your electric smoker, from choosing a premium-quality cut to slicing the cooked meat against the grain before serving.
What is a Pork Roast Cut?
Before looking at how to smoke a pork roast in an electric smoker, it’s crucial to know where this type of cut comes from. The pork roast cut is from the pig’s loin, which is an area that’s just above the ribs, in front of the leg, and below the tasty back fat section of the animal. When you ask your butcher for a roast, they’ll know that you’re referring to a 2-4lb. chunk of meat that’s from this large muscle.
This cut of meat is relatively thick and heavy, and you’ll find that it’s easy to cook in the oven or in a slow cooker. It’s relatively lean and tough, but if you cook it correctly, you’ll create a result that’s tender and aromatic, with a soft, juicy texture.
It’s important to remember that the pork loin is not the same as the tenderloin cut, which comes from a muscle that runs alongside the pig’s spine, and it’s a far more tender cut than the loin.
How Do You Smoke a Pork Roast in an Electric Smoker?
There are four main steps to follow when smoking a pork loin in your electric smoker unit.
1. Choose the best cut
The key to learning how to smoke a pork roast in an electric smoker is to find a high-quality loin cut that’s flavorful and lean. If you want to be grilling within your budget, then your best bet is to buy meat from your local butcher, but if that isn’t an option, you can look for a few visual signs of quality when you’re in the raw meat section of the grocery store.
Unless it’s wrapped in sealed, airtight packaging, healthy pork meat should have light pink flesh that looks firm and compact. The best loin cuts have a thick, white layer of fat on the top, and you should be able to see a dense mass of lean pork running through the middle of the meat.
You can choose between a bone-in loin or a boneless, rolled cut when you’re buying a pork roast. Each of these options has its advantage: a layer of fat surrounds the bone, and when you cook a bone-in cut, this fat, as well as the bone marrow and collagen, melts into the rest of the meat, imparting tasty flavors throughout the pork. However, boneless cuts tend to cook faster than bone-in loins. Nearly all grocery stores sell boneless pork loins, while not all stores have the bone-in option.
2. Prep and trim the cut
Once you’ve picked your high-quality loin cut, you need to trim and season the meat before putting it in your electric smoker. If the fat coating is moist, use a paper towel to pat down the outside and dry it. This helps the meat’s surface to become crisp during the slow-cooking process.
Check the pork cut’s surface to see if there are any places where there’s a chunky fat layer that’s thicker than ¼”: if you notice any excess fat, use a sharp kitchen knife to trim the pork fat from the loin. If the fatty coating is too thick, the smoke won’t be able to reach the center of the meat to cook the pork properly.
Use the same sharp knife to score the top of your pork cut by slicing through the fat diagonally. This process helps the grill’s heat to pass through the fat layer and cook the lean meat inside the cut. It also allows the fat to render down through the pork more efficiently.
Finally, season your pork roast. Adding salt to the meat’s surface makes the cut more tasty and tenderizes the pork. Rub or brush the outside with a bit of olive oil because this also helps to render the fat and add flavor to the meat. Once you’ve added this binding agent, apply a dry rub to the cut.
3. Set up your electric smoker and smoke the pork roast
When your pork roast is ready, ignite your electric smoker and heat until it reaches a steady temperature of 225°F. You can also preheat it before you start seasoning and trimming the loin so that it’s at the ideal temperature when you’re ready to start the cooking process.
If your electric smoker comes with a wood burning option, use a hickory or apple wood blend as these chips impart a sweet smoke that complements the milder flavors of the pork roast perfectly.
Put your pork loin on the grill rack with its fat side up. When the meat cooks, the fatty layer melts and trickles through the pork, infusing the cut flavor.
Try to cook this cut for between 2-3 hours at 225°F, avoiding opening the smoker’s lid. Use a dual probe digital thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the meat. When this temperature reaches 145°F, you should take the loin off the grill and put it on a warmed plate on your kitchen counter.
4. Allow the pork to rest
You must let the pork loin rest for between 10-20 minutes after you’ve removed it from the grill rack. Doing this allows the oils and juices to trickle back down and settle in the meat. If you cut the pork too soon after smoking, it will be slightly dry.
Put a layer of aluminum foil over the top of the meat while it rests. This helps insulate the pork and keep it warm. When you cut the loin, make sure you’re slicing against the grain. This ensures that the meat will taste tender rather than chewy.
Enhance the Flavor of a Loin Cut By Learning How to Smoke a Pork Roast
You've already made pork roast are you ready for another recipe? We have a pulled pork recipe that you can serve to your friends and family.