The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

APRICOT CRANBERRY STUFFED PORK LOIN

  Date: January 19, 2013
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This unusual recipe made an amazing pork roast. I subscribe to Gary House's Cooking Everything Outdoors video podcast. I like both the recipes he makes and the different approaches he takes to making them. When I can, I will adapt them to my cooking gear. As soon as I saw this recipe it intrigued me & I knew I'd have to make it. I love cedar plank cooking and want to do more of it. Gary House took a recipe that two ladies used to win a Dutch oven cooking contest, and he adapted it for use in a cedar "boat". I think this is the first thing I've ever cooked, where I've had to go to my workshop and make something to cook the food in. The cedar boat was a cedar plank with sides added to contain the pork loin roast and the veggies that were also cooked with it. The pork loin was butterflied to 1" thickness and rolled out to receive both a fruit stuffing and a bit of crumb topping. The crumb topping was used on the outside of the roast as well, after the roast was rolled up and tied.

The pork loin roast went into the cedar boat and cooked to about 95 degrees internal temperature. At this point the boat was filled with potatoes, carrots & onions. This is where the recipe went a little off the rails for me. It was only in the low 20's, but I had no trouble getting the Egg up to the relatively low 375 degrees this recipe called for. It took about 45 minutes for the roast to hit 95 degrees, which is when I needed to add the veggies. I took the roast off the Egg and into the Kitchen to add the veggies. When I put it back on the Egg the temps rose normally for a while and then stalled out at 120 degrees. At the time I had no idea what was happening, but my post mortem is this: I think adding the vegetables eventually stalled out the temps. The room temperature veggies needed to come up to the same temperature as the roast before the sides of the roast began cooking again. I think the initial rise may have been some carryover heat from cooking the roast without the veggies. I also think opening the lid for mopping didn't help. While I did keep the mop sauce indoors, I lost 100-150 degress each time I mopped it. It took the Egg 5-7 minutes to recover after every mop. I started mopping every 20 minutes instead of every 10 to help out with the temperature loss issue. I figured the Egg looses less moisture than most grills, so less mopping wouldn't hurt.

Cutting to the chase: After the veggies were added, this roast took the hour it was supposed to take PLUS another 45 minutes to reach it's target temperature of 145 degrees internal. To my great surprise, some of the veggies STILL weren't cooked through. I was able to quickly microwave them, but it was quite a surprise. Only some of the veggies weren't completely cooked and my theory is they were the veggies at the bottom of the cedar boat.

The stuffed pork loin roast was amazing and was cooked perfectly. It had great flavor and everyone could taste the cedar smoke and liked the flavor it added to the pork. Days later people are still talking about this pork roast. I think I want to try the original version of this roast recipe & cook it in the Dutch oven. I may try the cedar boat version again to make sure the veggies wasn't a one time fluke, but I will wait for warmer weather to do that. I also plan to try cooking the roast on a simple cedar plank and parboil the veggies and direct grill them in a grilling basket. I think doing it this way will help both the roast and the veggies cook better and faster. Bottom Line: The roast is definitely worth making again, it was about the best pork roast I can recall making.
Recipe Source:
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Cooks Illustrateds All-Time Best Bread Recipes
Cooking Everything Outdoors:
Grilling Stuffed Pork Loin in a Cedar Plank Tray with Vegetables - 01-13-13 Episode (Available on iTunes)
Grill:
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Big Green Egg

Indirect Grilled:

Using the Big Green Egg Kamado Cooker.
Gear:
  • Box Made From Cedar Grilling Planks
  • Disposable Foil Pan
  • BGE S-S Grill Grid
  • Maverick ET-732 Remote Read Thermometer
  • Wicked Good Weekend Warrior Lump Charcoal