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Thermometer Reading in Pork Loin

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  • Skip
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 2860
    • Blue Earth, Minnesota
    • Memphis Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates

    Thermometer Reading in Pork Loin

    I've made several pork loins and tenderloins on various grills. Often times I feel I don't get accurate readings from my Thermo Works Smoke Thermometer during these times. The Smoke and Probes tested fine. Just yesterday I was smoking a Pork Loin that I had previously cooked Sous Vide and frozen and thawed for my cook yesterday. I put the probe into the very center from the side and by the time it got to 140* it was way overdone. With my Thermapen it was +160 on the ends. My theory is the meat is so lean and a such a solid muscle that it won't cook evenly in the center even though it is an evenly sized chunk. I should just use the Smoke to probe the ends and as the temp rises on them check the loin all over with my Thermapen. Anyone else have any experience like this? Thoughts?
  • skipsdaughter
    Club Member
    • Dec 2018
    • 52
    • Eastern Iowa

    #2
    No suggestions about how to fix it, although your thought process is sound. My only thought is maybe I'm glad I didn't stay for dinner...

    Comment


    • Skip
      Skip commented
      Editing a comment
      Gwen, It's always good to respect your Dad a little more this close to your Birthday! Lol.

    • Attjack
      Attjack commented
      Editing a comment
      lol
  • Red Man
    Club Member
    • May 2018
    • 814
    • Western Washington

    #3
    What grill temp were you running? What Sous Vide temp did you use?

    Comment


    • Skip
      Skip commented
      Editing a comment
      The pork loin was probably 10" long. I'm wondering if I would have cut it in half if it wouldn't have cooked more evenly?

    • skipsdaughter
      skipsdaughter commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't think cutting it in half would have made a difference in cooking time. I don't remember which speaker talked about cooking time this weekend, but as long as the diameter was the same, it should have stayed consistent.

    • IowaGirl
      IowaGirl commented
      Editing a comment
      It was Meathead who showed that slide. The diameter controls cook time until the length is equal to or less than the diameter. The shortest dimension that controls the length of cook. If you cut the loin in half along its length, you'd be reducing the diameter by half and the loin will cook faster. If you cut the loin in half across its width, the cook time won't necessarily be a lot shorter.
      Last edited by IowaGirl; April 16th, 2019, 11:07 AM.
  • Red Man
    Club Member
    • May 2018
    • 814
    • Western Washington

    #4
    I think the grill temp was the culprit. I’d cook it at 200 or so if I wanted it to pick up flavor and I’d pull at 130 if my SV temp was 140. If you want to cook at that high a grill temp, I’d pull at 115 IT.

    Comment

    • Red Man
      Club Member
      • May 2018
      • 814
      • Western Washington

      #5
      With a pork loin shaped piece of meat, cutting in half would be worse, unless you can make it round. The ends will always cook more than the center, but the center will be very even once you get away from the ends.

      Comment

      • Troutman
        Club Member
        • Aug 2017
        • 6891
        • Republic of Texallence

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        #6
        I've had problems with probes inadvertently being stuck into a fat pocket, that will throw your readings way off. When I suspect strange readings I get out my Thermopen and start poking around. If they don't seem to agree then I re-probe. Thick cuts of meat can be tricky, look at how briskets cook. Just part of the fun I guess.

        Comment


        • Murdy
          Murdy commented
          Editing a comment
          Same thing if there's a bone in there and you get the probe on a bone.
      • IowaGirl
        Club Member
        • Dec 2018
        • 531
        • Northeast Iowa, USA

        #7
        "...I put the probe into the very center from the side and by the time it got to 140 F it was way overdone. With my Thermapen it was +160 on the ends...."

        I don't cook loin roasts to a center internal temperature of 140 F because you're right about getting a large temp variation in this dense chunk of meat. The ends are dry and overcooked by the time the center is at 140 F.

        I have been backing off on my target for the center IT, and letting the carryover heat finish bringing the center up to my target IT.

        Try cooking to a center IT of about 120 F next time and see what that gets you, Skip. Or you could do what you said -- put your Smoke probe in the center of the diameter, but closer to an end, and use your Thermapen occasionally to check the true center.

        I'm also not looking for a center IT of 140 F on pork at the time of serving anymore. I'm getting better results if I shoot for an IT around 135 F.

        I think this is one of the reasons why loin is so good on the rotisserie. The meat heats up evenly and slowly without drying out. But it can be done in the smoker or on the grill too. You have to find a balance between the rate of heat input into the meat versus the rate of moisture loss.
        Last edited by IowaGirl; April 16th, 2019, 11:33 AM.

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