How Long to Smoke a Pork Loin for Pulled or Sliced at 275F and 225F

Pulled Smoked Pork loin

Pork loins are big tubes of lean meat that have confounded many pitmasters!  When you smoke a pork loin correctly it can be tender and juicy.  Mess it up and you are dealing with shoe leather. 

The trick is you have to figure out if you want to your loin to be sliced or pulled.  The answer to that question will tell you how long to smoke the pork loin.

Here is the deal…there are two target temperatures to have in mind when you are cooking a loin on your pit.

The loin will be done and juiciest when it hits an internal temperature of 145F.  A loin cooked to 145F can be sliced thin and piled high for a serious platter of great eating.

Thin Sliced Pork

The loin will start to fall apart and become “shredable” when it hits an internal temperature of 205F.   Again, you will get a serious pile of good eats.

Pulled Pork

If you pull the loin off the pit anywhere between about 150F to 195F it is going to be a tough piece of meat that is trapped in limbo between the two target zones.

So, the answer to the question of how long does it take to smoke a pork loin is…it depends on what you want.

Keep reading and I will show you:

  • The cook times you need for your smoker
  • A great dry rub for smoked loin
  • My finishing sauce for pulled pork loins

I did the experiments to get you some approximate cook times.

Smoke Times for Pork Loins at Three Temperatures

  • 225F: Slicing Stage in 2 Hours, Pulled Stage in 5 Hours.
  • 275F: Slicing Stage in 1 Hour, 40 Minutes, Pulled Stage in 3 Hours, 30 Minutes.

Here is what one of these cooks looked like.

I started with a 10 pound loin and cut it into four sections of approximately 2.5 pounds each. This makes the meat easier to handle but shouldn’t impact cook times too much as they all had the same cylindrical shape.

Before each cook the loins rested at room temperature for about 30 minutes while my pellet grill came up to the target temperature.

Cook Time for Loins Smoked at 275F

I put two 2.5 pound loin sections onto the pit and inserted the temperature probe from my Maverick digital thermometer into one of them.

Dry Rubbed Pork Loin

It took an hour and 40 minutes for the pork loin smoked at 275F to reach an internal temperature of 145F.  This is the perfect temperature for sliced pork loin.

The loin was glazed with some peach preserves and tasted as great as it looked.

Pork loin Smoked at 275F


Wrapping in Aluminum Foil for Pulled Pork

When I took the slicing loin off I tightly wrapped the other loin in foil with a half cup of an apple juice and bbq sauce mix. 

Foiling Liquid

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce
  • Pour 1/2 of this mix into the aluminum foil when wrapping the loin. 
  • Reserve the rest of the mix for use in the finishing sauce. 

It took the foiled loin another hour and forty minutes to reach the pulling temperature of 205F.  This ended up with a smoking time of an hour and 40 minutes in the smoke and an hour and forty minutes in the foil for a total cook time of about three and a half hours.

Be extremely careful when unwrapping the aluminum foil as it will contain a lot of scalding hot liquid. 

 Pork Loin at an Internal Temperature of 205F

These cook times should be a good approximation to get you started whether you are cooking on an electric smoker, pellet grill or offset smoker. Make sure you use a good digital thermometer to get accurate internal temperatures.

Although I was smoking 2.5 pound loin sections the time should not change much with larger pieces.  Larger loins are simply longer and not thicker so they should not vary significantly in cook times.

More Information on Cooking Loins

I wanted to share a few recipes and tips to help you nail your cook.

Dry Rub for Pork Loins

Loins can be pretty bland so it helps to have a flavorful dry rub.  Here is a recipe that I like a lot.

  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1 tablespoon celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork

I toss the pork with this sauce after it has been shredded.  This is enough sauce for about four pounds of pulled pork.  You can dial back on the red pepper flakes or omit entirely depending upon how your crew feels about heat.

  • 1/2 cup of a sweet barbecue sauce like Sweet Baby Rays
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Should You Inject, Marinade or Brine?

It depends.

I wouldn’t bother using a marinade since those only penetrate the outer quarter inch of the meat.

If I am going to be making pulled pork then I don’t bother injecting or brining since the meat will be tender and flavors will be added with the finishing sauce.

If I am going to be making sliced pork then I will take the time to brine or inject.  I tend to prefer brining overnight instead of injecting as I think you get better overall penetration instead of concentrated, streaky flavor pockets.

What is the Best Temperature?

People can argue about this all day long but I prefer smoking loins at 225F.

I think the lower temperatures helps the meat stay tender.  This is also the temperature that I use to smoke baby back ribs so I can cook loins and ribs at the same time.

The downside of smoking at 225F is that it takes a long time.  If you are planning on making pulled pork and are in a hurry then you aren’t going to lose much quality by bumping up the heat.

Pulled Smoked Pork loin

Smoked Pork Loin {275F, Pulled Pork}

A pork loin is seasoned with a sweet dry rub then slow smoked at 275F until fall apart tender!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 325 kcal


  • 1 pork loin roast 3-5 lbs
  • Dry Rub Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1 tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp granulated onion
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • 2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup apple juice Foiling liquid
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tbls red pepper flakes


  • Combine the dry rub ingredients and mix well
  • Apply the rub to all sides of the pork loin and let the loin rest for 30 minutes so the rub can work its way into the meat.
  • Set your smoker to 275F using hickory wood for smoke
  • Smoke the pork loin for about 1.5 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 145-150F.
  • Wrap the loin in aluminum foil along with the Foiling Liquid.
  • Continue smoking the loin for another 2 hours until an internal temperature of ~205F is reached.
  • Carefully remove the loin from the foil, shred with forks and toss with the finishing sauce.


Once you get the hand of smoking pork loins you will find that they are an easy and economical way to feed a crowd or to do meal prep for the week.
Keyword smoked pork loin



  1. ken

    excellent. Thank you. Smoker season is upon us. I grabbed a loin and I was unsure of temp. I bought a nice treager last year.

    • David

      Enjoy the Traeger! Smoke on!

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