We were recently delighted to have Danielle Bennett at ThermoWorks for an event, and even more delighted to have the chance to shoot a video with her. You can see that video here:
This gorgeous presentation isn’t just a pretty face, either. All the extra surface area we introduce in braiding and bacon-wrapping the pork means there are more nooks and crannies for the marinade/wet rub to get into, delivering more flavor per mouthful than a simple herb-rubbed loin.
And you can follow her recipe for braided smoked pork loin below. As she says in the video, this is not an exact-science cook, so I’ve left some wiggle room in the measurements. The one place where you need to be precise is in the temperatures! Cooking your pork loin to feel or time will not give you the same quality results as cooking to temperature. Grab your Thermapen® ONE and take the pork out of the smoker between 140 and 145°F (60 and 63°C).
You’re going to love this!Print
Diva Q’s Braided Smoked Pork Loin
Braided smoked pork loin from our video with Danielle Bennett.
- Boneless pork loin, 2.5–3 lb
- ~2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- ~2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- ~1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- ~1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2–4 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
- Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1.5 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/4–1/3 C olive oil
- 1.5 lb regular-cut (not thick-cut) bacon
- Preheat your smoker to 350°F (177°C).
- Make the herb rub by combining the herbs, garlic, zest, mustard, salt, and oil. Whisk together into a loose paste, adjusting consistency by adding more oil if needed, or more mustard or herbs if too thin.
- Cut any silver skin from the loin with a sharp knife.
- Also using a sharp knife, cut about 1″ in from the edge of the meat down the length of the pork loin, starting about 2″ from one end, all the way to the other end. Make an identical cut 1″ from the other edge.
- Wrap each of the three legs you’ve just created in bacon. Also, wrap the 2″ chunk at the connecting end in bacon.
- Braid the loin by crossing the right leg over the center leg, then the left leg over the center, then the right leg again, etc.
- Secure the legs together at the end with a skewer.
- Rub the braided loin with the herb marinade. Stuff it into cracks and crannies. Don’t skimp.
- Place the loin in your smoker and cook. If you’re using a leave-in probe thermometer, like Smoke X2™, insert the probe and set your meat-channel high-temp alarm for 140–145°F (60–63°C).
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches 140–145°F (60–63°C), about 34–45 minutes.
- Verify the internal temperature with your Thermapen ONE.
- Remove from heat and allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice it up and pile it high on your plate! Enjoy!
Jim S. says
The thyme is not on the “printed” ingredient list.
Good catch, it is now!
This is awesome! Love DivaQ and this recipe is remarkable. Can’t wait to try it!
I don`t believe bacon or pork belly is fully cooked at 140-145 degrees especially between the braids.
It is fully cooked in that it is safe to eat…all pork is safe to eat at 145°F. However, you are right that the bacon between the folds will not be crispy. Crisping the bacon within the braid is not possible, as one would have to completely dehydrate the entire loin to begin to crisp the bacon.
But you bring up an important point. It is important when taking the temperature of a piece of meat to look for the lowest temperature your Thermapen will show. It’s easy to find a higher temp near the surface, but meat is only as done as its least done part. That being said, if you register 145°F or higher—even between the folds of the braids—then the meat is done and safe.
Mike B says
Why not use the herb marinade before and after applying the bacon?
Also, in the printed recipe, you didn’t mention removing the silver skin.
I will make this recipe today, with fresh herbs from the garden.
I added the instruction to the recipe. Using the rub both over and under the bacon sounds delicious and I think it’s a great idea!
Reed Felton says
I made this recipe recently while on vacation. It was raining so had to use an air fryer, Turned out great! Will make a double recipe tomorrow in my smoker. Cant wait! Reed
Just made this. It is awesome, thanks for the recipe. The ingredient list showed lemon juice but the marinade instruction left it out, no problem I knew what to do.
I will make this again and again.