This Smoked Lemon Pepper Pork Loin recipe makes an excellent summer-time sandwich. I start with a 5lb piece of center cut pork loin; you can find these at any grocery store.
First remove the excess silver skin and drizzle the outside with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Season with coarse ground Kosher Salt topped with a good dose of Lemon Pepper (Sams Club Tone’s brand).
Now fire up your smoker and bring the temperature to 250⁰. I’m running my Yoder YS640 with BBQr’s Delight Pecan Pellets but any grill or smoker set up for indirect cooking will do the trick.
Once the cooker temp stabilizes, place the loin directly on the cooking grate and let the smoke roll! With pork loin you always want to cook by internal temperature. Insert a wired probe thermometer (I’m using my DOT by Themoworks – and I highly suggest checking it out here >>) after 30 minutes of cooking and set the alarm for 140⁰.
To keep the pork loin from drying out spritz it with a 50:50 mixture of Apple Juice and Red Wine Vinegar as needed. I start at the 45 minute mark and about every 30 minutes after that.
This loin is going to be sliced thin and served as a sandwich with pesto and a Caper Dill Mayo. The mayo needs about 2 hours in the refrigerator to come together, so go ahead and mix it up. Place 1 cup of good mayo (Dukes or Blue Plate) in a small bowl. Add the juice from half a lemon (about 2 Tablespoons), ¼ cup chopped capers, 4-5 cloves roasted garlic (minced), and 1 Tablespoon of finely chopped baby dill. Give the mixture a good stir and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it hang out in the refrigerator for a couple hours while the loin smokes. You can make this ahead of time if you want; it’ll keep for several days in the fridge.
Once the alarm sounds on the thermometer, the loin is ready to come off the pit. Place it on a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Don’t cut into pork loin immediately or all the juice will run out leaving you with dry loin. Give it at least 10-15 minutes, while you grill the bread for the sandwiches.
Slice several fresh ciabatta rolls in half and brush with olive oil. Grill directly over the fire for about a minute (on my yoder I took out the fire pot cover for direct access).
Now it’s time to carve the loin; use a sharp knife and cut it into thin slices about 1/8” wide.
To assemble the sandwiches spread the caper-dill mayo on the bottom half of the roll, layer 3-4 slices of pork loin on top and spoon prepared Basil Pesto over the top. Place the top half of ciabatta on and cut the sandwiches in half.
It’s that easy! This sandwich reminds me of summer; it’s packed with tons of flavor and the citrus and basil notes go great with the smokiness of the loin. Give it a try and let me know what you think!