Light up the smoker for the most delicious smoked pork roast this weekend. Not only will your family thank you for a delicious meal, it is inexpensive and the leftovers are as good as the original meal. A crispy exterior finish with tender, juicy meat inside and all the flavors of smoke you love in every bite.
🍽️ Why This Works
Just Four Ingredients. Keep it really simple with garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. There is no mixing and no marinade.
Tender and juicy meat. Pork roast is the perfect meat to slow roast to perfection in a smoker. It turns out perfectly seasoned and delicious with our recipe.
Gorgeous finish. This meat looks so beautiful on a platter when the smoking is done.
📝 Ingredient Notes
Pork Roast – Look for a roast with some even marbling of fat throughout.
Garlic Cloves – Whole cloves help intensify the flavor of the meat. To remove cloves from its skin, gently smash the garlic head with the palm of your hand. Then smash each clove with the palm of your hand again and you will be able to easily remove the skin. Cut off the hard end and your garlic clove is ready for use.
Salt and Pepper – You don’t need anything else to have an amazing smoked pork roast. Just garlic, salt and pepper.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Smoker. We like to use the Big Green Egg or the Traeger.
Sharp Knife. A high-quality knife set is king in the kitchen and will literally change your world if you are used to dull poorly made knives.
Wood Chips. Pork can handle a stronger wood chip like mesquite or hickory, but I kept it simple with a medium-intensity pecan. Choose maple, peach, or apple wood for a lighter smoke flavor. If you aren’t sure which wood to use for your meal, check out this handy printable smoking wood chart.
Step One: Score the pork roast. You can do this with a sharp paring knife or chef’s knife and simply make crisscrossed lines across the pork. This provides more surface area for the smoke to adhere.
Step Two: Embed garlic cloves in the corners of each crisscrossed line. You may need to slice the pork a little deeper here for the garlic to be fully inserted. As it cooks, the garlic will release its flavor throughout the roast.
Step Three: Add salt and pepper.
Step Four: Preheat the smoker to 250°F and set it up with indirect heat. For the Big Green Egg, I used a plate setter.
Optional: Pork has a tendency to be a bit fatty, so adding a drip pan to catch the rendered fat will help to avoid flare ups and will minimize the fat drippings to create a rancid smoke.
Step Five: Place the pork in the smoker, directly on the grill grates.
Step Six: Let the pork roast smoke until the internal temperature reaches a minimum of 145°F. At 250°F, this will take about 45 minutes per pound so factor that in when you’re trying to estimate the total cooking time. I typically let it come up to 155°F internal temp and then remove it from the grill using meat claws, tent it in aluminum foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Tip: If you have a little bit of a pink ring on the exterior of the roast, that is the smoke ring which is completely safe to eat. If it has a smoke ring, the answer is yes! Pork can be pink and safe to eat at the same time.
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
Let it Rest. After smoking, let the roast rest for at least 10 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise slightly, and letting it sit will keep the juices trapped inside. Slicing it too soon will let the juices run out.
Be Generous with Garlic. I love garlic, and it is a real treat to bite into a piece of pork and find that soft, rich clove of garlic.
Low and Slow. A low temperature on indirect heat produces the best results. As a good rule of thumb, plan on the roast smoking for about 45 minutes per pound at 250°F or 30 minutes per pound at 300°F. If you’re smoking a bone-in pork roast, it will take even longer.
Binding Agent. If you decide to add a BBQ rub, you may need to use a binding agent. I typically use yellow mustard. A few tablespoons spread over the roast creates a tacky surface for the dry rub to adhere. Don’t worry. You won’t taste the yellow mustard when it is done.
Use a Meat Thermometer. The best way to smoke pork roast so it turns out juicy and tender is based on internal temperature. Insert a thermometer probe in the roast before placing it in the smoker. This way, you won’t have to keep opening the lid to check the doneness.
Skip the Brine. You might notice in some smoker recipes, large cuts of pork are brined to tenderize the meat. The brine is usually a solution of water, salt, aromatics, and an acidic ingredient like apple juice, or apple cider vinegar. The meat is refrigerated and kept submerged in the brine for 8-12 hours or overnight. Our method requires smoking based on internal temperature so you don’t need to brine your pork roast unless you really want to. The meat will be cooked to perfection without this extra step!
No spraying is needed. This is also a common method used to keep the pork moist as it smokes and there is no need to use it for this recipe. The most common way to do it is to fill a spray bottle with a liquid such as water, broth, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, or a combination of these and spray the meat every hour. We recommend you keep that lid closed to maintain a stable temperature, smoke to the target internal temp, and forget the spritzing!
How To Make Smoked Pork Roast For Pulled Pork
I usually go for a slightly fattier cut for making smoked pulled pork but you can definitely use pork roast if you want to. Follow the instructions above but keep the pork roast longer in the smoker, until it reaches an internal temperature of 195°F. This is the recommended internal temperature for pulled pork.
We cooked it only to 155°F, and this typically rises by 10 degrees in the resting phase which is perfect for slicing. Use this as a guideline if you don’t want to shred the meat.
Note: Looking for the perfect cut to make pulled pork? Grilled pork shoulder, or Boston butt are our top picks for this purpose, and smoked pork butt would be just as good. Pulled pork reheats well, and is so versatile!
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
Leftovers can be sliced and used later for sandwiches, stir fry, or other meals. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days or 2-3 days if the meat is shredded. All refrigerated cooked pork stays safe to eat for no longer than 4 days.
Freeze leftovers in an airtight container for up to three months.
It is easier to slice the meat when it is fresh and hot rather than waiting and slicing it after it is refrigerated or frozen. If you plan to use it on sandwiches, go ahead and dice it up before saving it.
Reheat it in a skillet, microwave, or oven. Just go easy with the microwave if you go that route and check often because it can make leftover meat rubbery. My recommendation is to use any other method.
The oven is perfect if you smoked your pork loin roast and kept it whole. Preheat it to 225°F and allow the roast to reheat slowly until it reaches 165°F internal temperature. Use the same low-heat approach when reheating sliced pork roast in a pan.
Get the meat ready ahead of time and give the garlic cloves more time to flavor the meat. You can score, stuff, and season the meat then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 24 hours before putting it in the smoker.
🌶️Additions and Substitutions
A very simple variation is to use a more complex seasoning than salt, pepper, and garlic. We kept it simple this time, but you can always buy your favorite dry rub or make one at home. If you have some basic BBQ rub ingredients such as brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, Kosher salt, black pepper, and herbs you’re good to go!
I recommend you make a double batch of this all-purpose dry rub for grilling, as it goes well with most meats, including smoked pork roast. Another option I love for this pork cut is my BBQ rub for ribs. Both are super easy to make and store well so you can double the batch if you’d like.
Speaking of spicing things up, you can add some heat with jalapeño slices added to the criss-cross in addition to the garlic cloves.
Serve smoked pork loin with traditional or exotic side dishes such as cole slaw, potato salad, smoked corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, green beans, grilled brussels sprouts kebabs, smoked cauliflower, or grilled baked beans.
BBQ sauce also makes an excellent team with this smoked pork roast! We love pouring a little homemade cherry bourbon BBQ sauce or sweet and spicy BBQ sauce over a warm slice and enjoy it in a fresh bun.
I find trying out new recipes to be very exciting and pairing pork roast with different sides falls exactly into that category. If you’re anything like me you might want to check out our comprehensive list of BBQ sides.
🍖More Smoked Pork Recipes
Large pork cuts such as pork roast are absolutely fantastic when smoked. They pair well with so many sides and the leftovers are great in salads, sandwiches, casseroles, soups, and other dishes.
For those times when you need to impress, you can’t go wrong with a smoked pork crown roast. The finished piece is Instagram-worthy!
Smoked Tomahawk pork chops are one of those quick smoker recipes that are ready in one hour and you can make enough to feed a crowd if needed.
❓ Recipe FAQ
Plan on about 45 minutes per pound at 250°F or 30 minutes per pound at 300°F.
Whole smoked pork roast can be reheated in the oven at 225°F until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Use the same internal temperature goal to reheat pork roast slices in a skillet over low heat.
I recommend smoking at 250°F using indirect heat. This low and slow approach results in an amazing, tender, and juicy roast.
Plan on about ½ pound per person. Please note that the roast will lose about 25% of its weight as it smokes, and you’ll definitely want leftovers!
Related Pork Recipes
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Smoked Pork Roast
- 4 lb Pork Roast
- 8 Garlic Cloves
- Salt and Pepper
- Score the pork roast with a sharp paring knife and make a crisscrossed line pattern across the pork. This provides more surface area for the smoke to adhere.
- Peel the garlic cloves and stick them in each crisscrossed line intersection. You may need to slice the pork a little deeper here for the garlic to be fully inserted. As it cooks, the garlic will release its flavor throughout the roast and become soft.
- Salt and Pepper the outside of the roast
- Preheat the grill to 250° and set it up with indirect heat. For gas grills, turn off the center burners. For Kamado grills, add a ceramic or cast iron diverter.
- Add the pork roast to the grill. You may want to add a drip pan under the pork, as the fat will render and create an unpleasant smoke.
- Add your favorite wood chips. For a mild flavor, use a fruit wood. For a more robust flavor, try mesquite or hickory.
- Let the pork roast smoke until the internal temperature reaches al least 145°. I typically let it come up to 155° and then remove it from the grill using meat claws, tent it in foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.