Put a pork roast in the smoker. 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. If you aren’t sure which wood to use for your meal, check out this handy wood pairing cheat sheet.
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° 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: Add the pork to the smoker.
Step Six: Let the pork roast smoke until the internal temperature reaches a minimum on 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.
❗ 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 the 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° or 30 minutes per pound at 300°.
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.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
Leftovers can be sliced and used later for sandwiches, stir fry, or other meals. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for two 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 or microwave. Just go easy with the microwave if you go that route and check often because it can make leftover meat rubbery.
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 complicated seasoning than salt, pepper and garlic. We like to keep it simple though! If you want to spice things up a bit go for it!
Speaking of spicing things up, you can add some heat with jalapeño slices added to the criss-cross in addition to the garlic cloves.
❓ Recipe FAQ
Plan on about 45 minutes per pound at 250° or 30 minutes per pound at 300°.
Skillet or Microwave.
I recommend smoking at 250° 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
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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.