Honey-Barbecued Pork Loin

Okay, I know that pork loin is not the best cut of meat for barbecuing, since it’s so lean and lacks the flavor and sturdiness of a fatty, husky shoulder or rack of ribs, but at least some prejudice went out the window when I tasted this luscious loin prepared by a few good folks at a church barbecue down in Marietta, Georgia. One trick was to minimize the risk of the pork’s drying out by butterflying the loin, marinating it in this almost sour-sweet mixture, and cooking it for less time than usual (or just till the meat was nicely glazed). Do check the texture of the pork with a knife or fork after about 30 minutes to make sure it’s tender but not falling apart.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • One 3-pound boneless pork loin

Method

In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the pork, whisk over low heat till the marinade is well blended, about 10 minutes, and set aside.

Place the pork loin on a cutting board and butterfly it with a sharp knife by cutting lengthwise to within ½ inch of the other side. Open the loin and place in a large, shallow dish or pan. Pour the marinade over the top, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, turning once.

Ignite a layer of charcoal briquets in an outdoor grill, let them burn till ashen (30 to 45 minutes), and place the grill rack about 6 inches over the coals.

Remove the loin from the marinade and place, opened up, on the grill. Brush with the marinade and cook 30 to 40 minutes, turning twice and basting often.

Transfer the loin to a large platter, let rest about 5 minutes, then carve into serving slices. Serve hot.