Smoked Pork Center Cut Loin (watermelon tea/fennel brine)

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Recipe by Pitmaster Shane Hauck 

Smoked Pork Center cut Loin (watermelon tea/fennel brine)

Prep: 24 hours+

Cook: 2 hours, 30 minutes 


  • 2-3 lb pork center cut loin (should be enough to make at least 4-5 decent pork chops)
  • 5 Cups watermelon tea, I used Teakoe for a local, delicious brand
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • ¼ cup pepper
  • ¼  cup fennel seeds


  1. Gather all necessary ingredients.  I have an 8 quart cambro I use to brine the pork, but any airtight container will do.  Put the pork center cut loin into the container.  Add the tea, salt, pepper and fennel.  I love fennel, and it goes great with the flavor profiles so I add a little extra.  This should sit for 24 hours in the refrigerator.  I had a busy schedule the last few days, so this batch actually brined for 48 hours.
  2. Preheat your smoker to 250F, and choose the wood pairing.   I used Bradley Smoker’s Sage infused wood bisquettes for this.  The pork will cook at 250, so it is a good idea to set your smoker around 270 when preheating.  The temp will drop when the meat is first put in.
  3. Take the pork loin out of the brine.  I like to put it right on the smoker rack over my sink to season.  Much easier clean up (you’re welcome).  Season all sides with salt and pepper.  Once smoker is up to temp, let’s get the center cut loin in there.  Should take about two and a half hours to cook.
  4. Once it hits 145 internal temp, it’s done.  Time to pull and let rest before cutting.  Enjoy!
  5. I reverse seared the pork chop to serve with garlic roasted farro, and a light salad. 

Thanks Shane @TheHungryDollar Hauck! 

Thanks for a great recipe! 

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