Porchetta on the Grill
Porchetta is a deliciously tender and juicy roast that’s made from a pork belly. It’s stuffed with herbs, spices and seasoned with lots of salt.
A long baking time at low temperature followed by a quick burst at high temperature creates the tender meat, meltingly delicious fat and ultra-crispy skin that makes porchetta famous.
Porchetta is a classic Italian dish that has been around for over a thousand years, and with the right knowledge it can be made even better. The classic recipe involves a pork loin, but you can use a pork belly instead and enjoy a lighter, more flavourful roast that will stay moist for longer.
When preparing your porchetta roast for the grill, start by preheating the barbecue at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. It’s best to do this over indirect heat so that the grill doesn’t get too hot and cause the pork to burn.
Once your barbecue has preheated, place your porchetta roast on the grill over the side of the barbecue that isn’t lit. Close the cover and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 140 degrees F, about 2-2 1/2 hours. During this time, check the meat occasionally for flare-ups.
The roast will take a long time to cook, and it’s best to keep an eye on it so that you know when it’s done. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise during this time, so if you want to be sure it’s done you can insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the roast and check it regularly.
Depending on the size of your porchetta, it may take anywhere from 4-5 hours to cook. The roast will be tender and falling-apart-tender when it’s done, so serve it with pasta, bread, or a salad for a complete meal.
Porchetta is best cooked on a smoker, but you can also make it on the grill using your favourite barbecue. Just be sure to adjust the flames as required to get an ideal level of crackling on the pork skin.
Before you begin the roast, preheat your Big Green Egg or other charcoal BBQ to 250C. The initial blast will help the skin to form a good crust, but once it’s cooked you can adjust the vents on the BBq or add some water to your drip pan as needed.
Once the pork is on the grill, set it to low. If you’re using a gas BBQ, turn it down to medium for the first hour or so. After that you’ll need to keep an eye on it and add water as needed to ensure the meat doesn’t dry out.
When the porchetta is cooked, remove it from the barbecue and let it rest for at least 20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, and it’s a good idea to use a serrated knife to cut into small pieces for easy serving.
The roast should be served with a side salad, lemon wedges, and sauce. You can also serve it with potatoes if you’d like.
If you’re a fan of roasts, you should definitely try your hand at this – it’s one of the most satisfying and delicious meals that you’ll ever make. You’ll be so proud of your effort and you’ll have a delicious dish that will impress your family and friends!
Porchetta is an ancient Roman dish that is still popular around the world today. It is a pork belly and loin stuffed with herbs and rolled in a butcher’s twine, cooked on the grill to develop crispy skin and pork crackling.
The key to a perfect porchetta on the grill is using the right cooking method. For thick and long cuts of meat like a whole pork loin, indirect grilling is the best way to cook this. The kettle shape of Weber grills makes this type of cooking perfect, as the lit coals rest on the side of the grill and the meat sits over a coal-free zone in the center of the kettle.
Once you’ve set up your Weber kettle for indirect cooking, stack some unlit charcoal briquettes about 3/4 of the way around the outer edge of the grill, then mix in some chunks of pecan and cherry wood to impart smoke flavor. This creates a “charcoal snake” which helps the coals stay lit and produces a slow and even burn for the pork butt.
Depending on how thick and long your loin is, it will take a few hours to cook to an internal temperature of 145F. When it’s done, remove from the kettle and let it rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing into pencil-width slices.
If you are not using a Weber rotisserie, place the roast on a grill grate over the coals and then close the lid. Allow the pork to cook on direct heat for about 8 minutes per side, then move to indirect heat for another 8 minutes. This is a time-consuming process but can result in tender, delicious porchetta.
After the roast has been on the grill for about an hour, spritz the meat with a 50/50 mix of apple juice and apple cider vinegar. Repeat this every hour until the bark has developed on the outside of the meat.
When the bark has formed, remove from the grill and wrap in foil. Drizzle the foil with the Vinegar sauce and a sprinkle of salt, pepper and paprika.
You can also use a pork roast as the meat in this recipe. If you prefer a more traditional smoked pork loin, simply trim the meat, season it with your favorite dry rub and place on the grill to smoke until the internal temperature reaches 145F as measured with a digital thermometer.
For the perfect grilled pork loin, you want to make sure you have a good amount of fat covering the roast. This will help it to develop a nice, crispy skin and make it easier to slice when it’s time to serve.
To get this done, you’ll need a thin layer of yellow mustard on the top of your pork loin. You can also coat the bottom of the roast with a bit of mustard before you place it on the grill, but you’ll have to work quickly as mustard will burn fairly easily.
Once the loin has reached an internal temperature of 145F, you can remove it from the grill and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing into pencil-width pieces. This will ensure that you’re getting medium-rare meat, rather than overcooked pork that falls apart.
Porchetta on the Grill Step By Step
Grilling porchetta on the grill is a delightful way to cook this Italian roast that features succulent, seasoned pork belly and tenderloin. The grill adds a smoky flavor and a crispy exterior, making it a perfect dish for a special occasion or a backyard gathering. Here’s how to grill porchetta:
For the Porchetta:
- Pork belly (about 3-5 pounds)
- Pork tenderloin (about 1-2 pounds)
- Fennel seeds
- Black pepper
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Olive oil
For the Grill:
- Charcoal or gas grill
- Charcoal or wood chunks for smoking (e.g., apple or cherry wood)
- Grill tongs
- Meat thermometer
1. Prepare the Porchetta:
- Lay the pork belly flat, skin side down, on a clean surface.
- In a mortar and pestle, combine fennel seeds, rosemary, sage, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes (if you want a bit of heat). Grind and mix the ingredients to create a flavorful rub.
- Rub the spice mixture evenly all over the pork belly and pork tenderloin, ensuring they are well coated.
- Roll the pork belly around the pork tenderloin and tie it with kitchen twine to secure the porchetta’s shape.
- Drizzle the outside with olive oil and rub it in to enhance the crispy skin.
2. Prepare the Grill:
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 375-400°F (190-204°C). If you’re using a charcoal grill, set it up for indirect grilling by stacking the coals on one side of the grill.
3. Add Smoke (Optional):
- For added flavor, place wood chunks or chips directly on the coals if using a charcoal grill or use a smoker box if you have a gas grill. This will infuse the porchetta with a smoky aroma.
4. Grill the Porchetta:
- Place the porchetta on the grill, directly over the indirect heat. Close the grill lid.
- Grill the porchetta for about 2-3 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches around 145-150°F (63-66°C). Use a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature. Cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of your porchetta.
5. Crisp Up the Skin:
- Once the porchetta reaches the desired internal temperature, move it over the direct heat (directly above the hot coals or flames) to crisp up the skin. Keep a close eye on it and rotate it as needed to achieve an even crisp.
6. Rest and Slice:
- Remove the porchetta from the grill and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a tender and flavorful result.
- Slice the porchetta into thick portions and serve. The combination of the crispy skin and the flavorful, juicy meat is a culinary delight.
Grilling porchetta on the grill is a culinary adventure that results in a show-stopping dish. The combination of the smoky grill flavor and the aromatic herbs and spices makes it an exceptional choice for a special meal. Enjoy your porchetta with your favorite sides and sauces!
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