Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin

Tender and juicy, Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin is slow smoked and perfect for a weekend dinner party. This recipe is made on a smoker so it is perfect for an outdoor get together.


Sliced Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin on a wooden cutting board.


Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin is easy to make but does take time to make. The brining process takes at least 8 hours before smoking for an additional 3-4 hours. It is perfect for a weekend BBQ.

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Why You Should Brine Pork Loin

Pork loin is a great piece of meat to slow cook on the smoker. But it can dry out fairly quick and it can be tasteless if not covered in sauce.

Brining pork loin is a great way to lock in some moisture to ensure the pork doesn’t dry out while it cooks. Brining also helps to tenderize the meat.

Ingredients To Make Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin

This recipe has two parts. The brine is the first part of the recipe and cooking the pork loin is the second part.

The Brine

To make this brine, you will need a large pot to heat the brine so the ingredients all mix together.

  • Apple Cider. Pure fresh apple cider can be found in the produce section of grocery store year round now. Apple juice is not the same, it is sweeter and not as thick.
  • Brown Sugar. This adds a little sweetness to the brine to balance the flavours.
  • Salt. Coarse kosher salt works best.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. An acid needs to be added to the brine to help tenderize the meat.

The Pork

After brining, these are the ingredients that will be needed to finish the pork loin.

  • Pork loin. The recipe for the brine is enough to cover 2 pounds or 1 kilogram of pork loin.
  • BBQ seasoning. We use our own blend of spices and herbs to make a seasoning, but you can use a store-bought, premade BBQ seasoning.
  • Apple Pie Spice. Yes, we use apple pie spice mixed into the BBQ seasoning to season the pork loin on the smoker.
  • BBQ sauce. Again we use our homemade apple BBQ sauce to baste the pork loin, but store-bought will work as well.

Equipment to Make Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin

To cook this pork loin, we use a pellet smoker. This is the easiest way to smoke any type of meat, in our opinion. It is a set it and forget it way to cook.

We recommend using a leave in thermometer to keep track of the internal temperature of the pork so it does not overcook. We use a Pit-Boss Smoker that has a built in thermometer which is handy.

For the pellets or smoke, we recommend using applewood with this pork recipe but competition blends can also be used and are widely available.

Should The Brine Be Cooled Before Adding The Meat?

Yes, the brine should be cooled after heating it and before adding the meat. The purpose of the brine is to add flavour, tenderize the meat and help keep it juicy. But you don’t want the brine to cook the meat.

To cool the brine quickly, we place it in a large container and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Some recipes say to put ice in the brine to cool it but that just waters it down.

What To Serve With Pork Loin

There are many ways to serve this pork loin.

  • Slice and serve with baked potatoes and salad.
  • Thinly slice and serve on buns with extra sauce. Add a side of macaroni salad and grilled corn to make a meal.
  • Dice the pork and serve on top of a garden or chef salad.
  • Serve sliced pork over rice with a sauce made from BBQ and apple cider.

Serving Pork Loin At An Outdoor Get-Together

It is important to follow food safety rules when serving any type of meat outdoors and for extended periods of time.

  • The pork loin should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible. And the meat should be covered to keep warm.
  • If the pork will be sitting for a while, keep it hot by placing it in aluminum pans with lids, possibly on a very low BBQ. We like to place it in a shallow pan after slicing, cover the pan and place on a BBQ that has only one burner lit to keep the heat at around 200℉. We do this with all meat to prevent bacteria from forming. 
  • Leftovers should be packed and refrigerated as soon as possible.

What To Do With Leftover Pork Loin

Any leftover pork loin should be placed in an air-tight container and refrigerated. Use up leftovers within 3 days.

If the pork loin has been sitting out for an extended period of time at a BBQ, especially in high temperatures, it is not recommended to keep the pork. It may need to be discarded.

Sliced Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin on a wooden cutting board.

Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin

Tender and juicy, Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin is slow smoked and perfect for a weekend dinner party. This recipe is made on a smoker so it is perfect for an outdoor get together.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Brining time 8 hours
Total Time 11 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course


  • Smoker
  • wood chips or pellets



  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coarse kosher salt


  • 2 pounds pork loin
  • 2 Tbsp BBQ seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp apple pie spice
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce


  • In a 6 quart pot, combine all the brine ingredients.
  • Heat over medium-high and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until sugar and salt are melted.
  • Cool brine to room temperature before placing pork loin into the brine. *see notes
  • Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.
  • Preheat smoker to 225℉ and add smoking pellets or wood chips (depending on your smoker)
  • Remove pork loin from brine and pat dry with paper towel or a kitchen towel.
  • Mix BBQ seasoning and apple pie spice together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over top of pork loin.
  • Place loin in the smoker and insert thermometer
  • Close lid and allow to cook for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, baste the loin with BBQ sauce, and let cook an additional 1 hour.
  • Pork loin is ready when the internal temperature reaches 145℉
  • Remove from smoker and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.


To cool the brine quicker, pour the hot brine into a large container and place in the freezer for 30 minutes or the fridge for 45-60 minutes. The brine can also be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for up to 24 hours before using.
Keyword pork

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