Pale Ale Pork Loin for the Grill

May 22, 2021
5 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Pork loin belongs on the grill. I wanted to give this recipe the salty bite of soy without going Asian, and cooking with beer is well within my comfort zone, especially on Sunday afternoon when the children are napping. To get outside the traditional flavor profile that accompanies soy sauce and orange, I used whole and ground fennel (borrowed from my favorite recipe for pork shoulder) and beer. I chose an American India Pale Ale (Starr Hill Northern Lights from Virginia) with a great sticky pine profile thanks to a generous dose of Cascade and Willamette hops -- though any Pale Ale will do. Pork loin readily responds to the acidity of a beer like this, which cuts the salty intensity of soy. The result is balanced yet flavorful, distinctly American and perfect anytime of year. —DirectHeat

What You'll Need
  • 3 lbs pork loin or tenderloins
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) Pale Ale
  • 1 cup orange juice + finely grated zest from 1 orange
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 6 small garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 T lightly crushed fennel seeds (for marinade) + 1 tsp ground fennel seeds (for rub)
  • 1 tsp red chile flakes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. For the marinade, mix together beer, orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, garlic, lightly crushed fennel seeds, and red chile flakes. Combine with pork loin and marinate in a sealable plastic bag for two hours in the refrigerator, turning if necessary.
  2. Combine kosher salt, ground fennel, and black pepper for a rub. Set aside.
  3. Prepare charcoal grill or heat gas grill to medium-high.
  4. Remove pork loin from marinade. Dry thoroughly to promote a good sear. Rub the salt//fennel/pepper rub evenly over all sides of the pork loin. Immediately before grilling, apply a thin coat of olive oil to the pork loin.
  5. Sear all four sides of the pork loin on the grill for 90-120 seconds per side, closing the grill between rotations. After starting the sear on the fourth side, reduce heat to low.
  6. Move pork loin to indirect heat, turning it only as necessary and ideally just once. Insert a probe thermometer at this point. Cook the pork loin up to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (USDA recommendation) or to your preference. Remember, the internal temperature of the pork loin will rise by roughly five degrees during resting, so pull your pork loin off the grill at 140 degrees F if 145 is your target temperature. You definitely want to avoid drying out the roast.
  7. Rest the pork loin for at least ten minutes before slicing. I prefer ½ to ¾ inch slices, but I always cut any leftovers thin for cold pork sandwiches.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Nikki West
    Nikki West
  • Jara
  • hardlikearmour
  • AnnaDrew17

8 Reviews

AnnaDrew17 January 11, 2020
I will be out for most of the day and would need to marinate this for a longer time because of that. It would be marinating probably for about five hours or so. Would that be a problem?
Nikki W. May 1, 2015
So I took this recipe and applied to a pork roast with some modifications. I added some Worcestershire sauce, several sprigs of rosemary, white wine vinegar, and some homemade chicken broth. Threw it into my crockpot for 6 hours on low and it came out delicious! I don't know what to label it cuisine wise, but fantastic recipe!
Jara December 9, 2014
I made this last night using a Black IPA. I definitely smelled the IPA when I took the meat out of the marinade, but there was not too much IPA taste after grilling the meat. The rub was great and the pork was tasty.
Nick K. April 4, 2013
Cooked this on the grill last night - delicious! I followed the recipe nearly to a "t." I made a little extra quantity of the rub to add at the end.

The cooking technique was spot on as well - quick sear on all 4 sides and then moved over to indirect heat. Probably cooked it another 10 minutes while keeping an eye on the meat thermometer. Ended up with just a hint of pink in the middle which is exactly how I like it.

Easy and Excellent recipe - will use again.
DirectHeat April 23, 2013
Cool! Thank you very much; I am glad you enjoyed it. I like your idea to make a little extra rub to use at the end. That step will definitely get incorporated into my routine at home.
hardlikearmour August 13, 2012
I was drooling just reading your headnotes! I love grilling pork tenderloin, and this is definitely on my must try list.
hardlikearmour September 3, 2012
I made this for supper last night. It is fantastic. The pork sucks up the soy and beer flavor in the marinade, and the fennel in the rub is perfect. My husband said it was delicious at least 3 times during the meal. This is a winner!
DirectHeat September 5, 2012
Thanks very much for giving it a try -- I am glad you enjoyed it. Your feedback is much appreciated. And your husband sounds like he knows what he is talking about (although with pork and beer, how could you go wrong...). Thanks again!