Cheesy goodness. Smokey barbecue. The tang of a pickled onion. Heat off the jalapeno. Crunch of a crisp, warm tortilla chip. Am I describing the dream you had last night? No! I’m talking about these amazing Pulled Pork Loin Nachos! They’re everything you’re looking for and more. Whether you’re just balling out on a cheat meal dinner or having the bros over for poker night; this is what you wanna make!
Post Contributed by Jeremy Whitelaw
Picking Pulled Pork to Pull for Pulled Pork Loin Nachos
Whole hog barbecue, who’s familiar? An entire pig smoked for hours over open coal. Rendering that beautiful lard until noting is left but an absolutely massive pile of pulled pork. Which leads to an interesting line of thought: can you make pulled pork out of any part of the pig? The answer is: Yes! Move over pork butt because we’re pulling everything. If you cook your spare ribs too long, ya got pulled pork. Pork belly taken to 203 degrees? Pulled pork belly (and it’s delicious). Pork Loin, lean and tender pulled pork. If you hate any form of grizzle or silver skin then you’re gonna love some pulled pork loin!
Pulled Pork Loin Nachos – Smoking Tips and Tricks
We’re going to use few advanced techniques in this cook to help this pork loin along. While being a beautiful cut of meat, it has pros and cons like any other. The biggest con? It’s lean. That’s a huge advantage if you’re looking for a low-fat option. But not the greatest when it comes to flavor. No worries though, we got you covered.
Marinade time! Low-fat can mean low moisture, but it doesn’t have to. We’re going to use an overnight marinade to help tenderize, flavor, and moisten the meat. In this recipe we’re using an 8 to 1 ratio of pineapple juice to hot sauce. This is reminiscent of a traditional al pastor marinade, which is a powerhouse of flavor! The pineapple helps tenderize while adding in some sweet flavors and the hot sauce takes the heat up a notch. The perfect combo for our Pulled Pork Loin Nachos!
Wrapping meats when smoking is a hotly contested topic of opinion. Butcher paper, tin foil, naked, or any combination of those. Naked, in this case, would dry out our pork loin. Tin foil would create a steaming environment, destroying that bark we worked so hard for. Butcher paper still may not keep in enough moisture for our purposes. What’s a barbecuer to do? The boat method. Wrap tightly in butcher paper and then boat the bottom of the package in tin foil. This will allow some of the steam to evaporate from the top of the wrapped loin, while not letting the flavorful juices to leak from the bottom. It’s the best of both worlds, so give it a try!
For another pork loin recipe, check out my Campfire Pork Loin.
Toppings: All Are Welcome!
At the end of the day, when the dishes are piled high, remember not what those Pulled Pork Loin Nachos did for you; but what you can do for those Pulled Pork Loin Nachos. What I mean is, go to town on your toppings. Get extravagant. Go wild. Nachos Gone Wild. If you love avocado, by all means, use avocado! I’ve suggested a few basic staples here. They are just the beginning. Let your heart guide you. Make the nachos that would make your mother proud.
Pulled Pork Loin Nachos for a delicious, shareable... or not... meal!
The day before you plan on making the nachos, combine the pineapple juice and hot sauce in a large resealable container. Place pork loin in the marinade and allow to rest in the fridge overnight, 12-24 hours.
Heat smoker to 275 degrees. Remove pork loin from marinade. Season with OTFC Tennessee Smoke Rub and Smoked Chipotle Mezcal Rub. Place pork loin in the smoker.
When pork hits 165 degrees internal, wrap tightly in butcher paper. Boat aluminum foil under the wrapped loin. This helps keep some juices in, while not steaming the meat.
Continue cooking until the pork loin is probe tender, about 203 degrees.
Vent pork and allow to rest for one hour. Pull pork and set aside. But, like, you know, have some “quality assurance” bites.
Spread tortilla chips around on a large baking sheet. Mix in shredded cheese. Bake in smoker at 300 degrees for 7-10 min, until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Build nachos with favorite toppings. Such as: sliced Jalapenos, diced tomatoes, pickled red onions, pulled pork, a squeeze of lime, and some cilantro!
Dig in and enjoy!
Jeremy is a small business owner by day; a private chef to a wife and two kiddos by night and creator behind The Kitchen Whitelaw. Specializing in new American cooking, diner fare, country club cuisine, the classics you know and love. Exploring new recipes, creating new dishes, and teaching new techniques.