Sometimes it happens. Your grilled pork loin steaks got dry and are hard as a stone. With these tipps, you can prevent this tragedy!
As I’ve already written in my last pork loin recipe, pork loin steak is a particularly low-fat meat. This makes it popular but also more difficult to grill. (Compared with sausages, hahaha …) While a high amount of fat protects the meat from drying out and acts as a flavor carrier, less fat leads to the reverse – to dry meat and little taste.
Except, of course, when you are careful about a few small things during the preparation …
Pork loin dry? This way it remains juicy!
SHORT GRILL DURATION
Do not leave the steak on the grill for too long. If the meat is left for only a few moments too long, it dries quickly and becomes tough. The exact grilling time is difficult to specify, but our steaks (2 cm thick) were grilled at high temperature for a maximum of 1 minute from each side.
The sign of turning the meat is when it starts to “sweat” (when wet drops start to leak out).
Only grill once from each side. If the meat is repeatedly turned, it becomes dry.
MARINADE & GLAZE
I love my pork loin steaks best when marinated on the previous day. This allows the aroma of the marinade to “enter” the meat. While grilling, you can again spread the steaks with marinade, syrup or honey so that they do not dry out.
Glazing: brushing the meat with e.g. honey or syrup, while it’s directly on the grill. The meat remains moist this way. In addition, the sugar caramelizes.
BEFORE GRILLING: ROOM TEMPERATURE
Before you put your steak on the grill, take it out of the fridge about 30-60 minutes, until it has reached room temperature. This way, the meat gets ready faster (the grilling time is shorter) which means less opportunities for the steak to get dry…
WHEN SHOULD I SALT MY PORK LOIN?
Salting removes the liquid from the meat and dries it out. This is true under certain circumstances. But:
Just before the meat comes to the grill, salting is no problem and does not dry the meat. (And right before grilling means “just before grilling”, and not 15 minutes or 30 minutes before)
Also, in a marinade based on oil, salt is no problem. Due to the process of osmosis, liquid is released from the meat, but the aromas of the marinade are better absorbed.
We have tested two ways of salting the meat for this recipe: One variation with salt in the marinade and one without salt (and salt only before the meal is eaten). Neither I nor my three test eaters have tasted a difference. Here is the link to my last recipe where this was tested: Glazed pork loin with black currant marinade, grilled nectarines and sheep’s cheese zucchini rolls.
To brine grill meat is not so common in Austria and also not so well known. With this technique, the meat is inserted into a salty liquid. The result is a particularly light and soft meat. Absolutely wash the steaks before grilling, otherwise they get too salty.