How to Cook a Pork Roast on a Kamado Joe
Cooking a pork roast in a Kamado Joe is relatively easy with the heat deflectors installed and a medium fire in the bottom of the ceramic fire chamber. Placing a heavy-duty aluminum drip pan under the roast, on top of the heat deflectors will reduce cleanup and capture juices you might want to use for other purposes.
When cooking a bone-in pork roast on a Kamado Joe, you want to use a slow and low cooking technique with the heat deflectors installed.
This will render connective tissues and tenderize the meat. It also helps impart the deep smoky flavors of classic barbecue into the meat.
This typically calls for a target temperature of 225 to 250-degrees on the lid thermometer.
While it’s technically safe to eat at 145 degrees, you want to cook bone-in pork shoulder roasts to an internal temperature of at least 190 to 200 degrees. This can take as much as 10 to 13 hours at 225-degrees.
For a boneless, pork roast or a tender cut like pork tenderloin, you would still set the Kamado Joe up for indirect heat with the heat deflectors installed.
Though you can dial the fire up to as hot as 325 to 350-degrees. With these tender, boneless pork roasts, your target temperature is going to be 145 to 160 degrees. Any hotter than this, and these lean roasts risk drying out.
Regardless of whether you are smoking it slow and low or grilling it over direct flame, all pork roasts need to be rested after they reach the target internal temperature.
Cutting into it immediately will cause the internal juices to flow out. When you give the pork roast time to rest, the juices gradually redistribute back into the meat fibers.
The larger the pork roast is, the longer it needs to rest.
A large bone-in pork shoulder roast needs to rest for at least half an hour. Whereas a pork tenderloin might only need to rest for five minutes before you can cut into it.
Kamado Joe Pork Shoulder Roast
Picnic shoulder roasts and Boston Butt pork shoulders are two of the most popular pork roasts to make on a Kamado Joe.
Though they require a slow-and-low cooking technique over direct heat. You can use the following steps to make one in around 10 to 12 hours, depending on the size of the pork shoulder roast.
Preparing & Seasoning The Pork Shoulder Roast
Pork shoulder roasts have a fat cap on one side. Scoring it with a half-inch deep cross-hatch pattern will help that fat render down into the meat.
It also helps hold seasonings and smoke, which will help transfer those flavors deep into the meat as it smokes on the Kamado Joe.
For seasonings, a purist will tell you that all you need is salt and pepper.
Though many people also add granulated garlic, onion powder, dried sage, and brown sugar to help enhance the natural flavor of the pork shoulder roast.
How to Smoke a Pork Shoulder Roast on a Kamado Joe
Step Two: Place a drip pan with a little bit of water and apple cider vinegar on top of the heat deflectors, to catch any rendered juices from the pork shoulder roast and to add a little steam to the smoke. Then install the grates.
Step Three: Place the pork shoulder roast on the grill grates directly over the drip pan.
Step Four: Set the bottom damper to about half an inch wide, and adjust the top damper to the mid-point between the first and second settings. Once the Kamado Joe fully heats up, it should give you a temperature on the lid thermometer of 225 to 250 degrees.
Step Five: Let the pork shoulder roast smoke for 8 hours before testing the internal temperature with a probe thermometer. At 8 hours the deepest meat near the bone should be around 150 to 165 degrees.
Step Six: Continue checking the internal temperature of the meat, every 30 to 45 minutes. Use the same hole for the probe thermometer if possible.
Step Seven: When the pork shoulder roast reaches an internal temperature of 190 to 200 degrees, remove it from the Kamado Joe, and rest it under tinfoil and a few clean tea towels.
Step Eight: After half an hour of resting you can begin pulling the pork and serving it.
What Temperature Is a Pork Roast Done on a Kamado Joe?
Pork is technically considered done and safe to eat at 145 degrees, though most tougher cuts of pork like picnic roasts and Boston butt pork shoulders should be cooked to an internal temperature of 190 to 200 degrees.
This degree of doneness and the time it takes to cook it slow and low helps render the collagen connective tissue in the meat fibers into succulent, juicy, tender gelatin.
You can even feel the tenderness of the meat when you insert a meat probe thermometer into the thickest part of the pork roast.
At an internal temperature of 200 degrees, you can usually wiggle the shoulder blade bone out of the meat.
This is a sure sign that the entire pork shoulder is fork-tender and ready to be pulled.
If you pull a bone-in pork roast off the Kamado Joe before it reaches 190, the meat will still be tough.
At 145 degrees, it would be like chewing on a mouthful of rubber bands. With other boneless cuts of pork, like a pork loin roast or pork tenderloin, you should take them off the Kamado Joe at an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
These cuts have very little connective tissue and minimal fat content. If you were to cook them to 200 degrees, the meat would be severely dried out.
Should You Rest a Pork Roast After Smoking on a Kamado Joe?
Yes, you should always rest a pork roast after smoking it on a Kamado Joe for at least 10 minutes.
This can be done by tenting the roast with aluminum foil and covering it with some tea towels or placing it in an oven set to warm.
Resting a modest-size pork roast for 10 to 15 minutes will allow the rendered fat and juices to redistribute back into the meat fibers.
If you were to cut into it right away, the juices will run out of the meat leaving you with dry meat.
For a larger bone-in pork roast, like a Boston butt or a picnic roast, you should let it rest for around 30 minutes.
Tenting it under aluminum foil and a tea towel or placing it in an empty cooler will help keep it warm, while letting the juices redistribute into the meat.
If you need to rest a large bone-in pork roast for more than 30 minutes before serving, you should take steps to keep it warm.
You can put it in a clean cooler or place it in an oven set to the lowest warm setting.
You can keep it warm this way for up to three hours. Though if you are going to use the oven, make sure to place a drip pan with a little water and apple cider vinegar under the bone-in pork roast.
This will catch any juices while preventing the pork roast from drying out.
Pork Roast Time Per Pound
With the temperature of the Kamado Joe set between 250 to 275 degrees, it should take around 80 to 90 minutes per pound.
For a modest 8-pound bone-in pork roast, like a picnic shoulder, this would translate into roughly 10 hours to reach an internal temperature of 200-degrees.
If you decrease the temperature inside the Kamado Joe to 225 degrees, you are looking at 100 to 120 minutes per pound.
This would cook that same 8-pound bone-in picnic shoulder to an internal temperature of 200-degrees, in roughly 14 and a half hours.
How Long Does It Take to Smoke a 3lb Pork Roast at 225 Degrees?
A three-pound pork loin roast will reach an internal temperature around 165 to 170 degrees in 90 to 100 minutes when smoked in a Kamado Joe at 225-degrees.
This is the ideal temperature to slice it for service or sandwiches.
If you were to cook this same three-pound pork roast at 225 degrees for three hours, it would reach an internal temperature of around 190 to 200 degrees.
This will render intramuscular connective tissues to give you a pork roast that is fork-tender for pulled pork sandwiches.
How Long Will It Take to Smoke a 3lb Pork Roast?
A 3-pound pork loin roast will take around 90 to 100 minutes in a Kamado Joe at 225 degrees.
If you turn the temperature up to 275 to 300 degrees, the same three-pound pork loin roast will be done in around 80 to 90 minutes.
What Temperature Do You Cook Kamado Joe Pork Tenderloin?
Pork tenderloin is considered done when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
If you are smoking the pork tenderloin, you want the temperature of your Kamado Joe set around 250-degrees.
For grilling a pork tenderloin over direct flame, you want to set your Kamado Joe to a temperature of 350 to 400 degrees.
How do you cook pork tenderloin on Kamado?
If you are smoking a pork tenderloin on a Kamado Joe, you want to target a temperature of 250-degrees and make sure to install the heat deflectors.
You can also place a small water pan underneath the tenderloins. This will add some steam to keep this lean cut of meat from drying out.
It should take around 60 to 90 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 145-degrees.
Then remove it from the Kamado Joe, wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil and cover with a tea towel, to let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
When grilling a pork tenderloin over a direct flame, you want a higher temperature of 350 to 400 degrees.
The seasoned and lightly oiled tenderloin can then be placed and rotated a quarter turn every 3 to 4 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 140-degrees.
Then remove it from the Kamado Joe, wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil and cover with a tea towel, to let it rest for 5 minutes.
As it rests the temperature of the meat will carry over another 5 degrees to a perfect 145. You can then slice and serve.