This bone-in Grilled Rack of Pork finished with an Apricot Glaze is an easy and crowd pleasing recipe for a crowd. A rack of pork is a perfect holiday or special occasion meal, and a great alternative to the traditional beef roasts.
When we have friends over for a special occasion, or looking for holiday recipes other than turkey, we go to roasts. They are great for portioning, awesome grilled, and they make for a very pretty presentation too!
What is a Rack of Pork?
A rack of pork is a bone-in pork loin most commonly including a fat cap layer. This would be the equivalent of a beef rib roast or Prime Rib roast. When buying, it is common to see a rack of pork with at least 4 bones. This version is an 8 bone full rack of Kurobuta pork from Snake River Farms.
How to Prepare a Rack of Pork
- The first step is to start by scoring the fat cap with three X marks or cross hatches. This scoring with a sharp knife allows more of the fat cap to be exposed while cooking and allow for more rendering during the cooking process.
- The second step is to remove any silver skin from the bone side of the rack. Some of the racks may already have it removed (like ours) from the butcher.
- The third step is to add olive oil as a binding agent for the dry rub. Rub the olive oil in on all sides of the rack of pork and then liberally apply the dry rub. We use our all purpose rub which is great for pork. Season the evening before or just before putting on the grill. Allowing the dry rub to sit on the pork allows the salt and spice flavor to work its way into the meat.
How to Cook a Rack of Pork – Oven or on the Grill
If using an oven, roast the pork at 350 degrees F for up to 90 minutes (until the roast is 145 degrees Fahrenheit).
The best method is grilling a rack of pork, or any pork roast for that matter, using a direct/indirect or two zone cooking method. After setting up the grill, sear both sides of the rack over direct heat for 2 – 4 minutes per side and then move the rack to the indirect side to finish.
If you have a gas grill use the same method with one burner at high heat for the sear, and then move the rack to indirect side and reducing the burner so the ambient temperature in the grill is close to 350 degrees.
Chefs Tip: Searing a cut like this means the potential for flare ups when the fat starts to render over the direct heat. It’s important to monitor this step to avoid burning.
After moving the rack of pork to the indirect side, cook for 25 minutes and then flip for an additional 30 – 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the roast is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
How Long to Grill a Rack of Pork
The approximate time for a grilled rack of pork is roughly 60 – 90 minutes. Note that the times will vary based upon how hot your grill is. Target 375 – 400 degrees for the ambient grill temperature.
When is pork done?
USDA revised their target of “fully cooked” pork roasts and steaks to 145 degrees F from the previous recommendation of 165. Ground pork should be cooked to 160 degrees F. 145 will have a slightly pink center which is safe to eat. If you like less or no pink, cook the pork to 150 degrees F. As you bring the internal temperature of pork above 150, it will have a greater likelihood of drying out.
Best Methods to Take Internal Temperature of a Rack of Pork
Use an instant read thermometer like the Thermoworks MK4 Thermapen or a two zone like the Smoke unit. The two-zone measures the internal temperature throughout the cook and the ambient temperature of the grill. When using an instant read probe, check temperature in multiple places throughout the rack. The outer sides will be a little more cooked than the interior. Use the end pieces for anyone who wants a more well done cut.
If using a two zone thermometer, one probe is meant to put on the grate with the other in the meat. Insert the probe into the meat after it has been placed on the indirect side. The grate probe should be placed on the indirect side.
Finally, rest the rack of pork for 30 minutes before slicing. This is a good time to prepare the glaze. When the glaze is done, coat the rack with half the glaze and then slice the rack of pork along the bone and serve the remaining glaze on the side when you serve your guests.
Apricot Pork Glaze
What is a sauce versus a glaze? Technically they are the same thing. A glaze is most often applied during the cooking process. A sauce is a condiment used for dipping flavor.
A very easy apricot glaze recipe starts with a sauté of shallots in butter. We then add the remaining ingredients. Bringing to a simmer for 15 minutes and then removing from the heat. The brown sugar will help it thicken as will the sugar from the jam.
Chef Tip: Use apricot jam versus actual apricots. That way you can make this year round and avoid having to blend up the glaze.
Slice the rack of pork right along the rib bone and serve to your guests. Add another small dollop of the glaze or allow guests to pour their own.
Bone-in Pork Roast Recipe
Grilled Rack of Pork with Apricot Herb Glaze
Apricot Herb Glaze
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
- 2 12 ounce jars apricot jam
- 2 tablespoons finely diced fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Prepare grill for two zone or direct/indirect cooking. While grill coming to temperature, score the fat side of the rack of pork with three X's. Remove silver skin from bone side (if there is one).
- Coat the rack with olive oil on all sides and liberally apply the dry rub.
- Place the rack of pork bone side down over direct heat for 4 minutes. Flip the rack on direct heat so fat side is down, searing another 2 – 4 minutes. Keep an eye out for flare ups. Move the rack of ribs to indirect heat and continue cooking for additional 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes flip the rack over (still on indirect side) and cook additional 30 – 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the rack is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the rack at that point and make the glaze.
Apricot Herb Glaze
- In a small sauce pan over medium heat add the butter and let it melt. Add the shallots and sauté for 6 minutes or until soft. Add remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat and simmer for additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Serving The Rack of Pork
- Slice the rack of pork along the bone and then pour half the glaze over the rack. The other half place into a gravy boat for serving at the table.
Wine Pairing for Rack of Pork and Apricot Glaze
Pork is an incredibly versatile meat to pair with wine. When pairing wine with this recipe, the glaze will be a prominent flavor profile to consider. This Kurobuta pork roast is very rich and buttery as well with a nice amount of flavorful fat. With the bright and sweet flavors of sauce we recommend you stick with a white wine for this, especially one with some residual sweetness or bright fruit flavors. For a red, stick to something light, fruity, and low alcohol.
White Wine Pairing Options:
- Stainless Steel Chardonnay
- Dry Riesling
Red Wine Pairings:
- Gamay Noir (or Beaujolais)
- Pinot Noir
Side Dishes for Rack of Pork
- Grilled and Glazed Carrots
- Perfect Roasted Potatoes
- Grilled Broccolini
- Grilled Acorn Squash Salad
- Grilled Brussels Sprouts
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