Smoked Pork Crown Roast

Looking for an easy but impressive main course when entertaining family or friends? Then don't go past our juicy smoked pork crown roast.
crown of pork on plate ready to carve

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Feel like getting fancy with your next rack of pork? Well, let us introduce you to our smoked pork crown roast.

Shaped to resemble a crown, this recipe is easy to make with only two ingredients. It’s the perfect pork to prepare when entertaining.

Smoked Pork Crown Roast

Ingredients you’ll need

Equipment you’ll need

The kurobota pork difference

If you haven’t heard of kurobuta pork before, you’re in for a treat. It comes from a specialty pig breed that’s been bred and raised in England’s Berkshire county for over 400 years.

Also called Berkshire pork, the term Kurobuta means “black hog” in Japanese, referring to their coat. Kurobuta pork has a higher level of fat marbling compared to regular pork.

Think of it as the wagyu of pork. You can use any bone in rack of pork you can find, but for special occasions it’s always nice to treat yourself!

What is a crown roast of pork?

A crown roast of pork is made when you form a rack of bone-in pork loin into a circle. With the ribs pointing skyward, it kind of looks like a crown, hence the name. But it’s just a fun way to style the pork. The cooking style doesn’t change the taste.

Is a crown roast the same as a pork rib roast?

A pork crown roast is essentially a rib roast shaped into a crown. It’s the same taste, just a different style.

How do you serve pork crown roast?

Here’s a fun history tidbit. While a crown roast of pork is said to have originated in America, Foods of England says the first mention of it in England was in the Camborne Chronicles in 1900. It mentions a crown roast of lamb and states that it should be served with the center filled with peas or “other delicate-flavored vegetables.”

Besides vegetables, another popular option is placing stuffing in the center if you want to keep the crown in place.

Just think about how good it will look as a Christmas dinner centerpiece. These days, though, I prefer to cut the crown into individual pork chops to serve when entertaining. 

How to make a Smoked Pork Crown Roast

1. French it

Because the pork rib bones make up the “crown” in this instance, we want them to be frenched.

a black gloved hand holing a bone in rack of pork slicing along the top with a knife

This means we take our boning knife, cut away the meat between the bones, and then clean them up so they look more presentable.

a black gloved hand hold a bone and trimming with a knife

It doesn’t take long but makes a big difference in a pork crown roast. Here’s a step-by-step video guide to a frenched pork rack.

a french rack of pork fat side up
frenched rack of pork underside

You can also get your butcher to do it for you.

2. Crown it

Now take your boning knife and slice between each bone on the fat side. You only want the cuts to be about ½ to ¾-inch deep. Don’t slice all the way through.

a black gloved hand slicing a pork rack

This makes the ribs more pliable so you can easily maneuver them into a crown shape, with the cut sides facing out.

Secure your crown by wrapping the butcher twine around the middle of the pork rack.

a raw crown of pork on a white board

3. Foil

Grab small sections of aluminum foil and wrap them around each exposed rib bone, covering them completely. This prevents them from charring. 

hands placing foil around bones
a crown of ribs, raw, with the bones foiled

4. Season

Get your Smoke Kitchen Pit Master’s Pick Rub or diy pork rub and liberally season the pork rack. You want to go from top to bottom and into those slices so no piece of pork is left unseasoned.

5. Fire up the grill

Heat your grill to 250°F.

Place your crown pork roast in the center of your grill.

You want to smoke the pork crown roast for three to four hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F degrees. This is the mandatory internal temperature for pork roasts according to FDA and USDA guidelines.

smoked pork crown in the smoker

Using a meat thermometer, stick it into the thickest part to easily check the internal temperature.

instant read thermometer stuck in the middle of crown of pork

6. Rest before serving

Once your smoked pork roast is cooked, remove from the smoker, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes.

This helps redistribute the moisture so you get to serve the juiciest pork possible. If you cut it right away, all those delicious juices are going to end up on your cutting board, not in the meat. We don’t want that!

a cooked pork crown roast slicked

After resting, it’s time to remove the twine and slice between each bone to make individual pork chops. Serve immediately.

Here are some of my favorite accompanying side dishes

smoked pork crown roast

Smoked Pork Crown Roast

A french trimmed rack of pork, crowned, seasoned and smoked with sweet wood.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 462kcal
Author: Breanna Stark

Ingredients

Instructions

  • French the bones of the rack of pork.
  • Slice ½ to ¾-inch deep between each bone on the fat side to allow the roast to be bent into the shape of the crown.
  • Cover the exposed bones with foil.
  • Season generously all over with Pit Master’s Pick Rub.
  • Smoke at 250°F for 3 to 4 hours, until it reaches 145°F internally.
  • Rest for 20 minutes.
  • Slice and serve immediately.

Notes

See the instructions above on how to French your rack of pork.
I’m using a pellet grill with a sweet blend of wood pellets. But I also recommend apple, cherry, or pecan wood for roast pork.

Nutrition

Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 77g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 1302mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg
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