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How to Cook Pork Loin

How to Cook Pork Loin

Pork loin is a versatile cut of meat that can be cooked in a variety of ways. It’s typically an easy cut of meat to find, and it's tasty to boot. Learning how to cook pork loin can entirely open up your recipe repertoire. You can go savory with our Slow-Cooker Pork Recipe, sweet with roasted fruit in our Roast Pork Fresh Pear Salsa or savory-sweet combinations with our Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin Fruity Mole. Whatever pork tenderloin recipes you choose, we will teach you several different ways to cook it!

Roasting Pork Loin

Roasting pork loin is one of the simplest ways to learn how to cook pork loin, but it provides an endless variety of dishes to try. The first step is to heat your oven to 350° degrees Fahrenheit. While you’re heating the oven, season the pork loin. Pepper is only the beginning. Chopped herbs, spices, garlic, BBQ sauce and marinades can all be used to season the pork. Follow some recipes like our Citrus Roasted Pork Loin or Seasoned Thyme Pork Roast to get a hang of ingredient amounts and timing, and then you can get creative on how you like to season. Place the meat in a shallow baking dish and cook it for about 20-25 minutes per pound or until a thermometer reads 145°F. If you want to try some more fantastic roasted pork tenderloin recipes, check out our Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin or Baked Pork Tenderloin with Vegetables.

Slow Cooking Pork Loin

The slow cooker is another great way to cook if you’re looking for low-maintenance pork tenderloin recipes. Pork loin can be cut into pieces like Shredded Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos or cooked whole like the Slow-Cooker Cranberry Orange Pork Roast. Follow the directions for exact cooking times for each type of recipe so you don’t run the risk of drying anything out. More weeknight slow cooker ideas include Slow-Cooker Sweet and Sour Pork and our basic Slow-Cooker Pork Recipe.

Stuffed Pork Loin

Stuffing a pork loin can be an advanced cooking technique, but the results are well worth the effort. Recipes like Harvest Stuffed Pork Loin or Maple-Glazed Stuffed Roast Pork both make impressive dinner centerpieces. The pork loin is butterflied in order to fill it. Butterflying just means that a large, thick cut of meat is sliced to make it thinner with a much larger surface area.

  • The first step to butterflying a pork loin is to place the roast on a cutting board with short ends at 12 and 6 o’clock.
  • Holding a sharp knife parallel to your work surface, make 1/2-inch-deep lengthwise cuts through the underside of the roast, pulling back meat with your free hand and unrolling it as you continue to cut through the roast. (You should end up with a piece of meat that is about 1/2-inch thick and 3 times the size of the original roast.)
  • Cover the pork with plastic wrap; pound it with a food mallet to make it an even thickness.
  • Once the pork is butterflied, it's time to fill it with a mixture of veggies, sausage, bacon, dried fruits, cheese or stuffing mix. Get creative and use what your family likes!
  • After the filling is added, roll it tightly into a log, starting at one of the long sides. Tie closed with kitchen string near the top, middle and bottom of the pork roll.

Make sure to follow each recipe for stuffing amounts so you can roll the meat up properly. Too much stuffing will spill out of the meat and too little stuffing results in a dried out pork loin. Cooking times vary for stuffed pork loin, so follow the cook time per each recipe and always cook to 145°F. If you want to keep practicing, try our Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Pork Loin or the Perfect Stuffed Pork Loin Roast.

Grilling Pork Loin

Grilling pork loin is a simple way to cook pork loin if you have access to a grill.

Pork loin can be cut into pieces and threaded onto skewers along with pineapple and veggies in our tasty Pork and Pineapple Kabobs recipe. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try the Cedar Plank Pork Loin recipe from My Food and Family. An untreated cedar plank makes a great grilling vessel for pork loin. However, be sure to soak your cedar plank for at least four hours prior to grilling so that it won’t catch on fire while cooking. Not only does the BBQ sauce and seasoning impart great flavor, the cedar plank does too.

Whether you’re an expert cook or just starting out, follow our tips on how to cook pork loin and you’ll have a delicious dinner in no time. There’s a ton of variety in what kind of recipes you can make with pork loin, either whole, shredded or cut into slices for sandwiches. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find something great from My Food and Family.

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