Looking for something to wow a crowd? Look no further than this easy, impressive pork crown roast.
What Is A Pork Crown Roast?
A pork crown roast is pork loin rib roasts formed into a circle, ribs up. You can form the crown yourself (here’s an article from Bon Appetit about how to do it), but since you probably have to call ahead for pork loin rib roasts anyway, ask your butcher to do it for you. A typical crown is two 8-rib racks, to serve 16 people. But it could be made with more racks to accommodate bigger crowds. Just tell your butcher how many ribs you need and let them do the rest.
Cooking A Crown Roast
Since a crown roast is basically two (or more) pork loin roasts with the ribs attached, I use my perfect roast pork loin cooking method. That method involves cooking it first at 350°F, and then resting it, and then finishing with a final crust-forming blast of heat. You then take it to the table to carve and serve immediately.
Because the roast is ribs formed into a circle, sometimes you’ll see recipes that include stuffing—you put the stuffing inside the circle and cook it along with the roast. But just like when you roast a stuffed turkey and you have to cook it until the innermost bits of stuffing come to a food-safe temperature, by the time your crown roast stuffing is done, your meat might be overdone. In other words, stuffing your roast means the meat might end up tough and dry. So cook your sides separately—for you’ll have tender, juicy, perfectly cooked meat every time.
However, that middle area is there, so if you want to make it beautiful, you can. Just before serving, you can put a pile of fresh herbs into the middle for decoration. Or, if you’ve made stuffing separately, there’s no reason you can’t pile it into the middle.
Temperature For Pork
The temperature that is considered safe for pork is now 145°F, according to the USDA. However, many of us grew up with the safe temperature being 160°F. If you are happy with your pork being a little bit pink, you’re going to take your roast out of the oven during the first round of cooking when it reaches 135°F. Then it rests for a bit, then it goes back into the oven for a final blast of heat. Make sure that it’s 145°F before you serve it. It should be just over that by then.
If, however, you like your pork fully white throughout, well-done, then you’ll take yours out in the first round when it reaches 150°F. Then it will rest and then it will go back in for that last blast of heat. It will be close to 160°F by then and should be perfect for you.
However you cook it, make sure everyone is gathered at the table when you make your grand entrance. I promise a pork crown roast will make them swoon. – Christine 🙂
More Holiday Roast Recipes
- How to Roast Turkey
- Perfect Baked Ham
- How to Roast Lamb
- Garlic Roast Pork Recipe
- Classic Roast Beef
Podcast Episode On Making Pork Crown Roast
This post originally appeared in November 2018 and was revised and republished in October 2023.