Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting out in the kitchen, learning how to cook pork loin to perfection is a valuable skill. This delicious method of roasting pork loin ensures a juicy, tender center and a brown, crusty exterior that will have your taste buds dancing. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps to achieve pork perfection, along with some additional tips and tricks. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
How To Roast Pork Loin In The Oven
Step #1: Preparing the Pork Loin
Before we dive into the cooking process, take a moment to consider whether you’d like to brine your pork loin. If you’re up for it, you can find detailed instructions and tips on how to brine pork loin. Otherwise, let’s get started by preheating the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Step #2: Seasoning the Pork Loin
Sprinkle the seasoning mixture all over the pork loin roast, ensuring it is evenly coated.
Step #3: Getting Coated
Rub the seasoning into the pork loin, making sure it’s well coated on all sides.
Step #4: Preparing the Roasting Pan
Place the pork loin on a rack in a roasting pan. If you don’t have a rack that fits your pan, don’t worry! You can use 3 stalks of celery as a substitute.
Step #5: Into the Oven
Carefully place the roasting pan with the pork loin into the preheated oven.
Step #7: Let it Rest
Cover the roasting pan with foil and allow the pork loin to rest for 30 minutes. This will ensure the flavors settle and the juices redistribute throughout the meat.
Step #8: Final High Heat Cook
Now it’s time to raise the heat! Increase the oven temperature to 475°F. Uncover the roast and remove the thermometer. If there are any drippings in the pan, you can use them to make delicious gravy. Alternatively, you can swirl some stock or broth in the pan to collect the drippings for later use. If you prefer, you can transfer the roast to a clean pan for the final round of cooking. Roast for an additional 10 minutes, or until the pork reaches your desired temperature. A minimum internal temperature of 145°F is recommended.
Step #9: Gravy Time (Optional)
While the roast is in the final stage of cooking, you can take those 10 minutes to prepare the gravy. If you have roasting juices from the pan, you can make a flavorful gravy using those drippings. If not, don’t worry! We have a recipe for gravy without drippings. Once the pork loin is cooked to perfection, remove it from the oven, carve it, and serve immediately.
Temperature and Time Recommendations
The cooking time and temperature for your pork loin depend on your desired level of doneness. If you prefer your pork well-cooked, aim for a final temperature of 160°F. For a 3-5 pound roast, this translates to 20-25 minutes per pound, while an 8-10 pound roast will require 11-15 minutes per pound.
If you prefer your pork slightly pink with a juicy center, aim for a final temperature of 145°F. For a 3-5 pound roast, this will take approximately 18-23 minutes per pound, while an 8-10 pound roast will require 8-11 minutes per pound. Cooking the pork to 135°F and allowing it to rest before the final high-heat cook will result in a final temperature of 145°F.
Pork Loin Vs. Pork Tenderloin
It’s important to note that pork loin and pork tenderloin are not the same. Pork loin is a larger cut of meat, whereas pork tenderloin is a smaller and more delicate cut. The cooking methods and times for these cuts will vary, so be sure to choose the right cut for your recipe.
The Reverse Sear Method
The technique we’re using for this pork loin recipe is called the reverse sear method. Originally popularized for prime rib, this method involves slow-roasting the meat at a lower temperature, followed by a high-heat blast to brown and crisp up the outside. By letting the pork loin rest before the final high-heat cook, we ensure a juicy and flavorful result.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some common questions about roasting pork loin, along with our expert answers:
Q: How long should I cook the pork loin?
A: The cooking time depends on the size of the roast and the desired level of doneness. Follow the recommended times and temperatures provided in this article for the best results.
Q: Can I make gravy without drippings?
A: Absolutely! We have a recipe for making delicious gravy without the need for drippings. Check it out and add some extra flavor to your meal.
Q: Can I use the same cooking method for other types of meat?
A: While this method is specifically tailored for pork loin, you can experiment with other cuts of meat. Adjust the cooking times and temperatures accordingly for the best results.
We hope this guide has answered all your questions about cooking the perfect pork loin. If you have any more, feel free to leave a comment below. And if you try this recipe and love it, don’t forget to rate it and share your experience. Happy cooking!
- Christine xo
This article was published in September 2017 and was updated in November 2022.