Pork Loin recipe is very easy to prepare and results in a juicy, tender and very flavorful meal. The meat is cooked to perfection and seasoned with garlic and some brown sugar. Once cooked, it has an impressive appeal, and great to serve during the holidays or for a dinner party.
Roasted Pork Loin
Pork Loin is a simple dish to prepare that requires only a few ingredients for an incredibly tender and delicious meal. Boneless pork loin (different than a pork tenderloin), is a budget-friendly and lean cut of meat that produces the most succulent and flavorful pork roast. It is a great cut of meat that comes with a thin layer of fat on top.
Once roasted, it has a crispy top and a juicy interior that is simply irresistible. We’ve been making this dish over many years and is always a huge hit with family and guests. Also, this is our favorite pork cut because it is very easy to work with. It can be flavored with your favorite seasonings or even just a simple sprinkle of salt and pepper. No matter how you end up cooking it, it is guaranteed to be a delicious and juicy meal.
PORK LOIN VS TENDERLOIN
Even though they might sound similar, the two cuts are very different cuts of meat, and should not be used interchangeably. They are both lean cuts but are totally different in appearance, cost, and size.
Pork Loin is from the animal’s back. In addition, it is larger in size, and also wider. A typical loin will be anywhere from two to five pounds. It also has a thin cap of fat on the top, which benefits it better during cooking as it keeps the meat moist, juicy and flavorful.
Pork tenderloin runs alongside the backbone and is a muscle. Each tenderloin averages about one pound and is boneless. It is best to roast it at higher heat.
WHAT IS THE SECRET TO JUICY PORK LOIN?
To get juicy, melt in your mouth meat results, simply do not overcook the meat. It is that simple, yet important. Since this is delicate meat cut on the leaner side, cooking time plays an important role here. Therefore, we recommend to always use a meat thermometer. Per USDA guidelines, it is safe to consume pork meat at the internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
Can Pork loin be served a little pink?
As stated above, when roasting it, it’s best to have an internal meat temperature of 145° F. At this temperature, the meat is cooked to medium, which means it will be just slightly pink in the middle.
Important to remember, that resting it for about 5 minutes is essential for juicy and tender meat. It is best to cover it with foil and let it rest for a few minutes. As it rests, the internal temperature will naturally increase a bit, so keep this in mind.
Refer to the below internal temperature guidelines for the desired doneness.
- Medium-Rare – 145 to 150 degrees F.
- Medium – 150 to 155 degrees F.
- Medium-Well – 155 to 160 degrees F.
- Well-Done – 160-165 degrees F.
HOW LONG DO I COOK A PORK LOIN?
Since this is a larger meat cut, it is really important to cook it properly. For best results, you want to cook it for roughly 25 minutes per pound. So if you are cooking a 3-pound loin, the average cooking time should be about 65 minutes. But again, always check the final internal temperature with a thermometer, as it might vary based on oven.
How to Serve Juicy and Tender Roasted Pork Loin?
Once cooked, and it reaches 145°F on an instant-read thermometer, remove the meat from the oven. Cover the dish with an aluminum foil, and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. This way the meat will reabsorb all its juices and aromas.
Once rested, we like cutting it thick, about 3/4- to 1-inch slices. But you can cut it thinner if preferred. Serve it with some mashed potatoes, by laying a few slices of pork over it.
How to store it?
- If you have leftover, you can simply store the loin in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To freeze it, simply use a freezer-safe container, and freeze it for up to 3 months.
- When cooking, make sure the white fat cap side is up.
- Brown the meat in a heavy cast iron pan with some olive oil to have a nice golden-brown crust.
- Cook at a high temperature so the outside will have a nice color.
- Also, use a thermometer to achieve the desired temperature.
- Similarly, do not overcook it, as it will result in dry meat.
- Resting the meat is essential for a juicy and tender dish.
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 1 hr 10 mins
- 2.5-3 pound pork loin (not tenderloin)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for the pan)
- 9 cloves garlic (whole)
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a baking dish with some olive oil.
- Add the pork loin to a large bowl, pierce with a small knife 9 holes on top. Fill those holes with 9 whole garlic cloves.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pork and rub well on all the sides.
- Add the pork loin to the prepared baking pan, fat side up.
Cook for 50-55 minutes for medium to medium-well doneness (150-155 degrees F for internal temperature). Cook for 60-70 minutes for a well to well-done, or until it has reached a temperature of 160-165 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.