How to Cook a Pork Loin? [VIDEO]

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
4.96 from 22 reviews

Kitchen Tips Main Dishes Pork Recipes

Cook time Cook time: 1 hour

This Pork Loin recipe is very easy to prepare and results in a tender and juicy, 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.

With only a few ingredients, you can have a delicious and elegant dinner. This homemade, great recipe is great to serve with some roasted asparagus, crispy roasted rosemary potatoes, or roasted brussels sprouts.

Oven Roasted Tender Pork Loin Recipe

This Pork Loin Roast 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 recipe for 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 great meal.

Pork Loin VS Tenderloin

Even though they might sound similar, the two cuts are very different cuts, 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 roasted pork loin? 

To get juicy, melt in your mouth results, simply do not overcook the pork loin roast. 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 always use a meat thermometer. Per USDA guidelines, it is safe to consume pork roast 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 succulent 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 the oven.

How to Serve Juicy and Tender Roasted Pork Loin?

Once cooked, and it reaches 145°F on an instant-read thermometer, remove the pork loin roast from the oven. Cover the dish with 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.

What to serve with roasted pork loin?

This dish goes well with the following:

How to store leftovers?

  • 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. 

More delicious pork recipes:

Recipe Tips and Tricks:

  • For a slow cooker version, try my Juicy Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork Loin Recipe
  • When cooking, make sure the white fat cap side is up.
  • Feel free to substitute the minced garlic with garlic powder. 
  • Brown the pork roast in a heavy cast iron pan with some olive oil to have a nice golden-brown crust.
  • In addition, the best way to get a nice crust and that nice golden color on the outside are to cook it at a high temperature.
  • 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 pork roast is essential for juicy and tender results.

pork loin recipe

Pork Loin Recipe

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.
4.96 from 22 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 377kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet


  • 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.
  • Next, 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.
  • Then, 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.



Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 855mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1.3mg
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Jan McF

I never cooked a pork loin before but I wanted to cook for a homeless shelter where I volunteer. I bought two 8 lb one at Sam’s Club and will use 2 ovens. Would I cook it for 3 1/2 hours, with your recipe, then check it’s internal temp? Think I could make warm sandwiches with it? Thank you!!


Oh wow those are some HUGE pork loins you got :) I would check the internal temperature after 2 hours of cooking and take it from there to see how long it needs to cook.



Should I cover this while cooking? Or uncovwred.?


We do not cover it while cooking.


Jaki Carland

I love this recipe! Ever since finding it, it is the only way I cook my pork loin. I do add extra brown sugar and black pepper for a sweet and savory pork loin. I pair with fresh corn on the cob and buttery mashed Yukon gold potatoes! Amazingly tasty and delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe!


I am so happy that you love it, thanks for the feedback.



I followed this recipe with a few tweaks and I have to say this was hands down the best looking and tasting pork loins I've ever made.



I’m colorblind so it’s difficult for me to tell the color so my brother-in-law bought my dad a digital thermometer to check temperatures and that has improved the quality of my cooking in the sense of not drying out the meat immensely. So perhaps you might do that


Linda Peterson

This looks delicious! I am wondering if this can be done in a crockpot. If so, what do you recommend? Thanks!


I have many pork loin recipes in the crockpot, just check my slow cooker section.



Should you brown the outside before spices go on or after?


This is optional but I recommend browning it if you have some spare minutes. It locks in the flavors better.


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