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Pork Loin Roast | How to Cook Pork Loin

This is a recipe for the best pork loin roast you will ever try! It is a lean cut of meat that is easy to make and delicious to eat. Put it together with any of your favorite side dishes and you will have a keeper meal for years to come.

Best Pork Loin Roast Recipe

It doesn’t take too long to make it which makes for a quick and easy dinner. For instance, a 3 lb roast, will take about an hour to cook at 20 minutes per pound.

This roast pork loin recipe is so simple to make and what’s nice is that you don’t have to do much to it to make it seem like you worked on it for hours. Pork roast comes in many sizes, so it can be perfect for a small dinner or a large one when company comes. 

You can even buy it when it goes on sale and get several meals out of it…what a bargain! Let’s show you how to cook a pork loin roast recipe to fit your plans.

What is Pork Loin?

Pork loin comes from the area of the pig between the shoulder and the beginning of the leg. Pork loin is a really good cut of meat with a lot of flavor. 

If you are looking for a lean piece, pork loin does not have much fat on it, just a tiny bit. It is often referred to as a pork loin roast because of its size.

Pork loin can be sold with on-the-bone or boneless. It is usually a boneless roast and comes in many lengths, usually from 4 pounds all the way up to 10 pounds.

In fact, I went to Costco a couple of weeks ago and bought a 7 lb pork loin for only $11, and they had some that were 10 pounds. 

Even though a 10-pound roast would be too large to put in most baking pans, you can buy it cheap like that and slice it raw into multiple roasts, or slice it into boneless pork chops. That way you can have a lot of meals at a low cost.

What Does Pork Roast Taste Like?

Pork loin roast has a mild flavor and it has a pale pink/white color. There is a thin layer on the top, called a fat cap which keeps the meat moist as it cooks.

As long as you don’t dry it out by cooking it too long, a properly cooked pork loin is juicy and tender.

Are Pork Roast and Pork Loin the Same?

Oven Roasted Pork Loin

Pork loin is another name for pork roast. The term pork roast applies to a general category, whereas pork loin is a type of pork roast

Pork loin is usually sold boneless even though some pork loin roasts have been prepared with their bones still attached.

Is Pork Loin Roast the Same As Pork Tenderloin?

Pork loin and pork tenderloin are not the same but they are both great cuts of meat. Here is a brief comparison of the two cuts of pork:

Pork loin is wide and thick, with a fat cap running along the top of the roast. It is just a little less tender than the tenderloin because of where it comes from on a pig. 

Pork tenderloin is a more protected muscle and isn’t used as much which makes it more tender. It is narrow and thin with basically no fat.

Now let’s get into a little more detail. 

Cut of Meat:

  • Pork tenderloin is from the loin of the pig, which runs from the hip to the shoulder alongside the backbone. It is a small, thin piece of meat.
  • Pork loin comes from the back of the pig and is longer and wider. The pork loin comes in much bigger sized than the tenderloin. 

Size of the Meat:

  • Pork tenderloin is small in size, usually 1-2 pounds.
  • Pork loin is larger in size, usually 3-5 pounds, but can also be larger.

Flavor and Texture:

  • Pork tenderloin is one of the most tender cuts of pork because it comes from a muscle that does not get any exercise.
  • Pork loin is not as tender, so it needs more cooking time.

Cooking Method:

  • Pork tenderloin cooks at a high temperature and is cooked in no time.
  • Pork loin should be cooked at a low temperature and cooked slowly in order to make it more tender.

Which is Better Pork Loin or Pork Tenderloin?

Both cuts are boneless pieces of meat and delicious and it depends what you are looking for. 

Pork loin is larger in size than pork tenderloin, so if you are feeding a crowd, pork loin is better.

However, tenderloin is more “tender” than the pork loin. So, if you want the most tender piece of meat then choose the tenderloin. If you are looking to marinate the pork, then pork tenderloin is also the choice.

Be sure to check out our Baked Pork Tenderloin recipe which is one of our absolute favorites!

Boneless vs Bone-In Pork Loin

Boneless Pork Loin                                                          
Cooks faster                                                                      
Can dry out more quickly if not watched closely                    

Bone-in Pork Loin
Takes longer to cook
Retains its juiciness better because of the bones

Is Pork Roast Healthy?

Pork Loin on a plate with cauliflower and brussel sprouts

Pork loin roast has many healthy aspects about it, for you to consider eating it. It’s high in calcium, and phosphorus, selenium which can help your immune and zinc are included in its benefits. It also helps your skin and muscles.

They are usually boneless and are a lean piece of meat, low in calories, fat, and carbs. 

Like eating anything else, moderation is the key. You wouldn’t probably want to eat oven-roasted pork loin at every meal, every day. Change it up and eat a well-rounded diet because there are so many foods out there with health benefits for us too.

How Many Calories in Pork Loin Roast?

Boneless pork loin roast lives up to its reputation of being real lean, and there are only 150 calories in a 4 oz serving. At that rate, you can eat double that and only consume around 300 calories.

Which is Healthier Chicken or Pork Loin?

If you are like me, you might think chicken is healthier than pork. Look at this comparison of both types of meat and see how they compare.

  • Pork contains more calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and less sodium.
  • Pork has more vitamin C, D, B1,2,6,12.
  • Pork is lower in cholesterol, sodium.
  • Chicken has more iron.
  • Chicken has more vitamin A, B3, 5, K
  • Chicken is lower in saturated fat.
  • They are both equal in Folate, and Vitamin E and low calories and fats.

The bottom line is they both are healthy options and have lots of vitamins and minerals so go ahead and eat whichever you prefer.

Is Pork Loin Healthier than Beef?

Another common question is whether pork or beef is healthier? We did a comparison with pork loin vs. top sirloin and here is what we found:

  • Both are similar pieces of meat, having about the same amount of fat.
  • They are pretty similar when it comes to vitamins and minerals, probably because they are both considered red meats.
  • Beef has a few more calories and saturated fat than pork loin, but pork loin has a little more cholesterol than the beef.

Why Roasting in the Oven is the Best Way to Cook Pork Loin

Pork Loin Roast seasoned and on cutting board

There are many different ways to make a roast pork loin recipe. Here are a few of our favorites:

Oven Roasted – I prefer to cook my pork loin roast in the oven because it comes out brown and crispy on the top and juicy on the inside. Oven-roasted is just the way that I prefer to cook most meats. 

Crockpot/Slow Cooker – Crockpot cooking has its advantages in preparing foods. It takes the longest, hence the name “slow cooker,” but it also makes foods stay moist as they slowly cook covered. It also allows you to set the timer and walk away from it while it cooks so that you can spend your time doing something else while your meal cooks.

Grill – Let’s face it, especially in the summer when you don’t want to start your oven and heat up your kitchen, we always look for ways our dinner can be cooked on the grill. If your house is anything like our houses we appreciate it in the nice weather when our husbands cook on the grill!!!

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker -This way of cooking things is fairly quick, it shortens cooking time which is really good when you are running short on time and need to get dinner on the table more quickly. And meats come out tender in the instant pot.

What Ingredients are in Pork Loin Roast?

Pork Loin Roast Ingredients

Now let’s see what ingredients we need in order to make this pork roast recipe:

Pork loin – This can be whatever size you need for dinner. Most people buy boneless pork loin roast but you can also buy a roast with bones if you prefer.

Seasonings –  Spices are an essential part of cooking, either a small amount or large amount will give your food the needed flavor to keep you coming back for more. Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Montreal seasoning, and paprika are always good to use.

Butter – Makes a great base for making a nice, rich sauce for this pork roast recipe.

Olive Oil – A good fat that when mixed with the butter it adds a great richness to the pork loin roast.

Parsley – This is one of those herbs that gives food a fresh taste. Mixed with the butter and oil it makes a well-flavored blanket on top of the baked pork loin.

Different Variations of Pork Roast 

There are also many ways you can change the flavor of your pork loin roast by using different spices or sauces. Here are a few variations:

Seasoning Options

  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Dried Mustard
  • Ginger
  • Parsley

Feel free to use any or all of these or come up with some of your own. Roast pork loin is very adaptable and will be able to taste good with so many spices.

Sauce Options

Pork is one of those foods that go with a lot of other things, and you could put just about any sauce or gravy on top of it and still enjoy the flavor of the oven-roasted pork loin with an additional flavor from the topping. 

Here are just a few suggestions, and feel free to come up with your own too:

  • An orange sauce
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Tomato sauce
  • Homemade gravy made from the drippings
  • Rosemary garlic sauce
  • Butter garlic sauce

Shopping for Pork Loin

Picking out a good pork loin is the first step toward having a successful dinner! Here are some things to keep in mind.

Boneless Pork Loin Roast raw

What to Look For?

When shopping for a pork loin choose one that is pinkish-red in color with some marbling going through the meat. Don’t buy a roast that is pale grey or tan in color because it’s starting to go bad. Make sure that there are no dark spots on the fat either.

How Much Pork Roast Per Person?

When cooking pork loin, most people will eat at least 3 oz but as much as 12 oz. How much will depend on the appetite of the person and also the number of veggies or side dishes that will accompany your roast.

Buy When On Sale

If you see any pork loins on sale at your local supermarket, be sure to grab them, because they can be hard to find certain times of the year. That way you can enjoy making the best pork loin recipe anytime.

Cut up into Pork Chops – The beauty of buying an entire pork loin, instead of just a small piece that you want to roast, is that the rest of the pork loin can be cut into pork chops. 

If you have a Costco membership, you can go there and buy a big pork loin for just a few dollars and make a lot of pork chops out of it.

For instance, we recently went and bought a 7 lb pork loin for only $11.00. They even had a 10 lb one for about $14.00….that’s a lot of boneless pork chops!!

Should I Buy a Pre-Seasoned Pork Loin?

Pork loins come in both unseasoned and pre-seasoned cuts, and either way is fine.

I used to buy a pre-seasoned pork loin at Costco for years because it was so easy and I wasn’t sure how to make it come out the same way. It was a no brainer.

Now I can buy a plain pork loin at Costco and season it myself to be just as yummy or maybe even better!

It’s ok to buy a pre-seasoned pork loin but hopefully, you will give our recipe a try and season it yourself, it is so easy to make. Trust me, this pork loin recipe won’t disappoint.

Storing Pork Loin Roast Before Cooking It

A pork loin should be kept in the refrigerator until you are going to use it. When you buy it, there will be a use-by date on the label that will guide you in knowing how long that it will stay fresh. 

Make sure to keep it wrapped tightly in plastic wrap until you are ready to cook the pork loin, otherwise it may leak in the fridge. It’s happened to me countless times.

Tools to Use

Pork Loin on cutting board

When you learn how to cook the best pork loin recipe, you are going to need a few kitchen tools.

Baking dish – A dutch oven or any other baking dish that will fit your meat will do a good job cooking pork loin.

Thermometer – Used to check the temperature of the meat so that it does not overcook.

Cutting board – Get a large cutting board so that it will hold the whole roast. If you have one that has the drip section around all of the edges to hold all of the pork drippings, that’s a good idea to use so that you don’t lose any of the meat juices. Then after the pork loin is sliced you will be able to use the collected juices and pour them over the roast.

Knife/Fork – You will need a large meat fork and a large and sharp knife to cut all of the roast.

Best Pan for Pork Roast

I’m not sure that there is one pan that is better than the other when cooking pork loin. When I make a pork tenderloin I always use a dutch oven but my pork loins are always too large to fit in the dutch oven. 

Instead, I use a large metal roasting pan or a large glass baking pan for cooking pork loin.

Pork Roast Marinade

A marinade is something that you pour over your meat to flavor it or tenderize it while making the roast pork loin recipe. Most marinades take anywhere from an hour to a day in order to soak in to give the meat more flavor or more tenderness. 

The sky’s the limit as to what kind of marinade to use depending on the flavor that you are trying to accomplish. You can either buy one that is premade from the store or throw some things together to make one of your own.                                                   

Example types of marinades:

  • Balsamic dressing
  • Garlic oil
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Creole Sauce
  • Hot and spicy 
  • Peach or pineapple marinade
  • Citrus, lemon, lime, orange

If you decide to make a marinade, here is what you do:

  1. To marinate the pork loin roast place the meat in a plastic Ziploc bag. If the roast is too big to fit into the bag then you will have to marinate it in the same baking dish that you will be cooking it in.
  2. Pour the spices or marinade into the bag and shake it up to make sure that it coats the entire pork loin roast.
  3. Refrigerate until you are ready to bake it.

Do You Need to Make a Marinade for Pork loin?

While they can add extra flavor, making a marinade for pork roast is not necessary. 

When you cook a pork loin roast, it will already be very tasty and flavorful by itself, it is not a cheap cut of meat that needs aid in making it more palatable.

Preparing Pork Loin

Ingredients for Pork Loin Roast

Bring it to Room Temperature

The first thing to do when preparing the best pork loin recipe is to remove it from the refrigerator.

Let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes because then if it has a chance to warm up a bit instead of being so frigid cold it will, in turn, cook more evenly.

Should You Rinse Pork Loin Before Cooking?

One question that a lot of people worry about is if we should rinse our meat before cooking it? After doing some research on it, it is not necessary to rinse pork loin before cooking it.

Even though you may have heard that rinsing meat is the right thing to do (especially with chicken), rinsing meat is NOT a good idea. It only spreads all of the meat germs all over your sink and counters. 

If you do it because you are worried about bacteria, don’t. It will disappear during the cooking process.

Should You Brine Pork Roast?

I do not brine my pork loin, it is not a necessary step. The reason you would brine pork is to get a juicier pork roast in the oven, but in my opinion, if you cook the pork loin in the oven to the proper temperature it will be juicy.

If you decide to do it, it takes about 20 minutes to brine pork loin and you would combine:

  • Kosher Salt
  • Warm Water
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Ice cubes

Rinse the meat after brining to remove the excess salt before roasting the pork loin.

Do You Cut Fat Off a Pork Loin Before Cooking?

There is no need to cut off any fat from the pork loin before cooking it because there is not too much fat on a pork loin to start with. 

It is usually just a small amount of fat on the top which you want to keep to add some flavor for the roasted pork loin. So this is not a cut of meat that requires cutting off any fat.

How Long to Cook Pork Loin Roast in the Oven?

How to Cook Pork Roast

Let’s examine how long to cook your pork loin in the oven, after all, a big part in making the best pork roast recipe is the time in the oven.

Based on a 3 lb pork loin roast at 325 degrees, it will take approximately 60 minutes to cook in the oven.

Cooking Pork Loin Per Pound

As a rule of thumb for most meats, including roast pork loin, the common measurement is 20 minutes per pound. However, the exact cooking time for a pork roast in the oven will depend on several variables:

  • The size of the roast.
  • The temperature of your oven.
  • How many other things may be in the oven at the same time.
  • The temperature that you cook the roast at.

What Temperature Should I Cook Pork Loin At?

When we make this pork loin roast recipe, we like to cook it at a low temperature so that it cooks slow. This will contribute to the meat staying juicy instead of cooking it too fast and drying it out. 

In my opinion, the best temperature, depending on your oven, is 325-350 degrees. 

If you start out at 325 and you feel the meat is taking forever to cook then raise it to 350. You can always go up a lot easier than going down.

Pork Loin Cook Time Chart:

  • 2 lb roast  at 325 degrees takes 40 min.
  • 2.5 lb roast at 325 degrees takes 50 min.
  • 3 lb roast at 325 degrees takes 60 min.

Safe Internal Temperature for Pork Loin Roast

It is important to cook pork loin to the correct internal temperature. We will show you how to cook a roast that will come out of the oven at a perfect temperature, not too raw and not too dry.

Here is a small chart to guide you to make the best pork loin recipe:

  • Medium-Rare – 145-150 degrees – slices will be somewhat pink and moist
  • Medium – 150-155 degrees – slices will be a little pink and moist
  • Medium-Well – 155-160 degrees – the pink color fades and the moisture starts drying up
  • Well Done – 160-165 degrees – totally brown, overcooked, and dry

Use a Meat Thermometer

Using a thermometer is 100 % necessary to avoid under or overcooking your pork roast in the oven. It’s good to have some sort of an idea of how long it will take to cook something in the oven, but with a thermometer, you will get a more accurate reading.

Using a thermometer is a sure-fire way to make sure that the temperature does not rise too high, which will dry out the pork roast in the oven.

The target temperature for this pork loin roast recipe is 145 degrees, that way it will be slightly pink, tender, and juicy.

Ideal temperature for Pork Loin Roast

Types of thermometers: You can use a traditional thermometer that you leave in the meat the entire time that it’s in the oven cooking.

You can also use the type that you stick in the meat to check the temperature and then remove it.

A digital thermometer is another type and is the quickest way to get the accurate reading, usually in about 5 seconds.

How to Make Pork Roast in the Oven

Now that you have your pork loin and have learned a lot of things on how to prep it, let’s get into step-by-step directions on how to make pork roast in the oven. 

Seasoning Pork Loin

STEP 1: The first thing to do in making the pork loin is to take the meat out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes beforehand to let it warm up a bit. That will ensure a more even temperature for cooking it.

Pork Loin fat side up

STEP 2: Now it’s time to put those spices on your pork loin roast. I like to use a baking tray or a large cutting board to place the meat on while we season it. 

Let me tell you what spices we used:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • Montreal Seasoning

Feel free to add or take away from this list depending on what you personally like on your baked pork loin.

There is no special order to put the spices on, just get them all on the meat, especially on the top but also on the sides and bottom if you can. You can even press them on better with your hands so that they will adhere better.

Rubbing in the seasonings on a Pork Loin

STEP 3: Transfer the pork loin roast into the baking pan that you will be using to bake it in.

Pork Loin Roast before cooking in a baking pan

The Sauce

The last preparation step is to make the sauce and pour it over the top of the pork loin.

STEP 4: In a saucepan melt the butter, and add the olive oil and stir until blended. 

STEP 5: Add dried parsley and stir until blended.

STEP 6: Pour it over the pork loin roast, while attempting to cover as much of the meat as possible.

Baking 

Now it’s time to bake the pork loin. 

STEP 7: Preheat your oven to 325-350 degrees.

STEP 8: Place your pork loin in the oven and set the time for the amount of necessary time. If you make a 4-pound roast, at 20 minutes per pound, it would be 1 hour and 20 minutes.

How to roast Pork Loin in the oven

After 1 hour stick the thermometer in the thickest/fattest part of the pork loin and check to see what temperature the roast is up to.

STEP 9: When the internal temperature pork loin reaches 145 degrees it is time to take it out of the oven.

Checking temperature for Pork Loin

STEP 9: Let it rest on the counter for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Now, slice and serve.

Pork Loin Roast after cooking

Baked Pork Roast FAQs

When we don’t know how to correctly make a recipe, it’s such a help to be able to look and see that others have asked some of the same questions that you have.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when making a pork roast.

Can I Cook Vegetables with Pork Loin Roast?

Vegetables are a good addition to the pork loin roast, just like you would also add in the oven with roast beef, roasted chicken…etc.

Some of the best veggies that would roast well would be mushrooms, onions, carrots…etc.

Easy Roast Pork Loin Recipe

It’s best to add the veggies within the last 30 minutes of cooking so that they stay firm instead of mushy.

Should You Sear Pork Loin?

The reason for searing pork is to seal in the meat juices and as long as you don’t overcook the oven-roasted pork loin, it will be juicy. 

Many people sear pork loin before baking it, but it isn’t necessary.  In fact, I usually do not sear it.

The problem with searing a pork loin is the size of it. Most times when I buy a pork loin it’s way longer than any of my pans that I would sear it in. 

Pork loin is a roast that you cook slowly and doesn’t need searing whereas pork tenderloin is a roast that cooks quickly and benefits from searing it.

Should I Add Water to the Pan?

In my opinion if you are trying to achieve a roasted look then you shouldn’t add water to the pan because the more water that you add, your pork loin roast will not have that baked/brown look . The water will give it a more simmered look instead.

The only time that you should add a small amount of water to the pan is if you are trying to cook the roast faster and so that it won’t dry out.

Should You Cover Pork Loin Roast When Cooking in the Oven? 

If you want the true taste of an oven-roasted pork loin then you do NOT want to cover it. It will lose that oven crispness that forms on the top of the roast because of the fat and seasonings across the top. 

When you are cooking pork loin slowly then you do not have to cover it. However, if you are in a hurry and need to cook it faster then cover it so that it doesn’t dry out.

Do You Cook a Pork Loin Fat Side Up or Down?

Any piece of meat that has fat on one side of it should always be cooked with the fat side up, including pork loin roast. 

That way the fat drips over the meat and keeps it more tender and flavorful, and at the same time achieving that oven crisp on the top that we all look forward to eating.

Do You Flip a Pork Roast?

Once you get the pork loin set in the pan and in the oven there is no need to flip or turn the pork roast at all. It will cook just the way that you position it in the pan to start with.

How Do You Know if Roast Pork Loin is Done?

When making baked pork loin it’s important to cook it to the right internal temperature, because if it’s too high it will be dried out and if it’s too low it will be too raw to eat, so you need to find that happy medium.

I can’t emphasize it enough that the best way of knowing if your pork loin is done is by relying on a thermometer which will tell you if it’s time to remove it from the oven.

Can Pork Roast be a Little Pink?

Best Pork Loin Recipe

You may be wondering if it’s ok to eat oven-roasted pork when it’s pink. YES it is perfectly fine for the meat to be a little pink, in fact, that is how it should be eaten to get the most enjoyment out of it.

Some people say they don’t eat or enjoy pork because it’s dry. However, if you leave the roast a little pink, it will not dry out and will be juicy and flavorful.

Is It Safe to Eat Pork at 145 Degrees?

We are living in the days when it has been decided that you do not have to cook the pork to death in order for it to be safe to eat like my mother’s generation did.

Yes, you can eat the pork at 145 degrees, in fact, that is the target temperature to achieve. This way the pork loin roast will be slightly pink, tender, and juicy.

Can You Eat Pork at 150 Degrees?

150 degrees fahrenheit is the perfect internal temperature for any pork roast recipe.

When you take your pork roast out of the oven the thermometer should read 145 degrees. When you let it rest on the counter for 5-10 minutes that temperature will rise to 150 degrees in a few minutes after a few minutes.

How Do You Cut a Pork Roast After Cooking?

Cooking Pork Loin

Now that you have mastered making this roast pork loin recipe, it’s time to slice it. 

  1. Take your large cutting board along with your fork and knife in preparation to slice the pork loin.
  2. Place the pork loin roast on the cutting board.
  3. With the fork in one hand and the knife in the other begin to make slices, at the thickness of your choice. Slice the entire roast pork loin until it is done. Serve with your favorite side dishes.

How Long Should You Let Roasted Pork Loin Rest?

Letting meat rest after it’s cooked, including pork loin roast, only takes a short time. It should rest about 5-10 minutes. 

The idea behind the resting process when cooking pork loin is that the juices will stay in the meat and be absorbed better. If you don’t let it rest then when you slice it, the juices will come spilling out and your pork loin will not be as moist.

As it rests the temperature usually goes up 5 degrees or so. That’s why it’s good to take the pork roast out of the oven at 145 degrees so that while it is resting it will rise to 150 degrees.

Do You Cut Pork Loin Against the Grain?

The proper way to slice the pork loin is against the grain. When you slice against the grain, you actually are cutting through the fibers and shortening them which will make it easier for you to chew through them. 

By slicing the meat against the grain, the knife is doing all of the hard work and it will make it easier for your teeth and jaws.

How Thick Do You Slice a Pork Roast?

Cutting Pork Loin Roast with a knife

Depending on your preference you can decide how thick to slice your baked pork loin. 

I prefer meat on the thinner side while my husband prefers it on the thicker side. Both work out fine. I prefer all my meat sliced on the thinner side because it makes each piece even more tender.

The ideal thickness for a slice of pork loin is between ¼ or ½ inches thick, but you can go thicker if you prefer.

Best Tips

  • Your best friend while making this pork loin recipe is going to be the thermometer to make sure that the meat is not raw and not overcooked. We want it to be “just right” as Goldilocks would say, which in this case is 145 degrees.
  • Do not skip the resting step to assure that your roasted pork loin will continue to absorb the juices and stay more tender.
  • Make sure to have a steady cutting board so that you won’t get cut slicing the meat with of your cutting board sliding around on the counter. The best thing to get in the habit of doing is anchor your board down better by placing a damp, flat towel under it.
  • Use a sharp knife. This will ensure you get the best, straight slices by making sure that you are cutting the roast with a sharp knife.
  • Buy a large pork loin and cut it into boneless pork chops. It will save a lot of money doing it yourself.

Why Is Pork Loin So Dry?

Pork loin is dry when it gets overcooked, it’s as simple as that. So don’t have any fear of it getting dry if you take it out of the oven at the proper temperature.

If anything, it’s better to slightly undercook it.  You can always put it back in the oven if the roast is not quite done the way that you like it.

However, you can’t go backwards and once it’s overcooked you can’t all of a sudden go back to an undercooked piece of meat.

How to Keep Pork Loin from Drying Out?

The best way to keep the pork loin from drying out is to cook it at a low temperature slowly. I like to roast it at 325 or 350 degrees. 

By using a thermometer you will be able to tell when the pork loin has reached the desired internal temperature of 145 degrees.

You could also add some water or other liquid to the pan and then cover it as long as you’re not looking for a crispy top.

How to Keep Baked Pork Loin Juicy When Serving?

In order to keep your baked pork loin roast juicy, once you take it out of the oven cover the roast with aluminum foil to trap in the heat. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes, which will help the oven-roasted pork loin to retain its juices.

If you are not going to be eating the pork roast in the oven in a few minutes, a trick to keep it moist would be to pour the pan drippings over the meat and let it sit, or get some chicken broth, heat it up and pour it over the meat.

What is Pork Loin Good For?

Pork Roast in the Oven

There are a lot of uses for an oven-roasted pork loin and many ways to eat it. Here are a few suggestions:

Pork loin is a wonderful cut of meat that can be eaten as a roast on the side of vegetables and potatoes, or it can be sliced thin to make sandwiches out of. 

You can also top your green salad with chunks or slices of pork loin. One of my husband’s favorite things to do is top his chef salad with whatever cold, leftover meat that we have in the refrigerator, especially pork roast. That way it feels like you are eating an entirely different meal the next night for dinner.

When I make homemade tomato sauce, I cook a piece of pork loin right in the pot. It’s so moist cooking it in the sauce all day that it just falls apart with a fork.

Can I Use Pork Loin for Pulled Pork?

Pork loin is too lean to make pulled pork and it won’t shred or fall apart like it needs to do.  

When we make pulled pork, the best type of meat is a butt roast. It costs less and has a lot of fat running through it so when cooked slowly it just falls apart.

Other Cooking Options

Even though we made our pork roast in the oven like so many other people do, it’s not to say that other methods would not work out just as good, or for a change. Let’s see what they are:

Can I Cook Pork Roast on the Stove Instead?

Yes, you can cook your pork loin on the stovetop in a dutch oven. Just make sure that your pork loin roast is not too big in size. If you use the dutch oven, you can:

  1. Season the meat
  2. Pour oil in the dutch oven
  3. Sear it on both sides of the roast on high heat
  4. Turn the burner down to low and simmer
  5. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature and turn it off when it reaches 145 degrees.
  6. Remove from heat and let rest 5-10 minutes
  7. Slice and serve

Slow Cooker

  1. Season the meat on all sides. 
  2. Sear it on the stove the same as above.
  3. Place it into the slow cooker and pour any desired sauce over the top.
  4. Bake on low for 4-5 hours depending on the size of the roast.
  5. Take out and slice.

Here is a small guide to use when cooking the pork loin in the crockpot:

  • 2 lbs: 3.5 hours on low
  • 3-5 lbs: 4-5 hours on low
  • 6 lbs: 6 hours on low

Pressure Cooker

This is another method to use to cook your pork loin.

  1. Season up your meat. 
  2. Heat up about ½ cup oil.
  3. Now brown up the roast on all sides. Place it fat side up.
  4. Add some chicken broth and chopped onion and garlic.
  5. Pressure cook it for approx. 1 hour for a 4-pound roast.
  6. Remove from the heat and let the pressure come down on its own.

Grilling Pork Loin Roast

When grilling pork loin I like to marinate the meat so that it will stay moist on the grill. 

  1. Season the meat and marinate anywhere from an hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Either grill the meat right on the grill using low heat or you could wrap it in foil and cook it that way on the grill too. 
  3. Remember to use your thermometer to make sure that you do not overcook your loin or it will be dry.
  4. Take it off the grill and slice.

Other Diets This Recipe is Good For

  • Gluten-free – There is no gluten in or on pork loin.
  • Nut-free – No nuts or nut products in the pork loin.
  • Paleo – This is a good choice for dinner when you are on a paleo diet.
  • Dairy-free – If you don’t put butter on the roast.
  • Sugar-free – No sugar in pork loin roast and zero carbs too.

What to Serve with Pork Loin Roast?

Juicy Pork Loin Recipe

There are so many things that you can serve on the side of your pork loin roast.

  • Veggies – Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sauteed onions, peppers, and Mushrooms
  • Potatoes – Baked, mashed, scalloped, fried
  • Pasta – any type along with any type of sauce
  • Cold Salads – Green Salad, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Macaroni Salad,
  • Beans – Black beans, Baked beans…etc
  • Mac and Cheese – homemade 
  • Applesauce – My favorite with pork is homemade applesauce made from several types of apples if you can. A great combo with all pork recipes.

Making Oven Baked Pork Roast Ahead of Time

Preparing the pork loin ahead of time will save you time when you are in the dinner crunch. 

  • Just season the meat and marinate at this point if you are going to do that, and then wrap it up and place it in the refrigerator, for an hour or even overnight.
  • Then when you are ready to cook it, just simply follow the directions for preparing to bake.

How to Store Pork Loin

Best Pork Loin Roast

The best way to store a pork loin roast after cooking it is to place the meat in an airtight container or a Ziploc bag and seal it up. Then store it in the refrigerator.

Roast pork loin will last in your refrigerator for about 4 days if your family hasn’t gobbled it down yet.

As with most foods that are leftover, the better that you wrap them the longer that they will stay fresh.

How to Use Leftover Pork Roast

When you have leftover roasted pork loin, it’s easy to find other ways to eat the leftovers.

  • One of our favorite things to do with any kind of leftover meat is to stir fry it with your favorite veggies.
  • Throw it on top of a salad. 
  • Slice the pork thin and make a sandwich.
  • Another yummy treat to make with roasted pork loin is pork fried rice. We all love it when we go out to get Chinese food, so why not make your own. It’s easy to do and a lot cheaper.

How to Reheat Roasted Pork Loin?

It’s an easy thing to reheat your pork loin without drying it out. There are 4 ways to reheat your meat:

  1. A non-stick frying pan with a lid and a little cooking oil or broth.
  2. A slow cooker on a warm setting, or on low if your crockpot doesn’t have a warm setting, with a little added broth.
  3. In the oven or toaster oven at 325 degrees.
  4. In the microwave, on a plate, or in a plastic container with a loose lid pr paper towel draped over it to avoid splashing.

Can You Freeze Pork Loin?

Most leftover cooked meat can be frozen and oven-roasted pork loin is no exception. When you freeze it, just make sure to wrap it well with plastic wrap or a Ziploc freezer bag. Then place it into an airtight plastic container for double protection. 

You can also put the meat directly in an airtight plastic container and then put the container in a Ziploc bag or wrap the container in freezer paper.

It will last 3-4 months in the freezer if wrapped properly.

When it comes time to take the baked pork loin out of the freezer, thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it at 350 degrees, for about 10-15 min.

Roasted Pork Loin crust

More Main Course Recipes

If you’re in the mood for some other family-friendly recipes then try our:

Roasted Prime Rib Recipe
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Pork Loin Roast

Pork Loin Roast | How to Cook Pork Loin


  • Author: Leigh Oskwarek
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 75 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Servings (4oz each for a 3-pound roast) 1x
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Description

This recipe for pork loin is one of those recipes that you will make for years to come. Oven-roasted pork loin is easy to make and when it’s cooked right, it will be a favorite of your family for years to come. It’s quick to prepare and tastes like you slaved over it for hours.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 lb Pork loin
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Montreal Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp Salt

Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp

Instructions

Preparing the Meat

The Sauce

Baking 

Notes

0.3 NET Carbs per serving

Feel free to add or take away from this list of spices depending on what you personally like on your meat.

Your best friend when making pork loin is going to be the thermometer to make sure that the meat is not raw and not overcooked. We want it “just right” as Goldilocks would say!

When making the roast pork loin recipe, do not skip the resting step to assure that your meat will continue to absorb the juices and stay more tender.

Make sure to have a steady cutting board so that you won’t get cut slicing the meat because of your cutting board sliding around on the counter. The best thing to get in the habit of doing is anchor your board down better by placing a damp, flat towel under it.

You will get the best, straight slices by making sure that you are cutting the roast with a sharp knife.

Buy a large pork loin and cut it into boneless pork chops. It will save you a lot of money by doing it yourself.

  • Category: Main Courses
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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