How to Cook Pork

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Want to be a pork expert? We’ve got all the methods you need to make delicious pork from the oven to the grill, and more!

Want to be a pork expert? We've got all the methods you need to make delicious pork from the oven to the grill, and more!

When you know how to cook pork…and I mean really know how to cook it, you’ll find that it can be incredibly savory, juicy, and versatile.

But there is no one “right” way to cook pork. There are many different ways that “the other white meat” can be prepared.

That’s why we put this article together; this is a comprehensive look at the various ways you can cook pork.

We’re going to touch on a whole bunch of different methods below. If you want more information on a specific method, just click on the link found in that section.

Ok, you ready? Let’s cook some pork!

How Do You Brine Pork?

Brining can make a world of difference. If you didn’t already know, brining is the act of soaking lean meats in a solution of salt water. Brining pork can make a whole world of difference. You’ll find that the end result is more flavorful and a lot juicier.

Here are some easy steps to follow.

  1. Combine 4 cups of cold water along with salt and sugar in a nonreactive container. Stir to combine.
  2. Transfer that solution to a resealable bag. Add your pork and any other optional ingredients and seal the bag.
  3. Refrigerate the bag for 8-12 hours.
  4. Remove the meat from the brine, pat it dry, and start cooking!

How Do You Trim Pork Tenderloin?

One of the secrets to a perfect pork tenderloin is in the preparation. You have to trim and prepare pork tenderloin before you can cook it.  By trim, I mean removing all of that silver skin and making it of even thickness so that it all cooks together.

How to Trim and Prepare Pork Tenderloin Before Cooking

Here are the steps you’ll need to take.

  1. Lay the pork tenderloin on a cutting board. See all that white skin? That’s what we’re getting rid of.
  2. Slip a boning knife between the silver skin and the meat.
  3. Hold the skin with one hand while working the knife along the surface of the meat.
  4. Tilt the blade upward to slice only the skin. You don’t want to take any meat off.
  5. Repeat as desired for any fat or sinew that you don’t want in there.
  6. Fold the thin end of the tenderloin so that it is doubled up.
  7. Secure it in place with butcher’s twine or toothpicks.

How Do You Cook Pork Chops?

Pork chops are one of the most common forms of pork. Cooking pork chops can be difficult if you’ve never done it before.

How To Cook Pork Chops

Here are some steps we swear by on how to cook pork chops perfectly.

  1. Make sure you’re buying the right pork chops. I tend to go for the ones with a bone because it keeps the meat juicier.
  2. Make sure they’re at least ¾ of an inch thick. Thin pork chops dry out fast.
  3. If you’re going to brine your pork chops, now would be the time.
  4. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and let them rest at room temperature for five minutes.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Rub the pork chops with olive oil on both sides. (About 1 teaspoon per side)
  7. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  8. Heat a large oven safe skillet over high heat.
  9. Brown the pork chops evenly on the stove.
  10. Put the skillet in the oven.
  11. Bake for 4-8 minutes, until the interior temperature of the meat is 140 degrees F.
  12. Transfer to a plate. Let them rest for three minutes, and serve!

How Do You Grill Pork Chops?

There’s more than one way to make a pork chop! You can grill pork chops for a much different kind of flavor.

Here are my favorite steps on how to grill pork chops.

  1. Sprinkle the chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Set them aside.
  2. Turn your grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate.
  3. Add the pork chops and close the lid. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
  4. Flip them, close the lid again.
  5. Cook another 5-6 minutes, until the internal temperature is at 145 degrees F.
  6. Let them rest for 5 minutes and then serve!

How Do You Roast Pork?

Perfectly roasted pork is tender and juicy inside and has a nice brown crust on the outside.

How to Roast Pork Butt

There are a few steps you can take to get this ideal result.

  1. Let the pork roast sit outside the fridge at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  3. If your roast has a thick layer of fat, trim some of it away so that it’s just a thin coating.
  4. Season all over with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  5. Put the roast in a large roasting pan with the fat side up. Add a half inch of low or no salt added chicken broth on the bottom.
  6. Roast uncovered for 40 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F.
  7. Add more broth when the existing broth evaporates.
  8. Take the roast out and let it rest for 30-40 minutes uncovered.
  9. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  10. Transfer the roast to a clean roasting pan or baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 13-17 minutes, uncovered.
  12. Carve and serve!

How Do You Roast Pork Loin?

Pork loin roasts different than a traditional pork roast, so you’ll need to change up the method a bit. It’s a lot leaner than a traditional pork butt, so using the above method will leave you with some super dry meat.

How to roast pork loin

Here are the steps you’ll need to roast pork loin perfectly.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix black pepper, salt, and garlic powder together.
  3. Sprinkle the seasoning all over the pork loin.
  4. Put the roast on a rack in a roasting pan and place in the oven.
  5. Roast until the internal temperature falls between 145-160 degrees F, depending on your preference.
  6. Remove from the oven, cover the pan in foil and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  8. Uncover the pork loin, place it in a clean pan, and roast for another 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and serve!

How Do You Cook Pork Tenderloin?

Cooking pork tenderloin can be a challenge. We have a series of tips and trick you can use to cook pork tenderloin perfectly every single time.

How To Cook Pork Tenderloin

Here are the steps.

  1. Remove the silverskin. We covered that in the beginning of this article.
  2. Brine the tenderloin. That’s also covered in the beginning of this article. (Convenient!)
  3. Fold the thin part of the meat over onto itself and hold it in place with twine or toothpicks. Use metal skewers if you’re grilling.
  4. Season with salt and pepper all over.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and put it into an oven that has already been preheated to 350 degrees F.
  6. Bake for 20-27 minutes. The internal temperature should be 145 degrees F.
  7. Take the tenderloin out, let it rest for five minutes.
  8. Slice and serve!

How Do You Grill Pork Tenderloin?

If you want a lean and delicious pork tenderloin made on the grill, then you need to follow our steps on how to grill pork tenderloin.

How to grill pork tenderloin

Follow our step-by-step guide.

  1. Remove the silverskin.
  2. Brine the tenderloin.
  3. Fold the thin part over. Since you’re grilling, you’ll want to use metal skewers to hold it in place.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Prepare the grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.
  6. Place the tenderloin on the grill and cover for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Flip the tenderloin over and you should see grill marks.
  8. Cover and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  9. Roll it to get coverage on areas that haven’t contacted the grill. Grill for another 3-4 minutes and then repeat on other ungrilled spot.
  10. When the internal temperature is at 145 degrees F, you’re done!
  11. Transfer to a cutting board. Let it rest for 7 minutes.
  12. Slice thinly and enjoy!

How Do You Cook Pork Tenderloin in the Air Fryer?

The Air Fryer is one of the latest gadgets appearing in kitchens all over the world. It’s possible to make pork tenderloin in the air fryer.

Air Fryer Pork Tenderloin

All it takes is a few simple steps.

  1. Remove the silverskin.
  2. Brine the tenderloin.
  3. Let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat your Air Fryer to 400 degrees F.
  5. Mix olive oil, black pepper, and garlic powder together in a bowl. If you didn’t brine, then add salt here as well.
  6. Rub spices all over tenderloin.
  7. Place into the air fryer basket.
  8. Cook for 10 Minutes. Flip it over.
  9. Cook for another 8-15 minutes.
  10. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before you slice it.

How Do You Cook Pork Loin in the Instant Pot?

Here’s the other go-to gadget for modern home chefs! The Instant Pot is a fun invention, and you can use it to make amazing Instant Pot Pork Loin.

Here’s how you’ll do it.

  1. Rub the roast with olive oil and then season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Select the Saute setting on your Instant Pot. When “Hot” is displayed, add olive oil.
  3. Add the seasoned pork. Sear four minutes per side.
  4. When the searing is done all over, press Cancel and remove the pork. Set it aside.
  5. Add broth or water to the Instant Pot.
  6. Place a trivet on the bottom of the pot and place the pork on top of it.
  7. Cover the pot. Lock the lid on. Set the steam release valve to Sealing.
  8. Select the Meat/Stew or Pressure Cook setting and set the time for 17 minutes.
  9. Let the pot sit for 5 minutes when the cooking cycle is over. Move the valve to Venting for a quick release.
  10. Remove the pork loin and place on a cutting board.
  11. Set the Instant Pot to Saute to bring the pork juices to a boil. Stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes.
  12. Carve the pork and serve with the pan juices.

How Do You Cook Pork Chops in the Instant Pot?

You can absolutely make pork chops in your Instant Pot. It may sound odd, but it’s totally doable and actually pretty easy!

Here are the steps to creating perfect pork chops in the Instant Pot.

  1. Season your pork chops with salt and pepper.
  2. Select the Saute setting on your Instant Pot. When “Hot” is displayed, add olive oil.
  3. Add the seasoned pork and sear both sides for three minutes each.
  4. Remove the pork and set it aside on a plate.
  5. Add broth or water to the Instant Pot.
  6. Place a trivet on the bottom of the pot and place the pork on top of it.
  7. Cover the pot. Lock the lid on. Set the steam release valve to Sealing.
  8. Select the Meat/Stew or Pressure Cook setting and set the time for 5 minutes.
  9. Let the pot sit for 5 minutes when the cooking cycle is over. Move the valve to Venting for a quick release.
  10. Garnish your pork chops with parsley and serve!

In Conclusion

There you have it! Nearly a dozen different ways to cook pork! What’s your favorite method? Did we miss one? Sound off in the comment section below and let us know!

When you know how to cook pork...and I mean really know how to cook it, you’ll find that it can be incredibly savory, juicy, and versatile.

Not enough pork inspiration for you? Take a look at some of our other delicious pork recipes!

7 Responses to “How to Cook Pork”

  1. Jaye Smith — December 6, 2019 @ 6:53 pm (#)

    Love all the tips to get the best taste from pork!

  2. Sandy Klocinski — December 3, 2019 @ 1:03 pm (#)

    Even though I am 70 years old I am a newbie at cooking (My hubby who passed away in 2016 was my chef) so I appreciate your posts on how to cook various cuts of meat. This will save me from ruining a perfectly good pork roast.

    • Christine Pittman — December 5, 2019 @ 2:27 pm (#)

      Welcome to cooking, Sandy! I hope you find joy in it and feel free to post questions on recipes if you need help!

  3. George Arnold — November 28, 2019 @ 1:08 pm (#)

    I really appreciate your posts on cooking various cuts of pork. It has been a challenge cooking some of them so they come out tender. I’m really hoping I’ve found the solution here. Different cuts require different methods. Whodathunkit? 😎
    I’ll let y’all know after I try a few.

    • Christine Pittman — November 29, 2019 @ 10:16 am (#)

      I hope it helps, George!

  4. Deborah Waddell — November 25, 2019 @ 2:04 pm (#)

    Am having pork chops tonight. This recipe reads like it will save my family from dry chops. Thank you!

    • Christine Pittman — November 27, 2019 @ 12:48 pm (#)

      I hope so, Deborah! Enjoy!

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