How To Roast Pork Loin Perfectly

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A delicious method for roasting pork loin that is juicy in the middle and brown and crusty on the outside.

A delicious method for roasting pork loin that is juicy in the middle and brown and crusty on the outside.

Awhile ago I posted my method for roasting pork perfectly. That post has gotten a lot of great feedback in the comment section. There are also a lot of questions there too. One that comes up often is whether you can use the same method on pork loin, or just on pork butt as the recipe calls for. My answer is always no. Pork loin is much leaner than pork butt so if you cook it in the long method I used, you’d end up with very dry pork.

Because I get asked about it often, I decided to test out some ways of roasting pork loin and share the best with you here.

What kind of pork works with this recipe

First, just to be clear, I’m talking about pork loin today, not about pork tenderloin. These are different things. If you’d like to know how to prepare pork tenderloin, head here:

Now onto the loin!

What is the Reverse Sear for roasting meat?

Like with the roasted pork butt, I use the final-sear method that I first learned from roasting prime rib according to Serious Eats’ instructions.

Basically, you put the roast into a moderate or low oven (I used 350°F for the pork loin). You take it out when it reaches the correct temperature (145°F for pork loin) and let it rest for a good 30 minutes.

Finally, you crank up the oven really high (475°F) and give the roast a last blast in there for 10 minutes to brown and crisp up the outside of the roast. Then you carve it immediately and serve. Pretty cool, right?

So that’s what we’re going to do here, the reverse sear.

Here are the step-by-step instructions for roasting pork loin:

Step#1:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Step#2:

Sprinkle it all over the pork loin roast.

 

Step#3:

Rub it all over until it’s coated.

Step#4:

Put the roast on a rack in a roasting pan. If you don’t have a rack that fits in your roasting pan, use 3 stalks of celery like this:

Step#5:

Put the roast into the oven.

Step#6:

What temperature is needed for roast pork

Roast until the internal temperature is at 145°F-160°F.

Some people like their pork really well cooked. This is because it used to be recommended that pork be cooked to 160°F. People got used to pork like that and continue to prefer it very white and drier, versus slightly pink and moist. If that’s you and you need your pork well done, then go with the 160° temperature.

If you prefer it juicy and very slightly pink at the center, then go with 145°. For a 3-5 lb. roast, this will be 20-25 minutes per pound. (I actually take mine out at 135°F-140°F but that isn’t recommended to be safe. The 145°F temperature and the 20-25 minutes per pound are recommended to be safe and are the correct times and temperatures according to the the National Pork Board.

Step#7:

Cover roasting pan with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.

Step#8:

Heat oven up to 475°F. Uncover roast and remove the thermometer. Put it into a clean pan and roast for another 10 minutes.

 

Step#9:

Use those 10 minutes to make gravy, if desired. If you got nice roasting juices in your first roasting pan, then here is how to make a basic gravy using those drippings. If you didn’t get juices, then here is how to make gravy without drippings.

Remove roast from oven and serve immediately.

 

Roast Pork Loin Questions and Answers:

1)      Can I roast potatoes or other root vegetables in the same pan as the roast?

Yes. Use a large roasting pan so that there’s space. In a large bowl toss together cut up potatoes and carrots (you want them all in about 1/2 inch pieces) with enough olive oil to lightly coat them, and some salt and pepper. For the last 45 minutes that the roast is in the oven at 350F, scatter the potatoes and carrots around the roast. They should be in a single layer, not piled on top of each other. Take them out when you take the roast out to rest. Keep the veggies warm or let them rest and then return them to the hot oven with the roast for that last blast of heat.

2)      Can I use different kinds of pork roasts for this recipe?

No. This recipe is specifically for pork loin. If you have a pork butt or shoulder, please use this recipe. If you have pork tenderloin, head over here (link to pork tenderloin. If you have a cooked ham, which is very different from a pork roast but I know people do get confused, head over here.

3)      Can I cook a pork loin in the instant pot?

Yes. Head over here for instant pot instructions.

4)      Can I cook pork loin in the air fryer?

Yes, so long as the loin fits in your air fryer. It’s going to be very similar to the instructions above. Season the roast and then put it into the air fryer at 350F, fat side up, for 20-25 minutes per pound. Check the internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer. It needs to be between 145-160F. See info on the temperature below.

5)      What temperature should pork loin be cooked to?

According to the National Pork Board, it is now safe to eat pork once it has reached 145F. However, many people grew up in the days where pork needed to be cooked to 160F. When they see slightly pink pork meat, which is what you get at 145F, it bothers them. If you are bothered by the slight pinkness, cook yours to 160F. If that doesn’t bother you and you want juicier pork, then cook it to 145F.

6)      What is the celery for in your recipe?

The celery is just acting as a rack to keep the meat lifted so that the air circulates under the roast, which leads to more even cooking. You can use carrots instead. Or you can use an oven-safe metal rack.

7)      How do you store roast pork?

Once the pork is finished cooking, carve it and serve. If you aren’t eating the roast immediately, don’t carve it. Refrigerate it whole and then slice it once it is cold. You can get thinner slices that way because all the juices have been re-absorbed and the cold temperature makes the roast firmer. If you have sliced pork, put it in an airtight container, or on a plate covered with plastic wrap, and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. In a freezer bag, it will keep in the freezer for 2 months.

8)      How do you reheat roast pork?

It’s easiest to reheat it in the microwave. Put pork slices on a plate. Add a few drops of water or stock. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or another microwave-safe cover. Microwave 40 seconds at a time until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat a pan of slices in the oven. Put the slices in a slightly overlapping layer on a large pan. Drizzle with a bit of water or stock (1-2 drops per 4 slices). Cover with foil. Heat at 300F for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

9)      Should we put broth or stock in the bottom of the roasting pan?

Sometimes from pork loin, you don’t get a lot of drippings (juices that drip out of the roast as it cooks). Instead, what sometimes happens is you get just a little bit of drippings and those drippings hit the hot roasting pan and then they can burn onto there. If you were later going to deglaze that pan to make gravy, there would be a bitter burned flavor from the drippings. A little bit of broth or stock in the pan gives the drippings somewhere safe to fall. They’ll drip into the broth/stock and then won’t burn. The flavor that broth gives makes it better as juices for gravy later. Also, as the broth evaporates, it leaves some brownings on the sides of the roasting pan. Make sure you either scrape those into your gravy juices, or pour more broth in to dissolve that flavor. So, if you’re making gravy, then put some broth or stock in the bottom of your roasting pan. Half an inch will do. If you’re not making gravy, then it doesn’t matter.

10)   The cooking times for the pork roast seem to decrease as the roast gets bigger (20-25 minutes for a 3-5 pound roast, but only 8-11 minutes per pound for an 8-10 pound roast, according to the Pork Board What’s going on here?

I think this is because pork loin roasts are cylindrical. They’re essentially the same thickness no matter how much they weigh. The differences in weight come from how long the roast is. An 8-pound pork loin roast will be the same circumference as a 4-pound roast but it will be twice as long. Cooking times for roasts are calculated to figure out how long it takes the heat to penetrate from the outside to the inside. Thus, it’s not going to take that much longer for the heat to get to the middle of the 8-pounder than the 4-pounder since they have the same distance from the side edges to the middle.

11)   If you’re roasting 2 or more pork loin roasts in the same pan, how do you calculate their cooking time?

Treat the two roasts as though they are separate things in the oven, even if they’re on the same pan. That is, calculate the cooking time for each one separately, and then do not add those times together. So, if one roast is 3 pounds, it will cook for 60-75 minutes. If the other is 4 pounds, it will cook for 80-95 minutes. Do not add those times together. Instead, what you’ve learned is that the roasts are going to be in the oven together for 60-95 minutes. You’ll check the smaller roast at around 60 minutes, and check on the larger one at around 80 minutes. When one reaches the desired temperature, take it out and let it start resting. It’s fine if one rests for longer than the other. Then they can both go back in at the same time for the high heat final sear.

12)   Why isn’t the roast covered while it’s in the oven?

When you cover a roast with foil or a lid, you are essentially wet-roasting it. That’s like braising. The meat steams. That’s great for some cuts of meat, especially pot roasts. However, if you want a nice browned and crunchy crust on your roast, you can’t cover it. It shouldn’t burn though. If you notice any over-browning, you can cover it with foil. Just make sure that you do not then cover it for the final blast in high heat. For the above recipe, the roast is NEVER covered when it is in the oven. It is only covered during the resting time in between its two visits to the oven.

Here are the printable instructions for roasting pork loin:

Print
How to roast pork loin

Roast Pork Loin


  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Description

A delicious method for roasting pork loin that is juicy in the middle and brown and crusty on the outside.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 35lb. pork loin roast
  • 3 ribs celery (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix together black pepper, garlic powder and salt. Rub it all over pork.
  3. Put the roast on a rack in a roasting pan. If you don’t have a rack use 3 stalks of celery lying side by side.
  4. Roast until internal temperature is between 145-160°F, 20-25 minutes per pound. 145°F is considered safe for pork according to the USDA. It will be moist and slightly pink in the center. If you prefer your pork fully white and well done, then go with the 160°F temperature.
  5. Cover roasting pan with foil and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Heat oven to 475°F. Uncover roast and remove the thermometer. Put roast into a clean pan and roast for another 10 minutes.
  7. Carve and serve immediately.

This post was published in September 2017 and was updated in October 2019.

 

A delicious method for roasting pork loin that is juicy in the middle and brown and crusty on the outside.

133 Responses to “How To Roast Pork Loin Perfectly”

  1. Williams — October 9, 2019 @ 11:45 pm (#)

    I love to cook and I am always looking for new recipes for my daily menu, which is interesting for my work. Today’s my lucky day, ROAST PORK LOIN PERFECTLY is awesome, just follow the instructions and everything is easy, I like it. Thanks for your sharing

    • Christine Pittman — October 10, 2019 @ 5:22 pm (#)

      That’s wonderful, Williams! Thanks for visiting!

  2. Durrhurr Dave — August 8, 2019 @ 11:34 am (#)

    THIS is how it’s done. Perfect! And for the record I also took mine out at 135 degrees. Life is no fun without risks.

    • Christine Pittman — August 21, 2019 @ 10:54 am (#)

      Haha, great! Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  3. steak grills — July 17, 2019 @ 7:26 am (#)

    Interesting and useful tips. I make roasted pork sometime, so I will apply your recipe next time I make this. Many thanks

  4. rook brand tee — June 7, 2019 @ 4:05 am (#)

    Roasted pork is perfect for weekend meal. We also can have this with some roasted vegies that’s totally great. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Victoria Wright — April 22, 2019 @ 5:50 pm (#)

    Can you add potatoes and carrots to this roast and if so, how should that be done?

    • Christine Pittman — May 8, 2019 @ 9:14 am (#)

      Yes. Use a large roasting pan so that there’s space. In a large bowl toss together cut up potatoes and carrots (you want them all in about 1/2 inch pieces) with enough olive oil to lightly coat them, and some salt and pepper. For the last 45 minutes that the roast is in the oven at 350F, scatter the potatoes and carrots around the roast. They should be in a single layer, not piled on top of each other. Take them out when you take the roast out to rest. Keep the veggies warm or let them rest and then return them to the hot oven with the roast for that last blast of heat.

  6. habitat — April 16, 2019 @ 2:54 am (#)

    Great! They look so good. I shared it with my friends and made an appointment for them to do them this weekend, they like it and I’m really happy. thanks for your great sharing.

  7. Daily4ever — April 13, 2019 @ 2:01 am (#)

    After long time read such a wonderful post , this is really different and unique for me i like to say thanks to author keep it up.

  8. eatfrysmith — April 1, 2019 @ 4:46 am (#)

    What purpose do you add celery for? Do you have to create a fragrance?

    • Christine Pittman — April 10, 2019 @ 10:28 am (#)

      The celery is there to act as a rack for under the roast. You could use carrots instead. Or you could use a stainless steel rack that is suitable for high-temperature cooking, like this https://amzn.to/2UbKf9a

  9. Julia Dunn — March 31, 2019 @ 1:51 pm (#)

    Baking string? I see the pics. have baking string wrapped several places on the meat……but nothing is mentioned as needed? Does it need that and if so why isn’t it mentioned?

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

      Julia, My roast came tied that way from the grocery store. You could ask your butcher to tie it if it isn’t already. Often for loin roasts though, they’re of an even thickness already and don’t need tying. Sorry for any confusion.

  10. Beth — February 3, 2019 @ 8:44 pm (#)

    My husband bought a pork loin roast, and I had never made one. This recipe was spot on! The roast was beautiful, moist, and tasty! Thanks for the new pork guidelines – 160 would have been over done, but 145 was perfect! Thanks!

    • Christine Pittman — February 19, 2019 @ 12:45 pm (#)

      You’re welcome, Beth. Thanks for letting me know. I’m really glad you liked it!

  11. ken coleman — January 3, 2019 @ 11:00 am (#)

    ASKED A QUESTION THREE DAYS AGO.WILL I RECEIVE AN ANSWER? KEN

  12. Shani — January 2, 2019 @ 1:23 pm (#)

    Hi, thanks for the recipe. I made it previously and it was a hit. I want to try it again with a larger roast, 7.8lbs. And i’m trying to figure out approx cooking time. The link you posted for times gives 8 to 10 lbs 8 to 11 minutes per. But that means about 1.5 hours. Which is the same range as a 4 pounder at 20 to 25 min per pound. Am i way off in the timing?
    Thanks

    • Christine Pittman — January 2, 2019 @ 2:50 pm (#)

      Shani, I’ve had several questions like this before. I think the issue is that that pork loin roasts are all cylindrical with the 8lb. one being quite a bit longer, but no thicker, than the 4 lb. one. So the time it takes for the heat to penetrate from the outside in along the length is close to the same whether the roast is 4 lbs. or 8lbs. Having said that, I’ve never cooked an 8lb. loin so I actually don’t know. That’s just my best guess as to why the timing works out that way. I’m going to make one soon so I can report back for sure but I hope that helps in the meantime.

  13. ken coleman — January 2, 2019 @ 12:07 pm (#)

    christine, i am ready to try your easy recipe. however, i have a pork loin roast weighing 4.6 pounds. i prefer to roast the full loin but will not be able to serve the loin at one time. i would like to freeze about half of the cooked loin and re heat at a later date. what would be the best method for accomplishing this freezing without ruining the half that is to be frozen. should the half be sliced before freezing? freeze in broth ?? OR is it better to only roast one half and freeze the remaining half for subsequent roasting at a later date.? thanks, ken

  14. Sherry — January 1, 2019 @ 8:49 am (#)

    Hello and Happy Blessed New Year to you and yours!
    Would it be alright to roast my pork loin w sourkraut?
    Or better to not and cook it separate.
    Thank you, sherry
    Also I have a meat thermomoter but always shy from roasting with it into the pork, how would I use it and where in the loin and when ? Thank you again🙂

  15. Dave Reed — December 31, 2018 @ 11:07 am (#)

    Hello,
    Have you tried your recipe in a Convection Oven? I would think it would do well, but thought I’d ask. I’d like to try it this evening.
    Thanks for any advice.
    Happy New Year!
    CDR

    • Christine Pittman — January 1, 2019 @ 1:14 pm (#)

      Dave, I haven’t tried it but I just got an air fryer, which is essentially a convection oven, and I want to try a small loin in there soon. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  16. Joyce — December 27, 2018 @ 4:47 pm (#)

    Can you cook a pork loin roast in an air fryer oven

  17. Kiki — December 25, 2018 @ 9:33 pm (#)

    Made this for Christmas dinner.  Added some Herbs de Provence to the rub.  Cooked beautifully.  Very moist.  Served with a Port wine cherry sauce.  Comments around the table were the best pork loin ever had.  

    • Christine Pittman — December 27, 2018 @ 9:48 am (#)

      Kiki, That’s really amazing to hear. I’m so happy that you all liked it so much. And oh my! The Herbs de Provence and Port wine cherry sauce sound outstanding!

  18. Sanchez — December 21, 2018 @ 2:21 am (#)

    I love roast pork! It looks perfectly taste

  19. Carleen — December 18, 2018 @ 6:18 pm (#)

    I have been reading thru the instructions and comments but am still nervous about roasting my 8.lbs 12 oz roast. The butcher tied two big loin pieces together so it looks like a single roast. I am still unclear as to how long to roast per pound. 11 or 20 minutes?
    My plan is to add hard cider to the pan and baste, adding halved apples and potatoes as well. Will this work?

    Thanks

    • Christine Pittman — December 19, 2018 @ 9:00 pm (#)

      Carleen, Your question is really interesting. The reason that I think the time difference exists for a half loin versus a full one is that they both have the same thickness, one is just longer than the other. So the heat penetrates from the sides in an equal way for both so you need less time per pound for the longer one than the shorter one. However, yours have been tied together making them doubly as thick, but as short as the short one. I’ve never roasted one like this and really want to tell you to call your butcher and ask for advice. If you can’t do that, I’d say it needs the longer amount per pound…20 minutes per pound using the weight of the entire thing. The cider, potatoes and apples will work! Add half of the cider to the pan at the beginning then add the other half a third of the way through then the potatoes and apples two thirds of the way through. Use a large roasting pan so everything is well spread out. A bit of olive oil or butter on the apples and potatoes wouldn’t hurt! Good luck!

  20. Robert Derby — December 18, 2018 @ 6:41 am (#)

    Wow! It looks so nice. I’ll try it at night.

  21. carla — December 11, 2018 @ 7:04 am (#)

    Hi Christine,

    The reviews are amazing. I too have never been able to successfully roast pork without drying it out. The last time I tried roasting a center cut rib roast (not made into a crown), I used a roasting bag which rendered it moist and juicy but not browned. My question is can I use your method for a bone in center cut rib roast
    and if so would the timing per pound remain the same. Do you recommend using a roasting bag and them browning at the end as in your recipe or should I just follow your recipe for the boneless loin roast. I look forward to your response. Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season.

  22. Diane — December 4, 2018 @ 5:20 pm (#)

    I will be roasting an 11 lb pork loin for Christmas. Would I roast at 10 minutes per lb or 20 minutes per lb? I am serving 10 adults and 2 – picky eaters. Is this too much meat?

    • Christine Pittman — December 11, 2018 @ 3:54 pm (#)

      According to the pork board, a big loin like that would be 8-11 minutes per pound. So that’s between 88-121 minutes for you, which is a large difference, making it hard to time the meal and have everything ready at the same time. I’d say aim for the 121 minute point when timing your other dishes and for letting your guests know what time dinner will be served. Then if you have to take the roast out earlier, it just gets extra resting time. If you follow my method for cooking roast above, after it rests, it goes back in a hot oven for a bit which will reheat it a little. Having nice, hot gravy also helps! As to the amount, it depends a bit on what the side dishes are and the appetites of your guest, but 1/2-3/4 pounds of meat per person is a good guide (weight is measured prior to cooking), so you should have lots. I don’t think I would do less though. Those leftovers will be fantastic!

  23. Paul — December 1, 2018 @ 1:25 pm (#)

    I have a pork loin in the fridge for tonight. I’ve read your instructions and have a question: Do you allow your pork loan to come to room temp before roasting?

    • Christine Pittman — December 4, 2018 @ 9:29 am (#)

      Sharon, I actually don’t, or not intentionally. I pull the roast out when I preheat the oven. Then I season it and get the rack ready, etc.. So it’s out of the fridge for a little while before cooking.

  24. Sharon — December 1, 2018 @ 9:59 am (#)

    I made this last night and it was FABULOUS! My husband is not typically a fan of pork but I like to make it once in a while for a nice change. The tenderloin was flavorful and moist and tender. Definitely now my go-to pork recipe!

    • Christine Pittman — December 4, 2018 @ 9:30 am (#)

      Sharon, Thanks for the comment. I’m delighted that you guys liked it so much. Quick question, did you use a pork tenderloin or a pork loin? Thanks!

  25. Mike — November 26, 2018 @ 11:01 pm (#)

    BTW…your genius approach and the results prompted me to write my very first review of a recipe ever on line…

    • Christine Pittman — November 28, 2018 @ 8:37 am (#)

      Mike, That’s high praise indeed. Thank you!

  26. Mike — November 26, 2018 @ 10:51 pm (#)

    I have ruined many cuts of meat by “browning” first…stumbled on your recipe and glad I did…tyvm…my pork loin was mouth watering delishious…the tenderness was like filet mignon…getting my people to agree with new guidelines is proving to be problematic…so maybe the solution is to cut loin in half then leave their half continue to overlook lol while my half is resting…any better ideas? Thanks Again and I look forward to trying your other recipes…

    • Christine Pittman — November 28, 2018 @ 8:39 am (#)

      Mike, yes, I know. The new guidelines are hard for some people. Your cutting in half idea could certainly work. Or put their slices in the microwave with a bit of stock, covered in plastic. I’m pretty sure the steaming would make for moister fully-cooked meat than continuing to dry it in the oven, although I doubt anyone would like this idea much!

  27. Winston Helgesen — November 24, 2018 @ 10:54 am (#)

    Hi Christine, in cooking the pork loin, do I skip adding the chicken stock unlike with the butt or shoulder? 

    • Christine Pittman — November 28, 2018 @ 8:58 am (#)

      Winston, either way is fine. It won’t make much of a difference. However, if you want to make gravy, then do use some stock. You don’t tend to get much in the way of drippings from a pork loin and what you do get can easily burn on the bottom of the pan. The stock will stretch your drippings a bit and prevent then from burning.

  28. Colleen — November 21, 2018 @ 7:03 am (#)

    Hi Christine, Thanks for the roasting directions for a pork loin. Can you clarify the cook time per pound please? I have a 10 lb loin. At 25 min per pound that will be around 4.5 hour. The link to the National Pork Board says 8-10 mins per pound? What am I missing here? 4.5 hours or 1.5 hours. Just trying to plan the cooking day. Thanks.

    Also, if I brine the loin for a day, will that effect the cook time or the approach to this recipe?

    • Christine Pittman — November 21, 2018 @ 8:48 am (#)

      Colleen, I see the issue. My instructions are for a 3-5 pound roast and the times I give are the same as the pork board for a roast of that size (20-25 minutes per pound). The pork board also lists a different set of times for a whole 8-10 pound loin, and that’s where it says 8-10 minutes. I have never cooked a whole loin like that so my advice would be to go with the pork board. And no, brining shouldn’t affect the cooking time. do check your roast with an instant read thermometer regularly though. The times are all approximate. The important thing is to get it to the right temperature. You don’t want it undercooked, nor do you want it overcooked and dry. Good luck!

  29. KarenB — November 19, 2018 @ 8:36 pm (#)

    I have a huge pork loin from Costo and I will cut it down to 2.5 to 3 lbs. Now, can I use this recipe if I smother it with whole grain mustard, garlic, and then wrap in peppered bacon?

    • Christine Pittman — November 20, 2018 @ 2:41 pm (#)

      Karen, the general method should work on your mustard, garlic and bacon covered roast, although I have never tried it. My concern is that the bacon might burn in the last stage of cooking. Keep your eye on it and you should be fine!

  30. Fearless Rick — November 13, 2018 @ 7:50 pm (#)

    I’m a pretty good cook, but this was my first roast pork. Followed your simple instructions, and DEEEE-LISH. Also, thanks for the tips on making gravy. Great recipe, awesome result. Thank you!

    • Christine Pittman — November 14, 2018 @ 11:20 am (#)

      Rick, You’re welcome! So happy it all turned out for you. Thanks for letting me know!

  31. Not even close. — October 30, 2018 @ 8:37 pm (#)

    I cooked a 1.94 lb piece of pork loin for 50 minutes at 350° and it wasn’t even close. Not even 100° in the center. I don’t understand why people post recipes that they clearly haven’t made themselves. 

    • Christine Pittman — November 14, 2018 @ 11:49 am (#)

      I’m so sorry that this recipe didn’t work for you. I assure you that this recipe has been tested many many times. And the cooking guidelines I’ve given are in complete accordance with the National Pork Board, see here https://www.porkcdn.com/sites/porkbeinspired/library/2014/06/2924.pdf. Note that I did not give any guidelines for a roast smaller than 3 pounds (yours was under 2 pounds). It could be that smaller roasts have a minimum amount of time, or there could be other issues, such as oven temperature calibration. I keep an oven thermometer in my oven to make sure that the temperatures I specify are accurate.

  32. Mary Lou — October 29, 2018 @ 7:15 pm (#)

    Hi

    With regards to the pork loin,

    I’m always confused as to whether one should use a roasting lid on top of your roaster or leave it open.

    It seems, Christine, that your recipe does not use a lid. Wouldn’t the roast burn?
    You did state to cover the roast with foil when the temp. is raised higher for 10 min. Kindly clarify.

    • Christine Pittman — November 14, 2018 @ 11:52 am (#)

      Mary Lou, When you cover a roast with foil or a lid, you are essentially wet-roasting it. That’s like braising. The meat steams. That’s great for some cuts of meat, especially pot roasts. However, if you want a nice browned and crunchy crust on your roast, you can’t cover it. It shouldn’t burn though. If you notice any over-browning, you can cover it with foil. Just make sure that you do not then cover it for the final blast in high heat. For the above recipe, the roast is NEVER covered when it is in the oven. It is only covered during the resting time in between it’s two visits to the oven. I hope that helps!

  33. April — October 27, 2018 @ 7:23 am (#)

    Simply great. This was the best, most juicy, roast I have ever made. Thank you!

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 11:52 am (#)

      April, you’re welcome! Thank you for letting me know!

  34. Sherry — October 25, 2018 @ 11:35 am (#)

    I like pork roasts with sauerkraut, is it ok to do it with a pork loin roast?

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 11:58 am (#)

      Yes! I’ve never tried this but I bet you could put the sauerkraut in the bottom of the roasting pan under the roast. Stir occasionally. Don’t use much or any broth.

  35. Hannahrose Jordan — October 15, 2018 @ 4:32 pm (#)

    i currently have my loin in the oven. did this recently with the pork shoulder and i kid you not, one of the best meals we’ve ever eaten. i made gravy with the drippings and also used the drippings in mashed potatoes. today i used carrots instead of celery for my ‘rack’. it is frigid today with the start of fall and will be a perfect meal. thank you for the amazing recipes!

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 12:02 pm (#)

      I’m so happy that you like it. Thanks for letting me know!

  36. Paige — October 6, 2018 @ 11:09 pm (#)

    I want to do this with boneless sirloin pork chops. I was thinking I would roast them for 2 hours at 275 degrees. What are your thoughts about this Christine?

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 12:20 pm (#)

      Paige, you know what, I’ve never roasted pork chops like that before. I’m not at all sure. I usually do chops on the stove or grill. Here’s my preferred pork chop method https://cookthestory.com/cook-pork-chops/

  37. Sue S — October 3, 2018 @ 10:39 am (#)

    This was great, although it took longer than the 20-25 min./lb to get to 136. :-( I even had my roast out on the counter for about 45 min before sticking it in the oven. I roasted it with leeks and apples and then made a gravy with white wine, chicken broth, butter, flour, a bit of Dijon mustard and some heavy cream. Absolutely delish with wonderful “autumnal” flavors. My two chefs – cooking school grads- even loved it. Thanks for a great way to keep those pork loins so moist and delish. Mine temped at about 148 degrees just as I cut it. 

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 12:26 pm (#)

      Sue, I wonder why they timing was off for you especially if you started with the roast at room temperature as you said. I’m perplexed, but I’m glad you liked the dish in the end. Thanks for letting me know!

  38. Amanda Wilson — October 2, 2018 @ 12:38 pm (#)

    Do you put a liquid in the pan as well?

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 12:26 pm (#)

      No, I don’t for this one. But you could. It would give you nice drippings for making gravy.

  39. Sam Scott — September 23, 2018 @ 2:43 pm (#)

    Hi Christine!

    It’s been a long time! I was searching how to roast a pork loin and look what popped up as the second hit! OK, I’ll try it your way :-)

    Sam.

    P.S. Anne says hi!

    • Christine Pittman — October 29, 2018 @ 12:42 pm (#)

      Awww Hey Scott! Nice to hear from you. I hope the roast turned out well. And I hope you guys are doing great! Hugs to you both!!

  40. Diane — September 13, 2018 @ 9:04 pm (#)

    Christine,
    I read a lot of online recipes and your recipes and comments are the most well-written, well-considered and intelligent ones I’ve seen. No bad advice or flippant remarks-I like that.
    Anyway, I use your method for pork loin with one exception: I brine mine in a mixture of apple cider/juice and kosher salt, sometimes with herbs or spices thrown in. A couple of days will do it. The sugars can cause a little burning in the pan but the flavor and tenderness makes it worthwhile. When pork loin goes on sale at the holidays I buy a few whole ones, cut them into 2-3 pound roasts and freeze them in bags in the brine. A day or so to thaw in the fridge and a day or two to brine and they’re ready to roast. I agree with removing at 130-135. by the time it rests and has a final sear, the temp is perfect for us but we tend to like rare.
    Last thing-I’ve done the whole loin with pretty much the same timing. The ends are more done but I don’t serve them with the main meal (cut it up and mix with stir-fried veg and sauce the next day). Freeze slices in broth, thaw and reheat with broth in a small covered dish at 200 or less or over a very low flame faux sous vide style.

    • Christine Pittman — September 21, 2018 @ 3:10 pm (#)

      Diane, Thank you so very much for your kind words. I work hard on my sites and it’s really nice when somebody notices. I appreciate that more than you know.

      And thanks for the tips! I don’t usually brine things but have started doing it more. I’m going to try the cider bring on a pork loin soon. :-)

  41. Barb — September 9, 2018 @ 9:09 pm (#)

    Wow!!! I have never been able to make a good pork loin roast until now! Mine always came out dry and tough. This recipe was the first time that I was able to make a tender and juicy pork roast! My loin was a little over 3lbs, but it was a little skinnier, and longer – it hit 145 degrees in a about 50 minutes. I used applewood smoked pepper instead of regular pepper, added some sage and a bit more salt. I may add more spices next time I make it, but we are so happy without this turned out – I’ll never make pork loin another way now! Thank you!!

    • Christine Pittman — September 10, 2018 @ 9:03 am (#)

      Barb, This is wonderful news. So happy you liked it. Thanks for letting us know!

  42. Barb — September 6, 2018 @ 10:32 pm (#)

    This is amazing!  I’m sorry pictures weren’t taken as it was eaten so fast😉

  43. Susan — September 3, 2018 @ 1:31 pm (#)

    Does it have to be tied?

    • Christine Pittman — September 10, 2018 @ 9:08 am (#)

      Susan, No, only if it has an awkward uneven shape.

  44. Joanna C Stone — September 2, 2018 @ 5:08 pm (#)

    I have never cooked a pork loin ever in my life. My mother nor my grandmother ever made them so it is not something I was ever taught how to cook. I was given a 5 lb. Pork loin the other day so I went searching for the best and easy way to prepare one when I came accross this recipe. I prepared it exactly per the instructions (even using the celery stalks as a rack) and made a pot of red beans and homemade macaroni and cheese to go with it. It turned out perfectly! My husband and I loved it and will continue using this recipe forever! Outstanding! Thank you for posting this and teaching me how to cook a perfect pork loin on my first attempt!

    • Christine Pittman — September 10, 2018 @ 9:12 am (#)

      Joanna, You’re welcome! I’m so happy your first attempt with a pork loin was so successful. Thanks for letting me know!

  45. Gail — August 23, 2018 @ 4:20 pm (#)

    Last comment was too long. Cutting to the chase, I used the convection roast setting, temp 350, position, center to upper third.
    Followed all the other instructions exactly. The 2.5 lb roast sat on the counter for 30 minutes before going into the hot oven on a rack above foil lined pan. Drippings did NOT burn! Made the gravy with some white wine and low salt vegetable bouillon. Will use this recipe in the future and will roast my Thanksgiving turkey using this basic technique. Thank you so much Christine!

    • Christine Pittman — September 10, 2018 @ 9:30 am (#)

      Gail, Thank you for the compliments and for the information about roasting pork in a convection oven. I’m sure many readers will find this very helpful. I’m really happy that it turned out so well for you. Thanks for letting me know!

  46. Gail — August 23, 2018 @ 2:20 pm (#)

    This is a follow up post to the one I wrote yesterday about using a convection oven when roasting pork. First of all, let me say that without doubt, this was the most delicious, juicy, and flavorful roast pork loin I have ever made, and I have many this dinner hundreds of times over the years. In the past, I always followed the high heat method (400 degrees) for the first 10 minutes and then finished up at 350 degrees. Invariably, the roast was dry, tough, and burned on the outside. In contrast, this roast was moist, tender, crispy but not burned on the outside, and bursting with flavor.

  47. Gail — August 22, 2018 @ 9:34 pm (#)

    I have a convection oven. I notice that you placed your roast in the bottom third of a conventional oven. I decided to try putting my roast in the top third of a convection oven. I will let you know how it comes out. But I wondered if you had any advice for cooking a roast in a convection oven. Thank you!

  48. Sam — August 18, 2018 @ 12:58 am (#)

    CHRISTINE,
    I have tried many times and many different approaches for good pork loin without great success. Adequate yes, great no.

    I can not thank you enough, I followed your instructions and your mothers, it was magnificent! I can not imagine how it could be any better! I am so glad that I found you today.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you,
    Sam

    • Christine Pittman — September 10, 2018 @ 9:37 am (#)

      Awww Sam…thank you so much. That means a lot to me. I’m so happy you liked it!

  49. Mary DeVries — August 8, 2018 @ 4:52 pm (#)

    Referring to your comment to Bill Mack, I have 16 lbs. of pork loin I want to prepare for an anniversary party. Are you saying not to roast this in one oven all together. I had hoped to put 4 loins in 2 aluminum pans in the oven at the same time but need to know at what temp and how long.

    • Christine Pittman — September 10, 2018 @ 9:43 am (#)

      Mary, You can roast them all in the same oven at the same time. Just make sure that there is some space around each one so that the hot air circulates evenly. Cook using the temperatures given in the recipe. The time should be the time needed for each individual roast. So if you have four 3lb roasts, you roast them for the amount of time you would for ONE 3 lb. roast. Going with the times of 20 minutes per pound, this would be about 60 minutes. You don’t add extra time because you have extra roasts. Each individual roast will cook in the same amount of time that it would if it was alone in the oven. I hope that helps!

  50. Diana — July 21, 2018 @ 2:39 pm (#)

    I would like to try your recipe but don’t have a roasting pan. Can I use a corning where pan instead? Also I only have a 1.66 pound roast. Any changes I should make. Thank you, Diana

    • Christine Pittman — September 10, 2018 @ 9:55 am (#)

      Diana, The corning ware will work. As to cooking times, you’ll just have a shorter time. The post gives times per pound. You’re looking at about 40 minutes, I should think.

  51. Linda — July 16, 2018 @ 8:56 pm (#)

    Made this for dinner tonight. My husband and my Mom who is 102 yrs old said this is the best pork loin they have ever had. I must agree.  I made it exactly as written and it is delicious!  Served it with roasted vegetables and homemade chunky applesauce.  This will be my go to recipe for pork loin. Thank you!

    • Christine Pittman — September 10, 2018 @ 9:58 am (#)

      Wow! That’s an amazing compliment. Thank you so very much for letting me know!

  52. Ella — July 14, 2018 @ 7:29 pm (#)

    I just have to say that the pork loin recipe is spot on! It came out perfect. So juicy. Will be my go to pork recipe for now on! Thanks so much!

    • Christine Pittman — July 16, 2018 @ 2:01 pm (#)

      Ella, Yay! I’m so happy it turned out for you. Thanks for letting me know!

  53. Natalie Senko — June 28, 2018 @ 6:56 am (#)

    Love the celery trick! To cut down on oven time, I grilled it for 15 min on two of the sides. Delicious grilled flavor. Overall the best recipe to date! Thank you!

    • Christine Pittman — June 29, 2018 @ 2:37 pm (#)

      Natalie, Great speed-up tip. Thanks!

  54. Tudie — June 26, 2018 @ 8:32 pm (#)

    We cooked for our guests a 5 lb pork loin.. thermo registered 160 degrees when we removed from oven & before we let it rest covered for 30 minutes.. was dry and not tender at all.. very disappointed.. thank goodness we had gravy.. should we have taken the pork loin out at 145 degrees????

    • Christine Pittman — June 29, 2018 @ 2:43 pm (#)

      Tudie,
      Yes. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in the post. 160F is what used to be recommended for pork and so a lot of people really prefer to continue to cook it to this temperature. However, the result is dry pork. Since it is now believed to be safe to have pork at 135F, taking it out between 134-145 is best. This will be nice and juicy. The only caveat is that some people find pinkish pork off-putting because of the advice from the past. Those people probably still need to cook it to 150-160F. I’m going to go edit the post with this info so that it’s clearer for people. Thanks for the comment!

  55. Keith — June 10, 2018 @ 2:50 pm (#)

    Loved the look of your oven in the photo above Step #6. You are a true cook, not one of those TV fake ones! Looking forward to trying many of your recipes. Great site and thanks for the Prime Rib link.

  56. Vicky — May 28, 2018 @ 1:56 pm (#)

    Got my pork loin cooking in the oven as I type out this text. My husband loves a good roast and he picke up the pork loin because it was on sale. Thank you for clear directions. I need to print this out for myself, along with the directions for a pork tenderloin. You never know what cut of meat is going to be on sale!

    • Christine Pittman — May 30, 2018 @ 11:37 am (#)

      Happy to be of help, Vicky. Enjoy!

  57. John — May 19, 2018 @ 6:13 pm (#)

    Just made this today followed exactly what you said and I’m glad I did! Very nice article I love how you include the reasoning of why you do things the way you do and include sources of further information. I was certainly impressed!

    • Christine Pittman — May 22, 2018 @ 2:27 pm (#)

      John, Thank you so much. Your comment and knowing that you noticed the care I put into my explanations means a lot to me.

  58. Kim — May 19, 2018 @ 4:31 am (#)

    OMG… dying. This looks incredible!!! I may make (or request) this for the weekend.

  59. Kevin — May 13, 2018 @ 1:27 pm (#)

    Just made this today, my missus described it as “awesome”. Says it all really. Thank you for this method, easy when someone else has done all the hard work. I put all my veg in with the loin, including celery and fried some onion separately with the juices. 
    Thanks again. 

    • Christine Pittman — May 22, 2018 @ 2:31 pm (#)

      You’re welcome, Kevin. Thanks for letting me know you liked it!

  60. Michelle Allain — May 13, 2018 @ 9:42 am (#)

    I making this today on Mother’s Day, looks and smells amazing! Thank you!

  61. Thelma Hoogland — May 10, 2018 @ 11:01 am (#)

    Is there any way to prevent the oven from getting all grease spattered during the final 475 degree browning?

  62. Bill Mack — May 6, 2018 @ 9:41 am (#)

    How do you estimate and adjust the cooking time for a larger amount, say 15 lbs in a single roasting pan? Surely not still 20-25 minutes per lb.?

    • Christine Pittman — May 7, 2018 @ 4:14 pm (#)

      Bill, Is this more than one loin in the same pan? If so, make sure that the pieces are not touching and then cook them for the appropriate time for each individual piece. If you have one very large loin, then you’re right, you wouldn’t want to cook it for 20 minutes per pound. This would work for a more spherically shaped roast (like a pork butt or shoulder, or a chicken, for instance) but pork loin is cylindrical. With a spherical roast, the heat is coming from all sides towards the middle equally. With a cylindrical roast, the heat is coming from the sides evenly but the ends are targeted more. My best advice would be to take a large cylindrical roast and cut it into 3-5 pound pieces and then cook them as instructed. By doing this, you run less of a risk of the ends becoming too dry while the middle is rarer. Basically, you’re making the distance from the end to the middle closer to the distance from the side to the middle. Not exactly, but much closer than if the roast is really long. I hope that helps. Thanks for a great question.

  63. Adam Schmidlechner — April 24, 2018 @ 5:01 am (#)

    Hi,
    Absolutely amazing, my family loved it.
    Does the above method work with lamb

    • Christine Pittman — April 27, 2018 @ 12:56 pm (#)

      Adam, I haven’t tried it. I think it would work. But with lamb you wouldn’t cook it to such a high temperature. You’d cook it at 300F until it reaches whatever temperature you like for lamb (rare, medium rare, medium, etc.). Then take it out and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then put it into a very hot oven (500F) for 15 minutes to brown and crisp on the outside.

  64. Joscelyn — April 12, 2018 @ 10:14 am (#)

    With such great reviews, I’m going to try this receipt out tonight with with my family!! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  65. Tricia Strahan — April 8, 2018 @ 11:57 am (#)

    In the photos the roast is tied but that’s not in the directions. Would you please add instructions for tying? Thanks.

    • Christine Pittman — April 12, 2018 @ 1:31 pm (#)

      Tricia, The roast came from the grocery store like that. This video shows how though.

  66. Patricia Roberts — March 30, 2018 @ 12:23 pm (#)

    Can you add a little olive oil all over to coat before cooking. This adds oil but also tenderizes. I do this with pork chops in the oven. It works.

    • Christine Pittman — March 30, 2018 @ 1:47 pm (#)

      Patricia, You can add it. I’m not sure if it will do much but worth a try. It won’t hurt anything for sure!

  67. Ruth A Reuter — March 27, 2018 @ 6:41 pm (#)

    Love this recipe! Have made it twice in the last few weeks!

    • Christine Pittman — March 28, 2018 @ 9:56 am (#)

      That’s fantastic, Ruth! So happy you like it!

  68. Dan Clark — March 26, 2018 @ 12:23 am (#)

    Made this for my husband and a guest last night, It was absolutely perfect!
    will be following more of your recipes.
    I also made some easy home made apple sauce to go with this, and some Smashed Roast Potatoes and broccolini.

    IT WAS DIVINE~!!!!

    • Christine Pittman — March 26, 2018 @ 1:49 pm (#)

      Dan, That sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  69. Janice Ainsley — March 25, 2018 @ 5:33 pm (#)

    Absolutely wonderful. Have been looking for a good pork loin recipe and this is it!

    • Christine Pittman — March 26, 2018 @ 1:49 pm (#)

      Janice, Thank you! I’m so happy you liked it!

  70. Jaquie — February 24, 2018 @ 7:43 pm (#)

    Do you cover while baking ?

  71. Sheldon — January 16, 2018 @ 7:16 pm (#)

    Re:  John Martin or anyone cooking a day ahead and reheating. I have cooked and served tons of meat both professionally and socially. Cooking roasts be it pork, beef, or fowl the day before service has its pros and cons but to address your question of reheating I have found this. Carve it cold, let it come to room temp, then run it through warmed aujaus or gravy just before service. Absolutely do not put your roast back in the oven to cook unless you want the serve well done dried out meat. 

  72. john martin — January 7, 2018 @ 7:07 pm (#)

    Making this a day ahead as roasting the day of the dinner is not an option. Any special trick to reheating ?

    • Christine Pittman — January 15, 2018 @ 12:34 pm (#)

      Hi John, I answered this question in the comments above and am copying and pasting it here for you…”You can also make this roast a day ahead…roast it and then let it rest and then do the high heat step and then carve it and put it in the fridge, covered, for up to 24 hours. Then put the slices in a single overlapping layer on a baking sheet and add about 1/8 cup of water in drips all over. Cover with foil and heat at 300F until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve. (You won’t have that crispy top but you will still have all the flavor).”

  73. john martin — January 7, 2018 @ 7:04 pm (#)

    Making this the night before, won’t be able to roast it the day of the dinner. Any suggestions on how to reheat it ?

  74. Bev Frey — January 4, 2018 @ 12:19 am (#)

    WOW! Just WOW! I made this for dinner tonight. I’ve never had such good pork roast. Excellent, easy recipe. And I don’t really like to cook – my grocery store had pork loin for $1.89/lb so I got two and was looking for something other than crock pot pulled pork. This was so yummy. Thanks for all the tips!

    • Christine Pittman — January 15, 2018 @ 12:37 pm (#)

      Bev, You’re welcome. I’m really happy you liked it and found the article helpful.

  75. Krista Matheson — November 20, 2017 @ 9:12 pm (#)

    Made this tonight. My husband declared it the best pork loin he’d ever had! It was very good. Moist and flavorful. Thanks!

    • Christine Pittman — December 8, 2017 @ 12:35 pm (#)

      Krista, yay! So happy you guys liked it. Thanks for letting me know :-).

  76. flickr.com — October 5, 2017 @ 11:51 am (#)

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