This pork loin roast served with a thick reduction of pan juices is tender and juicy and will be on your dinner table in less than an hour. There’s also a great tip for making sure it’s cooked perfectly every time!
Pork loin is a lean roast that turns out perfectly in the Instant Pot if you follow a few simple steps, and use my amazing Instant Pot Hack. Basically, you’ll sear the roast on all sides, then pressure cook it for a bit less time than you’d expect to. The roast then comes up to the correct temperature using the Keep Warm function. It’s pretty amazing! You get a perfectly cooked, juicy roast, with amazing pan juices too, all in the Instant Pot.
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One of my most popular recipes is How to Roast Pork Loin Perfectly. The feedback has been so positive that I decided to test a recipe for pork loin roast using the Instant Pot to help you get this delicious roast on your table even quicker. And the good news is that it works! I have to say though, that I prefer pork loin cooked in the air fryer. The Instant Pot gives you slightly juicier meat, but the air fryer gives such a nice crispy brown crust. If I have to choose, I’d do the air fryer.
I really love my Instant Pot – this is the one I use! It will really help you get a delicious roast on your table quicker than ever.
Note that this recipe has been fully retested and updated. I have found a new method for cooking roasts in the Instant Pot that is foolproof and gets perfectly cooked roasts every single time. I can’t wait for you to try it. The method is in the recipe at the bottom, or you can read about it in the sections below. A couple of things to discuss first…
Video: Making Pork Loin In The Instant Pot
Difference Between Pork Loin And Tenderloin?
I think that it is important to mention here, this recipe is for pork loin roast and not a pork tenderloin. Pork loin and pork tenderloin actually come from different parts of the animal and both look and cook differently.
Pork tenderloin is best cooked quickly over a high heat while a pork loin is often slow roasted or grilled. You can learn more about these cuts of meat over at The Kitchn.
I like to season the roast with a simple mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I find it best to mix the seasonings together in a bowl, and then season the roast all over from there. That way, I’m not touching the seasoning jars in between touching the roast, and it gets a more even distribution of the flavors.
Searing the roast in the Instant Pot using the sauté function creates a caramelized exterior – yum! And it leaves behind some tasty bits on the bottom of the pot to flavor the pan juices – double yum! Just make sure you scrape those bits up. Here’s why:
Avoiding The Instant Pot Burn Notice
After searing the roast, some browned bits will be stuck to the bottom of your Instant Pot. This is normal. However, you need to scrape those up before pressure cooking begins.
This is because the browned bits stuck to the bottom get really hot when pressure cooking starts. This heat signals to the unit that something is burning. You can then get a burn notice from the Instant Pot and it will shut itself off.
To prevent this burn notice, after searing the roast, add liquid to the Instant Pot. Let it come to a simmer. This softens and loosens the stuck bits.
Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned stuck bits so that they’re floating in the liquid. From there, you can proceed with the recipe.
Pork Loin Thickness Differences
After I initially tested and posted this recipe, there were a lot of comments. Some people had a roast that turned out perfectly, others had roasts that were overcooked and dry, while others had roasts that were undercooked. This was a mystery to me, and I had to solve it.
After a lot of testing with different pork loins, I hypothesize that the problem is that pork loin roasts come in different shapes. Essentially, some are thicker than others. And, it turns out that in the Instant Pot, this thickness difference matters as much as the weight does. And you can totally see what I mean if you compare the picture of the finished 3 pound roast above, which is long and somewhat narrow, with a flatter, wider, 3 pound roast here:
I toyed with telling you to measure the thickness of your roast before you start cooking it so that we can be sure it’s the same as the ones I’m working with. But that seemed like it was going to be too complicated. I have instead done a lot of testing and have come up with a different solution that just might change how you cook in your Instant Pot more generally!
Cooking Instant Pot Roasts Perfectly: The Important Hack
As mentioned, people have different results when cooking pork loin in their Instant Pot. The solution is to purposely undercook the roast in the pressure cooking stage, and then using the Keep Warm function to bring it up to temperature. We’ll therefore be pressure cooking the roast for a bit less than you might expect. Here are the times I recommend:
- For roasts that are 2-5 pounds, 5 minutes per pound
- For roasts thar are 5-8 pounds, 25 minutes of pressure cooking total.
- For roasts larger than 8 pounds, cut it in half so that each piece is half the width of the original, then pressure cook for 20 minutes total.
After the pressure cooking is finished, do a natural release for 10 minutes. That means that you just leave the Instant Pot alone for 10 minutes after it finishes pressure cooking. Then turn the valve to Venting and let out any remaining steam.
And then, this is where things get interesting! You’re going to take the temperature of your roast using an instant-read-thermometer. Your roast is unlikely to be at the safe temperature of 145F. But we’re going to get it there, and easily.
What you’ll do is put the lid back onto the Instant Pot and seal it. Make sure your Instant Pot has the Keep Warm setting on. Then leave it alone. We’ll be leaving it in there until the roast gets to 145F. If it’s close to there, you’ll only leave it in the Instant Pot for a few more minutes. If it’s further from 145F, you’ll leave it for 5-10 minutes at a time until it gets there. Err on the side of less since it’s actually pretty crazy how quickly it can cook using just the Keep Warm function.
You’re going to be amazed by how quickly the pork comes up to temperature. And you’ll also be amazed by how juicy and delicious this roast is. You get it to exactly the correct temperature and it is neither dry nor undercooked, just perfect!
Safe Pork Roast Temperature Notes
So, I said above that the safe temperature for roast pork is 145F and that that is when you should take it out of the Instant Pot. I have two things to say about that.
First, I actually take mine out at 140F. The reason is that it will rest while I make gravy, and as it rests, the temperature will rise to the safe 145F. I do test it before carving to make sure, but that is a tip for really juicy roast pork loin.
Second, a lot of people grew up eating pork that is more well done than that. When I was younger, the safe temperature for pork was 160F and so all the pork loin that I ate was fully white and a bit drier. That is what I was used to and it took awhile to get used to pork that was a bit less well done.
If you are someone who is used to more well done pork, you’re going to want to go beyond the 145F temperature. You don’t have to go all the way to 160F though. I recommend that you cook the roast exactly as instructed, knowing that you’ll have it on the Keep Warm setting to get it up to temperature. Then, try taking it out when it’s at 150F, and let it rest so that the temperature rises to 155F. That will be a tiny bit lower than what you’re used to, but I don’t think you’ll find it too pink, and you’ll find it nice and juicy. Of course, if you’re not sure, go ahead and take it out at 155F and let it rest to 160F. Cook so it tastes good to you, you know?
What Should I Do With The Pan Juices?
The juices left behind from the cooking process are like liquid gold. After I take the roast out of the pot and remove the trivet, I use the sauté function again to turn pan juices into a delicious, rich sauce to serve over the pork. Let the roast rest on a plate while you do this. Or, you can put the roast under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the outside.
If you want more of a gravy, there are instructions below for turning the pan juices into a quick cornstarch gravy. You can also check out my recipe for Instant Pot Gravy over here or my recipe that you can use without any pan drippings if you want to make the gravy ahead, while the roast is cooking.Print
This pork loin roast served with a thick reduction of pan juices is tender and juicy and perfectly cooked due to an amazing Instant Pot hack!
Note: This recipe was retested and edited in February 2023 due to comments from readers. Some people loved the recipe, others found their roast undercooked, and others found it overcooked. I have done extensive testing and have come up with the new Keep Warm method that guarantees a perfectly cooked roast every time.
Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine:
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 and 1/2 to 5 pound pork loin roast, boneless or bone-in
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 medium onion, cut into 8 wedges
- 1 and 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth or water
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch (optional, to thicken pan sauce)
- Take roast out of the fridge and cut slits in the fat. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Rub pork roast all over with salt mixture.
- Press the Sauté button on the Instant Pot. Add the olive oil and butter. Swirl until it melts and is very hot. Add the seasoned pork fat-side-down and let it cook for 3 minutes without touching it. Flip it over and cook for another 3 minutes. Press Cancel and remove pork from Instant Pot. Set aside on a plate.
- Add the broth to the Instant Pot, scraping any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It’s important to get all of the browned bits unstuck from the bottom.
- Add the onion wedges to the broth, distributing evenly. Put the roast on top, fat-side-up.
- Cover pot, lock on the lid, and set the steam release valve to Sealing. Select the Pressure Cook button and set to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes per pound.*
- When the pressure-cooking cycle has finished, do a 10 minute Natural Release (that is, do nothing). After the 10 minutes, turn the valve to Venting and let any remaining steam escape.
- Check internal temperature of the roast. If it is at 145F or higher, take roast out of Instant Pot. If it is lower, put the lid back on, seal it, set the Instant Pot to Keep Warm, and leave it at Keep Warm for 2-10 minutes at a time, testing the internal temperature at each interval. Remove roast when it reaches 145F.** Let roast rest on a clean plate or cutting board for at least 5 minutes.***
- Select the Sauté button on the Instant Pot. Bring the juices to a boil and reduce by 1/2, stirring occasionally, about 5 – 7 minutes. Taste and season as desired. If you’d like to turn the pan juices into more of a gravy, stir cornstarch into 3 tablespoons of cold water and then stir that into the juices. Bring to a simmer.
- Carve pork into 1/2” slices and serve with pan juices or gravy.
*For roasts that are 2-5 pounds, pressure-cook on high for 5 minutes per pound. For roasts thar are 5-8 pounds, pressure-cook on high for 25 minutes total. For roasts larger than 8 pounds, cut in half so that each piece is half the width of the original, then pressure cook for 20 minutes total.
**If you like your roast more well-done, you’ll be taking it out when it reaches 155F.
***If you want a crispy crust, after you’ve taken the roast out of the Instant Pot you can put the roast on pan under the broiler until it darkens, 5-10 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
I answer a lot of questions in the comment section at the bottom so do read those, but here’s a summary of the most frequently asked questions.
Can I cook 2 pork loins at the same time in my Instant Pot?
Yes! As long as you have enough room, you don’t want the roasts touching. If you have 2 (2 lb.) pork loins, try a 15 minute pressure cook and a 10 minute natural release, then check the internal temperature of both roast and do the Keep Warm hack from above.
Can I cook potatoes with the pork loin?
Sure, you can add potatoes to the broth underneath the trivet if you’d like them to be like boiled potatoes or try adding baby potatoes on top of the roast for more of steamed potatoes.
What do I do if I followed the instructions and my pork still isn’t quite done?
Not to worry. Because there are so many types of Instant Pot (and sizes of pork loin) this may happen while you are figuring out what works for yours. If it’s only slightly under, put the lid back on the IP, seal it, and set the Instant Pot to Keep Warm. Let it rest in there for a few minutes. If it’s rarer, you’ll do that for as long as it takes, checking every 5-10 minutes.
This post originally appeared in June 2018. It was revised and republished in February 2023.