Pork Loin Roast

This pork loin roast calls for boneless pork loin, olive oil, salt, and pepper to be slow-roasted. Four ingredients. Incredibly easy to make. No-fuss. And it makes the one of best pork roasts we’ve ever had.

A pork loin roast, tied and seasoned with salt and pepper, on a foil-lined sheet pan with a wire rack.

This boneless pork loin roast is easy and old-fashioned and just like what your grandma would put on the table for Sunday supper. No marinade. No fuss. Just shove it in the oven for its long, slow cooking time while you tend to something else. Then accept accolades on just how incredibly juicy and go-wobbly-in-the-knees flavorful it is.–Renee Schettler

Pork Loin Roast FAQs

How do I keep pork loin from drying out?

The only trick to making roast pork loin–aside, that is, from being patient during its long, slow spell in the oven—is knowing how to keep the pork loin from drying out. The answer lies in the kind of pork loin that your grandma’s neighborhood butcher had readily available—meaning one with sufficient fat so the roast essentially bastes itself as the fat melts. It can be tricky to source this sorta thing nowadays. You may have to go to a few butcher counters before you find one that has a nice, thick section of white fat attached. Persist. It’s worth the time and effort.

How do I tie a pork loin roast?

If you didn’t grow up watching your grandma do this, it’s essentially just folding or rolling or tucking the various flappy parts of boneless pork loin into a cylinder that’s similarly sized throughout. Then you simply tie and knot it with kitchen string at intervals every few inches. The tying creates structure to help keep all those pesky flappy parts in place. The even size and shape help ensure that the pork cooks evenly.

I don’t often see pork with a fat cap. What can I do?

Oftentimes you can purchase pork fat (not salt pork!) or pork belly at your local butcher. Simply drape a 1/2-inch-thick piece over the pork loin before tying the roast. Or you can do what our tester Helen Doberstein did: Ask the butcher to wrap the pork in skin taken from another piece of pork, In her case, it was from a pork leg. Last, if all else fails, thick-cut bacon will work, too.

Pork Loin Roast

A pork loin roast, tied and seasoned with salt and pepper, on a foil-lined sheet pan with a wire rack.
This pork loin roast calls for boneless pork loin, olive oil, salt, and pepper to be slow roasted. Four ingredients. Incredibly easy to make. No fuss. And it makes the one of best roast pork we’ve ever had.
Johnnie Mountain

Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 15 mins
Total 1 hr 35 mins
Mains
American
4 servings
308 kcal
4.79 / 23 votes
Print RecipeBuy the Pig: A Passion for Pork cookbook

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Equipment

  • Kitchen string

Ingredients 

  • One (2-pound) boneless pork loin roast*, with a generously thick layer of fat and, if possible, with the skin still attached and definitely with a thick layer of fat on the top side tied with string*
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Coarse sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with foil.
  • Pat the pork with paper towels until completely dry. If your pork loin has skin attached, using a sharp knife, score the skin by making deep, long, parallel cuts, 1/8 to 1/4 inch apart, in the fat, being careful not to cut through to the underlying pork.
  • Rub the pork all over with the oil and then sprinkle the top with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  • Place the pork on a wire rack, skin or fat side up, and place the whole shebang on the baking sheet or in the roasting pan. Roast for 25 minutes. (The initial high temperature promotes crisp crackling, which is the skin.)
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and roast until cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes longer, rotating the pan once halfway through to ensure even cooking. The meat should be slightly pink in the middle. If you have a meat thermometer, it should read 145°F (63°C). You may need to adjust the cooking time, depending on the weight of the pork roast. Rest assured, the pork will continue to cook slightly after it's removed from the oven.

    TESTER TIP: A basic guide when cooking a pork roast is to allow 22 minutes per pound for medium done. If you like your pork more well-done, cook it for 27 minutes per pound. 

  • Place the pork roast on a warm platter and let it rest in a warm place for 10 to 20 minutes before carving. Don’t cover the roast as any steam coming from the resting pork will soften the skin, which will have crisped into "cracklings." And you don't want to lose that!

    TESTER TIP: If you're the sort who prefers extra-crisp cracklings, while the pork roast is cooling, remove the entire portion of skin from the pork loin, cover the pork loin with foil, and place the skin on the baking sheet or the roasting pan and either crank the oven to 425°F (220°C) and give the cracklings a quick blast under your broiler while the pork rests.

  • To carve the pork roast, remove the skin, if you haven’t already done so, and cut the crisp pork skin into strips. Carve the pork roast across the grain into slices, arrange them on a platter, and there you go.
Print RecipeBuy the Pig: A Passion for Pork cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 308kcal (15%)Protein: 51g (102%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 143mg (48%)Sodium: 111mg (5%)Potassium: 848mg (24%)Calcium: 11mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

My new favorite recipe for pork loin roast. Although I couldn’t get a roast with the skin still attached, I was able to buy a nice one with lots of fat on the outside. I scored that and roasted it according to the recipe.

Roasting time to reach 140°F (60°C), the internal temperature I’m looking for with pork loin, was 40 minutes after the initial high-temperature roasting phase. [Editor’s Note: Some home cooks and chefs prefer to take the pork out of the oven a little before it reaches 145°F (63°C) as the residual heat from the roast will cause the internal temperature to rise during resting.] And the outcome was fantastic—a nicely browned, crisp exterior that was super juicy inside.

Definitely a keeper.

Easy, simple, delicious. The only fault I can find with this pork loin roast is the relative unavailability of a classic pork roast with skin. Most butchers today don’t have any of the fat or skin left on the pork they bring into their shops. I was unable to find a roast as described in the recipe even after checking with four different butchers. One butcher and I finally arrived at a workable compromise—he took some skin from a leg he had and tied it around a lovely rib end pork loin roast. This was the perfect solution.

I then followed the recipe as written, using salt and pepper as the only seasoning. The end results were well worth the effort and a simple, shining example of everything a pork roast should be. The initial high temperature for 45 minutes does make for a very crisp crackling on top. After it had finished roasting, I removed the cracking and put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp the other side while the roast rested.

If you can get a butcher to cooperate, this roast makes for a perfect weekend meal with simple side dishes so the pork takes center stage.

This roasting method produced a silken and moist result. I roasted a 4-pound boneless pork loin. Alas, my roast was sans skin due to lack of availability. However, the roast was still excellent. The high heat at the beginning created a caramelized crust and the drop in temperature left the center moist. I prefer to pull a pork roast from the oven at about 137°F (58°C) and let the temperature rise to 145°F (63°F) during the rest. And 20 minutes per pound was a good time estimation for planning’s sake.

The thin slices of meat fell like velvet on the cutting board. Adding a few crushed garlic cloves scattered around the roasting pan would add a wonderful fragrance and flavor.

Roasting at a high temperature for a shortened period of time locks in the flavorful juices in the pork, creating a moist, tender piece of meat that you could cut with a fork.

This was very tender and tasty pork.

Finding a pork loin with skin was very difficult. And no one seemed to have it. After determining on the phone that one particular butcher shop had a skin-on pork loin, I made the trip across town. And I spoke to the same young man that I had on the phone, who seemed to remember me. But I got home and discovered that I had a pork loin with a lovely fat cap…but no skin. (I’m barely 5 feet tall and can’t see over any counter anywhere.)

Following the timing given in the recipe, my pork hit 170°F (77°C). The fat crisped nicely, and it all tasted great. I also made a quick gravy from the drippings, some Wondra, and some white wine, and it was nice with the pork loin.

Originally published September 23, 2013

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Comments

  1. I find myself lucky enough to be in possession of a 7.5 lb bone-in, skin-on pork loin roast from a hand-raised, loved-until-slaughter local pig named Cordelia.

    Given the bones, is there anything I need to do differently here?

    1. Christine, lucky you. You should be good to go. The bone will offer up a juicier more tender roast due to all that collagen. I guess all I have left to say is, “Alas, poor, Cordelia, I knew her, Horatio…”

      1. Ha! Indeed. Gladly I think she had a good life.

        I have seen recipes where they put shallots and dry cider into the bottom of the roasting pan, then use that for sauce later. Does the steam from the liquid affect the crispness of the crackling? Would that affect this recipe negatively?

        Thanks so much for all this recipe goodness. I cannot wait to try it out.

        1. Christine, you can add the shallots and cider, sure. It won’t really add much flavor, as all your doing is steaming the meat. But…it can make pan juices. The recipe calls for the roast to be blasted at the end to crisp the skin, so you’ll be fine. Now, young lady, I know you’ll take pictures for dear ole Fatty Daddy, right?

  2. 5 stars
    I bought a tied pork loin roast from a local butcher and was surprised when I unwrapped it to see the skin still on. Having enjoyed skin-on roast pork from my local Chinese BBQ, I cast about online for a recipe and found this one. It works! The long, high-temp initial roast renders lots of fat and gives the skin that bubbly, crispy texture. The liberal salt dose brings out great flavor. Use a thermometer and don’t overcook.

    1. F. Henry, I wish I lived in your neighborhood and had access to your butcher! Thrilled to hear that you found skin-on pork and that you appreciate it the way you do. So glad you happened upon this recipe and loved it as much as we do. Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next…

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is a charmer! Decadent, moist, delicious and beautiful on presentation! To get fat atop my pork loin I simply wrapped it with thick sliced bacon. I added a dry white wine to the drippings with some herbs, garlic and a tbsp of butter. I cooked the alcohol taste out of the drippings and served the silky sauce on the side. SCRUMPTIOUS!

    1. We will never disagree with wrapping anything with bacon, Beth. So glad you found this to be such a lovely addition to your repertoire. Your pan sauce sounds perfect. And makes me crave it. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts! Looking forward to hearing the next recipe from the site that you try…

  4. 5 stars
    I found this recipe after I had already purchased a nice pork loin with the skin. I was at a local butcher who specialized in organic pork and I asked if they had any with skin and they said they could make me one. I had fond memories of my mom making pork roast with crispy skin when I was a kid.

    However, I actually had no idea how to cook it. I found this recipe and it made a great roast. My wife and daughter didn’t like the skin but it was perfect. Salty and crispy and easy to chew. Easily the equivalent of my moms best. My wife and daughter did like the roast and found it tender and delicious. A big thanks.

    1. Mike, you are so very welcome. Responses like yours are exactly why we do what we do. Exactly. I envy you that salty, crispy pork skin! We so appreciate you taking the time to let us know how well this worked and are looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next. Rest assured, we test each recipe we’re considering for the site multiple times and only those recipes that receive the highest kudos end up being published on our site, so you can make them with confidence. Wishing you and yours all the magic of the season…

  5. Thank you so much, sounds very good. I’m wondering though can I put potatoes and carrots in with the roast. Looking for them to be browned potatoes

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