Pork Loin Roast

This pork loin roast calls for boneless pork loin, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Four ingredients. Incredibly easy to make. In fact, the hardest thing about this recipe is being patient during its long, slow cooking. Select a pork loin with a thick layer of fat to ensure it remains moist and flavorful.

A cooked pork loin roast, tied and salted, set on a wire rack in a baking sheet

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 do something else. Then take it to the table and accept accolades on just how incredibly moist and superlatively go-wobbly-in-the-knees flavorful it is. The trick? It’s all in the proper cut of pork that her butcher had readily available but can be tricky to source nowadays. (We explain more below.) Sometimes the old-fashioned way is still the best way. Originally published September 23, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Make Roast Pork Loin That's As Flavorful As What Your Grandma Would Make For Sunday Supper

As the author of this recipe explains, although boneless pork loin is quite lean and tends to have a more subtle flavor than meat from the shoulders or the legs, it can end up being ridiculously lovely in taste and texture when its ample outer layer of fat is kept on during cooking. As the warmth of the oven melts the fat, the fat bathes the underlying meat with its unctuous awesomeness.

And therein lies the trick—finding a boneless pork loin roast with a sufficiently generous layer of fat. You may have to go to a few butcher counters before you’ll find one that has a nice, thick section of white fat attached. Persist. It’s worth the time and effort. And if you can sweet talk your butcher into special ordering a boneless pork loin with the skin still attached, by all means, avail yourself of it. The skin, which sits above the fat, transforms into crisp cracklings during roasting that are essentially chicharrones. And if you simply can’t track one down without skin, no worries, go ahead and buy one without skin, just don’t skimp on the fat and be sure the fatty side is up during roasting. If the pork loin seems loose or floppy at all, tie it with kitchen string* every couple inches.

Pork Loin Roast

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 35 M
  • Serves 4

Special Equipment: Kitchen string

5/5 - 5 reviews
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Ingredients

  • One (2-pound) boneless pork loin roast, with a generously thick layer of fat and, if possible, preferably 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

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan with foil.
  • 2. Pat the pork skin with paper towels until its completely dry. 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 skin with the oil and then sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  • 3. 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 although the juices flowing from the pork should not be bloody. 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. (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.) The pork will continue to cook even after it’s removed from the oven.
  • 4. Transfer the pork roast to 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 or cracklings. (Alternatively, to make the cracklings extra crisp, remove the entire portion of skin, or cracklings, from the pork loin, cover the pork loin with foil, and place the cracklings on the baking sheet or the roasting pan, and either crank the oven up to 425°F (220°C) and slide the pork inside or give the cracklings a quick blast under a hot broiler.)
  • 5. To carve the pork roast, remove the cracklings, if you haven’t already done so, and cut the crisp pork skin into strips. Carve the pork roast across the grain into thin (or thick) slices, arrange them on a platter, and off you go.

*How To Tie A Roast

  • This recipe calls for your blob of raw boneless pork loin to be “tied with string.” That’s it. No more instructions than that. This wasn’t an issue back in the day when boneless pork roast was common and this “tied with string” thing went without explanation. Home cooks knew how because they’d observed someone else in the kitchen or behind the butcher counter do exactly that. If that doesn’t hold true for you, rest assured, 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 and, because it’s an even size and shape, helps ensure that the pork cooks evenly. It’s really quite easy. No need to measure. No need to be precise. Just do what you need to hold the roast together.

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Recipe Testers Reviews

My new favorite recipe for pork loin roast. Though 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. 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 4 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 recipe was amazing! I highly recommend it.

I followed the ingredient list precisely and was amazed that such simple ingredients could produce such scrumptious results. The roasting temperatures—a start of 475°F (250°C) and then the reduced level of 350°F (180°C)—worked perfectly. I made sure my roast had a nice layer of fat. Searing the pork roast at the high oven temperature crisped the fat and added a delicious flavor. I chose to cook the roast for only 22 minutes per pound at the lower temperature and the roast was moist and delicious. I also used the drippings to make a small amount of drizzling sauce, and I think that was the clincher for this delightful entrée.

This roasting method produced a silken and moist result.

I roasted a 4-pound boneless pork loin. 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. 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. 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 made a quick gravy from the drippings, some Wondra, and some white wine, and it was nice with the pork loin.

Comments

  1. This looks delightful. I have the hardest time finding a pork loin roast here in LA (at least a roast with a fat cap and skin. So I end up taking a pork tenderloin and wrapping it in raw pork belly, then tying it off. Works like a charm and is often cheaper than a loin roast.

      1. Ahhhhhh, quite nice, bkhuna. And just to state the obvious, chicharróns are always, always, always a very good thing…especially in contrast to the ridiculously tender pork loin that this roast presents to you. Thanks!

        1. Rachelle, you probably could, although the timing may be somewhat longer. In addition, you’ll want to check the internal temperature not just of the pork roast but also of the stuffing inside the pork roast to be certain that it’s cooked to the proper temperature.

  2. I made this one last night. Like others here, I did not have a loin with the skin on, but found one with enough fat on it to do the trick. The cooking times and temperatures from the recipe worked perfectly for my 2-pound roast. And wow, the crunch on that after time at 475, that’s just magic. It was really succulent roast. I will definitely be using this recipe again, as it is dead simple and turns out an excellent roast.

  3. This was amazing – I prepared it basically the same way. Baked on 350 for about 15 min and reduced temp to 200 for three hours. The roast was beautiful brown and juicy! Yummy for sure.

  4. I am preparing this as we speak! The aromas from the oven have my lady and I in a trance. One hour to go…I will let you know. ;-)

  5. Renee & David – Just two cents worth for the city folk posting here. I am an organic veg farmer on the Nebraska prairie. Real boondocks out here, but most small towns have a kinda sorta butcher shop/processor/locker. Some owned by experienced geezers like me (72 years old); some owned/operated by relatively inexperienced young guys/gals who may not have had any formal training in butchery at all. I don’t raise pigs, but my good farmer friend down the road raises one for me every year – relatively free range, organically raised, no chemicals or hormones, non-GMO supplemental feed, etc. And, perhaps most importantly he raises only a few pigs each year of one of several heritage varieties. Believe me, the pork from a Red Wattle hog raised out of doors is totally different from a factory-raised, hormone-injected, GMO Grain-fed pig bred to reach market weight in half the time it takes a naturally raised pig. For one – it is red meat, not white meat, and it has much more flavor.

    But – even with all those rural advantages, I was not able to get any of these rustic butchers to prep me a loin as David describes above (fat and skin left on the loin). One old dude butcher said that he remembered doing loins like 50 years ago, but had forgotten how to do it.

    I am prepping a 12 lb loin for Christmas dinner right now for 20-some kids, grandkids and great grandkids, and will follow your recipe exactly except that I will replace the salt&pepper rub with aoili with lots of fresh rosemary mixed in. For my family, roast pork almost requires garlic and rosemary. (Learned that living in Northern Italy many years ago!)

    Merry Christmas and thanks for maintaining an interesting website and having so many courteous, involved readers. There is so much snark on the internet that it is very refreshing for an old man to encounter folks that are respectful of each other. I will be back.

  6. Hello! I made this for the first time last week and my parents and brothers loved it, saying it was the most succulent pork loin they had ever had. Everyone in my family has a day where we cook dinner because everyone is either working or studying and when it came my turn, I felt bored of the same pork dishes, so I perused Google in hopes of finding some inspiration. Happenstance, I found this recipe and thanks to all the rave reviews, decided to try it.

    My pork loin didn’t have any skin, but it did have a substantial layer of fat, enough to crisp up. The only things I did differently were add a dusting of garlic powder, and adjust the cooking time. After crisping the skin at the recommended temperature, I dropped the oven down to 340 degrees and instead cooked 19 minutes per pound. Accompanied by sides–green beans with caramelized onions, candied carrots, and roasted potatoes–the four and a half pound pork loin was by far the best I have made (it was also the first pork loin I ever made). Thank you for this recipe, I look forward to making it again.

  7. I also had difficulty finding a roast with the fat still attached. I laid 3 full strips of thawed bacon across the pork loin rib end boneless roast. Prior to this, I rolled the roast in a combination of olive oil, fresh rosemary leaves, ground black peppercorns, and a few twists of pink Himalayan sea salt. I sometimes add crushed red pepper spice. It never tastes the same twice but it’s close.

  8. I made this tonight and it is hands down the easiest and best way to roast a pork loin. My roast was 3.3 lbs with a nice layer of fat on top. Since our oven runs a bit hot I roasted it at 450 for 20 minutes and reduced temp to 325. I pulled it from the oven at 145 and let it rest for 30 minutes and it was perfect. Fat drippings made a fabulous gravy.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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?

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