what temperature should a pork loin roast reach

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 pork roast recipe 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 roasts. 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 in my juicy Oven-Roasted Pork Loin recipe.

Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a three-minute rest time before carving or consuming. This will result in a product that is both safe and at its best quality—juicy and tender.
what temperature should a pork loin roast reach

Pork Loin Vs Pork Tenderloin

First, just to be clear, I’m talking about boneless pork loin today, not about pork tenderloin. We’re also not talking about pork butt or pork shoulder. These are all different cuts of pork and require different times and temperatures. If you’d like to know how to prepare these other cuts of pork, I have that information for you 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), then cover with foil and let it rest for a good 30 minutes. This lower temperature cooking and the rest time, keep the pork loin nice and juicy.

Finally, you crank up the oven really high (475°F) and give the roast a last blast in there for 10 minutes. That extra heat really browns and crisps up the outside of the roast, for extra flavor and texture, while not penetrating into the roast to take away the juiciness we created earlier. Then you carve it immediately and serve. No need to rest it again because the inside of the roast already had its resting time. Pretty cool, right? We’re going to use this technique here and you’ll see that you get juicy pork loin (which is often hard to accomplish) while still having a nice crust.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about roasting pork loin in the comment section below. Here’s a summary of the most common questions with my answers.

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 350°F, 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.

No. Different cuts of pork have different shapes and sizes, but more importantly, they have different levels of leanness. The way you cook a larger lean cut like a loin is different from how you cook a small lean cut like a tenderloin, and is also different from how you cook a large fattier cut like a pork butt. This recipe is specifically for the shape and leanness of pork loin. If you have pork butt or pork shoulder, please use this recipe. On the other hand, if you have pork tenderloin, which is different from pork loin, head over here.

Yes, so long as the loin fits in your air fryer. Here are the instructions for cooking a pork loin in the air fryer.

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

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.

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.

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 300°F for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Sometimes when roasting a 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 the broth isn’t necessary.

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.

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.

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.

There are so many side dishes that you can serve with pork. If you’re making the gravy, I highly suggest mashed potatoes, but Parmesan Roasted Potatoes are excellent as well. Add some color with green beans, Brussels sprouts, or a fresh salad.

Yes, it is totally safe to cook a pork loin straight from frozen. The only issue is that the timing isn’t going to be as straightforward. It typically takes 1.5 times as long to cook meat from frozen as it takes from fresh, so it will be 30-37 minutes per pound instead of 20-25. Having said that though, the actual temperature of your freezer and the size and shape of the roast are factors that can affect the time. My advice is to do the following. Cook it for about 28 minutes per pound and then start testing it with an instant read thermometer. After that, test it every 15 minute (15 minute intervals, not minutes per pound) until it reaches the desired temperature. The roast needs to get to at least 145°F (poked in a few places) to be safe. But see the section above about pork temperature in case you like yours more well done. An additional thing to note is about seasoning. It’s difficult to get seasoning to stick to a frozen roast. It’s best to let it cook for a little while so that the outside has thawed a bit and then add the seasoning and continue roasting it.

I hope that answers all of your questions about roasting pork loin. If not, please leave a question below. And, if you make and love this recipe, leave a comment telling me and all the visitors to the site, and be sure to give it a five star rating too! Have a great day!

Pork Cooking Temperature & Meat Thermometer Basics


Is pork done at 145 or 160?

Pork today is very lean, making it important to not overcook and follow the recommended pork cooking temperature. The safe internal pork cooking temperature for fresh cuts is 145° F. To check doneness properly, use a digital cooking thermometer.

What is the internal temperature of a pork loin roast?

A good rule of thumb is to cook pork loin 25 minutes per pound at 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees F (63 degrees C), so use a thermometer to know when it’s done. You’ll want to let your pork loin rest at least three minutes before serving.

Is pork loin done at 165 degrees?

The National Pork Board recommends cooking pork chops, roasts, and tenderloin to an internal temperature between 145° F. (medium rare) and 160° F. (medium), followed by a 3 minute rest. Since large cuts increase approximately 10° F.

Is pork loin safe at 150?

The USDA now recommends cooking pork chops, steaks, ham, and roasts to at least 145°F (63°C), which allows the meat to maintain its moisture and flavor without drying it out (7). Organ meats, ground pork, and mixtures made using ground pork, such as sausage, should still be cooked to at least 160°F (71°C) (7).

What temperature should a pork roast be cooked to?

The National Pork Board recommends cooking pork loin to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). This is the temperature at which the pork is safe to eat and will be juicy and flavorful. To achieve this temperature, preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C). Once it’s ready, place the pork roast in the oven on the middle rack and roast for 15 minutes.

What temperature should a pork loin be cooked at?

The recommended oven temperature for cooking pork loin is 350°F (175°C). This moderate heat allows the pork loin to cook through evenly without drying out, while also promoting a nicely caramelized exterior. 3. Using A Meat Thermometer Using a meat thermometer is highly recommended to accurately gauge the doneness of the pork loin.

How long do you cook a pork loin roast?

Cooking Temperature: Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Cooking Time: About 20 minutes per pound, but use a meat thermometer to be sure. Desired Internal Temperature: 145°F (63°C). Note: Pork loin roast is lean, so be cautious not to overcook to maintain juiciness.

How do you cook a pork roast?

Different cuts of pork roast may require varying cooking times and temperatures to ensure they are safe to eat and deliciously tender. Internal Temperature: Cook pork loin to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) on a food thermometer or instant read meat thermometer. Resting Time: Let it rest for at least 3 minutes before carving.

Leave a Comment