3 Important Things to Know When Buying a Pork Loin

published Dec 22, 2017
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Pork loin roast is a cut that most of us buy infrequently, favoring pork tenderloin for everyday dinners and saving this larger cut for special occasions. So if you’re headed for the grocery store with our pork loin dinner menu in hand and need a refresher, this is it. Here is everything you need to know about buying pork loin roast.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

1. How much pork per person?

The golden rule for serving any meat to guests is eight ounces per person. This is a generous serving that takes into account a certain amount of shrinkage no matter the cut of meat and allows for a hearty serving with some leftovers.

Pork loin is a relatively lean cut of meat and is most often bought and served boneless, so if budget is a concern, you can estimate about six ounces per diner — especially if you are already planning a few side dishes, an appetizer, and dessert. Luckily pork loin is a relatively inexpensive cut of pork; it’s cheaper, pound for pound, than pork tenderloin or pork chops.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. Bone-in or boneless?

Pork loin roasts are sold bone-in or boneless. Boneless pork loin is often labeled as center cut, while bone-in is called a center cut rib roast. Both cuts are from a large “primal cut” located on the back of the animal. Bone-in makes a nice presentation at the table, but you’ll have to be confident with a carving knife to maneuver around the bones. Boneless pork loin usually comes well-trimmed and is our first choice for most recipes. The loin roast is between two and four pounds.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. Should this roast be trimmed and tied?

One more thing you might want to ask for from your butcher? Trimming and tying your pork loin roast. While this can be done at home, butchers can do this quickly and easily, trimming away excessive fat and tying the roast with butchers twine. Pork loin roasts are very consistent in size from end to end, but tying ensures a juicy roast that won’t easily overcook.

Want to tie your own roast? Learn how here: How To Tie a Roast