How to Double Butterfly a Roast

by Amelia Allonsy
The double butterfly technique requires two cuts to flatten the meat.

The double butterfly technique requires two cuts to flatten the meat.

A double butterfly-cut roast, such as a pork or beef loin, stuffed and rolled into pinwheels may fool dinner guests into thinking you're secretly a master chef. This butterfly technique turns a rectangular or cylindrical piece of meat into a flat rectangle. You can spread filling such as cornbread dressing or rice and vegetables over the rectangle, roll it up as you would roll a carpet, and tie it with butcher's string. This is an alternative cutting method to spiral cutting a roast and is much easier to make the roast uniform.

Trim excess fat from the roast with a boning knife. Fat helps flavor the meat, so don't cut off all the fat.

Set the roast on a cutting board with one end pointing toward you. Hold a long chef's knife parallel with the cutting board, positioned about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the roast. Slice through the roast horizontally along the long side, stopping about 1 inch before you reach the other long side.

Flip the roast over so the uncut long side is on the same side as your dominant, cutting hand. Measure1/3 down from the top of the roast; this was the bottom of the roast before you flipped it. Make a second horizontal cut through the roast, stopping 1 inch before you reach the other side.

Pull back the cut flaps of meat, opening each like a book. Each flap opens in opposite directions so the roast is flat on the work surface. In the folded position, you might think of the roast as a folded letter in which the top 1/3 of the paper is folded over and the bottom 1/3 is folded underneath.

Pound the roast with a meat mallet, as needed, to ensure it lies flat with even thickness throughout.

Items you will need
  • Cutting board
  • Boning knife
  • Chef's knife
  • Meat mallet


  • A single butterfly technique usually is sufficient for a small roast such as a beef or pork tenderloin, which only weighs a few pounds at most. The double butterfly technique is best for thicker roasts such as a whole pork loin because it ensures the roast is thin and flat so it's easier to roll.

Photo Credits

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