Can You Use Garlic When Cooking a Pork Loin?

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Bring out the light and tender flavors of a pork loin roast by pairing it with plenty of garlic. With slow roasting and plenty of moist heat, the garlic will infuse into the flesh of the roast, giving the meat extra appeal. The fix-it-and-forget-it nature of roasting a pork loin works for many busy moms -- especially when you watch the kids eating their dinners with gusto.

Choosing a Pork Loin Roast

A pork loin roast typically provides both tender and lean meat from just under the backbone of the pig. A pork loin roast may or may not contain bones, which will affect the cooking time and the number of servings you will get from the roast. If the roast has bones, it will cook less evenly but it may take less time to roast. A bone-in center loin pork roast will provide about three servings per pound. A boneless top loin pork roast will provide about 3 1/2 servings per pound.

Preparing the Roast

The USDA Food Safety Inspection Service advises that washing a pork roast before cooking is not necessary. After removing the pork from the package, place it onto a clean working surface to season it. Use two or three cloves of garlic, peeling and slicing them into thin slivers. To infuse the garlic into the meat, simply poke the tip of a paring knife about 1 inch into the meat and insert the garlic slivers evenly over the entire roast. Make a rub of dry seasonings, such as coarse salt, black pepper, thyme, allspice, cloves and tarragon, or use a packaged salad dressing mix. Rub the seasonings over the entire roast evenly with your fingers.

Roasting the Pork Loin

Roast the prepared pork loin in a hot oven, about 500 degrees Fahrenheit, uncovered in a roasting pan. After about 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to moderate heat and continue roasting the pork loin. The USDA recommends cooking a pork roast until a meat thermometer registers at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Roasting may take 20 to 30 minutes per pound.

Serving the Roast

Allow the roast to stand for about 15 minutes so the garlic slivers in the meat infuse additional flavor. Slicing a bone-in pork loin roast can be challenging because of the backbone along the top of the roast. If the roast has a backbone, cut horizontally first to remove the backbone, then slice the roast vertically into slices.