Available with a variety of seasonings from Italian and teriyaki to lemon-garlic, marinated, boneless pork loin from the grocery provides an affordable, lean and quick ingredient for family week-night dinners and for special, company dinners as well. Taken from the tenderloin, just under the fat along the pig's back, the pork loin is a versatile cut that you can either cook whole or sliced. Your recipe choices range from shredded pork on a bun doused with barbecue sauce to pork medallions in a white wine and mushroom sauce.
Slice the pork loin into slices that are 1/2- to 3/4-inches thick and pat them dry. If you use a clean dish towel, be sure to place it in your wash pile immediately so no one accidentally uses it to dry their hands.
Add a bit of oil to a cold pan and heat over low heat. A few minutes before you're ready to put the pork in the pan, increase the heat to medium. Place the slices in the pan, giving them plenty of room so they all can cook evenly. Cook the slices on medium heat for 4 to 9 minutes until they are lightly browned.
Flip the slices, cover the skillet and cook for 3 to 6 minutes until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The meat will still look slightly pink even though it reaches 145 degrees F.
Place the slices on a platter, cover them with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. Resting allows the meat to finish cooking and to reabsorb the juices so they don't flow out when you cut it.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Brown the pork loin on all sides in an oiled skillet over medium heat. Let each side brown for 2 to 3 minutes without moving it.
Place the browned loin to a roasting pan and bake for 40 minutes until the internal temperature reads 145 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
Remove the roast from the oven, cover it with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice the loin into 3-ounce servings.
Sear one side of the pork loin for 7 minutes over direct, high heat on your gas grill with the lid covered. If you're using a charcoal grill, it's burning at high heat if you can only hold your hand over the coals for 2 to 3 seconds.
Flip the loin and grill it on the second side, also on high heat with the lid closed until the side is nicely seared. Move additional coals under the loin if the fire needs to be hotter.
Turn off the heat, keep the lid closed and cook the loin for 5 more minutes until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F on a meat thermometer. With a charcoal grill, push the coals out from directly under the loin. Let the roast rest outside the grill, covered with foil for an additional 5 minutes.
- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- Cook's Illustrated; Easy Pork Chops
- Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Safe Handling of Pork
- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Pork Loin Roast with Veggies
- Fine Cooking: Foolproof Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Sunset Recipe Annual; Cornelia Fogle, Editor
Susan Lundman began writing about her passions of cooking, gardening, entertaining and recreation after working for a nonprofit agency, writing grants and researching child development issues. She has written professionally for six years since then. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.