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Roast pork cooking question


Marco_Polo
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Advice on roasting times for meat is usually given in minutes per pound/kilo. But in my experience, the shape of the joint in question often is more important than the total weight, and it is therefore difficult to calculate. For example, one could have same weight in roasting joints of pork of vastly different shape - a long, narrow rolled loin versus a big hunk of leg or shoulder, less long but much wider in girth. The leg will take longer because of the time needed for heat to penetrate to the interior.

I wonder if anyone can give me some advice. I am planning to slow-roast 3 whole boned loins of pork at the same time in a single tray. I have asked the butcher to take the skin off (which I will cook separately for the crackling) and roll and tie the joints. I plan to first char-grill the outside on the bbq (this give a great smoky flavour) then will place all three in a large catering pan on top of a generous bed of sliced onions, a bottle of red Italian wine and lots of fresh rosemary.

Each loin weighs about 5-6 lbs so a total of about 15lbs of meat. Each will be about 15-17 inches in length and about 4-5 inches in diameter, so long, but not very wide or thick pieces. I'd like to slow roast in a fan oven at around 250-275 degrees F (120-140 C). It's important that the loin (which is quite lean) does not dry out.

Can anyone give advice on overall cooking times?

Many thanks

Marc

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Any advice about times is a guess -- and mine is about 1 1/12 - 2 hours. But my big advice is to ignore time and use a thermometer to determine doneness. Standard governmental recommendation for pork is 160F/60C, which many Society members feel is over done. I'd pull it from the oven when the thermometer reads no more than 150F/65C at the thickest point; it'll continue cooking while it rests.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Cooking times vary because meat thickness and density vary even with the same weight of meat. As recommended above, I would advice an instant read thermometer at the thickest part of the meat away from or not in contact with bone... it has never failed me with anything I have roasted. For porkloin I max out at 150 or slightly under that and let the rest of the post roasting heat take care of getting it done.

oh and you might want to explore brining your roast beforehand, it just turns out more juicy not to mention making it less prone to drying out.

I'm a plant-rights activist... I only eat meat!

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I think an internal temperature of even 150 is too high. Older threads say that trichinosis is killed at 137, and anyway has been eliminated from the food supply. I take a pork loin out of the oven at 135, which increases to 140 after a 10 minute rest (particularly since I do my roasting in a 12" Le Creuset frying pan, which retains heat). The meat is slightly pink at the center, moist and delicious even with today's insanely lean cuts.

Salmonella is killed only at 160+, but pork at 160 is dangerously close to shoe leather. I eat raw oysters and clams, so I'll probably die from them first.

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Thanks for this, all excellent advice. I do use a meat thermometer and am happy with around the 140-150 mark. The pork comes from a freerange farm 3 miles down the road from where I live - there's still a bit of fat in and around the loin and when slow-roasted it shouldn't dry out, unless overcooked. What I am really looking for is a ballpark figure for time when slow roasting 3 pieces of loin (long and relatively thin in diameter as described above) that together weigh around 15lbs in a slow oven of around 250F. 1 1/2 to 2 hours seems a bit on the short side, Chris. I recently cooked a similarly shaped rolled belly from the same source in an even lower oven - 85C: 4 hours it was edible though still firm, but after another 2 it was melting and almost falling apart. So I'm thinking around the 3-4 hour mark for the loin in the slightly hotter oven. Of course if it cooks earlier, I'll pull it, but I need to plan the timing for serving and don't want it sitting around warming for a couple of hours.

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Standard governmental recommendation for pork is 160F/60C, which many Society members feel is over done. I'd pull it from the oven when the thermometer reads no more than 150F/65C at the thickest point.

160F is 70C.

I love a nice rosy pink in my pork but some people are still skeeved out by that. If you want moist, juicy pork, take it out at 135F and let it coast to 140F. If you want still moist but white pork, take it out at 145F and let it coast to 150F.

PS: I am a guy.

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I have played with roasting pork a lot and so far the best straight roast pork has been following the advice of CI: Brown sides first, then roast at 300oF until the internal temparature reads 135o. Comes out juicy and tender. I should mention this is for a pork loin.

Mark

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www.markiscooking.com

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Any advice about times is a guess -- and mine is about 1 1/12 - 2 hours. . .

Chris, cooked the three whole loins last night. Your guestimate timing was pretty well spot-on. As it was something like 12 kgs of meat, albeit in three different pieces shaped as described above, I still thought it would take way longer. The three loins went into a low oven (140C), and I was very surprised to reach 150F after less than 2 hours (my oven is C, my meat thermometer F). The meat had first been char-grilled on a gas grill, then I oven-braised in wine and balsamic vinegar on a bed of onions and rosemary. Since it was done way earlier than I had anticipated, I covered the pan in aluminium foil, and kept it warm in a very low oven (85C) for another two hours. Reduced the liquid, sliced thickly, spooned over the juices: still incredibly moist and succulent. In fact everyone raved about it.

Here's a photo:

VinoKitchenJan20103.jpg

Thanks, everyone, for the help!

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That's great. I have an old Gourmet recipe for pork tenderloin that roasts atop a leek-shiitake bed, and it always takes less time than I'd think. I rarely cook tenderloin any more, but if I do I'll be stealing from you!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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