You have probably seen these long vacuumed sealed pork loins in the grocery store and perplexed on the size and challenge of cooking such a large cut of meat. Well it is not as scary as you think. It is important to follow the storage and handling instructions on the package before use.
If you have the right tools you can deliver a healthy delicious meal that your whole family will love. The key to a delicious pork loin is not over cooking and letting it rest to keep it as juicy as possible. Most of us have been told to cook our pork to 170 degrees and to cook it till it is well done or risk Trichinosis a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or undercooked pork. Understand in the US there is only a handful of cases each year. The main reason for such a rare case is the Pork industry is very well regulated so the chance of the parasite being found in today's pork is rare. I am not saying that you can eat pork undercooked or raw- but you want to exceed the parasites threshold of 137 degrees.
When selecting you loin look for uniformity. This will allow your pork to cook evenly which is very important. Sometimes the cut will be fatter at one end and flatter on the the other. Avoid those if you can. Preparing your meat is easy. I like to cut my loin in half and remove any excessive fat. Handling half the meat is easier and fits in most roasting pans. I will rinse the meat with cold water and dry with paper towels. Once they are dry I will apply my pork rub. Try to avoid a rub where the first few ingredients is salt- if not just use less. Since pork is very lean, I like to add thick cut bacon to help baste the skin of the pork as it cooks. Make sure you use toothpicks to secure the bacon to the loin. Insert your meat probe in the thickest end of your pork loin. I recommend that you use a digital meat thermometer to monitor your meat from start to finish. You can pick one up from $30-$50. Preheat your oven or smoker to 235-325 degrees. The lower temperature just means that you will need a longer time to get your loins to 150 degrees. Once your pork loin reaches 150 degrees pull the pork from the heat and let it rest tented with tinfoil for a minimum of 15 minutes. The loins will continue to cook to 160 degrees the targeted finishing point. This will also allow the juices in the meat to settle down and stay in the meat when you slice it.