There are several ways to cook a pork loin safely. Food poisoning from pork is one of the most harmful and even deadly compared with any other type of meat. Because of this, it is crucial to cook the pork thoroughly. While beef steaks may be safe to eat medium-rare, pork is only safe when it is thoroughly cooked. Having a meat thermometer before beginning is recommended, especially for the first time cooking a pork loin. When inserted into the very center, the meat thermometer should read at least 160 degrees Farenheit; any number less may result in harmful bacteria surviving. Frozen pork loins should be defrosted in the refrigerator thoroughly before cooking. Here are a few simple and delicious methods for cooking a pork loin safely:
1. Pan Roasting
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. In a lightly greased frying pan, sear the pork loin on each side until it has a slightly browned appearance. Place it in a roasting pan in the oven. Usually the pork loin will be done in 20-30 minutes. Remember to check the meat with the thermometer though to be certain.
Pork loins are a great cut to put on the grill. Light the charcoal and let it sit until it is white. Place the pork loin on the grill rack and cook it for about 10 minutes. Turn the loin over and grill an additional 10-15 minutes or until the internal temperature indicates completion.
3. Slow Cooker
This method is preferable for a texture that is so tender it will fall apart. Add 3 cups of water to the slow cooker. If the pork loin is being cooked on low heat, at least 3 or 4 hours will be needed. If cooking on high heat, about 2 or 2 1/2 hours will be needed. Desired seasonings should be added to the water to flavor the meat during cooking.
4. Pan Frying
This method is not recommended for a pork loin unless the loin is being cut into strips for stir fry or another mixed dish. As a main course though, it is much more delicious to try one of the three previously mentioned methods.
Seasoning a pork loin may be accomplished in several different ways. Pork has a distinct flavor that does not mix well with several spices; alternately it blends very well with certain flavors that one would think of as odd combinations. Here are a few suggestions to use in conjunction with the previously mentioned cooking tips:
1. Cola Cooking
This method is used with a slow cooker or pan-roasted pork loin. If using a slow cooker, pour four cans of cola into the cooker; for an oven pan use two cans.
2. Rosemary Rub
For any of the cooking techniques, this seasoning blend works well. Use a few sprinkles of Rosemary, dried mustard powder, onion powder and a dash of garlic. Be liberal with the onion and mustard; about 1 tablespoon total of each should be sprinkled over the loin, then add a few tablespoons of oil and rub well before cooking.
3. Onion And Apple
For slow-cooked or pan-roasted pork loin, using applesauce and onion slices as a topping yields an excellent taste. Fresh apple slices may be used instead of applesauce.
4. Barbecue Sauce
For a pork loin destined for the grill, barbecue sauce is an excellent seasoning, perhaps the best blend with the charcoal-smoked taste. Another technique to create a grilled taste indoors is to use a slow-cooked pork loin, add barbecue sauce and broil it for a few minutes for a charred taste.