The term "roast" simply refers to a large cut of pork, according to the National Pork Board. Several cuts of pork can be prepared as roasts: the shoulder, loin and rack of pork are all great options. If you're making a 3-pound boneless pork roast recipe, we recommend using the center loin cut.
The Cut: Center Loin
The loin is the area of the pig between the shoulder and the beginning of the rear leg. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the center of the loin — sometimes called the center cut, pork roast and loin roast center cut — is the most desirable cut of the loin. A slice of this cut contains the characteristic T-bone, composed of the eye muscle and tenderloin. According to the USDA, a 4-ounce serving of raw pork loin contains 149 calories, 25.3 grams of protein and 4.6 grams of fat.
Keep in mind, the loin and tenderloin are two different cuts of meat, so you should not substitute them for each other in recipes. According to the National Pork Board, the loin roast is usually sold in pieces weighing about 2 to 4 pounds, while the tenderloin is a longer and smaller piece of meat, usually weighing about a pound. The center cut of the loin contains the tenderloin within it.
Read more: How to Bake a Pork Loin in a Convection Oven
Boneless Pork Loin Recipes
You can make a 3-pound pork roast using the center loin with or without the bone. There are advantages to both. A bone-in roast has more flavor, while a boneless roast is easier to carve. If you're looking for an easy Sunday night dinner recipe to feed a large group, go with the boneless option.
Boneless pork loin recipes abound on the internet. The National Pork Board recommends either roasting or grilling this cut over indirect heat. We recommend using this slow roasting method. Though you may need seven to eight hours to cook your roast using this method, the resulting tenderness and flavor are worth it.
To make this recipe, you will need a 2- to 4-pound boneless pork loin, salt and pepper. First, preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, pat your roast dry with paper towels, score the outer fat in a crosshatch pattern with a sharp knife and season with salt and pepper. Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan. Finally, place in the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches at least 145 F.
The USDA suggests using a meat thermometer to ensure your roast has reached this minimum safe internal temperature. At an internal temperature of 145 F, the pork might still be slightly pink. Though that is the case, it is safe to eat. If you prefer, you can cook to a higher internal temperature, though you will lose tenderness. Let your roast rest for at least three minutes after being taken out of the oven. Lastly, carve, serve and enjoy.
Read more: Is Pork Better Than Beef?