The thought of baking a pork loin fillet can be intimidating to cooking novices. First, there are food safety guidelines to keep in mind before cooking, followed by preparation and baking.
A Pork Overview
While pork is the most consumed meat in the world, it has waned in popularity in the United States. As a fatty meat, it has lost traction with health-conscious Americans, says the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS). Pork comes from hogs or domestic swine and became widely consumed in America shortly after being introduced in 1525 in what is now Florida.
The pork used to make pork loin fillet, called "fresh pork," is inspected by the USDA before being sold and given the "Passed and Inspected by USDA" seal to ensure the pork is disease-free. When you're shopping for pork, you're going to want to look for a cut with the least amount of fat and a minimal amount of marbling.
There are four main pork cuts: leg, side, shoulder and loin. Within the basic loin cut, you can find more specific cuts, such as pork chops, country-style ribs, boneless whole loin, tenderloin, loin roast and sirloin.
If you're wondering how pork loin and pork tenderloin differ, the Kansas Farm Food Connection breaks it down: A tenderloin is small and thin, weighing 3/4 to 1 1/2 pounds, whereas a loin is fairly wide and thick, weighing 8 to 10 pounds, and they're generally cooked at different temperatures. A pork tenderloin is also as lean as a skinless chicken breast and is boneless.
Read more: Is Pork Better Than Beef?
Pork Loin Recipe
LIVESTRONG.com describes how to make a pork loin fillet or pork loin roast using foil to help lock in juices and flavors of your favorite seasonings or marinades. The USDA FSIS recommends roasting a 2- to 5-pound pork loin 20 minutes per pound, so a 4-pound roast would be cooked for about one hour and 20 minutes.
- Pork loin roast
- Preferred seasonings such as garlic, onion, and salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Baking pan
Follow these directions:
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rub your seasonings on the pork.
- Sear your seasoned pork in a hot skillet with a little olive oil for about three to four minutes on each side.
- Place the pork in a roasting pan, cover it with foil and cook it in the oven until its internal temperature reaches 145 F. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest area to check the temperature.
- Take the roast out of the oven and allow it to sit for about five minutes before slicing.
Pork and Food Safety
Before preparing a pork loin fillet or a pork tenderloin fillet, it's important to follow the proper food safety guidelines. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends storing fresh pork in the refrigerator for no more than five days and in the freezer for no more than 12 months.
The FDA also advises following the handling instructions on the package, buying the pork before its "sell-by" or expiration date and keeping it in the package until you're ready to use it. Pork that's frozen in its original package for more than two months should be wrapped in an airtight covering.
If the meat is still pink after being cooked, not to worry — as long as it's reached a safe internal temperature of 145 F, the pork is ready to serve and eat.