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Dec 11, 2009 08:07 AM

Complicated pork! Can I use external thermometer? Expertise needed please...

I recieved a special shipment of fresh Iberico pork loin that I am very excited about eating and very nervous that I am going to screw up!! I am roasting 2 3# pork loins at the same time (one bone-in and one boneless) in the same oven. They need to be served at 2 different temperatures because 1/2 the family will only eat very well-done pork! Can you tell me:
1. Is it true that bone-in roasts cook faster due to the heat conducted by the bones?
2. I was planning to make the boneless loin the "well-done" one, and serve the bone-in a pinky medium. Would you agree?
2. I was planning to roast the boneless loin in a salt crust to try to keep it moist as possible. Can I insert an external thermometer in the meat and then pack it up with the salt crust to keep an eye on the temp? (I had read that you can only check the temp with a thermometer once you break the salt crust.)

Any advice from experienced pork roasters would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much.

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  1. Boneless pork cooks faster; you should make the boneless loin the well done one and it's okay to use a external thermometer but I never heard the one about only being able to check the meat once if you use a salt crust....

    1. I don't think you need to roast it in a salt crust, but you should roast it in a slow oven: 180-190 degrees F. You could also brine it for a couple of days if you have the time, and maybe bard it with bacon, pancetta or pork belly. And still aim for 145 degrees and cross your fingers. The other roast I'd cook to around 132 degrees. And let them both rest.

      I'm curious: why are the roasts both 3# if one has bones. I'd definitely save the meatier one for myself.

      1 Reply
      1. re: almansa

        With regards to the moist pork, if you roast low and slow, you should have no problems as it is a very forgiving method and a salt crust is not necessary. You can brown in the beginning on the stove top or at the end under the broiler.

        Personally, I slow roast @ 225*-250* depending on time constraints.

      2. Of course, you must break the salt crust in order to check the internal temperature of your meat, otherwise you'd only be checking the surface temperature and that's not a valid method for performing that task.
        As for undercooked pork, I won't even go there. There is more than one variety of parasite that infects pork and some of them will kill you very slowly (and painfully), one of which takes up residence in your brain, so if it does't come out of my oven at 160 degrees it isn't served.
        It's more succulent if you let it rest for thirty minutes (tented) following removal from the oven.

        1 Reply
        1. re: todao

          Please elaborate on the parasite story. I do know that we haven't seen a case of trichinosis in the US since 1991, and that was from consuming undercooked wild bear whose chief diet has become household garbage, much like we used to feed pigs. If you're really worried about parasites you should avoid wild salmon, unless you cook that to 160.