Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 16, 2010 03:02 PM

Removing silver skin on a pork loin...

I have always heard to remove the silver skin, the tough membrane covering the top of a pork loin. However, to do this, one must also remove the thin layer of fat which also covers the top of the loin. Since the meat is so lean, what would you suggest to remedy this? I always roast/smoke them in a Weber on indirect heat. Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I remove the silverskin on pork tenderloins. On a pork loin, I probably wouldn't especially if I was going to cook it whole using a dry cooking method.

    I would want that fat layer if I was cooking like you do. Now if I was gonna braise it, I might remove the silverskin.

    If you want to remove the silverskin, you could wrap the loin in bacon. That would work.

    1. I always remove the silver skin; otherwise I find that after cooking it shrinks and toughens, almost inedible.

      I just take a sharp pairing knife and slip under the skin and slice it off. Never really had trouble doing it without cutting into the fat back.

      1. Just put fat back on it: bacon.

        1. I actually haven't bought pork loins often, but from my experience, if you're buying boneless loin roasts, there's nothing to worry about. Just cook as is, and most certainly do not remove any fat. The damn thing is already dangerously lean.

          I do sometimes remove silver skin from baby back or spare ribs. As to how-to: have a paper towel and a table knife handy, use the rather blunt table knife to separate the silver skin from some part or other (usually over a bone), and then grasp the loose silver skin with the paper towel, which has much better grip, and tear the silver skin away.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Bada Bing

            I don't think the stuff on the back of ribs is actually silver skin. Silver skin pretty much inedible, whereas the membrane on the back of ribs is edible.

            1. re: tommy

              You might be right. It's certainly some kind of membrane. But maybe not quite so inedible as the silver skin we see elsewhere.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                IIRC, poster Foodfuser referred to it as peritoneum, but I tend to think of that as something else in either the human or animal body, that being a membrane or membranes holding certain organs in place, to be specific. I googled the term for accuracy, as it applies to the ribs, but didn't get a definitive answer. But I rather like the use of the term to describe the stuff.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  Interesting details, as usual, bushwickgirl.

                  And, yes, Googling around didn't really lead to much clarity for me, either. This seems to be one of those topics where people use a term in conflicting ways and with different degrees of expertise.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    In my understanding, the membrane you see on the inside of ribs is the costal pleura, the outermost membrane of the parietal pleura that lines the thoracic cavity. Though I've heard the membrane on ribs termed 'peritoneum,' the actual peritoneum is below the diaphragm while the ribs are above it.

                    The silverskin you normally see on other cuts of meat is epimysium, or the connective tissue membrane that encapsulates a muscle.

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      Yup. Bottom line is it's not the same, and the membrane on ribs doesn't need to be treated like the silver skin on muscle.

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        Thanks, as I wrote, from my understanding of the location and function of the peritoneum, I didn't think it was the correct terminology. Good to know the proper name.

                        How did you come by this info?

              2. Surely you would want to leave the fat (and obviously the membrane) on the loin, for flavour and moistness. Hopefully you have a good covering of fat - you really need a minimum of 5mm and preferably more.

                I would remove the silverskin from a fillet because it will be cooking so quickly, it would tend to toughness otherwise.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Harters

                  Silverskin=fascia. Peritoneum=slippery lining of the abdominal cavity that keeps the organs therein free to slide about much the way olive oil keeps pasta from sticking together. In surgery fascia is often harvest to use for reconstructing things, patching
                  holes and substituting for tendons. Pork loins don't abut the abdominal cavity and so cannot have peritoneum on them