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Pork loin: cook whole or boil in pieces in pressure cooker??

I have a 3 pound boneless center cut pork loin roast.

I intend to boil it in my pressure cooker, and taking the resulting meat (along with some home made chicken bone broth and potatoes) to make a stew for lunch.

Lately, I've been cutting beef chuck roasts into small pieces before boiling in my pressure cooker which makes eating at work for lunch more convenient (no knife & fork need at lunch). It's really delicious!

Can I (should I) cut the pork before cooking? (or cook it whole)?

I cooked the 3 pounds of cut up beef for 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. Any guesses on how long to cook the pork?

It's 11pm Tuesday, and I'll be cooking this tomorrow morning (6am) so if you have an suggestions for this first attempt, I'd certainly appreciate it.

Thanks,
Mike

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  1. Others may pooh pooh, but I have pressure cooked pork loin and it comes out nice and shreddy like pulled pork. Cut it only as much as it need to fit in the pot. If it fits whole, I wouldn't bother cutting it at all. 30 minutes should be fine, that's what I do all my meat at.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coll

      the reason I was interested in cutting it before hand is (at least with beef), it cuts easier and doesn't shred or fall apart.

      1. re: mike2401

        You might be disappointed then as it does come out shredded, and cutting it up will only make it more so.

    2. Pork loin is already a tender muscle. Pressure cooking it will destroy the texture and overcook it. Save the pressure cooker for pork shank or shoulder.

      Roasting that loin in a 400 degree oven until it reaches 140 degrees will result in a dish that better plays to pork loins strengths.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Brandon Nelson

        +100.

        That beef chuck roast is a tough muscle from the shoulder of the cow -- not only is it highly-developed (tough) muscle, but it has a lot of connective tissue, because of its operation in life as the muscle around a major joint, and is higher in fat in order to insulate the joints.

        A pork loin roast, however, is quite lean and comes from the area around the pig's ribs -- so a much less high-use muscle, thus far more tender, with less connective tissue because it doesn't do as much work.

        Chuck roast does great in the pressure cooker, because you need the time and temperature and moisture to dissolve and break down the tougher muscle fibres and the connective tissue.

        Pork loin doesn't have tough muscle fibres or much connective tissue, so you don't need any of those things -- higher temperatures and dry heat will maximize the flavor and edibility of this cut.

        Pork butchery cuts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork#Cuts

        Beef cuts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cut_of_beef

        the cuts around the joints are tougher and make great candidates for braises (low and slow) -- the stuff in the middle, around the belly and ribs -- benefits from high, dry heat.

        1. re: Brandon Nelson

          I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and browning on stove top (in coconut oil), then in the oven at 375.

          I'll let you know when it comes out, after I tent/rest and cut !!

          Thanks again everyone!

          Mike

           
           
          1. re: mike2401

            Damn. That cooked faster than I thought. I set the timer for 35 minutes and the internal temp. was already 170 degrees. (I know I was aiming for 140).

            I took the pan out of the oven and am letting it rest stove top.

            I'm not a fan of putting hot foods on plastic (my cutting board)

            Can't wait to see how it turned out. Hopping in the shower now!

            Mike

            1. re: mike2401

              there's a whole recent discussion about plastic and how food-grade plastic just isn't the evil entity it's made out to be.

              If it's that big an issue for you, go buy a good wooden cutting board.

              1. re: mike2401

                Let me just say this was the very best pork I've ever had. EVER EVER EVER! When I think pork, I think white, dried-out, and not very tasty. This was moist and delicious ! I had it for breakfast and lunch. YUM!!!

                I can't thank everyone enough for encouraging me into the right tool for the right job.

                I'm sooo pleased!

                Mike

                1. re: mike2401

                  good on you, mike! I applaud your trying a new to you technique. next time, increase the heat a bit so you actually get dark brown bits when you sear, but even better, first rub the loin with herbes de provence and olive oil. yum!

                  1. re: mike2401

                    Hurray! Glad it turned out so well.

            2. If you want meat for a stew, choose another cut like shoulder. Loin has no connective tissue and little to no fat/marbling, so it is best cooked quickly. Otherwise it ends up dry and tasteless.

              I have often made a pork loin roast - it takes only a few minutes searing and then about 45 minutes in a hot oven (375F) - but I really don't care for loin in any way other than escalopes or chops, preferably with the bone on, quickly sauteed with some moisture, because it is such a lean cut.

              1. Pork loin is like filet: a low-flavor tender cut. While you can cook it in the pressure cooker, it gains nothing from the process in terms of flavor compared to roasting. Pork shoulder is much more suited to the pressure cooker.

                1. You'll destroy the pork loin in a pressure cooker.

                  It will be dry and unappetizing.

                  Its much simpler just to roast it. The results will be a lot bettter too.

                  If you want stew, use a stewing cut like shoulder

                  22 Replies
                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    Thanks everyone, and thank you for saving my poor loin :-)

                    I won't pressure cook it.

                    I will put in oven @ 375 for about 45 minutes, or until it reaches 140 degrees.

                    Call me lazy caveman but I don't want to bother browning or searing it first.

                    Is it ok to just pat dry, place on cookie sheet and cook that way?

                    Thanks to everyone for these great explanations,
                    Mike

                    1. re: mike2401

                      As a low-flavor cut, it will gain flavor from the Maillard reaction resulting from searing first.

                      1. re: Karl S

                        wow, this seems like a lot of extra work. Next time, I'll stick with the fattier, more flavorful cuts that are pressure cooker friendly :-)

                        Ironically, since I appear to be hating on baking, maybe I shouldn't invest in the convection gas range during my kitchen remodel (I posted a separate thread on that). Actually, as I say that, the difference in price isn't that much and if I'm getting a new range/oven, I will get the convection feature in case I get more into that type of cooking in the future.

                        1. re: mike2401

                          it's 5 minutes of extra work -- really, it's about as much non-work as it can be. Plunk it in a pan with a little oil and let it do its thing for a few minutes. Turn and repeat. Roast.

                          A nicely roasted pork loin can be a thing of beauty - and the flavor and texture are nothing at all like being cooked on top of the stove. Different cuts of meat call for different cooking methods

                          I can't imagine why you're "hating on baking" it's no more or less labor-intensive than pressure cooking.

                          And while having a convection oven is nice, it's not the be-all, end-all....

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            I guess I'm just in love with how moist and delicious the beef chuck roast and empire kosher chicken turns out in the pressure cooker,

                            along with the side benefit of home made bone broth which is extremely nutritious.

                            I will try to expand my cooking techniques and dishes.

                            Mike

                            1. re: mike2401

                              roasted meats can be moist and delicious, too.

                              1. re: mike2401

                                Your chicken in actuality is probably quite dry. That's what happens when you overcook it. It drives the juices out of the meat and into the cooking liquid.

                                1. re: C. Hamster

                                  The pressure cooker manual suggested 6 minutes per pound (24 minutes for the 4 pound bird cut up).

                                  I have tried 5.5 minutes per.

                                  Maybe next time I'll try 5 minutes per.

                                  However, I can't imagine it turning out any better, but I am certainly willing to tweak and experiment.

                                  Mike

                                  1. re: mike2401

                                    I use the pressure cooker whenever I want my meat falling apart (which is my husband's preference), then you can make gravy out of the liquid if you want more flavor. I've never had anything come out that I would call "dry".

                                    1. re: coll

                                      Maybe it's a 'guy-thing' but I really love meet falling-off-the-bone.

                                      Paleo Mike (the lazy caveman :-)

                                      1. re: mike2401

                                        Yeah, that and his teeth aren't what they used to be ;-)

                            2. re: mike2401

                              Stewing cuts benefit from browning them first as well.

                              That lovely brown exterior is the most important step in building flavor in most any meat dish.

                              1. re: Brandon Nelson

                                The roast in the OP's pictures isn't browned as well as it should have been. If he learns to sear properly he will be astonished at how much better his meats taste, but it does not sound like he is ready to take that step yet. He seems wedded to the idea that his best options are a pressure cooker or a slow cooker.

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  The OP (that's me) is not wedded to pressure cooker or slow cooker for the pork loin. That was for the 9 pound pork shoulder (other thread).

                                  Actually I'm delighted with this sear on stove, then put in oven method (first time ever doing that, and first time ever having pork loin that wasn't totally tried out and terrible).

                                  The OP (that's me) is really excited to hone my skills and expand my skill set.

                                  Mike

                                  1. re: mike2401

                                    And I think you're doing an excellent job, plus reporting it as well. Don't get the nitpicking myself.

                                    1. re: mike2401

                                      Way to go, Man !!!

                                      I have 4 sons (all early 20's) who are learning to cook,
                                      and I am interested in helping them. I def keep it low-key.

                                      If they need an item (cast iron fry pan, enameled cast iron dutch oven, baking sheet, etc,) then I'm the go-to Mom.
                                      When they come home for the weekend, they are welcome to cook with me.
                                      They each have their "specialty" ~ last nite, for example, Andy made his Baked Ziti. Everyone loves it, all that positive reinforcement can't be bad, right ?

                                      They are delighted when they make something that
                                      "turns out delicious" and everyone tells them so!

                                      I am VERY proud of you, Mike !!!

                                      Now, about that pork shoulder.......

                                      1. re: oooYUM

                                        Thank you oooYUM. My mom was not big into cooking as I was growing up. I'm kinda late to the game (starting at 44 years old). When I got a vitamix about 1.5 years ago, I dramatically increased my fruit & veggies (green smoothies). Then, last year, when I discovered the whole Paleo thing, I stopped eating boxed and prepared foods, and have been making 90% of my food from scratch. I am now ready to kick it up a notch, expand my techniques and dishes.

                                        I live in a high-rise in Philadelphia and got my mom to move into a different wing of the same building.

                                        Since I'm doing all this cooking for myself, it's really easy for me to make her a healthy paleo meal each day as I assemble my lunch for work. She's 80 now and is eating better now than any time in her life. She's lost 35 pounds by cutting way down on the sugar and boxed stuff, and eating my paleo meals. Everyone in the building keeps remarking how great she looks.

                                        In fact, since I'm spending so much time in the kitchen, I'm adding 7 feet of new counters, lower & upper cabinets, and new counters.

                                        I'm really excited to use the expanded capabilities of my kitchen (hopefully done in about 2 months).

                                        It's really nice that so many people here at ChowHound take the time to help and encourage others in pursuit of awesome home cooking!

                                        Regards,
                                        Mike

                                        1. re: mike2401

                                          WOW, So good to hear !!!

                                          I applaud you on all your changes for the better !!!
                                          And in helping to improve your mother's health, how wonderful !!!

                                          I hope I didn't come off sounding condescending at all, but I fear that I have.....
                                          I need to learn that some folks come to cooking later in their lives for many and varied reasons.......

                                          I can't wait to hear what you do next ~ I love this site too, I never fail to get helpful responses from ChowHounders who are generous with their time and advice.....
                                          and I have been cooking since I was age 12 !!!!!

                                          Oh, and I will be interested to see your kitchen improvements !!!!!!

                                          1. re: oooYUM

                                            Not condescending at all. I thought your reply was kind and showed how you pay it forward (not just for blood relatives).

                                            Mike

                                          2. re: mike2401

                                            Mike, I always assumed that's what we're all here for! Home Cooking is the one board I couldn't live without.

                              2. re: mike2401

                                And I'd put it on a rimmed baking sheet.

                                1. re: mike2401

                                  I make this roast, and it doesn't involve browning it first, because the bacon and glaze just covers it up anyway. It's pretty tasty: http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/20...