How To Cook Pork

Confused about cooking pork? There’s no need to be. Pork is easy to cook, and you should make it a part of your cooking routine. Pork can be pan-seared, grilled, sautéed, braised, broiled or stewed, depending on the cut. Choose the right method for the pork cut, and remember one rule: do not overcook this lean meat. Read on to learn how to cook each type of pork cut.

How To Cook Pork

Cooking Meat

There are two basic methods for cooking meat: moist or dry heat. Tender cuts like pork chops and pork tenderloin can be cooked with dry heat; think grilling, broiling, roasting, or pan-searing. Cuts with more connective tissue – pork ribs and pork shoulder - are less tender, and can benefit from moist cooking, like simmering or braising.

When it comes to roasting a whole suckling pig, there are various methods: oven-roasted (pigs up to 20 pounds will fit in the average oven), pit roasting over coals, and the roasting box.

Sous vide is another cooking technique that requires special equipment, but it offers juicy results with many cuts of pork, as this Perfect Sous Vide Pork Chop recipe proves.

How to Cook Pork Chops

There are many ways to cook a pork chop: you can pan-sear pork chops, grill pork chops, or even roast pork chops. We like the pan-sear method for a quick meal. Not only does it give the pork chops a nice crusty finish, but the little bits left in the pan make for a wonderful pan sauce – just add demi-glace and wine.  Try our Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches recipe for the ultimate summer backyard meal.

How to Cook a Pork Roast

There’s nothing like a roast at the center of the table. Our Berkshire pork 10-rib roast is the perfect choice for a special meal. Easy to cook, this pork roast can be rubbed with salt, sugar, paprika (or your spices of choice) and then placed in a hot oven and forgotten about while the rest of the meal comes together. Our pork rib roast recipe gives you all the details.

How to Cook Pork Belly

You know you love bacon – but how about the quivering perfection of a slow-roasted pork belly?  The favored techniques are roasting and braising. Simply coat the pork belly in salt and sugar (add pepper or any other spices you like) and refrigerate overnight. Roast pork belly in a preheated oven at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat and roast for an hour or more (depending on the size of the pork belly). Check our cooking video on pork belly and this braised pork belly recipe.

How to Cook Pork Loin

The pork loin is a big piece of meat, and is ideal for serving at a dinner party.  Our garlic-rich recipe for roasted pork loin will be the centerpiece of your special meal.

Or try this our Herb-Crusted Pork Loin recipe, which involves a lot of chopped herbs and then roasting in the oven. You may want to marinate or brine your pork loin overnight for intense flavor and to preserve moisture.

Stuffing and roasting a pork loin is another tasty option. The flavor and tenderness of pork loin goes well with porcini powder and prunes – flavors of Southwest France – in this Stuffed Pork Loin recipe.

How to Cook Pork Ribs

Pork ribs can be grilled, cooked in the oven, smoked, or slow-cooked. They can be cooked dry and then served with barbecue sauce (your choice of Kansas City, South Carolina or Memphis style- we play no favorites) and a lot of napkins for all the stickiness. Or they can be cooked with moisture, as in a slow cooker, for melt-in-your-mouth tender results. This unique pork rib recipe involves the oven and the grill, as well as the use of coffee in the barbecue sauce.

And if you like it sticky, this Sweet and Sticky Baby Back Ribs recipe is for you. The barbecue sauce is the finishing touch after hours on a low-heat grill.

How to Cook Pork Shoulder

The best way to cook pork shoulder is low and slow like we did for 8 hours in this Cuban-Style Mojo Pulled Pork recipe. A slow cooker offers another easy, hands-off technique for cooking pork shoulder; the moisture keeps the pork tender. Once the pork is cooked, all you need to do is shred it and enjoy in tacos, sandwiches, or salads. Pulled pork is so versatile, easy to serve at a party, and so very tasty.

How to Cook Pork Tenderloin

Cooking pork tenderloin is quick and easy – you don’t even need a recipe. Season (salt, sugar, paprika, pepper), pan sear (on all sides), roast in the oven (400 degrees F for about 10 – 15 minutes) and slice (let it rest first!). This delicate pork cut remains tender and tasty if you don’t roast it too long. You can play with spices or try this recipe for Arista Pork Tenderloin. This cut slices up so nicely that it perfect for sandwiches, such as this Vietnamese-style banh-mi sandwich.