Tough slow cooker pork loin or roast

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by drirene, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. drirene

    drirene

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    83
    Exp:
    At home wannabe pastry chef
    I went to Costco today and picked up a pork loin or roast (I know I should have checked which it was, but I didn't...). It's probably a roast because it is very lean. I stripped the fat and membrane, which I now find out I should have left. Oh well.

    It was in the slow cooker on mostly low for 5 hours, covered with liquid. The internal temperature was 160, not hot enough yet. The whole cooker with the pork is in the fridge now and will finish cooking tomorrow.

    It's tough. It will be sliced for a Cuban sandwich, so it doesn't have to stand on its own. I read on a slow cooker blog that it is OK for it to get tough, and if you keep cooking it, it will get tender.

    So, should I believe the blog and put it back on low tomorrow and let it cook until it dies some more, or just get it to 170 and slice it?

    (I keep asking my husband to learn how to cook since I'm a vegetarian who is a wanna be pastry chef. He won't cooperate.)

    Many thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,445
    Likes Received:
    447
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Pork loin is best cooked to 140. So yeah, overcooked. Try sous vide if you want similar long cooking time but tender results.
     
    drirene likes this.
  3. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,436
    Likes Received:
    397
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    I am confused as to why you stopped the slow cooking process.
    One of the main advantages of that appliance is being able to leave it on overnite and poof!
    You wake up to a fully cooked and tasty meal.

    The best roasts will have visible fat streaks throughout the muscle.
    This fat melts during the cooking process and contributes to tenderness and flavor.
    Yes the loin is lean and tends to be dry if overcooked.
    My suggestion is to slice thin and braise in a flavorful liquid.
    That should save the dish.

    mimi
     
    drirene likes this.
  4. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

    Messages:
    7,297
    Likes Received:
    535
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    Stopping the cooking process, refrigerating and recooking again leaves you open to a plethora of pathogens. It's hard to do safely and I don't see the point.

    Pork loin is a roast. There is no distinction between a roast and a loin. A roast is something you put in the oven, a loin is a specific part of an animal. A pork loin doesn't enjoy being braised like this, it will be dry and crumbly. It will need to swim in sauce in order to be edible. A better cut for this type of cooking is pork shoulder. If you want pork loin for sandwiches then next time roast it to 140F and let it rest before you slice it.
     
    drirene likes this.
  5. drirene

    drirene

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    83
    Exp:
    At home wannabe pastry chef
    I was following a slow cooker cook book but the roast needed to stay in another 3 to 4 hours and I don't trust leaving these appliances on while we are out or sleeping. We had an incident once, and that's all it takes.

    One site wanted me to take the meat to 170 degrees minimally and to over 190 to tenderize. I will try the braise method now to save the roast. And I looked up sous vide. Wow! Who knew? I've ordered an Anova.

    Thank you all very much! I love this site.
     
  6. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    292
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    I have no idea why anyone would suggest slow cooking a pork loin, for the reasons mentioned above. But if done, it really needs to be taken to an internal temp over 190, not so much to tenderize as to become shredable. It will still be dry but will meld with sauce easier and appear not quite as dry. But that is a travesty... Pork shoulder/butt is for shredding and has the fat/collogen to work out good. Pork loin should be oven roasted (or grilled) to 140 or so. At this point I'd suggest you slicing thin and use of Cuban sandwiches or down in sauce.

    But this brings a related point to consider. What era is that cookbook from? The "standards" have changed for meat cookery and use of old cookbooks or old meat thermometers will almost guarantee overcooked and dry meat. Some web sites are not very current either... like the one suggesting a minimum or 170 degrees. That's just nuts.
     
    drirene likes this.
  7. drirene

    drirene

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    83
    Exp:
    At home wannabe pastry chef
    The cook book (101 Slow Cooker Recipes, printed 2011) didn't suggest temperatures. Just 7-9 hours in the cooker on low. I got the temperatures from two blogs.

    I'm not aiming for pulled pork, just some sliced pork for a Cuban sandwich.

    Despite all my mistakes, it actually worked out well enough! The meat had been refrigerated so it was cold and hard enough to slice thinly through a mandolin.
     
  8. halb

    halb

    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    77
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I hate to think how long that took to get down to safe temperature.
     
    drirene likes this.
  9. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    480
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    A pork loin is very lean and cooks quickly in the oven. It will shred only after being way over cooked, by this point the meat is ruined in my opinion.
    I would use a shoulder, much more flavorful, has a lot of inter muscular fat that will cook out, make the meat tender and flavorful.
    Look up a Cuban roast pork mojo recipe.
     
    flipflopgirl and drirene like this.
  10. drirene

    drirene

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    83
    Exp:
    At home wannabe pastry chef
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  11. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,697
    Likes Received:
    363
    Exp:
    Former Chef

    May I ask if the recipe did call for a "pork loin" or a pork roast and you chose the loin?
     
  12. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,436
    Likes Received:
    397
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    Great point @halb ... I read it and kept going and much later it jumped up and slapped me.
    Did the OP really put the entire appliance in the fridge?
    @koukouvagia ...you are right about the braising...I guess what I meant to say was to reheat and try to get some moisture back in the meat.
    My bad.

    mimi
     
  13. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,436
    Likes Received:
    397
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    @drirene as noted above a few times you chose the wrong cut for the wrong cooking process.... a rookie mistake that is common but avoidable.
    IMO there is something special about someone who does not partake to even try to attempt a Cuban with all the different components so kudos for that.
    The *next* time you are hankering to please the hubby (food wise lol) do some research and then go talk to a butcher or two.
    I would recommend a stand alone brick and mortar shop over the grocery meat market for the best advice.
    Why is this?
    Most groceries get their product already cut and packaged and the employees are (most likely) just stocking the cases.
    A pro butcher starts with a whole animal and breaks it down partially for the case and saves the rest for special orders.

    mimi
     
  14. scott livesey

    scott livesey

    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    87
    Exp:
    At home cook
    one of the reasons I like pork loin is how quick it cooks. slice into 3/4" to 1" thick chops, brown 2 minutes a side in very hot cast iron skillet, remove skillet from burner, cover and let rest for 10 minutes or so while rest of dinner cooks. result is always tender and juicy. as said above, slow cooker seems to work best for shoulders or butt.
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  15. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

    Messages:
    7,297
    Likes Received:
    535
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    Shoulder = butt
     
  16. brianshaw

    brianshaw

    Messages:
    2,992
    Likes Received:
    292
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Marketing terms differ. In my area "butt" is the upper half of the shoulder (#406) and "picnic" or "shoulder" (#405) is what they call the bottom part, with the shank. "Whole shoulder" or "picnic ham" (#403) is what they often call both parts when not cut apart.

    But, yah, basically the same... but with different bones and muscles. :)

    The term "Boston" confuses most markets for both pork and lettuce around here.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  17. scott livesey

    scott livesey

    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    87
    Exp:
    At home cook
    shoulder, butt, picnic, whatever they are selling this week, all enjoy a long slow cook whether in a slow cooker or charcoal smoker.
     
    brianshaw likes this.
  18. drirene

    drirene

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    83
    Exp:
    At home wannabe pastry chef
    Can't figure out how to delete post. Ugh.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  19. drirene

    drirene

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    83
    Exp:
    At home wannabe pastry chef
    Lol! I meant I took the heavy pot with the pork in it and put that in the fridge, as opposed to storing the pork in a container. So the slow cooker part you plug in was not put into fridge.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  20. drirene

    drirene

    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    83
    Exp:
    At home wannabe pastry chef
    Page 350, "Praise This Pork Roast" used a 3 pound "boneless pork loin roast." The book seemed to use the words pork roast and pork loin roast interchangeably.