Pork roast is a classic comfort food that is special because of its versatility and delicious flavor. Whether it’s a Sunday dinner or a holiday meal, pork roast is a great way to feed a large crowd.
But knowing how long to cook a pork roast in the oven can be a challenge. Too long, and it’ll be dry, but not long enough, and the meat will still be raw.
Cooking time for a pork roast in the oven is largely determined by the temperature of the oven and the size of the roast. At 400 degrees Fahrenheit, a pork roast will usually take about thirty minutes for every pound of meat. However, there are other factors that can affect the cooking time, such as the use of aluminum foil and whether or not the roast has bones.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the specifics of cooking pork roast in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. We’ll look at the factors that can influence cooking time, offer tips to make sure your pork roast is perfectly cooked and delicious, and share a simple yet delicious pork roast recipe. So, get ready to start cooking and discover a meal your family will love!
Traditional Views on Roasting Pork
As delicious as it is, roast pork can be a polarizing piece of meat. In fact, there are entire generations of Americans who remember it as a dry, tough cut of lean white meat with little to enjoy. Yet, this mostly comes down to how it was traditionally prepared—with too much time in the oven.
Just a decade ago, the USDA recommended that all pork products should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature is actually higher than necessary for safe consumption and can lead to dry, tough pork. After revising its findings, though, the administrative body adjusted its recommendation to 145 degrees Fahrenheit with a 3-minute rest time.
By taking the meat out of the oven a full 15 degrees cooler, you can avoid drying out the pork roast and still have a safe, delicious meal. Therefore, if you have any older members of your family who have less-than-favorable opinions on roast pork, we encourage you to give them a chance to try it cooked this way.
Cooking Roast Pork at 400° Fahrenheit Helps to Create a Golden Crust
You may see some recipes that recommend cooking roast pork at temperatures of 350 or 375 degrees Fahrenheit, but we find that 400 degrees Fahrenheit gives the best results. By cooking at this higher temperature, you can help create a golden-brown crust on the outside of the roast. This not only adds texture but it helps to lock in the juices, resulting in a more tender and flavorful meal.
In terms of timing, be sure to weigh the roast before putting it in the oven. The size of the pork roast will directly correlate to how long it needs to roast. For every additional pound of meat, add another 25 to 30 minutes. So, for example, a 2-pound pork roast will need between 50 minutes and an hour to cook, whereas a 5-pound roast will take about 2 ½ hours.
Only Cover the Roast with Foil During the First Half of Baking
Not only does covering the roast with foil help it to cook more evenly, but it also helps to keep the pork roast moist. This is especially important if you’re roasting a large cut of pork. During the first half of baking, cover the roast with foil and place it in the oven. This will help to keep the meat from drying out as it cooks and will also help to create a nice golden-brown crust.
After half of the roasting time has passed, remove the foil and continue to cook the roast uncovered. This will help the roast to develop a nice golden-brown color and will also help to lock in the juices. Finally, remove the roast from the oven when it is done and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
How to Account for Bones
Although most pork roasts are boneless, you can also find bone-in varieties that are popular for their deeper flavor and dark meat. However, if you’re roasting a joint of pork with a bone in it, you’ll have to adjust your cooking times. The meat closer to the bone will take longer to cook than the meat on the outside.
Therefore, when roasting a bone-in pork roast, we recommend removing the foil after the first 25 minutes of cooking and then adding an additional 10-15 minutes of cooking time for every pound of meat. This will help to ensure that the meat closest to the bone is cooked all the way through while still retaining its moisture and flavor.
If you’re not 100% certain whether the meat at the center of the joint is fully cooked, we recommend testing it with a meat thermometer. As long as it’s reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be safe to eat. Just let it rest for a few minutes and then carve the roast and serve.
Secret Tricks to Turn Any Pork Roast into a Restaurant-Quality Dish
Beyond simply roasting the meat for the right amount of time, you can also use a handful of culinary tricks to make the meat more tender, juicier, and flavorful. Feel free to experiment with them or add your own personal flare to the dish.
Brine the Pork Before Roasting It
If you have some time to spare and want to ensure that your pork roast is juicy and flavorful, we recommend brining the meat before cooking it. This is a centuries-old technique that helps to break down the proteins in the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish.
Just mix together a cup of salt, a cup of sugar, and a gallon of water in a large container and let the pork roast sit in the solution for at least 8 hours. This will help to tenderize the meat and lock in moisture.
Sear the Roast Before Putting It in the Oven
Pan-searing meat is an age-old culinary technique that helps to lock in the natural juices, adds flavor, and helps to create a nice golden-brown crust. To do this, simply heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and then add some oil. Once the oil is hot, add the roast to the pan and sear it for several minutes on each side. Once the meat is nicely browned, transfer it to a roasting pan and place it in the oven.
Add Vegetables and Herbs
Adding vegetables and herbs can help to enhance the flavor of the pork roast. Simply toss them with some oil and garlic and then arrange them around the roast. As the pork roasts, the vegetables and herbs will absorb the delicious flavors of the pork, resulting in a more flavorful and complex dish.
Baste the Pork Roast
Basting is a technique that helps to keep the outside of the pork roast moist and flavorful. To do this, simply whisk together some melted butter, garlic, and herbs, and then brush the mixture onto the roast every 20 minutes or so. This will help to keep the outside of the pork roast moist and flavorful. Alternatively, you can use red wine or beef stock for added flavor.
Let the Roast Rest
Last, but maybe most importantly, be sure to let the roast rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. If you immediately cut into the meat without letting it rest, all of the juices will run away and you’ll be left with a dry roast.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pork Roast
The term “pork roast” can refer to a few different cuts of meat but they are usually either a pork center loin, which comes from the back of the pig, a pork shoulder, which comes from the front, or a pork butt, which comes from the upper rump of the pig.
Depending on the size of the roast, a pork roast can serve anywhere from 4-8 people. If you need to feed more than 8 people, you can always roast two smaller roasts or use a larger roast.
Pork roast pairs well with a variety of side dishes such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and stuffing. It also pairs nicely with fruit-based sides such as applesauce or cranberry sauce.
Cooked pork roast can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days and in the freezer for up to three months. Be sure to store the roast in an airtight container and consume it within the specified time frame.
Although there’s no reason why you couldn’t air fry a pork roast, it probably won’t work as well as you’d like. Most air fryers are not designed to hold large cuts of meat and the high internal temperature, combined with airflow, would probably dry out your roast. So, we recommend roasting it in the oven for the best results.
Our Family Recipe for Pork Roast
- 4 to 5 pound boneless pork roast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ cup of red wine
- ¼ cup of butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, oregano, and pepper. Then, rub the spice mixture over the pork roast.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork roast and sear it for several minutes on each side.
- Transfer the pork roast to a roasting pan and pour in the red wine. Cover the roast with foil and place it in the oven.
- Roast the pork for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then, remove the foil and baste the roast with the melted butter.
- Continue to roast the pork for an additional 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 941Total Fat: 70gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 37gCholesterol: 270mgSodium: 242mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 67g