Saturday, April 6, 2024

1 Pork Loin 3 Meals

Have you ever glanced at those big pork loins on sale at your local grocery store and wondered what you could possibly do with all that meat beside throw a party? Well, I'm going to show you how to utilize a whole loin by cutting it into three versatile portions for a roast, chops and stew meat. Not only is buying a whole pork loin a budget-friendly option, but it also ensures you have a high-quality source of protein for several meals.

1 Pork Loin 3 Meals

If you are attending the Iowa Eats Food & Drink Festival today, April 6, 2024, catch me at The Meat Locker at 2:40 p.m., where I'll be demonstrating how to turn one whole pork loin into three meals. During the demo, I'll be sharing the techniques discussed in this blog post, offering tips to help you navigate the purchase of a whole pork loin without feeling overwhelmed, as well as ways to keep your meals exciting and varied. Plus I'll have samples & gifts thanks to CommonGround Iowa!

Iowa Eats Food & Drink Festival Demonstration

The number of meals you can get out of one whole pork loin depends on the size of your loin, usually they are 7 to 10 pounds, and how many people are in your family. I have a growing family of six and we can get at least get three meals out of one pork loin, and at $2.50 per pound or less, it is an affordable and versatile protein that the whole family will enjoy.

We are going to butcher this whole pork loin into three cuts: a roast, pork chops and stew meat.

1 Pork Loin 3 Meals

To start, I slice down the middle and then cut a 3 to 5 pound section with a nice, even lay of fat on top, cut for the roast. This is a pork loin roast that you'd buy at the grocery store. It is perfect for the classic crockpot or oven roast with vegetables, or I personally love smoking the roast with my pork rub. If you only have a couple people in your family, you could even cut this section into two smaller roasts.

Pork Loin Roast

Next, from the center I cut pork chops. You can make these as thick or thin as you'd like. These would be your boneless pork loin chops or center cut chops that you see at the grocery store. My personal favorite way to cook pork chops is simply with salt and pepper on the grill!

Boneless Pork Loin Chops

Lastly, I take the end pieces that are left and cut them into strips or chunks for pork stew meat. I love having bags of these in my freezer for recipes like pork fajitas, stir fry and kabobs.

Pork Stew Meat

After having your whole pork loin butchered, it's crucial to store the pork properly to maintain its quality and freshness. Whether you plan to use it promptly or save if for a future meal, correct handling is essential. If you're storing it in the refrigerator for immediate use, ensure it's tightly wrapped or placed in an airtight container to prevent exposure to air, which can cause it to spoil prematurely. For longer-term storage in the freezer, the key is to minimize air exposure as much as possible. You can achieve this by vacuum-sealing the meat using a home food sealer or by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or butcher paper before placing it in a freezer bag. Properly sealed and stored, your pork loin will stay delicious and ready to use whenever you need it.

1 Pork Loin 3 Meals

My biggest tip for cooking pork is to cook it to an internal temperature of 145°F and then let it rest for three minutes. This will result in a juicy cut of pork that your whole family will enjoy!

As you can see, opting to purchase the entire loin and butchering it yourself, you'll not only save a considerable amount of money but also provide hearty meals for your family for days to come. With a little practice and guidance, you'll soon find yourself transforming a simple pork loin into a feast fit for any occasion. 

I'd love to hear about your experiences and recipes with whole pork loins. Feel free to share your thoughts and any tips in the comments below!


  1. I often buy and simply cut into pork chops. It really can save money for little effort.