The pork loin holds the leanest and most tender pork cuts. These cuts tend to dry out if overcooked, pork however, is safe to eat if cooked to an interior temperature of 160 degrees.
There are three major parts of the loin: the blade end, which is fatty and is closest to the shoulder; the sirloin end, which is bony and is closest to the rump; and the center portion which is lean, tender, and a little expensive.
Pork loin is a meat cut along the top of the rib cage.
Selecting and Buying
Check the sell-by or use-by date on the package. Believe it or not, selling meat after the sell-by date isn't always illegal. If the meat is past its sell-by date, don't buy it, no matter how low the price per pound.
Check the color of the meat. It doesn't have to be past its expiration date to be spoiled, nor does an off-color meat mean that it is bad. Good poultry meat can be anywhere from bluish-white to yellow in color. Optimally, raw pork is grayish-pink. Ground beef can be tricky. Most people associate the freshest ground beef with a bright red color. However, this reddish color is not the natural color of fresh beef, but occurs due to the meat's exposure to the air. If fresh ground beef could be vacuum-packed and kept from oxygen, its color would be a purplish-red. Contrary to popular belief, just because ground beef has turned brown does not mean that it's bad. Meat from older animals will be darker than that of younger animals. In addition, sometimes the store's lighting can cause a reaction with the meat, turning it a brownish-red.
Smell the meat. This is probably the easiest way to tell whether meat is bad. Whatever the kind of meat, if it smells rancid or unpleasant, it's not good to eat. You may run across ground beef in the store that appears to be fresh but has a slight odor to it. This could mean that the meat is just beginning to go bad, or that the store used carbon monoxide when it packaged the meat to keep it that pretty red color even after spoilage. Either way, you shouldn't take the risk. Raw poultry has a more distinctive odor when it starts going bad--a putrid smell that should discourage even those with an iron stomach from eating it.
Take the time to inspect the meat. Spoiled meat often has a slimy texture to it, which is a sign that bacteria has begun to multiply on its surface. Bad meat, especially poultry, might also become tacky or sticky. If you see any kind of growth on the meat, or if there are areas that are black or green, mold has begun to grow.
Leaving meat in the freezer too long will not spoil the product, but it will change its color and remove nutrients from the meat. Cooking meat with freezer burn often results in a dry and bitter-tasting meal.
Undercooked meat, however fresh it is, can pose the same dangers to humans as spoiled meat. Cook your meats well-done to minimize your chance at contracting a food-borne illness.
Don't trust the sell-by date on store-bought meat as an indication of its freshness, as these dates are easily manipulated. Use your senses (including common sense) to decide whether meat is fresh or spoiled.
Preparation and Use
Pork Loin is perfect for grilling and broiling. The meat cut is lean so be very careful you do not overcook and dry out the meat.
Conserving and Storing
After cleaning pork loin, you can freeze it and last up to 4 months. Wrap it with foil or any plastic wrapper.