All About Pork Roasts for Pressure Cooking

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Perfect Pork


Buying and Storing Tips

Pork Roasts

Temperature for Pork Roasts

Perfect Pork

Pork has a long history in the United States, thanks to the European explorers who brought pork to the New World. In 1493, Christopher Columbus loaded hogs into his ship, crossed the Atlantic with them, and introduced them to the Americas. However, this is only recent history for an animal that has been domesticated since 7,000 BC and whose meat is enjoyed by people around the world.

Pork roasts are large cuts of meat from the loin, leg, shoulder, or tenderloin. These are perfect for family dinners or gatherings; pork roast makes a satisfying and savory meal for any occasion. Pork today isn't the fatty animal it was just a few years ago. Like many other animal proteins on the market, pork is bred to be very lean. Roasts can range in size from as small as 2 lbs. up to 20 lbs. or more. Most are available bone-in or boneless and some are available cured, smoked and fully cooked, but generally they are purchased fresh.

Use The Pressure Cooker As A Pre-cooker

Some of you may already know how to use your pressure cooker to pre-cook foods like ribs and then finish them on the grill for taste and tenderness that can't be duplicated by grilling alone. You can also use your pressure cooker the same way to pre-cook roasts and meats of all kinds - pork, beef, lamb, chicken, ham, turkey and then finish up on the grill or in the oven. Follow any recipe for cooking the meat in the pressure cooker, or more experienced pressure cooker users may want to use the Cooking Time Charts and then have your grill hot finish with a great grilled taste.

Buying and Storing Tips

Pork roasts should be reddish pink. A darker red indicates acidic pork, meat that is juicy and delicious but that does not keep well and must be eaten immediately. Avoid pork roasts that have a brown or greenish tinge or that are slimy or have an odor.

Keep raw pork roast in its original wrapping and store it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for two to four days. Cooked pork will keep four to five days in the refrigerator. To freeze, wrap meat well in plastic, foil, or butcher paper and store at 18F (0C) for up to ten months. Leftover cooked pork will keep in the freezer for one month. Do not refreeze thawed pork roast.

Pork Roasts

Go to the Pork Diagram to see where these cuts come from and which cuts of pork are best for pressure cooking. Pork roasts are great for pressure cooking, and you'll be serving up a platter of tender, succuent, sliced roast pork in just 30 minutes, or mounds of shredded pork in about 45 - a fraction of the time it would take by regular cooking methods.

Names of Popular Cuts


Blade Boston Roast
Boston Butt Roast

Pork butt has nothing to do with the pig's hindquarters. Confused? The Boston Butt is really a cut from the shoulder, so it may also be sold as boneless or bone-in pork shoulder. The good thing about a pork butt is that its cheap, easy to cook and full of rich flavor.

Because it's from the shoulder, it gets alot of work, and as a bonus, pork butt is generally well marbled which means lots of flavorful, but also a really tough cut of meat. Fortunately, the pressure cooker makes's quickl solves that problrm. The moist heat breaks down the collagen in the meat, making it juicy and tender .

Shoulder Blade Roast

A roast from the shoulder primal cut, which is fairly tender and flavorful. This roast is cut from the section of the shoulder closest to the blade end of the loin. It is marbled with a fair amount of fat which keeps the meat moist and provides good flavor to the meat when cooked.

Boneless Shoulder Roll

A boneless shoulder roll is a roast from the blade shoulder. The bones are removed and the meat is rolled and place in a string type bag, which remains on the roast as it is cooked to hold the shape of the roll. The boneless shoulder roll is available fresh, or cured and smoked.

Picnic Roast
Arm Roast

Sometimes called , this roast is a fresh cut that comes from the shoulder primal cut and it contains more fat than the blade Boston roast. A well trimmed roast provides a very rich flavor when roasted. Often this cut is smoked and then it is referred to as a picnic ham, although it is not a true ham. This cut is economically priced.

Blade Loin Roast
Rib End Roast

Bone In


Sometimes called , this roast is cut from the end of the loin closest to the shoulder. It is leaner than the shoulder roasts but contains more fat than the other roasts cut from the center cut or sirloin end of the loin. It is available bone in and boneless.

Crown Roast

The crown roast is an elegant roast made from two center cut racks of ribs, which are bent to form a circle and then tied together with the bones facing out. The two racks are tied together with string to hold their shape and then the bones are frenched at the top so that at least one inch of bone is exposed. This roast generally must be special ordered and is priced higher than other roasts.

Center Cut Loin Roast

Bone In


A lean and tender fresh roast taken from the middle of the loin primal cut. It is considered one of the prime cuts of pork. It contains part of the backbone, which adds flavor but makes it harder to carve. The bones are sometimes frenched on this roast to make it easier to slice after cooking. When this is done it is called a rack of pork. This roast is frequently boned to make it easier to carve when cooked. The bones are sometimes tied to the roast to add flavor while cooking and they are then removed to carve. The rack of pork and the boneless roast will generally cost more and need to be special ordered.

Rack Of Pork

A rack of pork is a center cut loin roast that has had the bones frenched, which makes it easier to cut after it is cooked. You can french the roast yourself or you can have it special ordered already frenched. A special ordered frenched roast will generally cost more than an unfrenched roast.

Sirloin Roast

A roast cut from the sirloin end of the loin, which is the end closest to the hind leg. It is a fairly lean roast but contains part of the backbone and hipbone, which makes it harder to carve. Economically priced.

Fresh Ham Roast

A roast, cut from the leg/ham primal cut, which has not been cured or smoked. It is lean and flavorful but because of its location on the pig, the ham roast is generally not as tender as the other cuts and its bone structure makes it more difficult to carve. A cut from the top of the leg is sometimes called a top leg roast or an inside roast and a roast from the bottom portion is called a shank roast or leg roast.

Whole Tenderloins

Whole tenderloins are frequently sold in pairs. The tenderloin is the leanest and most tender cut of pork. It is located along the bottom of the loin, starting in the center cut and running back through the sirloin end. Because of its leanness, care should be taken so that it is not overcooked. It is available whole or cut into scallops and medallions. It is also available marinated and seasoned with flavors such as garlic and onion, lemon garlic, herb, peppercorn, mesquite, honey mustard, and teriyaki. The tenderloin is an expensive cut.


Medallions are thick slices of tenderloin. The tenderloin is cut across the grain to form slices that are approximately 1 to 1 inches thick and weigh between 3 and 6 ounces. The slices are then molded into a round uniform shape. Medallions can be purchased pre-sliced or a whole tenderloin can be purchased and sliced into medallions.



Temperature for Pork Roasts

Years ago, cookbook instructions warned readers to cook pork until it reached a scorching internal temperature of 160F degrees. As a result, the pork that landed on our grandparents' plates was overcooked, dried out and leathery. Today, food scientists tell us that pork is safe to eat after it reaches an internal temperature of 160F degrees.

At 160F, pork is white, not pink, but it does have an almost indiscernible rosiness about it. The juices and flesh are gold or bronzy. The aroma is warm and full, with the smell of crispy brown skin and roasted meat. At last, pork can be juicy, tender, and flavorful. Get a meat thermometer and insert into thickest part of meat, avoiding bone contact, so you can tell when it is cooked on the inside.

See the Cooking Time Charts for basic instructions on all kinds of pork and ham cuts.

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