Perfect for a crowd, this apple cider brined pork loin is extremely moist and tender on the inside, infused with so much flavor, and perfectly crispy on the outside. Naturally gluten-free.
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I know I went on and on about how amazing brining is in my pickle-brined fried chicken tenders post, but I’m going to tell you again. Because it’s legit a game-changer.
This pork loin is hands down the best pork loin I have ever had and ALL the credit goes to the apple cider brine.
While the apple cider taste itself is subtle, the combination of it along with the aromatics, herbs, and salt make this pork loin intensely flavorful. There is literally flavor packed into every single nook and cranny in this roast.
Aside from the immense flavor, the meat is unimaginably tender and juicy thanks to the brine. If you ever struggled with tough, dry pork, I urge you to try this recipe as it delivers magnificently succulent meat.
The exterior, however, is a different story. It’s extra crispy (and flavorful) due to a quick sear followed by oven roasting. And the combination of the two textures = HEAVEN.
For real though, it doesn’t get much better than this. That is why you will most definitely want to share this pork loin with a crowd OR maybe just hoard it for yourself. I mean…. I wouldn’t blame ya if you did.
What is brining?
Brining is a wonderful process used to generate juicy, tender, and flavor-infused meat. The technique has been around since before refrigerators and was originally used as a preservation method. To brine, simply means to soak/preserve in a salty water. The use of salt allows the meat to absorb liquid rendering it juicer and more flavorful. Additionally, the salt acts as a tenderizer, breaking down the protein in the meat.
So what do you need to make this pork loin? ( + substitutions)
- Apple cider: The apple cider acts as a tenderizer as well as gently infuses the meat with flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar: ACV breaks down the tissue acting as a tenderizer as well and also helps balance the flavor profile.
- Kosher salt: Brining requires salt and kosher salt is the best option. If you do not have kosher salt, table salt will work, but you will only need 1/4 cup rather than a half cup.
- Garlic: In my opinion, you can’t have too much garlic, so feel free to add as much as you like.
- Shallot: Aromatics like shallots add so much flavor.
- Bay leaves
- Fresh rosemary sprigs: Rosemary pairs wonderfully with pork.
- Ice cubes: Used to cool down the brine, so the pork does not cook in it. If you don’t have ice you can use cold water instead, but will need to give it some additional time to cool down sufficiently.
- Pork loin roast: This recipe calls for a 3-4 pound roast, however, you could easily use a larger roast and double or even triple the ingredients.
- Olive oil
- Ground black pepper: I prefer course ground.
How do you make this apple cider brined pork loin? ( + tips)
In a medium pot, bring to a boil the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, garlic, shallot, bay leaves, and rosemary; continue boiling for two minutes. Heating the brine helps bring out the flavors.
Transfer to the container you intend to brine the pork loin in and add the ice cubes (or cold water). The size and shape of your brining container will determine how much brine will be required. Ideally your container should not be too wide in order too ensure you can fully submerge the pork without having to make more brine.
Once the brine has cooled to at least room temperature, add the pork loin making sure it is fully submerged and refrigerate for at 8-24 hours.
***If you need to add a little more water to achieve this that is perfectly fine. However, in the case that a significant portion of the pork loin is left uncovered you will need to make more brine. Combine one cup of apple cider with one cup of water. Add 1/8 cup salt and stir until dissolved, then add to your container.
Remove the pork loin from the brine, pat dry, and rub down all four sides with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a skillet to medium heat and sear each side of the roast for 3-5 minutes.
Transfer the pork loin to a baking sheet lined with tinfoil and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. The internal temperature should register 140 degrees when done.
Remove from the oven, loosely cover with tin foil, and rest for ten minutes prior to slicing and serving.
How to store
Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.
What to serve with this pork loin:
- Roasted veggies like carrots, potatoes, onions, parsnips, etc.
- Mashed potatoes or this goat cheese mashed cauliflower with sautéed leeks.
- A salad like this roasted sweet potato salad w/ beet chips and cranberry vinaigrette.
If you make this apple cider brined pork loin I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 4 cups apple cider (see notes)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 shallot, peeled & quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 rosemary sprigs + more for serving
- 4 cups ice (see notes)
- 3-4 pound pork loin roast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, preferably course ground
- In a medium pot, bring to a boil the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, garlic, shallot, bay leaves, and rosemary. Continue boiling for two minutes.
- Transfer to the container you intend to brine the pork loin and add the ice cubes (or cold water).
- Once the brine has cooled to at least room temperature add the pork loin and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
- Remove from brine, pat dry, and rub all four sides with olive oil; sprinkle with black pepper.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat a skillet to medium heat and sear each side of the roast for 3-5 minutes.
- Transfer the pork loin to a baking sheet line with tinfoil and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Internal temperature should register 140 degrees when done.
- Remove from oven, loosely cover with tin foil, and rest for ten minutes prior to slicing and serving.
Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: ~4 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 54Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 4720mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 0g
The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc