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Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin

Served with roasted vegetables, this simple showstopping apple cider brined pork loin is perfect for a crowd. Naturally gluten-free, it is extremely tender and juicy and infused with the most magnificent flavor.

Close-up of apple cider brined pork loin roast with veggies.

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I know I went on and on about how amazing brining is in my pickle-brined fried chicken tenders post and again in my roast orange brined chicken 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 pork brine.

For real though, it doesn’t get much better than this which 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 you’ll love about this recipe


  • It’s so simple! The process of brining is super simple, as is roasting. It requires very little hands-on prep time so it’s perfect for a busy day, an event, or a holiday celebration. Additionally, relatively few ingredients are needed and the clean-up is a breeze.
  • The flavors! While the apple cider flavor itself is subtle, the combination of it along with the aromatics, herbs, and salt make it intensely flavorful. There is literally flavor packed into every single nook and cranny. The warm and comforting flavors make it a wonderful dish for fall when colder weather sets in.
  • The textures! The pork is unimaginably tender and juicy thanks to the brine. If you ever struggled with tough, dry pork, I urger you to try this recipe as it delivers magnificently succulent meat. The exterior of the roast is a different story. It’s crispy (and flavorful) due to a quick sear followed by oven roasting. Believe me when I tell you, the combination of the two textures is HEAVEN!!!
Pork loin roast on platter with vegetables and stack of plates with forks.

Ingredients (+ notes & substitutions)


Ingredients for apple cider pork loin (see recipe card).
  • 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 only use 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. It’s used in the brine and is great for garnishing prior to serving.
  • Ice cubes: Used to cool down the apple cider pork brine so the pork does not cook in it. If you don’t have any 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 three to four-pound roast, however, you could easily use a larger roast and double or even triple the recipe if you’re serving a larger crowd.
  • Olive oil: For rubbing down the roast prior to searing.
  • Ground black pepper: I prefer course ground.

How to make apple cider brined pork loin ( + tips)


1. Add the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, shallot, garlic, bay leaves, and rosemary sprigs to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for two minutes then transfer the contents to a large bowl.

2. Add the ice cubes and once they have melted, add the pork loin making sure it is submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours. The size and shape of your brining container will determine how much brine will be required. Ideally, the container should not be too wide in order to ensure you can fully submerge.

***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.

Pork loin in apple cider brine.

3. Remove the pork loin from the brine and pat dry. Rub the entire roast with olive oil then sprinkle with the black pepper.

Brined pork loin smothered in black pepper.

4. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

5. Heat a skillet (preferably cast-iron) to medium-high heat and sear each side of the roast for 3-5 minutes. Searing the roast results in a crusty exterior and enhances the flavor.

6. Transfer the pork loin to a baking sheet and surround it with veggies if desired. I typically include Brussels sprouts, new potatoes, carrots, and onions. Toss them generously with olive oil, salt, and pepper and that’s it. The juices from the meat will seep out and flavor them. Bake for 50-minutes to one hour or until the internal temperature registers 140 degrees.

Pork loin with vegetbles on a sheet pan prior to baking.

7. Remove from oven, loosely cover with tin foil, and rest for ten minutes. Slice, drizzle with cooking juices, and serve warm.

Cooked roast with vegetables on sheet pan.

Storage


Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to four days.


FAQ


What’s the difference between a pork loin and a pork tenderloin?

Frequently confused, pork loin and pork tenderloin are actually two different cuts of meat. Pork tenderloin is a long thin cut of pork from the muscle running alongside the backbone. Pork loin, like tenderloin, is long but is much wider in comparison. It is cut from the pig’s back, often has a thin layer of fat, and comes bone-in or boneless. Both are on the lean side and more mildly flavored than other cuts of pork.

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 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.



Pork roast garnished with rosemary and surrounded by veggies on a platter.
Platter with vegetables and pork loin roast.
Close up of pork slice being drizzled with juices.

What to serve with this apple cider pork loin:


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 ♥

Close-up of apple cider brined pork loin roast with veggies.

Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin

Yield: 12-16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Additional Time : 8 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 9 hours 40 minutes

Perfect for a crowd, this apple cider brined pork loin is an autumn delight; extremely moist and tender on the inside while perfectly crispy on the outside and infused with so much flavor. Naturally gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 shallot, peeled & quartered
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 rosemary sprigs + more for serving
  • 4 cups ice
  • 3-4 pound boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, preferably course ground

Instructions

  1. Add the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, shallot, garlic, bay leaves, and rosemary sprigs to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for two minutes then transfer the contents to a large bowl.
  2. Add the ice cubes and once they have melted, add the pork loin making sure it is submerged. (See notes if you are unable to submerge the pork loin.) Cover and refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
  3. Remove the pork loin from the brine and pat dry. Rub the entire roast with olive oil then sprinkle with the black pepper.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Heat a skillet (preferably cast-iron) to medium-high heat and sear each side of the roast for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Transfer the pork loin to a baking sheet, surround it with veggies if desired, and bake for 50-minutes to one hour or until the internal temperature registers 140 degrees. (See notes for vegetable suggestions)
  7. Remove from oven, loosely cover with tin foil, and rest for ten minutes. Slice, drizzle with cooking juices, and serve warm.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to four days.

Notes

  1. The size and shape of your brining container will determine how much brine will be required. Ideally, the container should not be too wide in order to ensure you can fully submerge. 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.
  2. I typically include Brussels sprouts, new potatoes, carrots, and onions. Toss them generously with olive oil, salt, and pepper and that's it. The juices from the meat will seep out and flavor them.
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

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Facebook

Liz

Sunday 7th of November 2021

Excited to give this a try! We like making one big pork loin & freezing!

Jessica Halverstadt

Monday 8th of November 2021

I hope you like it!

Silvia

Saturday 6th of November 2021

i have never thought about brining a pork loin! But it makes so much sense. We usually serve pork loin for Christmas, so I'm going to try it out.

Jessica Halverstadt

Monday 8th of November 2021

Brining pork loin is a game changer. I hope you're happy with the results!

Leslie Sawmiller

Saturday 6th of November 2021

Brining is definitely key with any pork loin recipe. Your flavors really stand out from other recipes! Looks amazing!

Jessica Halverstadt

Monday 8th of November 2021

Thanks! Brining is, indeed, the key!

Lauren Michael Harris

Friday 5th of November 2021

Apple and pork go so well together. We just bought a gallon of cider at our local orchard. Adding this recipe to next weeks meal plan!

Jessica Halverstadt

Monday 8th of November 2021

Hope it doesn't disappoint!!!

Tammy

Friday 5th of November 2021

Such a delicious idea. This looks so juicy and flavorful...beautiful holiday dish!

Jessica Halverstadt

Monday 8th of November 2021

You got that right! Thanks so much!

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