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Which way do you cut a pork tenderloin?

Pork tenderloin is a delicious cut of meat that is lean and flavorful. It’s an affordable option for your everyday dinners, and a great choice for special occasions too. Whether it’s grilled, baked, or pan-seared, a properly cooked pork tenderloin is sure to impress your guests or satisfy your family. However, before you start cooking, it’s important to know how to cut the pork tenderloin properly to ensure even cooking and tender meat. In this blog post, we will discuss which way to cut a pork tenderloin and how to prepare it for cooking.

What is Pork Tenderloin?

Pork tenderloin is a long, narrow cut of meat that runs along the animal’s spine. It is also known as fillet or pork fillet in some countries. It’s one of the most tender cuts of pork meat and has a mild flavor. Pork tenderloin is usually sold in a package, with two pieces of meat per pack, weighing around 1 to 1.5 pounds each. It’s a versatile cut of meat that can be cooked in so many different ways.

Preparing the Pork Tenderloin

Before you cut the pork tenderloin, you need to remove the silver skin. The silver skin is a thin, silvery membrane that runs along one side of the pork tenderloin. If left on, it can cause the meat to curl while cooking, and it’s tough and chewy. Removing the silver skin is easy but requires a bit of practice.

To remove the silver skin, start at the thicker end of the pork tenderloin. Get a sharp boning knife, and slide it between the silver skin and the meat. Make a cut such that the skin is free from the meat in one place. Hold the skin with one hand where you cut it free from the meat. Work the knife away from your hand, cutting the skin away form the meat as you go. Repeat until all the silver skin is removed.

After removing the silver skin, you can cut the pork tenderloin into pieces. There are two ways to do it, depending on how you want to cook it.

Cutting the Pork Tenderloin Horizontally

Cutting the pork tenderloin horizontally means slicing the meat across its width, resulting in two thinner pieces of meat. It’s perfect if you want to grill or sear the meat on a skillet, as it cooks quickly and evenly. To cut the pork tenderloin horizontally, follow these steps:

1. Lay the pork tenderloin on a cutting board, with the thicker end on your left-hand side and the thinner end on your right-hand side.
2. Hold the knife parallel to the cutting board and slice the pork tenderloin in half horizontally. Start at the thickest end, and slowly work your way to the thinner end.
3. When you have two equal pieces of meat, you can season them with salt, pepper, and any other spices of your choice. You can also marinate them if you want to give them more flavor.

Cutting the Pork Tenderloin Vertically

If you want to slice the pork tenderloin vertically, you’ll end up with longer pieces of meat, also known as medallions. It’s perfect if you’re looking to cook the pork tenderloin in the oven or slow cooker, as it takes longer to cook. To cut the pork tenderloin vertically, follow these steps:

1. Stand the pork tenderloin on one end, with the thicker end on the bottom and the thinner end on top.
2. Hold your knife at a slight angle and slice the pork tenderloin crosswise into rounds, starting at the thicker end. Each round should be about 1 to 1.5 inches thick.
3. When you have a pile of medallions, you can season them with salt, pepper, and any other spices of your choice. You can also marinate them if you want to give them more flavor.


Cutting a pork tenderloin correctly is essential for a delicious and perfectly cooked dish. Whether you cut it horizontally or vertically, make sure to remove the silver skin first, so the meat isn’t tough and chewy. Once you’ve cut the pork tenderloin, you can season it with your favorite herbs and spices, and cook it to your liking. Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to try different cutting techniques until you find the one that works best for you.


Do you cook a pork loin skin side up or down?

When cooking a pork loin, one of the most common questions is whether to cook it skin side up or down. After all, the way you place the meat in the roasting pan can have a significant impact on both the flavor and texture of the final dish.

The general consensus among chefs and home cooks is to place your pork loin fat side up in your roasting pan. By having the fat on top, you’re allowing the fat layer to baste the roast as it cooks. This is the step that keeps the pork from becoming dry and tough.

As the fat cooks, it melts and drips down onto the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful. Additionally, the fat will crisp up nicely on the top of the roast, adding a pleasing texture and a layer of flavor to the dish.

It’s worth noting that not all pork loins come with a skin layer. If your pork loin has a skin layer, you’ll want to score it in a crosshatch pattern before cooking. This will allow the fat to render out properly and keep the skin from shrinking up and becoming tough.

When it comes to cooking pork loin, you’ll want to start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pork loin fat side up in the prepared roasting pan and season as desired. It’s essential to monitor the internal temperature of the pork loin to ensure that it’s cooked through and safe to eat. Use an oven-safe meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat to check the temperature regularly.

Cooking a pork loin skin side up is the recommended method. Doing so will help keep the meat moist and flavorful while allowing the fat to crisp up and add an extra layer of flavor and texture. Remember to check the internal temperature regularly to ensure that your pork loin is cooked to perfection.