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  1. This was a very helpful post. I’ve cut up a lot of pork loins, but didn’t think past chops and roasts. Your method makes much more sense for our family of 2. Thanks!

      • Hi jerry just bought my loin. I Also want to make several meals, I do this all the time with other cuts including those giant chicken breasts and smaller beef roasts,Most of my meals cost $2-3. Just wanted to to add I’ll lay one roast. In a thin roll and stuff it with spinach and garlic.

    • I second this comment! I regularly buy the whole primal loin ($1.79-$1.99 at the discount market, with flash sales as low as $0.99/lb!) for just the two of us, but usually just cut it into pork chops or roasts. I never thought to do stir fry strips or stew meat! Thanks :)

      • Becca,
        Honestly, there are hundreds of different ways you could butcher this. It all depends on what your family likes to eat, and how you approach it. This series is actually based around that concept. Buy primal and butcher it yourself, based on your needs. It saves money, and you end up with a freezer full of proteins that you’ll look forward yo cooking.

        Have a great day!

      • I bought one over the weekend for $1.59/lb and a bit over 9 lbs. The center cut roasts I stuff by “unrolling it with a knife, then rolling and tying with butcher twine.
        The stuffing keeps the roast moist and adds incredible flavor to the meat.

  2. This is very helpful. What I still need to learn is which pieces have a long cooking time and which pieces should only be cooked very briefly.

    • From the loin they are all about the same. (Of course larger cuts/roasts require longer times.) Just get them to 135F or over and you’re golden!

      • Great! I’m going to do that. I see these huge pork pieces all the time but never knew what to do with them!

    • The pink needs to be gone. If you soak the roast in brine for 24 hrs it tastes delish..then it only needs to be seared on both sides and baked at 400 for 30 min. I temp it at 165. Brine mix is 3tbl salt 1 tbl peppercorn and 3 cups water and boil 10 min. Add 2 cups ice to cool and marinade 24 hrs

  3. My husband and I have done this for years. Those pork roasts make great sandwiches when smoked!! Also, if you buy the pinkest loin you can find you can age it for a week before cutting it up. It MUST stay in the vacuum seal packaging for this but then you can slice as usual. It will be much more tender and juicy if aged.

    • Kathy,

      Thanks for the suggestion!

      I’ll have to try aging it next time. Generally I break them down almost as soon as I get them home so that I can get them frozen ASAP.

  4. My Husband and I are retired and live on a small check. Trying to feed us and Grandkids is tough. Thanks for the idea. I bought in bulk when the kids were home. I’ll try again

    • Pat,
      I’m so glad we could spark an idea, or find any way to make your meal budget stretch. This really isn’t difficult to do, so don’t let it daunt you!

    • Angela,
      This time I just used zip top freezer bags, because most of this particular loin was used up within 2 weeks. If I’m going to store them for a longer period of time, I wrap in butcher paper, then in foil.

      • I just use the freezer bags. even if I’m storing them for months at a time, they thaw & cook beautifully. I’ve never seen a need for paper or foil.
        We LOVE grilling our 1+” ‘pork steaks’! S&P + garlic powder + 8-10 minutes on a good, hot grill = YUM!!!
        I cut the stew-meat ends & a small roast or 2 out of ours.
        The rest are ALL our treasured 1+” ‘porkies’ (AKA Pork Filet Mignon)!

    • Erica,
      That completely depends on what kinds of meals I was planning at the moment. This is just a very basic guide, and the loin can be cut however it best suits your needs.

  5. Your article was well-written and very helpful. I appreciated the step-by-step format. Thank you.

    I, too, buy pork loins when on sale and butcher them into several meals, much as you did. I often take one of the roast sections and carefully butterfly it into one long strip, then roll it back up. before packaging and freezing. When ready to prepare it, I take it out of the freezer and allow it to thaw overnight (or longer if need be). I then unroll the roast and create a stuffing for it. I vary the type of stuffing, but I often just whirl leftover bread (usually the ends) in a food processor with a few cloves of garlic, some fresh or dried thyme, and a little salt. I then cover the long roast strip with the crumbs. I drizzle a little oil over the crumbs, sprinkle generously with grated cheese,and season with a little more salt and granulated garlic powder. I then roll the meat back into a roast shape, tie with string, season the outside with salt and more granulated garlic on all sides and place it on a rack over a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil, parchment paper, or a Silpat. If the roast does not have fat on the outside, I drizzle a small amount of oil on it before seasoning. I put it into a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 for about 35 minutes or until done. The length of roasting time is determined by the size of the roast and the amount of the stuffing used. If using a meat thermometer, you need to be careful not to rest the tip in the stuffing. when testing the internal temperature. Normally, I can just tell when it is ready, but it is best to have the internal temperature around 160 degrees. I don’t worry about the stuffing because I don’t use eggs to make it moist. The oil and the cheese ensure that. Once I remove the roast from the oven, I let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting the string and slicing it. Because of the stuffing, the roast usually feeds my family of three for two meals, one slice each at each meal.

    I often put small potatoes on the rack with the roast after I lower the temperature so they can bake along with the roast. You can use whatever stuffing recipe you prefer, just be sure its ingredients lend flavor and moisture to keep the meat from drying out.

  6. I am going to have to try this. I always see the pork loins at our discount store and never could figure out who would need so much meat at once. Thank you for breaking it down into the various cuts and explaining why you turned which pieces into which cuts. I am excited to pick up a pork loin and try this out.

  7. Thank you, thank you! Family of 5 here with 3 growing boys. I love the idea of cutting up bigger portions of meat. Please do more!

    • Jenny,
      There will definitely be more like this coming soon. Stay tuned, or consider signing up for the mailing list to be notified of future updates!

  8. What a great article! I have been learning to cut down larger cuts of meat, and I love pork, so this article is a gem. I have been cutting down large 7-bone beef roasts for my family of two for a while, but I don’t have nice photos or a good explanation like you do. I can get some steaks, kabobs, and a much smaller roast out of that piece. I’m eager to try your brisket method too. Thanks a million for sharing.

    • Phyllis,
      Cutting down a 7 bone into parts sounds like an interesting idea as well. I’ll have to see what the butcher has available next time I roll through the store!

      Definitely do try the brisket. It saves Sooo Much money on beef bills, but is a bit tougher cut of meat.

  9. Depending on your store the butcher or meat dept may cut it up for you. Our local chain store will do this as a free service for any meat you purchase. They cut and wrap while you shop.

      • HEB in Houston has them quite often at $0.99 a pound. I usually buy 2 when they do, and do pretty much as you did above. The possibilities are endless.

        • Jeff,
          You’re absolutely right. The only limits are what you decide to do with the loin. You could probably get more than 9 meals out of it if you aren’t looking for chops, or if your protein intake is lower than ours.

          Have fun butchering!

  10. How large of a pork loin is this, when ever I seem to get them they never are that big or I get the package open and I find that there are two that have been packaged together.

    • Kelsey,
      What you’re talking about are pork tenderloins. This is a different cut of meat altogether. (Though they are awesome.) This is a whole loin. You can usually find them at stores like SAM’s Club or Costco on the west coast I’m not sure where you’d get them on the East Coast. Here in the Midwest, they’re pretty much everywhere.

      • In Pennsylvania and such Giant Eagle has them. I bought a 9+ pound one for under $2 a pound and cut it into thirds for roasts for the crockpot a while back.

      • Note that If it’s on sale Giant Eagle will charge you full price for the pieces if they cut it down so do it yourself.

      • On the East Coast, BJ’s Wholesale Club always has them at good prices.
        Kroger also sells 1/2 loins at good prices (+ fuel points).

  11. I have done this for years! We are fortunate our butcher slices it for free. I usually have him slice it into two big roasts and chops, then I cut a few of the end chops into stew or stir fry. Great ideas in this post, because I never knew what the different parts were called, and it gave me a better idea on how to divide the meat when I get home! The chunk of beef intimidates me, but I’ll read your posts to get over it and take the plunge!

  12. Great post! I usually use for roasts and pulled pork for bbq or Mexican meals, etc. Thanks for giving me some ideas for diversity!

    • Carolyn,
      I don’t at the moment, but that’s a great idea. I’ll grab another pork loin this week and do just that!

  13. I was looking for pork loin recipes on Pinterest when I found this.

    Living alone, it’s rare that I will spend the money to buy a pork loin, even when it’s on sale. I think they would butcher it for me at the market, but I’m a bit shy about asking, and I wouldn’t know what to ask for!

    This will help me stretch my food budget. Thank you for sharing. I agree with earlier comments whole-heartedly – well-written, and the step-by-step photos are inspiring!

    • Barbara,
      It sounds far more daunting than it actually is. I hope this tutorial and the ones to come over the next year help you out a lot.

  14. I love this practical idea! I have a whole pork loin sitting in my freezer that I bought on sale and haven’t gotten it out or used it yet. Could I thaw it out, cut it up this way, and put the cuts immediately back into the freezer, or is that too much thawing & refreezing bad for the meat? (Still learning!)

    • Erin,
      You can allow it to partially thaw and cut it that way, then pop it right back in if it is wrapped extremely well. It won’t last as long in the freezer this way (Maybe two months.), but it can work. I’d plan on using any stir-fry cuts of the pork loin immediately.

  15. I never buy whole meats beyond chicken, turkey, and ham cause I just simply don’t know what to do with them. I happened across a good sale on pork loin and was looking on Pinterest for a good recipe and found your post. This is awesome and can’t wait to explore your site for more ways to use whole meats. Feeling excited!

    • Christal,
      Don’t let the big cuts (also known as primal cuts) scare you! They are always less expensive, and with just a little patience and effort they can feed a family for quite some time.

  16. SUPER HELPFUL! Thank you so much! I’ve been doing a poor job with our pork loins due to lack of education. This will really help out the family budget as well as the end product at meal times. Really appreciate you taking the time to help educate the world with posts like this one.

  17. GREAT! WONDERFUL! Love what you did, very inspiring. I have been trying to save some money on the meat we buy for the house (2 adults, 1 child), and just the amount of money saved by what you did to that big piece of meat vs. buying it all pre-cut can only help. I’ve always seen them in the supermarket but could never wrap my brain around how to use it… let alone what the different parts of the strip might be good for. I’m good at taking others ideas and making them mine… but not so good at coming up with the ideas in the first place…

    One question though, reading through all the cuts, all I could think about was where would I cut for the jerky, I’ve made beef jerky (and tried my hand at chicken & pork) as well. Which section of the brute would make the best jerky? The leaner cuts because they are already prone to being drier or the fattier cuts for chewier sticks? Is that even how it would work out? Hum… maybe I should just get one and test it out either way sounds divine…. Anyway, you should try it, true it is more of a snack,but oh so tasty!

  18. This was a lifesaver! Money is running very tight these next couple of weeks but finding this article saved us from 2 weeks of frozen pizzas and chicken nuggets.

    I would definitely love to see more of these! I managed 8 meals out of my cut that was $15 and I can’t say thank you enough. If you ever wonder whether or not you help people by writing these, you’ve helped me tremendously!

  19. Our grocery store has these on sale for $1 per pound regularly. I just picked up an 8 pounder, thanks to this post! Our family isn’t a *huge* fan of pork, but I couldn’t pass up the price! So, now it is time for me to find some killer recipes. I’m hoping to arm myself with enough ideas that I can buy several the next time they are on sale and save a ton of money over a few weeks on groceries.

  20. Thanks for the tips! I love saving money and we adore pork tenderloin! I think I’ll add this to the list this week (I peeked at the weekly ad and they’re $1.48 lb this week!)
    Have a blessed day!

    • Jessica,
      Sounds like a great price to me! Here’s wishing you success and savings. Have a great week!

  21. Found your post through Pintrest. I scored a 7 lb roast today on sale for $10,00. I had no idea what I was going to do with that much meat, but it was too good a deal to pass up. Hubby and I are empty nesters, and this will make many a meal for us.

  22. I absolutely love this idea! I have cut up whole chickens but never considered doing this with pork loin. In fact, I usually don’t buy pork loin because i was only thinking roasts. Love all the wisdom among the comments,too. THANK YOU for writing up and photographing your process. Please keep sharing!!

    • Laura,
      We’re actually in the process of getting the equipment needed to start producing videos like this. I’m not sure when it will be yet, but they ARE coming soon.

  23. Crazy question. My husband bought a huge pork loin as you have shown above. I didn’t have time to cut it up, so I just threw the whole thing in the freezer. EKK!! So now, if I thaw it out so I can cut it up as you have done, is it safe to refreeze the meat?

    • Ashley,
      Better to partially thaw it and cut it while still semi-frozen. If so then yes, it can be refrozen for a few weeks, but I wouldn’t go past a month.

  24. As a mother of three, I have been struggling to get my grocery budget down without burning out my family on chicken leg quarters. Thanks for this handy tip and I look forward to trying it out next weekend!

    • Sunshine,
      I feel that pain all too well. We eat a lot of chicken leg quarters here at our kitchen, so any way to introduce new flavors is a plus. I hope you have success with your pork loin!

  25. Thank you for this post! I cook with chicken and ground turkey all the time and it does get boring. This post inspired me to go buy a pork loin this weekend and try to butcher it myself! Question: Is there a particular type of knife you use to cut the pork loin, or just any blade will do?

  26. Thank you for writing this post. I am trying to save on the food bill and this will definitely save us a lot of money. Please keep writing this inspiring posts!

  27. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a direct and informative post! My husband came home tonight with a pork loin exactly like this (I had asked him to pick up a port tenderloin – so boy was I surprised!) and thanks to your post I was able to cut it up like a butcher. Again, I’m really grateful to have found your post – thanks for the diagram too!

  28. What a great idea… I just picked up a pork tenderloin for 1.49. per lb… I am a widow and try to keep a healthy diet. Your post was very informative so I think I will do the roast and the rest for stir fry (just getting into those recipes)’ would love to follow your posts.

  29. I wish I would’ve found this post just a bit sooner! I literally just got done cutting up a whole pork loin that I got for $1.49/lb. I have a 4 lb roast in the crockpot for dinner tonight, then I did 8 pork chops, and the rest I chopped. My husband and son love leftover meat so I tend to make a lot at a time. Your way is much more cost effective however. I will do that next time. Thank you for the very helpful information!

    • Cindy,
      I hope this method helps the next time around! It definitely stretches the amount of meals you can get out of one purchase, If it saves money while making people happy, it’s a win in my book.

  30. I just bought 2 of these beasts with no clue what to do with them. Almost 14lbs for $10!!! I knew someone would show me what to do!!! THANK YOU for sharing. Now wish me luck as I think I am ready to start cutting it up!!

  31. Thanks so much for sharing this! I went on pinterest to find a recipe that we would enjoy eatnig all week and found a better way to make more meals out of our pork loin! we love center cut pork chops and roasts!! Definitely cheaper to cut it up ourselves! Never knew it was all in the loin!!

    • Lindsey,
      You are definitely welcome! Most cuts you buy are made from larger cuts, so paying for those will almost always save you money. Enjoy!

  32. I like to put a good sized chunk in the pressure cooker with some bbq sauce and make great pulled pork in 30 minutes!!

  33. Great post man! Thx for the inspiring ‘cut up routine’.

    My local store had a “one day special”, CENTER CUT LOINS, 99 CENTS/LB.

    Only catch was buying 10 bucks worth of food on top of it. Easily done! Ended up picking 5 of these and this post came in very handy in the cutting procedure. Thanks again!

    • Chris,
      It’s my pleasure, brother! I’m glad it helped. Sounds like you managed to save a serious amount of cash. Enjoy!

  34. I shared this post on our Facebook page (IL Pork Producers Assoc.) and got a significant amount of traffic! Thank you for making this simple, and easy to follow. Our followers really enjoyed it. Let’s work together sometime!

  35. One thing I’d like to ad is that the loin cuts much better when it is really cold. Almost to the point of freezing. You lose much less juice on the cutting board as well. Thanks Jerry!

    • Dave,
      It’s true that it will cut easier when very cold, but if you don’t have the sharpest knife in the world, this can be a little more dangerous. That’s why I left that tip out of the post.

    • Alicia,
      According to the USDA, Yes. As long as the meat has been defrosted in the fridge and kept below 40 degrees, it’s safe to refreeze it.

  36. I’ve been doing this same thing for years! It amazes me how much people pay per pound when you can do this yourself and save a ton of money (ex for “boneless chops”). When I find them on sale (as you said at $1.49/lb) I will buy two or three of them and cut them up. I love that anything you can do with any other cut of meat, you can do with a pork loin. I have also sliced mine in half, then sliced it again horizontally. Then about every 3/4 of an inch or so make cuts almost down to the fat layer but keeping them intact (think of Hasselback potatoes) and grilled them as “boneless short ribs”

    • Billie,

      Thanks for the comment!

      I feel the same way, but I realize that the process is intimidating for a lot of people. I know it was for me the first time I did it. That’s why I started this series of posts, and why I’m planning to eventually create a series of videos and short books as well.

      It’s not hard to do, but you’ve got to get past that initial trepidation first. If I’ve helped even one person do that, then I’ve accomplished a goal.

      Have a great one!

  37. Thanks!
    That was sooo helpful. You described it perfectly. I had this big, cheap piece of loin and didn’t know what to do exactly. You described everything beautifully.

    • So glad we could help! Be sure to check out our other DIY butchering tutorials as well. Tehy’re just as informative.

  38. When I get mine I will cut my chops a little thicker and cut a pocket in them so I can make stuff pork chops. I get pork loins all the time it does save you money

    • Shar,
      That’s definitely one way to go. I cut ours thin specifically to make my wife’s favorite pork dish, but feel free to adapt to whatever your family enjoys!

  39. Thank you. While mopping the lunch room floor at work, I caught a bit of a cooking show where the guest chef was showing ways to use one of these, but there was no way to watch all of it and take notes. All I have ever done was cook the whole thing (two at a time), refrigerate, slice thin, and portion pack for sandwich meat. Whole lot cheaper than luncheon meats. For variety, I used various herbs, spices, lettuce, pickles etc. on the sandwiches. I also find it interesting that in 2016 when you apparently wrote this, we were paying about the same price in Toronto Ontario as you were in Texas.

  40. Thank you!! I’m a new mom/wife and I’m always trying to make fresh home cooked meals as much as I can. But I’ve never strayed too far from pork chops, hamburgers, and baked chicken. I bought a boneless pork loin thinking it was just a different kind of a roast and it is just wayyyy too big. But at $8 for 5 lbs, I couldn’t pass it up. It is so good to know that I can make quite a few meals out of it now.

    • Anastasia,
      Some of the most important skills in the kitchen are ways to make something stretch. I’m glad that this tutorial could help. And feel free to browse over the rest of our DIY section to check out a few other ways to save. Don’t worry. You’ve got this!

  41. this is great info. since last year i’ve been purchasing whole beef tenderloin, when i catch them on sale, and cut them into filets myself. people had this strange idea that i’d suddenly come into money because i was eating some version of filet mignon (or prime rib – same principle) all the time – not knowing i was paying a fraction of what it would normally cost. it dawned on me that i should be doing this with pork as well and found my way here. right now there are some half loins running about $1.99-2.50/lb, which i might take advantage of, but i can’t wait to see the whole loins that go for as low as 99 cents a pound! and words of advice for bone-in loins? i ask because those go on sale often and the bone from a chop is the world’s greatest toothpick.

    • Chris,
      I’ve never seen a bone-in beef loin in any of my local shops, but I’ll keep an eye out for them. I caught a couple videos on YouTube though, adn it doesn’t look all that daunting.

  42. Wow! A thousand blessings upon your head. I had just gotten a half pork loin on sale and really wasn’t sure what to do with it. I got three meals for my family of 6 (and guest). This is just brilliant. Thank you.

  43. 9.6 lb @ $1/lb from HEB. I’m about to attempt this and just MIGHT get the guesstimated 9 meals out of it for a family of 4 (two adults and two mature, apprentice-adults). I just wish she had gotten more than one of these at the time considering the price and the amount of freezer space we have.

      • Only one roast, but got the rest. I’m about to try the rolled/stuffed roast idea today. I came back for the recipe I spotted before.

  44. UNCLE JERRY!!! This is amazing! First let me say I have been haunting your blog for a few days now getting ideas. I’m super excited to try your brisket. Anyway, I was telling my husband about all the cool things and I see on the tag of the pork that it’s from HEB! I’m a TEXAS girl but we are military so we aren’t currently there and I miss HEB so much. Keep up the awesome work. This is now my favorite blog. Thanks again, Uncle Jerry!

    • Angela,
      So glad that you find this helpful. We’re a former military family as well. Currently we’re in Arkansas and have no access to H.E.B., but I miss them like crazy.

      Keep up the good work,, stay strong. We wish you all the best!

      Uncle Jerry and Aunt Jessica.

  45. My husband and I happened upon a well priced primal cut of pork loin last week when shopping in Sweden, (we live in Norway & tend to purchase most of our meat there as it is half the price and only an hour + away), I was looking on Pinterest for something else and saw your post. Thank you SO much, Jerry! I had only planned to cut it into a few roasts and then chops, but we just cut 2 lovely roasts, 6 thick loin chops, 6 thick ribeye cuts, 2 schnitzels and enough cubes to spear with veg for a Summer grill meal. That will be 10 delicious meals for the 2 of us, plus sandwiches from any roast leftovers . Even the pups will benefit from behaving (ok … and salivating) while we cut it by having some small scraps fried up with their dinner tonight. Everything is vacuumed, (a wonderful investment!) and in the freezer. We have purchased whole beef entrecote (rib eye) in the past and cut delicious steaks, but this is our first shot with the pork. Your instructions and photos were spot on and so helpful! Thank you again!! : )

    • Giny,
      So glad this post helped you out! it’s always great to stretch your budget. I’d never thought of using it for schnitzel, but will definitely add that to my list!

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