Grandma’s Pork Loin Roast

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The roast is so delicious and moist, it really is perfect.

The brine for this recipe ensures the roast will be super moist and bursting with flavor. We love to cook the pork directly on top of the veggies. This was one of Grandma’s “special” dishes, and, man, it was (is) something else!

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How To Make Grandma’s Pork Loin Roast

We are big fans of brining. It adds flavor and truly makes the roast, or whatever you’re brining, just so juicy and incredibly tender.

The apple and fennel are such a wonderful addition, as well, and actually steam while cooking, and help to add flavor to the meat.

A large pork loin roast with several slices cut surrounded by roasted apples and fennel bulbs.

EXPERT TIP: Start the brine about 8 (or up to 24) hours before baking. We love to get the meat in the brine the night before serving. This allows the brine mixture to really penetrate the roast.

The Perfect Pork Brine

As mentioned, allowing the pork to sit in salt brine not only infuses flavor, it will result in a much more juicy roast.

Salt is an important component of a good brine, but the addition of apple cider, brown sugar, fresh thyme, and crushed garlic pairs perfectly with pork.

EXPERT TIP: Grab a large brine bag (or any plastic bag that is waterproof) and line a pot or pan that is just large enough to hold the roast. This will allow the brine to easily cover the roast. Tie it up and add some sort of weight  (ie, plate or pot lid) on the top of the bag.  This will help to keep the roast submerged.

An apple juice brine being poured from a large measuring cup into a Dutch oven lined with a brining bag that has a pork loin in it.

What To Serve with Roasted Pork Loin

Sliced apples and fennel bulbs are a perfect match for roast pork.

Fennel has a slight licorice taste and smell, but that mellows completely as it cooks and melds with the apples and juices from the roast.

EXPERT TIP: Use the apples and fennel as the rack to hold the pork loin while it’s roasting. The loin flavors the apples and fennel, and they do the same for the roast.

Along with the roast apples and fennel, our best mashed potatoes and steamed green beans round out the perfect feast.

A large glass bowl filled with sliced apples and chopped fennel bulbs.

What You Will Need for the Maple Mustard Glaze

Topping the pork with a flavorful glaze not only provides amazing taste, but it forms a crust that is just incredible.

The ingredients are simple but work beautifully together and with the pork. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Pure Maple Syrup
  • Whole-Grain Mustard
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt and Pepper

Mix the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and then pour them all over the roast, which is resting on the apples and fennel in the bottom of a roasting pan.

A person using a cooking brush to apply a mustard maple sauce over a large pork loin roast in a roasting pan.

How Long To Roast Pork

You’ll want the internal temperature of the roast to reach 140°F.

Let the roast rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to settle into the roast but it will also continue cooking to the desired internal temperature of 145°F.

EXPERT TIP: We start with the oven nice and hot at 450°F and cook the roast for 20 minutes. This helps to form the crust and lock in the juices. Then lower the oven temperature to 350°F to finish the cooking, usually another 50 to 60 minutes.

A person holding a large steel roasting pan filled with a roasted pork loin sitting on top of roasted apples and fennel.

When To Serve Roast Loin Pork

This roast is wonderful any time of the year, but it’s extra special when the leaves start to change colors outside.

It’s also an ideal roast to serve at your Christmas or Easter feast.

EXPERT TIP: This roast makes for amazing leftovers. Simply wrap the roast and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. It can be frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat, wrapped in foil, in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes.

A large butcher knife slicing through a large roasted pork loin roast on a wooden cutting board.

This pork loin roast is not only unbelievably delicious, but it also makes a stunning centerpiece for your table.

Grandma knows best and this roast is one of her most amazing dishes.  Another amazing Grandma dish is Classic Swiss Steak. Amazing!

Your family and other loved ones will be requesting this pork roast with apples and fennel time and time again.

A white dinner plate filled with a slice of roasted pork loin and roasted apples and fennel and steamed green beans.

Ready to make a roast that Grandma would be proud of? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a photo of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

A person holding a large steel roasting pan filled with a roasted pork loin sitting on top of roasted apples and fennel.

Grandma's Pork Loin Roast

Grandma's Pork Loin Roast gets a nice brine and then a maple-mustard crust when it bakes. Cook along with the apple and fennel, and wow oh wow, is this good! Grandma would be so proud!
4.70 from 13 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Entree
Keyword: best pork loin roast recipe, holiday roast recipe, how to roast a pork loin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Brining time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 425kcal


  • Brine bag
  • Roasting pan



  • 8 cups apple cider cold
  • ¾ cup Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar light
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 3 sprigs thyme thyme
  • 1 4 lb pork loin roast boneless, leave a thin layer of fat


  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tsp thyme fresh, chopped
  • tsp Kosher salt divided
  • 2 tsp black pepper freshly ground, divided
  • 2 bulbs fennel quartered, cored, and sliced
  • 2 apples peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil



  • Combine 2 cups of the apple cider with the salt, brown sugar, garlic, and thyme in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly, until salt and sugar dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  • Whisking continuously, pour the hot cider/salt mixture into another pan or bowl with the remaining cold apple cider.
  • Place the pork loin roast in a pot that is lined with a brine bag. Pour the brine over the pork. Tie up and cover. Place in the refrigerator for 8 to 18 hours.


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat your oven to 450°F.
  • In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, mustard, thyme, 1 tsp of salt, and 1 tsp black pepper.
  • Drain the pork and pat dry with paper towels.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the fennel and apple with the oil, ½ tsp salt, and a good pinch of black pepper.
  • Scatter the apples and fennel across the bottom of a large roasting pan (large enough to hold the pork with an inch or two of space around the edges).
  • Put the pork, fat side up, on top of the fennel and apples. Brush the pork all over with the mustard glaze.
  • Roast the pork until the crust just starts to brown, about 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to 350°F and continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the loin reads 145 F., about 50 to 60 minutes more.
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice the pork and serve with roasted apples and fennel on the side.


Be sure to watch the video near the top of the blog post for visual reference.  If you like the video, subscribe to our YouTube Channel
Ask your butcher to cut you a boneless pork loin roast, about 4 to 5 lbs.  You'll want to leave a thin layer of fat on the top of the roast.
The roast can stay in the brine for up to 18 hours.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.  The cooked roast can be frozen for up to 2 months.  Thaw and reheat in a 350°F oven, wrapped in foil, for about 30 minutes, or until warmed through. 


Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 11123mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 76IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!

POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in December 2014, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe with new tips and photography and a fabulous new video in September 2021!


  • I cannot wait to try this! You guys are the BEST! Your videos are always so much fun, and on point all the time. Many recipe bloggers are so boring!
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes – have made many, and keep them coming!
    Love your Mongolian Beef – family favorite!

    • Hi Karen! We can’t even begin to tell you how much this means to us! Thank YOU so much! Don’t worry…much, much more fun and food on the way! We’re not slowing down! And we agree…the Mongolian beef!!! YES!!!! xoxo Kris & Wesley…P.S. Let us know if you try the pork roast and how it turns out!

  • 5 stars
    Juicy, bursting with flavor, and delicious! The recipe was so easy to follow and I loved the video of the two of you. Thanks again for a great Christmas dinner!

    • Hi Paula!! We are so so happy you made the pork loin roast and had such great success with it! We hope you and your loved ones had an absolutely wonderful Christmas! Thank you for sharing and for the wonderful review. That honestly means so much to us! Happy New Year and please stay in touch!! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • 4 stars
    what brand of kosher salt do you use? i just realized that part of my problem of the over saltiness may have to do with a change in the kosher salt i used. the first time i used some left over kosher salt (i can’t recall the brand) but it was in a shaker and the grain were noticably very coarse. next time i make this roast i had run out of the original kosher salt and so i got morton’s kosher salt which i m reading is much finer grained and really more like table salt than kosher salt. i’m reading that diamond kosher salt is preferred….what did you use? thanks so much

  • 4 stars
    one more thing to note, the meat thermometer never lies! i was stuck in the restroom when the buzzer went off. maybe 5 minutes over the 50 minute you recommended. i thought surely that would be ok given that it was a 5 lb roast but when i checked the temp i was shocked to see it was way over 145 it was more like 155-160. so no wonder it came out drier. not sure why a larger roast would cook faster though? unless it was ‘skinner’ than the smaller roast dimensionally. cooking is definately part science part art. i’ll try it again sometime though it will be a while before we much thru 5 lbs of roast!

  • 4 stars
    i read my prior review and i realized another difference, before i did not have cider vinegar and so i used beer and rice vinegar and water. this time i made sure i apple cider vinegar on hand……so that was another difference but in that sense it was truer to your recipe just the result waS not as good. too bad. see my other comment for more info as to adjustments i made….

  • 4 stars
    disappointed to report that the second time i made this roast did not turn out as good as the first time! this time instead of a 4 lb roast i made a 5 lb roast and i figured i should increase the ingredients proportionally so there was more liquid and more salt, i made more of the mustard syrup stuff to slatter on top, more veggies underneath. i brined about 14 hours similar to last time. but i’m thinking it was a mistake to increase the amount of salt in the brining bath would you agree? even though portionally it should have worked out the same?? also a larger roast could inherently be ‘tougher’ perhaps. sigh. oh well i have alot of meals waiting to be eaten now and there’s only the two of us. i swear i’m cursed i should know better when something comes out good to not get greedy and increase the size of the recipe. why mess with something that works? roast seems drier and MUCH saltier. any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Hi Debra! Sorry it didn’t turn out perfectly! Some of the issues you pointed out could have something to do with it! Sometimes, especially with a roast, it just takes practice to know when everything is just perfect. But, it sounds like you’re doing great! Keep us posted!!!

  • 5 stars
    this was beyond fabulous. i did not have cider vinegar so i subbed part rice vinegar and part pale ale and some water also. brined overnight. cooked perfectly as specified in the recipe time wise. i made a 4 lb roast. juiciest thing ever. my previous unbrined pork sirloin roast where tough as nails and dry as the desert.

    • Hi Deborah! Woo hoo! We are so so happy you had such success with the pork loin roast! Thank you so so very much for sharing and for the amazing review! That means the world to us! Stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Hello and thanks for sharing this recipe. Could you please provide me with the approximate dimensions of a 4 lb pork loin roast (L x W)? My local supermarket doesn’t carry one that large. Will have to custom order it. I just want to be prepared with the right size vessel into which I’ll put the pork +brine in. (I prefer to put the pork in a bag and then that bag into a large enough vessel in case the bag springs a leak!) Thanks.

    • Hi Kathleen! We totally understand! This is an approximation, but pretty close. 12″x6″ (LxW). Hope this helps and let us know if you make the roast and how it turns out! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    So yummy. Took 20 minutes at 425 with convection and 30 minutes at 335 with convection, much less than expected. Used probe thermometer to 145 degrees. Veggies were chunks of celery, carrot slices, and peeled fuji apple. Basting sauce was perfect.

  • Your recipe looks amazing.
    Question: I have brined pork roasts previously and have found the ends of the roast become very salty. The mid sections are salty as well but not overly so. The brine I used was similar to yours. I brined for 24 hours. Do you think I am brining for too long? I want to use your recipe with a 6 lb. roast and don’t want it to be salty. How long should I brine it for?

    • Hi Mia! We usually brine overnight, so probably in the range of 12 to 18 hours, but 24 should be just fine. If you’d feel better, maybe just brine for 12 hours. You should get a very delicious roast. Please let us know how it turns out or if you have any other questions! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Is brining ok for a guest who is on a low-sodium diet? I know it would defeat the purpose of brining, but can I do it less or no salt? Thanks

    • Hi Jane! The roast doesn’t really absorb the salt, the salt just helps to bring moisture in. You could actually skip the brining and still have a delicious roast. Hope this helps! Let us know how it turns out! Best, Kris & Wesley

      • 5 stars
        Oh I know it’s delicious w/o brining! (See my comments Jan ‘21 lol)
        I was just going to follow the recipe this time, until the special diet threw a wrench in my plans. So instead, I marinated the roast in apple cider, and just a little salt and brown sugar for about 6 hours. Then roasted with the mustard glaze as usual. Perfect-just like the title says! It was a hit. Thank you.

      • Hi Jane! YES!!!! So so glad you had such great success with the roast. Sounds like you prepared it perfectly! Thank you so much for sharing and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us! All the best, Kris & Wesley

      • Technology question here…why do the comments get skinnier and skinnier with each response, until the reply is down to only about 6 characters a sentence?
        Is it just me (on an iPad) or something on your website?
        VERY hard to read!

      • Hi Jane! That’s the way the platform we use (WordPress) handles comment replies! So sorry about that! We know…it’s kind of annoying! We’ll see if there is nything we can do so that won’t happen!

  • I followed this recipe to the letter and my roast was dry, not juicy like yours in the video. Very disappointed after all that effort.
    What do you think I did wrong? Oven probe to 145. It did rest for about 30 minutes before slicing. Do you think the internal temp rose while resting? I should have checked that.
    The roasted fennel and apples was yummy. Not sure I liked all the vinegar taste.

    • Hi Sue! Well, darn!!! So so sorry you didn’t have great success with the pork loin. It shouldn’t have increased too much while it’s resting. This may sound strange, but sometimes the cut of meat you get could be tough and/or dry. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what happened without being there!!! We hope you stay in touch and keep trying our recipes with great success!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    I used this recipe to cook two 2.5 lb. roasts a while back. They turned out great. The meat was flavorful, moist and delicious. I froze one of the roasts. After thawing, I sliced it and put it in the microwave for two minutes. The meat retained its moisture and was as delicious as the one we ate right after baking. Thanks so much for this recipe. Yay! No more dry pork loin roasts.

    • Hi Sharon!!! That all sounds just amazing!! We are so so happy both roasts turned out so great for you!!! Thank you so much for sharing and for the GREAT review. That means the world to us!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • I just saw this recipe while looking for something to make tonight. It sounds sooo good, but I don’t have time to brine. I’m a rule follower and don’t often mess with recipes, but how much would that compromise the results? Or should I just save it for another day?

    • Hi Jane, you’ll be okay. Brine for as long as you can. You’ll still get a delicious roast. Brining, as you know, just helps make the meat extra juicy, but the flavor will still be great. Your call, but we think you’ll be happy with the results, even with a shortened bringing time. Hope this helps! Let us know if you make the pork loin roast and how it turns out!! Best, Kris & Wesley

      • 5 stars
        Wow thank you-I know I can count on you for a prompt reply.
        Well, I didn’t brine because not only did I not have enough time, I didn’t have apple cider. But you’re right-the apples and fennel steam and give moisture. That mix was so good, I would double them next time and maybe add some leeks.
        The maple syrup glaze was amazing and tasty, caramelizing and browning the roast.
        It will only be better when I brine it next time. Apple cider seems to be seasonal and sometimes hard to find. Could I use hard cider or apple juice instead? Which would you suggest?

      • Hi Jane!! Yay!! So glad it turned out great!! I’d recommend going with apple cider, but, now that I think about it, hard cider would be yummy, too. You can’t go wrong with either in my mind. Feel free to reach out with any other questions or comments!! xoxo

    • Hi Debbie, it has a subtle sweet and anise-like flavor, which is similar to licorice, but rather than making food taste like licorice, it just adds a little ‘lightness’ and flavor boost to the dish. We love it. The taste is not overly pronounced. Hope this helps!

  • 5 stars
    Just made this. Actually in the oven NOW! Lol!
    Haven’t really used fennel so I excited to try something different. If it taste half as good as it smells, it’s gonna be delicious!!

  • 5 stars
    There are not enough superlatives for how good that roast looks. I usually use apple juice instead of cider and roast mine plain, but I’ll use your glaze for our New Year roast. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Diane!

      Thank you so much and we’re excited to hear if you made the roast, and if so, how you liked it!

      Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

      Kris & Wesley

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  • 5 stars
    Thanks for sharing this recipe – it’s a keeper and our new family favorite. We’re not big fans of fennel so I halved it – delish!

    • so glad you and your family liked it! it’s one of our favorites, too. you know, you can use other veggies, too. Whatever you guys like. Thanks so much for letting us know, and please stay in touch! Kris and Wesley

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