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Buying & Using a Whole Pork Lion

With the current limits placed on meat purchasing in many places, I felt this was a timely article to write.  Let me be clear, I'm talking about the full pork loin, not just the tenderloin, there is a difference.  The whole pork loin is something that isn't always available, but if you see it at your local grocery store I'd encourage you to purchase it and break it down yourself.  It's more commonly found this time of year, during grilling season. 

If this idea is intimidating for you I'd encourage you to check out Joshua Wiesman's Video - 4 Easy Ways To Cook a Whole Pork Loin.  This is a great video, especially if you've portioned a full loin.

I think we often see a full pork loin and think "we'd never cook that much meat" viewing it as something you purchase to smoke for the company picnic.  Which, while not wrong, is not the only option.  Breaking down whole cuts can be a huge budget saver, whether it's a pork loin or a chicken. 

We've been buying whole loins since we lived in Missouri, which was our first exposure to these large cryovaced pieces of meat.  We bought it based on it being a budget saver.  Not really knowing what we were buying, but knowing we could cut it into roasts and chops and save quite a bit of money. 

We snagged a full loin about a month ago for $27 and broke it down following Josh's video. We elected to cut part of the "country rib" section into meat for kabobs or stew. The loin we got was just shy of 11 pounds and we broke it down into 10 pork chops, 3 small roasts, 2 packages of stew meat and 3 of country ribs, cut for pork sandwiches. Cost break down came to roughly $2/meal. Keep in mind this is packaged based on a two-person household.

Depending on how you elect to cut up a pork loin and the number of people in your household your dollar value may vary, but I'd be willing to guarantee you'll save money either way.  We use a FoodSaver vac sealer to pack our meat for the freezer, which extends the life of our frozen meat by protecting it against things like freezer burn.  Now go buy that big cut of meat!