How to Butterfly Pork Loin

Serve your dinner guests a memorable meal by making a juicy stuffed pork loin roast. We'll show you step-by-step how to butterfly a pork loin so you can create eye-catching pinwheels.

Stuffed pork loin can stun at a holiday dinner—or a regular old Tuesday—but in order to get there, you must learn to butterfly your pork. Making the first cut might seem intimidating when you're staring down a whole pork loin, but our step-by-step by guide will have you confident in your ability.

Pork loin almost cut in half
Andy Lyons

Step 1: Cut Down the Center

Place the pork loin fat side down on a large cutting board (Freshware Bamboo Cutting Board, Walmart). Use a long, sharp knife to cut lengthwise down the center of the meat. Don't cut all the way through—it's critical to leave about ½ inch uncut along the bottom to hold both sides of the loin together.

Pork loin cut on the right side
Andy Lyons

Step 2: Butterfly the Left Side

Place your knife at the base of the V you just created, so that the blade is perpendicular to your first cut. Using shallow slices and the cutting board as a guide, cut through the left side of the loin. Maintain a ½- to ¾-inch thickness and unroll the meat as you cut.

Pork loin laid flat
Andy Lyons

Step 3: Finish Butterflying and Pound Even

Repeat the same cut on the right side of the loin, making shallow slices and unrolling the meat. You should end up with a flat, relatively even thickness across the entire piece of meat. If some areas of the pork are thicker than others, put a layer of plastic wrap on top of the meat and pound the thick spots with the flat side of a meat mallet. (We prefer the KitchenAid Aluminum Meat Pounder, Target.)

Fruit-Stuffed Pork Roast with Apples
Blaine Moats

Now comes the fun part—once you've butterflied the pork loin, the tricky part is over and you can focus on creating your filling. Typically, pork loin stuffing includes a touch of sweetness from fruit, like cherries, apricots, or dried fruit pieces, and savory components, like vegetables, wild rice, onions, or mushrooms. Fresh herbs are a popular ingredient to add to stuffing. Or create an herb-based stuffing like the one in our parsley- and cilantro-filled chimichurri pork loin recipe. Whatever filling you choose, season your meat lightly with salt and pepper, then spoon in the filling. Starting on a short side, roll your pork into a spiral, and secure it with 100%-cotton kitchen string. Then follow the recipe instructions for roasting.

Special-occasion dinners should be a breeze for you now. For a similar result that's a little more weeknight-friendly, learn how to cut a pocket into pork chops so you can stuff them with the filling of your choice.

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