Easy Crown Roast of Pork Recipe (2024)

Why It Works

  • A crown roast is the best pork option for those who prefer their pork a little leaner and who like meat with a distinct chew and texture.
  • Cooking the roast at a low temperature first ensures juicy meat from edge to edge.
  • Finishing it at a high temperature browns the outside.

Over the years, we've covered cooking techniques for some particularly fatty and/or messy cuts of pork.Suckling pigis delicious, but carving and serving it is no walk in the park.Porchettais, frankly, the ultimate holiday roast, but can be a bit rich for some.

Easy Crown Roast of Pork Recipe (1)

Enter the crown roast. Pretty, presentable, and delicious, it's the best pork option for those who prefer their pork a little leaner and who like meat with a distinct chew and texture.

Once again, it's extraordinarily easy to do at home. Here's how.

What Is a Crown Roast?

Easy Crown Roast of Pork Recipe (2)

A crown roast is made by forming a regular bone-in pork loin—that's the big muscle that runs along the back of the pig—into a circle, with the ribs pointed skyward.

In order to do this with a single rack (about 10 ribs), you need to cut into the spaces between the ribs so that they can splay out a bit. However, by doing this, you end up increasing the surface area of the pork, which can cause it to dry out more than it would if it was still completely intact. For this reason, I don't recommend buying single-rack crown roasts. You're better off roasting a single rack as a standing roast instead of curving it into a crown.

Better is to buy a crown roast formed by both bone-in loins, attached end to end, making them large enough to form a circle without any additional cutting.

When purchasing a crown roast, you'll usually have to ask your butcher to form it for you—only very dedicated butchers are likely to have them pre-formed and ready to go, though you might have luck at a high-end supermarket. Aim to have about a rib and a half per person, or two per person if you want leftovers.

For the record, the "crown" in a crown roast serves about as much purpose as the crown on a king: It's purely aesthetic, and your pork will be no more or less tasty because of the shape it's roasted in.

Temperature Is the Most Important Factor

Now, looking at the picture of the sliced crown roast above, you may notice that the slices look curiously like pork rib chops. Guess what? That's precisely what they are.

Pork chops are obtained by cutting in between the ribs of a whole pork loin. The only difference here is that they're left completely attached. What does that mean for cooking? A couple of things.

First off, pork loin is fast-twitch muscle, and, like all fast-twitch muscle—say, chicken breast, a New York strip steak, or a tuna loin steak—it's made up of plenty of finely textured muscle and not much connective tissue or fat. This means that temperature is the most important factor when it comes to cooking it.

Let me back up a bit.

See, slow-twitch muscles—like, say, pork belly, beef short ribs, or chicken thighs—are the muscles that an animal uses for extended periods of time very frequently. Because of this, they develop plenty of connective tissue, composed mainly of the protein collagen. This protein is tough and chewy if you try to eat it when it's undercooked.

In order to get it to transform into lovely, juicygelatin, you must cook it at a minimum temperature of around 160°F (71°C) or so for a long period of time—generally several hours. (By the way, this is the temperature that the meat itself must be, not the oven temperature.) Got that?

Fast-twitch muscle, on the other hand, has no connective tissue to break down. As soon as it reaches its final temperature, it's done. Holding it at that temperature for extended periods of time will change it very little.* Cook it to temperatures much above 125°F (52°C) in the case of beef, 145°F (63°C) for chicken, 110°F (43°C) for tuna, or 140°F (60°C) for pork, and the only thing you're doing is drying it out.

*Holding it there for a very, very long time using asous vide–type setupwillchange its texture over time, but we're talking traditional cooking methods here.

Easy Crown Roast of Pork Recipe (4)

For Even Cooking, Start Low and Slow

So, with a crown roast, the key is to get the entire piece of meat to around 140°F from edge to center, while simultaneously crisping the exterior.

Luckily, we already studied this very same engineering problem when we applied it toprime riba couple years ago. The key is to realize that the hotter your oven temperature, the more uneven your roasting will be.

So, for example, roast a crown roast in a 400°F (200°C) oven, and by the time the very center is at 140°F, the outer layers of the pork will be well past the 165 to 180°F (74 to 82°C) mark. Roast it in a 250°F (120°C) oven, on the other hand, and you can get the entire thing pretty much exactly at 140°F from edge to center.**

** Okay, so the meat between the ribs will actually get hotter, as will some of the fat cap surrounding the loin, but those are composed mainly of fat and connective tissue, so they can handle the extra heat.

That's good news for us. All it takes after roasting is a rest, then a quick bang into a 500°F (260°C) oven to crisp up the fat on the exterior.

If you want to be all fancy-pants about it, you can add other seasonings to the exterior besides the kosher salt and black pepper I opt for. Any herbs stuffed into the center would be nice, as would garlic, shallots, citrus fruit—whatever tickles your fancy (pants).

Want to get even fancy-pantsier? Go ahead and put cute little paper hats over the ends of your bones to cover up the charring they get (or, if you prefer, foil hats while the roast cooks, topreventthem from charring). Personally, I like the primal look of the charred ribs.

December 2011

Recipe Details

Easy Crown Roast of Pork Recipe

Prep5 mins

Cook2 hrs 10 mins

Active10 mins

Resting Time30 mins

Total2 hrs 45 mins

Serves12to 30 servings


  • One 6- to 10-pound (2.7- to 4.5kg) crown roast of pork (12 to 20 chops; see note)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C) and adjust oven rack to center position. Season pork roast liberally with salt and pepper (see note) and place on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to oven and roast until internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C), about 2 hours. Remove from oven and tent with foil for at least 15 minutes and up to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, increase oven temperature to 500°F or 260°C (see note). Return roast to oven and cook until crisp and browned on the exterior, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, tent with foil, allow to rest for 15 minutes, then carve by slicing in between each rib and serve.

Special Equipment

Wire rack, rimmed baking sheet, instant-read thermometer


Ask your butcher for your crown roast at least a day or two in advance to make sure they can order it and prepare it. Aim for around one and a half chops per person, or two chops per person if you want leftovers.

Other aromatics, like minced garlic or chopped herbs, can be added along with the salt and pepper if desired.

To prevent the ends of the ribs from burning, cap each with a piece of aluminum foil.

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Easy Crown Roast of Pork Recipe (2024)


What temperature should a crown pork roast be cooked at? ›

Once the roast is brown and has reached an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C), pull it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes to arrive at a final resting temperature of 145°F (63°C) after carryover cooking (verify final temperature with a Thermapen).

Is a rack of pork the same as a crown roast? ›

The pork rib roast (or rack of pork) is the pork equivalent of a standing beef rib roast or a rack of lamb. A pork rib roast is a simpler version of a pork crown roast, which is a pork rib roast tied into a circle. This cut makes an elegant centerpiece for a special occasion dinner.

Should you bake a pork roast covered or uncovered? ›

Roasting is a dry method of cooking, so you'll get the crispiest, most flavourful exterior by using a rack set on a shallow pan, and roasting uncovered. Searing creates the same effect: pan-sear the roast in a bit of olive oil in an ovenproof pan on the stovetop, and then pop the pan into the oven to finish cooking.

What cut of meat is used for a crown roast? ›

A beef crown rib roast is made out of a whole ribeye roast, where the meat is removed off the bone and then tied around two cuts of the roast to make a crown. It's also known as just a crown roast, and it can be ordered in pork, lamb or beef.

What temp is pork roast most tender? ›

Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a three-minute rest time before carving or consuming. This will result in a product that is both safe and at its best quality—juicy and tender.

What is the best binder for pork roast? ›

It's good to add a binder, which helps the rub stick to it. This can be olive oil, yellow mustard, or a spray oil like duck fat. For pork butt I usually go with mustard. It doesn't add any flavor to the finished product, but I like the way it holds the rub and the color it gives to the exterior early in the cook.

Which pork roast is better for pulled pork? ›

Pork shoulder is ideal for pulling purposes. It has an optimum fat content that yields to create tender, melty meat, but it's essential you cook it slowly to allow the protein to break down properly.

Is crown roast of pork expensive? ›

Crown roasts of pork are $8.99lb.

Should I put water in the pan of a pork roast? ›

Place pork roast (fat side up) into large roasting pan with 1 cup water in the bottom. Bake for 4-5 hours or until desired tenderness. (I typically go 5 hours for pull apart pork roast) Add water as needed during cook time to prevent burning on the bottom of pan.

What liquid should I cook pork in? ›

Aside from barbecue sauce, something tangy and sweet is a good go-to for slow-cooked pork. Apple cider vinegar has the right amount of acidity to break down the fattiness and is equipped with a bright flavor that pairs beautifully with pork. Using liquids you would normally drink is also a good choice.

Do I need to sear pork roast before roasting? ›

The goal of any pork loin roast should be two-fold: a crisp crust and a rosy, juicy interior. Skipping a pan sear before roasting all but guarantees you'll miss out on the former.

What is the toughest cut of roast? ›

Since a chuck roast comes from the exercised shoulder area, it can be a bit tougher than other cuts, which is why it's perfect for a pot roast in the slow cooker that gives it plenty of time to cook and tenderize.

What does a pork crown roast look like? ›

A crown roast of pork is nothing more than a bunch of pork rib chops nicely formed into a circle and tied up by your butcher. The butcher does most of the hard work (which is why this roast must be specially ordered.)

What temperature should a 3lb pork roast be? ›

The National Pork Board recommends cooking pork chops, roasts, and tenderloin to an internal temperature between 145° F. (medium rare) and 160° F. (medium), followed by a 3 minute rest. Since large cuts increase approximately 10° F.

Is a pork roast done at 170? ›

Pork can be cooked well by reaching the internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) with a 3-minute resting time. Alternatively, pork can also be cooked to 170°F (74°C) with no resting time. Well-done cooking doneness is often recommended for customers who are immunocompromised.

Can you eat pork roast at 150 degrees? ›

The USDA now recommends cooking pork chops, steaks, ham, and roasts to at least 145°F (63°C), which allows the meat to maintain its moisture and flavor without drying it out (7). Organ meats, ground pork, and mixtures made using ground pork, such as sausage, should still be cooked to at least 160°F (71°C) (7).

What temperature should a pork shoulder roast be cooked to internally? ›

As we said above, the new recommendation for pork is 145°F (63°C) internal temperature, followed by a recommended 3-minute rest.

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