This Instant Pot maple glazed pork loin is so easy to make and is perfect with salad and rice.
I created this maple glazed pork loin recipe because I was receiving so many emails and questions on my Instant Pot balsamic pork tenderloin recipe. It seems that most home cooks are struggling with two things:
- They don’t know the difference between pork tenderloin and pork loin.
- They are cooking meat in the Instant Pot WAYYYYYYY too long.
Over Christmas I worked on this recipe. Family liked it so much my sister asked for the recipe because her husband wanted her to make it again. I don’t think there really is a better compliment.
When people ask me about Canadian food it’s difficult to articulate what that really is as we’re a relatively new country. And our diversity means that there’s no one style of cooking.
Instead I think Canadian food is more about the ingredients, and there’s nothing more Canadian than maple syrup (sorry Vermont). We always have maple syrup in our home. So in a way this is a Canadian recipe.
Parts of the Pig – Yes They Are All Delicious
But before the maple glazed pork loin recipe, let’s look at where the loin is on the pig.
The Difference Between Pork Loin and Pork Tenderloin
Primal cuts are the first sections of meat cut when butchering a pig. The pork loin and pork tenderloin are from the same primal cut because they are connected to each other. You also find baby back ribs attached to the upper ribs in this area.
They look completely different so it’s easy to tell if you’ve bought the right one for a recipe. Pork tenderloin is long and thin and is very popular for people looking for pork without any fat. Pork loin is also sometimes called sirloin. It is shorter and thicker, this is where you get your pork chops and pork loin roast.
Can You Cook Pork Tenderloin and Pork Loin in the Instant Pot
You can. But most people don’t do it properly
They are both lean and tender, which ultimately makes them an issue to cook in the Instant Pot because it’s SO EASY to overcook them both. I published the balsamic pork tenderloin recipe because I saw that most people were overcooking tenderloin. It should not take more than 7 minutes but I read recipes where people were cooking it for 45 minutes.
That’s overcooked meat.
For some reason people think that meat should fall off the bone. It should melt in your mouth. You should be able to cut it with a spoon. Sure, tough pieces of meat do need longer cooking times to break down. But they also have fat to help them stay tender and moist.
But it’s even possible to overcook these pieces of meat.
The Science Behind Overcooked Meat
In fact this Serious Eats post outlines stewed meat cooked for 5 hours tastes drier than when it’s cooked for 3 hours. Here’s what they have to say (edited slightly to break up the block of text because it’s so hard to read).
When connective tissue in the beef first breaks down, it creates a very concentrated zone of gelatin within the meat. This gelatin thickens juices, which helps them stay put inside the meat along with helping them to coat your tongue and mouth.
More importantly, as the muscle structure continues to break down within the meat, it has a hard time hanging on to the moisture it has. Think of it as being like the difference between a net full of water balloons and a net full of sponges.
Both may have the same amount of moisture, but press down on the sponges and that liquid comes gushing out all at once, leaving behind a dry shell.
The water balloons, on the other hand, take a little more effort to break, releasing their juices in discrete bursts—in the same way that juicy meat should release juice steadily as you chew, not gush out all its moisture at once.
I know that was long but the article is fascinating and really helps explain why we shouldn’t overcook our meat.
Instant Pot Maple Glazed Pork Loin
Leave a comment if you make this maple glazed pork loin recipe. I’d love to know how it goes!