How to Butterfly Pork Loin and Impress Everyone at Your Table

Andrea Beck

Stuffed pork loin can stun at a holiday dinner or a regular ol' Tuesday, but in order to get there, you have 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 in butterflying a pork loin for stuffing.

Pork loin almost cut in half
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, $20.19, Walmart). Use a long, sharp knife (a chef’s knife like this Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, $31.45, Amazon would be a great choice) to cut lengthwise down the center of the meat. Don’t cut all the way through—leave about ½ inch uncut along the bottom to hold both sides of the loin together. When you butterfly a pork loin, it's critical to not cut all the way through.

Pork loin cut on the right side
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
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, $16.99, Target.)

Fruit-Stuffed Pork Roast with Apples
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 veggies, wild rice, onions, or mushrooms. Fresh herbs are a popular ingredient to add to stuffing. Or create an herb-base stuffings like in our parsley- and cilantro-filled chimichurri pork loin. Whatever filling you choose, season your meat lightly with salt and pepper first then spoon on the filling. Starting on a short side, roll your pork into a spiral, and secure with 100%-cotton kitchen string. Then follow recipe instructions for roasting.