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I have a pork fillet which I've cut in half and marinated in some honey and soy. I heated a pan, and seared it on all sides, then put the pan in the oven at 180 deg C. The question is, how long to leave it in the oven until it's cooked through? I suspect it's about 20 minutes for the average fillet (3-4cm in diameter). Any suggestions?

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How "done" do you want your pork to be? See this question for more detail about how much to cook your pork: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/2793/… –  yossarian Aug 12 '10 at 14:51
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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Every Kitchen needs a meat thermometer. Little too late in this case but it would have saved you here. I never used one at home until after I started working in a restaurant that only had a flat top and a convection oven with burgers on the menu. I got a relatively cheap one for $5-10 at Wal-mart and it does the job. Another option for next time is to check your meat often and poke it with a spoon, once it feels firm throughout, like the skin on the back of your hand when you make a fist, it's done.

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actually we (well my partner) have a meat thermometer, but he was away, and I didn't know what temperature to check for anyway. –  Quog Aug 13 '10 at 14:56
    
There is no "done" or set temperature for any meat, it's personal taste, some like their meat raw, some like it like shoe leather. Sure, record the temp you like and go for that, but I find that most people find meat "done" by the physical appearance too. So it becomes a time/temp problem –  TFD Aug 31 '11 at 1:19
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15 minutes is way to long. If the fillet was seared brown ( 5 to 8 minutes), then 8 to 10 minutes in the oven, 400 F, would be perfect for a nice juicy filet. Porkfillet should be slightly pink I the middle.If not then it is dry and basically ruined.

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I adapted a similar recipe by placing the marinade and pork into a foil parcel, and wrapping it up loosely to seal. I left it in the oven for nearly an hour and it came out perfectly moist and tender. Great as an addition to a bbq when you can relax about the exact timings

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The meat 'is ready' when certain temperature inside it is reached. For pork it's about 82C. The warming-up speed mostly depends on how much fat is there in your meat.

If you have fatty meat it'll be ready very soon, 10-12 minutes maximum or even earlier. If it's lean then the time is a few minutes longer. But in this case it's really worth to take the meat out of the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking and let it warm-up a little bit. Otherwise it's difficult to make it ready inside and not to carbonize the surface.

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-1 because 82C / 180F is WAY too hot for pork. See this question for details: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/2793/… –  yossarian Aug 12 '10 at 17:24
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@yossarian: those answer only shows that you and 4 more guys understand nothing in cooking meat. Assume that there's no anything 'nasty' in the piece of meat. Would you eat it raw as it is? No! Because the main goal with temperature is desctucturing proteins. The temperature I adviced is taken from the book of a very authoritative chef who specializes exactly on cooking meat dishes. –  Roman Aug 12 '10 at 20:42
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I disagree. What book did you get your temp from? A quick google shows most places in the 71C / 160F, but they all state that the temperature is for safety reasons. I find pork at 82C / 180F to be overdone and dry, particularly for a lean cut like the loin. Most restaurants in America will recommend their pork done Medium, which is below 160F. My experience, which includes some very precise sous vide cooking, is that 180 is leather and 140-160 produces a much better texture (although, I'll go hotter for Boston Butt / Picnic). –  yossarian Aug 12 '10 at 21:53
    
I'll also point out that On Food and Cooking backs me up, describing meat at 170 as dry and tough. It also addresses when the proteins in meat start to denature, which starts at 120F and most of which has taken place by 140F. –  yossarian Aug 12 '10 at 22:06
    
I can validate what @yossarian is saying - I've just done a whole fillet wrapped in foil in the bottom of an oven that was already cooking something else at >200C, adjusting cooking time accordingly, and it's still tough. It seems not to matter how short the cooking time if the external temperature is too high, it's going to ruin it. –  Tom W Nov 25 '12 at 20:35
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Well, I can report that for this particular fillet, 20 minutes was probably a tad to long. It was a little dry, not overly so, but I think perhaps 15-18 minutes would have been better. However, without an accurate thermometer in the oven or a meat thermometer, it's not a particularly reproducible scientific experiment.

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