Segregation in the oven
October 24, 2012 4:29 PM   Subscribe

Help needed on my first tenderloin. My apples touched my pork! Now what?

I am making this tonight, and one of the things it says is not to let the apples touch the pork or each other. This is my first foray into pork tenderloin (unless you count putting it in a crockpot with root beer and later pulling it and covering it in BBQ, which isn't science, seriously). pork is done and my apples are done, and it all looks delicious, but it just hit me: The not touching thing, is that so they roast better or for some safety issue? I know raw pork is scary stuff, but after cooking this in a 500 degree oven for 15 min...surely all danger is gone?

Looked this up, but just found a bunch of other recipes for pork tenderloin that include not letting veggies, potatoes or other things touch the pork while cooking. So maybe it's a Thing?
posted by routergirl to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I am not an expert chef or anything but my guess is that it's either because the apples will release moisture as they cook (which could prevent your pork from getting a nice brown crust), or it is that having things cook too close together causes things to steam instead of get nicely browned. I don't think it's a salmonella thing.
posted by agress at 4:34 PM on October 24, 2012

Best answer: yeah you're fine. this is not a safety concern.
posted by French Fry at 4:35 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Awesome. That's all I needed to hear. Honestly I felt really stupid for even asking, I mean - the juices are all pooled together anyway, right?

Thank you!!
posted by routergirl at 4:36 PM on October 24, 2012

Yeah, for future reference, my general rule when cooking is if something is going to go in the pot with the raw meat anyway, it's fair game to be touched with raw meat. For example, I'd use a clean knife for raw coriander that goes on top but I'd use the same knife that I used to cut the pork to cut the apples since they'll be cooked for the same amount of time anyway.
posted by peacheater at 4:49 PM on October 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: generally, apples + pork = win, but steam is wet cooking, and there's no browning in wet cooking.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:57 PM on October 24, 2012

Also, cautions about pork are not about salmonella. Pork has it's own bug, much nastier, called trichinosis. Only a problem in backwards places where the industry has greater sway over regulation than public health. In Europe, I just season the meat and roast for 45 minutes at 180c.
posted by Goofyy at 6:08 AM on October 25, 2012

Best answer: Culinary school/working in a restaurant chiming in. It's all about the coloring here. The apples will have all of the nasty pork disease cooked out just by being in the oven with the pork. The pork won't brown as much because some of the heat will be used to evaporate the apple moisture instead of browning the meat.

Trichinosis isn't even really that big of a problem it's a US raised pig since the giant pig farmers (which is most of the pork you'll find in the store) raise the pigs in a way that has pretty much eliminated this. Trichinosis comes from the pigs walking around in their poop, and giant modern pig farms usually have the pigs on a concrete or otherwise not dirt (and thus not poop absorbing) surface that can get washed off pretty easily.
posted by theichibun at 10:33 AM on October 25, 2012

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