Roasted Pork Loin with Cranberry BBQ Sauce

December 17, 2018
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One of my favorite main dishes for celebrating the holidays. This cranberry bbq sauce is irresistible and even a great holiday gift from the kitchen for your neighbors!

In partnership with ThermoWorks, I’m going to walk you through the entire Roasted Pork with Cranberry BBQ Sauce process. All opinions expressed here are my own.


Have you started planning your Christmas menu yet? I just mapped out my menu and I’m most excited about making my Roasted Pork Loin with Cranberry BBQ Sauce for the main course. This festive yet unique dish can swing from fancy to casual and looks as good as it tastes. The key to making this dish successful is perfectly cooked pork.


Pork can be one of the most intimidating proteins to cook – it’s notoriously overcooked, but it really isn’t that hard when you’re using the right thermometer. I swear by all of the ThermoWorks products like the Thermapen, but for entertaining I particularly like the ChefAlarm. This hyper accurate digital thermometer alerts you when your desired temperature has been reached. I’m not the only who loves it, It was rated #1 by Cook’s Magazine and America’s Test Kitchen (and that is a BIG deal!).

I love how the thorough yet easy to read display tells you how hot (or cold) your food is at any point in the cooking process thanks to the commercial-grade probe that is oven-safe. Because the probe and cable are oven-safe, I can avoid having to open the oven door during the cooking process which can result in the loss of up to 50ºF in the oven. Just one more way to guarantee perfectly cooked pork every time. For food safety, pork needs to reach a temperature of 145°F, but you shouldn’t leave it on the heat for even a degree more than that so it’s still tender and juicy.


I mostly use my ChefAlarm for the “High Alarm” feature that sounds when your food reaches the desired temperature, but it can also be used for a “Low Alarm” which is perfect for making things like yogurt and other cold dishes. It’s also great to track temperatures over an extended period of time for smoking meat, oven-roasting, deep-frying, or even sous vide. I use it all the time, but it definitely isn’t a replacement for a digital instant-read thermometer, such as a Thermapen MK4 or a ThermoPop. These are better for grilling, broiling, and verifying the final temperatures of everything you cook. I’m a happy home cook having both in my kitchen!


There’s no question that perfectly cooked pork is key for this holiday table stunner, but this cranberry bbq sauce makes it particularly special. I love fruit infused barbecue sauces – the sweet and tangy notes balance well with the smoky flavors and make it a nice pairing for proteins. This recipe, in particular, is SO pretty once made! It’s a beautiful deep red color and can be served with texture from the cranberries or perfectly smooth like a traditional bbq sauce. I like it so much that I’m going to double up the batch and send each of my guests home with a jar of this favorite sauce.

To complete the dish I like to slice the pork on an angle and drizzle the sauce over the top. Adding a few fresh sprigs of thyme is a nice way to finish it and make the platter holiday party worthy. It’s sure is a stunner on the table!


If you’re looking for an easy yet impressive main dish to serve on Christmas, look no further! In this video with ThermoWorks, I’ll walk you through all the steps you need to take to make this festive recipe. Happy Holidays everyone!

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Roasted Pork Loin with Cranberry BBQ Sauce

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


My favorite main course dish for a Christmas or holiday dinner! The cranberry bbq sauce is literally the “secret sauce” in this recipe.



Cranberry BBQ Sauce:

  • 6 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅔ cup ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Roasted Pork Loin:

  • 1 (2 ½ lbs) boneless pork loin roast
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup low-sodium chicken stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. For the Cranberry BBQ Sauce: In a large saucepan combine the cranberries, water, yellow onion, light brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, garlic, and ginger. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 15 minutes until the cranberries have burst and the liquid has reduced by ⅓. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. If necessary strain through a fine mesh sieve. Set aside until ready to use.
  3. For the Roasted Pork Loin: Pat the pork dry with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Reserve half the cranberry BBQ sauce and set aside. Transfer the pork, fat-side up, to a rack over a heavy- bottomed roasting pan and brush the rest of the sauce all over the pork. Add the stock to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  4. Roast the pork until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 140ºF degrees F, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve the pork sliced thinly with the Cranberry BBQ Sauce.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dinner

Keywords: pork, cranberry

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