How to Butterfly a Pork Tenderloin | Ontario Pork

Butterflying a pork tenderloin ready to be stuffed

How to Butterfly a Pork Tenderloin

 Easy steps for cutting and stuffing your pork tenderloin

Below you'll find step-by-step instructions for how to butterfly pork tenderloin to prep it for stuffing/rolling.

Butterflying meat is the act of cutting it down the middle and opening it up, then flattening it out to allow for easy stuffing.

This technique can be used with other pork cuts, as well as with beef or chicken, but here we'll guide you through an easy butterfly for a pork tenderloin.

Step 1: Cut along centre

  • First, remove the silver skin from your pork tenderloin
  • To start the butterfly, hold your knife lengthwise and begin to cut along the length of the pork tenderloin, through the centre of the meat.
  • Do not cut all the way through, stop about an inch from the bottom.

Step 1 to butterflying a pork tenderloin - cut along centre

Step 2: Open and Press Down

  • Once you made that cut down the middle, open up your pork tenderloin like a book and press down gently to flatten it out.
  • Sometimes a recipe will call for you to pound your pork tenderloin down even flatter — do that now! Just don't do it too hard...

    Step 2 to butterflying a pork tenderloin - press down gently

Optional Step 3: Double Butterflying

  • If the recipe calls for a double butterfly or that you'll need to stuff and roll the pork tenderloin, proceed with these steps.
  • Make another cut like you did in Step 1, except this time, you will make lengthwise cuts starting from the centre along the left and right flaps.
  • A double butterfly allows you make your pork tenderloin thinner and makes rolling easier. Think of it as a thick piece of paper — except meat!

Step 3 to butterflying a pork tenderloin - double butterfly

Optional Step 4: Press Down Again

  • Once your two new cuts are made in each flap, press down gently to flatten it out again.
  • Sometimes a recipe will call for you to pound your pork tenderloin down even flatter — do that now! Just don't do it too hard...

Step 4 to butterflying a pork tenderloin - press down gently

And that should be it. You can now stuff your pork tenderloin with a tasty filling. Roll it up like a poster, then wrap it in oven-safe twine to keep it from unraveling.

  • If you're still stuck, be sure to watch someone butterfly a pork tenderloin step-by-step in 30 seconds.
  • **"Open your meat like a book" is a common phrase you'll see in recipes. It means that each side of your pork (left & right) are like the pages of a book. That cut you make down the middle is like the spine of a book. You just need to fold out the sides and press down on the middle to flatten it out.

This article is part of our on-going commitment to make pork cooking information accessible for Ontarians (and the world).

Only quick and easy guides here, no fluff. If you are interested in more how-to-cook pork information, see:

Ontario pork producers are committed to providing consumers — including their own families — with a safe food supply and they take that responsibility very seriously. Today’s producers use the latest technology – products and equipment – to feed, care for, monitor and keep records on the animals under their care. Learn where to buy Ontario-raised pork.

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