Pork Chops
Pork Chops

Pork Chops are simply slices across the loin. They fall into roughly three categories as shown in the photo. To the left is a chop near the shoulder end (#1410B), to the right a chop near the sirloin end (also #1410B), and in the center is the classic porkchop shaped center chop (#1412). Pork chops typically weigh between 6 and 8 ounces.

There are variations on the #1412L   #1412A (Chine bone off), #1412B (boneless) and #1412E (boneless, single muscle and trimmed of nearly all fat). You aren't likely to see any of these variations in your local market - they're ordered by the restaurant trade.

More on Cuts of Pork.

Buying:   If you want to serve pork chops, buy them already cut from the loin. The bones are too wide for simply cutting between them. Buy the cuts that are most suitable for your use.

  • Blade End Chops:   These have more flavor than the center cut chops but vary a lot in shape and bone configuration.
  • Center Cut Chops:   These are in the most demand and often sell at a higher price than the others. This is the form you want for stuffed pork chops.
  • Sirloin End Chops:   These have no rib bone at all, but will have various other bone configurations. The one at the right in the photo was cut from a loin that had the tenderloin removed, which is why it has that gap to the right of the T bone. Those sold in markets generally include the tenderloin.

Cooking:  Pork chops are the primary pork cut for pan frying.

Some books on Asian cuisine recommend removing the bones and fat from pork chops and using the meat for stir frying. The reasoning is that loin meat is tender, and pork chops are an easily available form. Personally I don't give loin that much preference, other cuts have more flavor and just aren't tougher enough to worry about.

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