Description: Pork chops are the most popular cut from the pork loin, which is the strip of meat that runs from the pig’s hip to shoulder. Depending on where they originate, pork chops can be found under a variety of names, including loin, rib, sirloin, top loin and blade chops.
Loin chops are from the lower back (just behind the rib chop) and have a characteristic T-bone shape. These chops include a lot of meat as well as a bit of tenderloin meat. Rib chops originate in the center of the loin in the rib area and include some back and rib bone. Sirloin chops come from the area around the hip and often include part of the hip bone. Top loin chops (some times called Center Cut Chops) are boneless and located above the loin chops, toward the head. The 1 1/4 inch-thick top loin chop is also called an “America’s Cut.” Blade chops are cut from the beginning of the loin in the shoulder area. They may contain some blade bone as well as back-rib bone. Blade chops are usually thicker and more marbled. They often are butterflied and sold as pork loin country-style ribs.
It’s important to note that all pork chops cook the same. The length of cooking primarily depends on the thickness of the chop. Thickness can vary from ½ to 2 inches. Whether you choose chops boneless for convenience or chops with the bone attached for their attractive appearance, the cooking time is the same. Pork chops are likely the least intimidating of all pork cuts because they are so easy to prepare.
- Choose meat that's pale pink with a small amount of marbling and white (not yellow) fat.
- Choose wrapped packages without any tears, holes or leaks. There should be little or no liquid in the bottom of the tray.