Are you a fan of juicy, flavorful pork chops? Did you know that you can easily cut your own pork chops from a boneless pork loin?
It may seem daunting at first, but with a few simple steps, you can have perfectly cut pork chops ready for cooking.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of cutting pork chops from a pork loin, including tips on where to make your cuts and how to prepare each cut for cooking.
Whether you’re a seasoned home cook or just starting out, this guide will help you master the art of cutting pork chops from pork loin.
So grab your knife and let’s get started!
How To Cut Pork Chops From Pork Loin?
Step 1: Identify the Parts of the Pork Loin
Before you start cutting, it’s important to understand the different parts of the pork loin. A whole boneless pork loin is typically divided into four parts: the blade end, center rib, center loin, and sirloin end.
Some people may divide the pork loin into three parts, but we recommend using four parts for more versatility in your cuts.
Step 2: Choose Your Cuts
Once you’ve identified the parts of the pork loin, it’s time to choose your cuts. This will depend on your personal preference and what you plan to use the pork chops for.
For thick chops, start at the end closest to the sirloin and cut into thick chops. These are perfect for sous vide cooking, as they retain their juices and flavor.
For a large roast, cut the center piece of the loin into a nice, big roast. End the roast where the loin starts to curve and butterfly it if desired.
For smaller pork chops, finish cutting the loin into smaller pieces. These are great for breading and frying or grilling.
Step 3: Make Your Cuts
To make your cuts, use a sharp knife and make a cut between two rib bones by following the bone line until you reach the spine bone. Make similar cuts between all rib bones.
Take a cleaver and cut the spine bone in the extension of the previous cuts, hitting it just one or two times in the same place. Cut out each chop using a knife for clean cuts.
Step 4: Prepare Your Cuts
Before cooking your pork chops, it’s important to prepare them properly. Remove any excess fat or bone chips by hand or with a knife.
Season your pork chops with your favorite spices or marinade and let them sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Step 5: Cook Your Pork Chops
There are many ways to cook pork chops, including grilling, baking, frying, and sous vide cooking. Choose your preferred method and cook your pork chops until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.
Let them rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
Preparing The Pork Loin
Before you can start cutting pork chops from a pork loin, you need to prepare the meat properly. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Remove Excess Fat
Start by trimming any excess fat from the pork loin. This will make it easier to see the different parts of the loin and make clean cuts.
Step 2: Remove Silver Skin
The silver skin is a tough, inedible membrane that covers the pork loin. It’s important to remove this before cutting your pork chops. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice under the silver skin and lift it away from the meat.
Step 3: Divide the Pork Loin
Using a sharp knife, divide the pork loin into the four parts: blade end, center rib, center loin, and sirloin end. You can do this by following the natural seams in the meat.
Step 4: Cut Your Chops
Now that you’ve divided the pork loin into its different parts, it’s time to cut your chops. Use a sharp knife to cut between each rib bone until you reach the spine bone. Then, use a cleaver to cut through the spine bone and separate each chop.
Step 5: Trim Your Chops
After cutting your chops, trim any excess fat or bone chips from each one. This will make them easier to cook and more enjoyable to eat.
Step 6: Store Your Chops
If you’re not planning on cooking your pork chops right away, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to six months.
By following these simple steps, you can prepare your pork loin and cut it into delicious pork chops that are perfect for any occasion.
Identifying The Cuts For Pork Chops
When it comes to pork chops, they all come from the loin, which runs from the hip to the shoulder and contains the small strip of meat called the tenderloin. The most common chops you see in the butcher case are from the ribs and the loin. However, there are five types of pork chop that you can choose from when cutting pork chops from the pork loin.
The first type is the blade chop, which comes from the shoulder area toward the end of the pork loin. These chops are best suited to low and slow cooking methods that break down connective tissue, such as braising or barbecuing. They can be fatty or tough but have great flavor and keep juiciness.
The second type is the rib chop, which is cut from the rib area of the pork loin. The rib chop is recognizable by the bone extending lengthways on one side and the larger eye on the loin side muscle. The rib chops are moderately higher in fat content, making them one of the most flavorful cuts, and they will not dry out throughout the cooking process. Because of their resistance to drying out, these chops are a good choice for higher-heat cooking techniques like grilling and searing.
The third type is the center-cut chop, which is recognized by the bone that separates the loin meat from the tenderloin muscle. These chops have a great flavor but are lower in fat, making them not as juicy as the other rib chops. Cooking a center-cut chop is challenging because the lion’s lean tenderloin part cooks much faster than the loin area. Since the tenderloin and loin muscles area of these pork chops is divided by a large bone and or cartilage, they don’t lie flat, which makes them not a good poor for searing in a skillet. Instead, use the center cut chop for grilling but position the chop so that the tenderloin is not directly over the flame; this will help keep them from drying out.
The fourth type is sirloin chops, which contain some of the hip and backbone. This cut has intense flavor but also a fair bit of muscle, making it ideal for a slow cooker.
The fifth and final type of chop is boneless pork chop, which is a deboned loin or rib chop. These are easy to overcook, meaning you should look for cuts that are at least an inch thick to ensure they don’t dry out.
When cutting pork chops from a pork loin, it’s important to identify these five types of cuts to choose your preferred cut based on your cooking method and personal preference.
Making The Cuts For Pork Chops
Once you’ve identified the parts of the pork loin and chosen your cuts, it’s time to make the actual cuts for your pork chops.
Start by placing the pork loin on a cutting board with the fat side facing up. Use a sharp knife to cut along the natural seams of the pork loin, separating it into individual chops. If you’re using bone-in pork chops, be sure to cut around the bone to keep it intact.
For thicker chops, cut the pork loin into pieces that are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. For thinner chops, cut the pork loin into pieces that are about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
When cutting the pork loin, be sure to cut against the grain of the meat. This will help ensure that your pork chops are tender and juicy.
Once you’ve made your cuts, trim any excess fat or connective tissue from the pork chops. This will help prevent flare-ups when grilling and ensure that your pork chops cook evenly.
And there you have it – perfectly cut pork chops ready for cooking!
Trimming And Preparing The Pork Chops For Cooking
Once you’ve cut your pork chops from the pork loin, it’s important to trim and prepare them properly before cooking. This will help enhance the flavor and texture of your pork chops.
First, decide whether you want bone-in or boneless pork chops. Bone-in pork chops are generally more flavorful and juicy, while boneless pork chops are easier to cook and eat.
If you choose bone-in pork chops, trim any excess fat from the edges of the chops. Leave a thin layer of fat on the top of the chop to help keep it moist during cooking.
For boneless pork chops, trim any visible fat from the edges and remove any bone chips that may have been left behind during the cutting process.
Next, season your pork chops with your favorite spices or marinade. Be sure to let them sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
When it comes time to cook your pork chops, there are several methods you can use. Grilling is a popular option, but you can also bake, fry, or even sous vide your pork chops.
Regardless of how you choose to cook them, be sure to cook your pork chops until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F. This will ensure that they are safe to eat and cooked to the proper doneness.
Finally, let your pork chops rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and ensure a tender and flavorful result.
Cooking Tips For Perfectly Juicy Pork Chops
Cooking pork chops can be tricky, as they can easily become dry and tough if not cooked properly. Here are some tips to ensure your pork chops come out perfectly juicy every time:
1. Brine your pork chops: Brining pork chops is one of the best ways to guarantee a juicy cooked pork chop. Even a quick 30-minute brine (or up to four hours) makes a big difference. Brining actually changes the cell structure within the meat, resulting in a noticeably juicier chop. The salt brine also seasons the interior of the meat. You can even add other seasonings, like garlic, peppercorns, fresh herbs, and lemon, to the brine for more flavor.
2. Choose bone-in cuts: Bone-in cuts will help keep your pork chops tender and moist during cooking.
3. Don’t overcook them: Overcooking pork chops is a common mistake that can result in dry, tough meat. Cook your pork chops to an internal temperature of 145°F and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
4. Bring them to room temperature: Let your pork chops sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will help them cook more evenly and prevent them from drying out.
5. Rest after cooking: Let your pork chops rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your pork chops come out perfectly juicy and flavorful every time you cook them.