When it comes to cooking eat, versatility is a very important but often overlooked aspect. That is why pork is so popular, you can get so many different cuts of meat from it. This is why people buy pork loin regularly.
There is a huge list of meat cuts that you can get just from one single cut of pork. Pork medallions, pork tenderloin, pork ribeye, baby back ribs and ground pork are just a handful of the cuts that you can get for this meat.
So how many cuts of meat can you get from a pork loin? The truth is there are 17 cuts of meat that you can get from this one lump. Impressive, huh? And we’re going to list all of them for you right now.
What Is A Pork Loin?
The pork loin is essentially the middle of the pig. The section running from the pig’s shoulder to the rear leg is what is the pork loin.
After the pork loin comes to the ham leg, the top of the pig is the shoulder. Underneath the pork loin is the pig belly or bacon.
If you go close up on the pork loin, there you can distinctly see the various cuts that come from it.
As we mentioned above, there are around 17 cuts that you can get from the pork loin. We’re now going to go through each of those individual cuts, giving you an idea how to remove them from the loin and which recipes these cuts are the most useful for.
17 Cuts From Pork Loin
1. Pork Rib Roast
This first cut you can find towards the end of the pork loin where it joins onto the rear leg. This cut has been said to come with a sweeter flavor and contains a little bit more fat than some of the other cuts.
You can have this one with or without skin. If you have it with skin, then this can be cooked to form what is known as crackling.
The pork rib roast will actually not contain any ribs, as this will make it much easier for the pork to be prepared. If you are slicing through this pork rib roast with ribs, then it will be much more difficult to serve.
This can be prepared with what is called ‘French trimming’. This is where some of the meat is scraped away to show the exposed ribs. This is mainly for better presentation at the dinner table. This is also known as a ‘crown’ of pork.
A french trimmed style pork rib roast will also enable you to pull the meat off the main rack using one of the ribs.
You can season this one with garlic butter and herbs, which will give it a much more aromatic texture to offset the meat.
2. Bone-In Center Cut Pork Roast
This cut is taken from the direct center of the pork loin and will require special attention so that the meat doesn’t go completely dry. This is lean meat and there is not much fat on it.
You can remove the backbone of this rib so that you can carve the meat easier. This meat will either come with the backbone completely removed or each vertebra will have been sliced in between.
You can also serve one with garlic, as it will really complement the natural succulent texture of the meat itself.
3. Bone-In Chump Pork Roast
This chump of pork is often found near the leg of the pig and is often served at steak or chops, with the bone removed for ease of preparation and serving.
This is very sinewy meat and you can serve it with plenty of sides. You can also slow roast this type of cut over 6-7 hours. We would recommend putting it on a bed of onions with some raw garlic and other herbs.
The way that you’ll know that this meat has been cooked properly is when the meat comes away easily on your fork. This meat is very succulent, with a little bit of fat on it.
4. Boneless Center Cut Pork Roast
This is one of the most common joints of meat that you will find on the market. This is a solid lump of muscle once the fat and the bone are trimmed away. This is very lean meat, meaning that it will cook quickly and is healthier than fatty meats.
If you are looking for this at your local supermarket, you might find them in the form of boneless loins that are more or less kept whole.
If you want pork steaks, then you’ll be cutting them from this piece of pork. A lot of people buy a whole boneless center-cut pork roast so that they can get various cuts and roasts of meat from this one piece.
5. Pork Rib Chop
This is taken from the rib end of the pork loin chop (see also ‘Preventing Tough And Dry Pork Chops For Perfect Results Each Time!‘) and it is much fattier meat than those cut from the center of the pork loin.
These chops can also be sold with the skin on or off, the skin-on chips make a much neater cut and form crackling over the top when cooked at high heat.
If you are buying pork rib chops from the United States, the chances are the skin will be removed, whereas, in places in Europe, it is more common for the skin to be left on.
You might have seen that you can cook these chops on a barbeque with some sauce and herbs that will infuse them with a great flavor.
These come with the bones left in which are often used as a kind of handle that you can then discard once you have finished eating around it.
This kind of chop is commonly served with potatoes and garlic herbs. You can also serve these ones grilled on a plate, which will give them a nice and smoky flavor.
6. Center Cut Pork Loin Chops
These steaks are also known as T-bone steaks and contain some of the eye of the rib as well as a portion of the tenderloin.
You can have these with the skin on or off, the former being the ones with a lot more crackling than the latter. This is often charred with some high heat, which is what makes it so appealing and tasty.
Due to the fact that this is lean meat, then it will cook a lot faster. However, due to this fact, you’ll also have to be wary of your meat drying out and losing a lot of its moisture.
If you are going to cook this kind of chop, you’ll have to make sure that it is done medium rare to prevent it from getting too tough and chewy.
7. Country Style Pork Chops
These kinds of chops have plenty of fat on them, which means that you will have to cook them for longer at more intense heat.
We would recommend that you slow-cook these with a choice of herbs and vegetables for that wonderful melt-in-the-mouth texture and aromatic flavor.
8. Boneless Pork Rib Eye Steak
Essentially this is the pork chop with the bone in it. This has a moderate fat content and has been described as sweet by the people who love it.
You can cook these steaks in many different ways, either with broiling, grilling or oven baking.
9. Center Cut Pork Loin Steaks
This is the eye of the meat with a strip of fat around the outer edges. You might see this more commonly in supermarkets than you would the other types of pork steak.
This is very lean meat, so again you’ll have to keep a watchful eye on how you cook it to prevent it from drying out.
This kind of meat can be served on its own, although we would recommend that you grill it with a decent helping of savory herbs, which you can rub into the meat before cooking.
10. Pork Escalopes
These are slices of boneless pork that are hammered to make them more tender. They are boneless and very lean, which means that they will be cooked in no time at all.
You can cook escalopes in a whole host of different ways, although we would recommend that you coat them in breadcrumbs first and serve them with a creamy mushroom or garlic sauce on the side.
You can trim this meat from the pork tenderloin, which is what makes it much sweeter and leaner than some of the other cuts of meat.
11. Pork Kabobs
This is the tenderest part of the loin, although you can actually pick any part and dice them up into small chunks to serve them on kabob skewers.
You can have fatty kabobs or lean kebobs, but you’ll have to take into account the cooking time depending on how lean the meat is.
12. Diced Pork Loin
This is another meat that can be taken from any part of the pork loin, allowing you have tender or fatty meat.
You can make a whole host of dishes from this, you can stir your pork chunks in with some curry sauce to make a pork curry. You can also skewer your pork with some grilled peppers and onions to make pork kebabs.
If you have sliced up your pork to make some of the steaks and chops we have listed above, you can always make diced pork loin with what remains.
13. Pork Tenderloin
This is made from the thin tendon that runs alongside the pig, connecting the rear end of the pig to the rest of it.
This strip of meat will feed around 2 people. This can be roasted with some vegetables and cooked on the grill or in the oven. We would recommend rubbing some herbs into this to infuse it with a delicious flavor.
This will take very little time to cook because it has very little fat on it. This also goes very well wrapped in breadcrumbs and served with a mustard sauce on the side.
14. Pork Medallions
These pork medallions are just that – medallion-sized chunks that you can bite into easily. They are very easy to cook and will provide you with a sweet flavor.
There is hardly any fat on these medallions, which is what makes for a really quick cooking time. Pork medallions can also be wrapped in bacon, giving you contrasting flavors and textured from different parts of the pig.
15. Ground Pork Loin
Again, this is a great dish that you can make if you have some offcuts left over. All you need to do with these is feed them through the grinder until they make thin sausage-like strips that you can then fry with oil and some salt (see also ‘15 Awesome Paleo Air Fryer Recipes To Try Today‘).
You can pad this minced meat together into meatballs, which is great if you are looking for something to bring to your friend’s barbeque.
You can also use ground beef to make burgers or homemade sausages. If you like that authentic texture and taste of meat and you want to avoid all the preservatives that come in a store-bought burger, then making your own is the way to go.
16. Baby Back Ribs
You’ll have probably seen this kind of meat at your local beef emporium, baby back ribs are a stable of most steakhouses.
When you have removed pork ribs from the loin, then they are taken and sold as baby back ribs. This type of cut has very little meat on it, which is what makes it so easy to prepare and cook.
You might see this cut of meat slathered in BBQ sauce. This will give it that rich and sweet flavor. Then place it on the grill to give it that final smoky texture.
17. Back Bacon
This is when you take a pork loin, cut it into thin strips and then place it in brine to make back bacon. Needless to say, this cut of bacon is very salty but will be very moreish.
This is usually sold in thin strips also known as rashers. You can also get this type of bacon smoked, although if you choose not to smoke it, then this is also known as ‘green’ bacon.
We hope that our guide to the various cuts of pork loin has helped you to decide which one you’re going to need for your barbeque or meat feast. There are plenty to choose from, just remember to alter the cooking time according to the fat content of each cut.
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