Pork Loin Vs Pork Chop: What’s the Difference?

Pork meat is a type of meat that we usually use in our cooking. Mostly all parts of the pig are used to cook different types of dishes and each recipe requires a different type of pork meat.

Pork loin and pork chops are very frequently used in many dishes. Tender, juicy and it does not take a lot of time to cook, these pork cuts are perfect for weeknight meals. However, can the loin be used as a substitute for a pork chop? Is there any difference between them?

Is there a difference between pork loin and pork chop and how are they used? The main difference between these two cuts of pork is in their thickness. Even though they come from the same part of the pig they can’t be a substitute for each other.

Follow the article as I’ll share with you some tips on how to make the perfect dishes with pork chops and pork loin.

What is pork loin?

The pork loin is a cut from a pig that is created from tissue along the dorsal side of the rib cage and it’s very lean. This cut is wider and thicker with a fat layer on top called a fat cap.

Its color is lighter than the pork tenderloin and it has a mild flavor. Usually, a pork loin weighs between 1 and 2 kilos. This pork cut is also known as pork loin roast.

pork loin

How to cook pork loin?

If you want to make a delicious pork loin, follow these steps to create the perfect meal:

  • Seasoning is very important when you are cooking meat, so try combining salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, garlic powder or onion powder, some rosemary and rub it all around the pork loin.
  • Heat some oil in a skillet and try to sear the meat for about 5 minutes on each side.
  • After this, remove the set pork and put it on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Another option is to add honey, mustard, soy sauce, and olive oil, which will make the meat more juicy and tender.
  • Put in the oven and roast the meat for 25 minutes in a heated oven of 190-celsius degrees.
  • Once the meat is well-prepared and cooked, take it out of the oven and leave it for 10 minutes to rest. This way the juices will soak into the meat.
  • The final step is to cut and serve the meat.

Other recipes:

The previous steps are just one way of cooking the pork loin. This cut can be cooked in many ways that will make the meat tender and delicious. Here are some recipes:

  • If you are cooking skinless and boneless pork loin, you need a good sauce to marinate the meat in. So, a good sauce is the Honey garlic butter sauce. This way you’ll make the perfect meal for any occasion.
  • Another recipe is the classic roast pork with delicious crackling, perfect for a Sunday lunch with your family. Top it with tasty apples and cider gravy.
  • Post-roast loin pork with celeriac, shallots, and placenta, another recipe for a chunky and comforting meal on a Sunday.

What are pork chops?

Pork chops are a loin cut taken from the spine of the pig. The part of the loin that runs from the hip to the shoulder and has a small strip of meat called tenderloin. Pork chops are leaner than the other pork cuts and it is mild and tender. It’s easy and quick to cook.

pork chops

Pork chops are actually equivalent to beef stakes which can be a good substitute if you don’t have pork chops. The pork chops and steaks are similar in the way they are cut.

However, there are a few types of pork chops that are usually used in cooking like:

  1. The blade chop- which is known as the shoulder chop. It’s darker and has more connective tissue between the meat and the bone. This cut is good for slow cooking.
  2. The rib- also known as Ribeye Chop comes from the center of the back of the pig. This cut is leaner and has a nice amount of fat.
  3. The porterhouse or loin chop comes from the hip and is sometimes included in the tenderloin. Either the loin or the top is a very clean cut of pork which is typically more expensive.
  4. The center cut or a New York chop that is always boneless. This meat comes from above the loin chop and is usually about 2 centimeters thick. Also, what is important to know is that this cut does not have connective tissues.

How to cook pork chops?

Pork has a naturally mild flavor and there are a lot of ways that you can cook pork chops. Follow the guideline as I’ll share with you some tips on how to make the best pork chops dish:

  • If you want to cook medium-rare pork chops then use a temperature that is somewhat 62 degrees celsius. Keep in mind the recipe because that ‘ll guide you to make the best chops. Also, the length of the cooking depends on the cooking method and the thickness of the chop.
  • Thick is always better so make sure that you don’t overcook the pork chops because you’ll make the meat dry and it won’t be good to eat.
  • Seasoning is very important when cooking meat so don’t forget to put generously enough. Leave the meat to marinate into the seasoning that’ll use. That way it will help you to make very delicious pork chops.
  • The bone is helpful in a way that it’ll provide some protection from overcooking and has the same fat around it that will keep the pork juicier and tastier.
  • Keep in mind to leave the pork chops to rest before eating them after they are cooked. The timing depends on the thickness of the chops.
  • Whichever method you pick, keep in mind the timing: in the stove- 8 to 10 minutes, baked or roasted in the oven- 15 to 20 minutes, grilled- 15 to 20 minutes, fried in a pan- 7 to 8 minutes and slow-cooked- 5 to 6 hours.

Other recipes:

You should always keep in mind the tips above because they’ll have you improve your cooking skills, as well as to help you make the perfect pork chops. Additionally, here are some other recipes that you can use pork chops with:

  1. Rosemary- rubbed pork chops- easy to make as a good lunch meal. The main ingredient except the pork chops is the rosemary which will give the meat a beautiful smell and it’ll be tastier to eat.
  2. Crispy panko pork chops- the best recipe when cooking for two or even more. Easy and tasty to make.
  3. Sage brined pork chops with brown sugar glaze- in a very unique and tasty recipe that you should definitely try.

Related questions:

Can a pork loin be cut into chops?

You can leave it as one piece for roasting or cut it into chops. This way you’ll make boneless pork loin chops and you can cook them as boneless ribs.

Is pork loin a good cut?

Yes! Because of its size and taste, this cut is the best for cooking, especially when cooking for a crowd.

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