Don't be confused by pork chops. There are several cuts to choose from and the names are not always standardized. Read below about these cuts, their alternative names, and suggestions for the best way to prepare and cook them. With this information, you will be ready to talk to your butcher and know exactly what to buy.
Brining pork is always a good idea to maximize flavor and moisture. From here, depending on the cut, either a good rub or a marinade might be in order to complete the flavors. Thin pork chops should be grilled hot and fast, while thicker cuts, anything over an inch, should be seared first and finished off over a lower temperature. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F/65 C.
And remember, if you do brine a pork chop do not use rubs, marinades, or sauces with salt.
01 of 06
Also known as Bone-In Ribeye Chop, Rib End Cut
Cut from the lower loin, this is one of the best pork chops money can buy. Trim excess fat and cook hot and fast. This cut can be treated like a good steak and seasoned simply or however you like it.
Some recommended recipes are beer brined pork chops, baked pork chops with mushroom sauce, paprika pork chops, and spicy pork chops.
02 of 06
Center-Cut Loin Chop
Also known as Porterhouse Chop, Top Loin Chop
Cut from the center loin this pork chop has both loin and tenderloin sections. Generally a large cut, it is the porterhouse of pork. Great grilled hot and fast, this can be lightly seasoned for a perfect meal.
Some recommended recipes are teriyaki pork chops, grilled pork chops with maple, fennel, and chive compound butter, grilled Cuban style pork chops, and classic pork chops and tenderloin salt brine.
03 of 06
Also known as Pork Loin End Chop
From the upper loin, this is basically the same as the chop above, but with little to no tenderloin section and like the Porterhouse Chop, this will benefit from a brine and whatever seasonings you prefer. Grill hot and fast.
Some recommended recipes are Cajun style pork chops and grilled honey ginger pork chops.
04 of 06
Also known as Sirloin Steak
From below the loin section, this cut contains different kinds of meat making is a challenge to grill and keep tender. This pork chop should be marinated for several hours before grilling. This is also a good cut for braising.
Some recommended marinade recipes for sirloin chop are pineapple marinade, Jamaican jerk marinade, and sweet and savory pork chop marinade.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Boneless Loin Chop
Also known as America's Cut, New York Chop, Pork Loin Filet
This is the loin section of the loin chop cut away from the bone. This is the perfect chop for stuffing and is the leanest chop. Again, this would benefit from a brine before seasoning and being thrown on a hot grill. With stuffed pork chops it is best to gently sear for 2 to 3 minutes per side before finishing off over low or indirect heat.
Try boneless loin chop with this Hawaiian Pineapple Pork Chops recipe.
06 of 06
Also known as Blade Chop, Pork Shoulder Steak, Pork Steak
This cut comes from the shoulder. It is a cross-section cut of the Boston Butt and has a large bone through the middle. Tough and loaded with connective tissue this chop should be marinated before grilling. It can also be grilled or smoked low and slow to maximize the tenderness.
Some recommended marinade recipes for shoulder chop are teriyaki marinade, bourbon marinade, and mustard vinegar marinade.