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Pork Loin Cuts

loin   This is where we get the leanest and most tender pork cuts.  Since they're lean, these cuts tend to dry out if overcooked.  Pork is safe to eat if it's cooked to an interior temperature of 160 degrees.  There are three main parts of the loin:  the blade end, which is closest to the shoulder and tends to be fatty; the sirloin end, which is closest to the rump and tends to be bony; and the center portion in the middle, which is lean, tender, and expensive.  

Cuts:

pork back ribs = pork backribs = pork country back bones = pork loin back ribs = pork ribs for barbecue = Canadian pork back ribs = pork baby back ribs   Notes:  These ribs are meatier than spareribs, but they're not as meaty as country-style ribs.  Allow 2/3 pound per person.   Substitutes: pork spareribs OR pork country-style ribs (meatier and fattier)

pork loin blade chop = blade pork chop = pork chop end cut = pork chop end cut   Notes:  These are cut from the blade roast, which is the part of the loin that's closest to the shoulder.  You can grill, broil, braise, or panfry them.  Don't confuse this cut with the pork blade steak, which is cut from the Boston butt and is fattier.  Substitutes:  pork loin chop OR pork sirloin chop

pork blade roast = pork blade-end roast = pork 7-rib roast = pork 5-rib roast = pork rib end roast = rib end pork loin = pork loin rib end = pork loin blade roast    Notes:   This somewhat fatty, economical roast is sold either bone-in and boneless.  If you buy it as a bone-in roast, make sure that the butcher has cracked the backbone between the ribs so it's easy to carve.  Country-style ribs are cut from this piece.    Substitutes:  Boston butt OR pork sirloin roast

pork butterfly chop = butterfly pork chop = pork loin butterfly chop  Notes:  This is a thick chop taken from the loin eye which is cut almost in half so that it forms a butterfly pattern when opened on the hinge.

pork center loin roast = center cut pork loin roast = pork loin roast center cut = pork center rib roast = center cut pork roast = pork loin rib half = pork loin center cut = pork loin center rib roast  Notes:   For many cooks, this lean and tender cut makes the best pork roast of all.   One drawback is that it includes part of the animal's backbone, which adds flavor but can make the roast hard to slice after cooking.  One solution is to ask your butcher either to cut off the bone and tie it back on or to cut through the backbone in several places so that you can easily slice the cooked roast into chops.  If the backbone is removed and the ribs are "Frenched" or trimmed of meat, this cut is called a rack of pork.  To make a crown roast of pork, get two racks and tie them into a circular crown.  Your roast will be moister if the butcher doesn't trim the big slab of fat that usually comes with this cut.  The roast will be moister if you cut the fat off after the roast is cooked.   Steaks cut from this roast are called pork loin chops or pork rib chops.   Substitutes:   tenderloin OR pork sirloin roast OR fresh pork leg OR top loin roast OR Boston butt (higher in fat) OR rack of lamb 

pork chop  Notes:   Pork chops usually turn out juicier if they're thick and if they're attached to bone.  Several different cuts are called pork chops.  The most tender and expensive ones are the pork loin chop and the pork rib chop.  Next in the tenderness hierarchy are the pork sirloin chop, pork top loin chop, and the pork loin blade chop.   Pork arm steaks and pork blade steaks are relatively tough and fatty, but they're very flavorful.  They're better if they're braised rather than grilled, broiled, or fried.     Substitutes:  pork tenderloin (cut into medallions) OR lamb chop OR steak

pork country-style ribs = pork country-style loin ribs = pork country ribs = pork blade end country spareribs  Notes:  These have more meat than spareribs or back ribs, but they aren't as easy to eat with fingers.  Allow 1/2 pound per person.  They come boneless (pictured) or bone-in. Substitutes:  pork spareribs (less meaty and fatty) OR pork back ribs (less meaty and fatty still)

 

pork loin chop = pork loin end chop = loin pork chop = pork center loin chop   Notes:  This is distinguished by a T-shaped bone that's off to one side.  It's a great chop to grill, broil, or panfry. Substitutes:  pork rib chop OR pork tenderloin (cut into slices)

 

pork rib chop = pork rib cut chop = rib pork chop = pork chop end cut  Notes:   This is similar to the pork loin chop.  Substitutes:  pork loin chop OR tenderloin (cut into slices)

 

pork sirloin chop = pork loin sirloin chop = sirloin pork chop = sirloin pork steak   Notes:  These lean chops are cut from the pork sirloin roast.  Substitutes:  pork sirloin cutlet OR pork rib chop OR pork loin chop OR pork blade chop

pork roast   Notes:    You can oven-roast several pork cuts.  Many cooks think that the pork center loin roast is the best choice--it's moist, tender, and flavorful.   Pork tenderloins are also popular because they're lean, tender, and boneless.  As you move away from the center of the pig, the roasts become either bonier or fattier or less tender, but they're more economical and often packed with flavor.  Good choices include the pork top loin roast, fresh pork leg, pork sirloin roast and Boston butt. 

pork sirloin cutlet = pork cutlet  Notes:  These lean steaks are similar to sirloin chops, only meatier and boneless.    Substitutes:  pork tenderloin (slice medallions from it) OR pork sirloin chop

pork sirloin roast = pork loin end roast = loin pork roast = sirloin end roast = pork hipbone roast   Notes:   This is a fairly lean and economical roast.  A bone-in sirloin roast contains parts of the hipbone and backbone, so it's tough to carve.  It's usually worth the extra money to get a rolled and tied boneless sirloin roast.   Substitutes:  pork top loin roast OR pork blade roast OR Boston butt

pork tenderloin = pork tender = pork filet  Notes:  This cut is lean, tender, and boneless, so it commands a high price.  It's delicious roasted, grilled, or broiled as long as you don't overcook it. Tenderloins are usually sold in pairs, and sometimes cut up into tenderloin pieces.  If there's a silver membrane on the tenderloin, remove it before cooking.

pork top loin chop = center cut loin pork chop = pork strip chop   Notes:  If boneless, these chops are sometimes called pork loin filets.  Substitutes:  pork rib chop OR pork loin chop OR pork tenderloin (sliced into chops) OR pork sirloin chop OR pork blade chop 

pork top loin roast   Notes:   To make a boneless roast, the butcher puts two top loins together and ties them up, fat sides out.  Substitutes:  pork sirloin roast OR pork center rib roast

 


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