How To Cook Pork Chops
Before you choose and begin cooking a pork chop it helps to understand which part of the animal it came from. The pig is divided into four primal cuts (see illustration).
The tenderness or toughness of a pork chop really depends on how much the animal has had to use the muscle. Cuts from the shoulder and leg area are used for movement, is going to be tougher than cuts from the loin, which lies in the upper back section.
Pork is about 30 percent leaner than it was 25 years ago. This is good news for the low fat diets, but this means less flavor, moisture and tenderness, so choosing the proper cooking method for each cut will make a huge difference when preparing grilled pork chop recipes.
We have rated each chop for flavor and tenderness based on experience, research and feedback from others. The rating system is out of 5, the best being 5/5 and the lowest 1/5. All pork can be tender if you know how to cook pork chops, meat from different parts of the pig must be cooked in different ways to maximize flavor and tenderness.
Before you race out and buy the best rated chops, you should know that any chop can be tender.
Let me explain, you have just purchased two chops, a loin chop and a shoulder chop, your grill is fired up and your ready to start grilling pork chops. Now if you do nothing but take both chops directly from the package to the grill, cook to medium doneness, the loin chop is going to be tender and the shoulder chop is going to be tough and chewy.
We have rated all chops based on this cooking method, so to acquire flavor and tenderness different cooking methods must be used for different parts of the animal. By following the directions for each of the different cuts, you will know how to cook pork chops and make tough bbq chops tender and flavorful.
Enhanced or seasoned pork is becoming more and more popular in grocery stores in the United States and Canada. If the pork you have purchased is enhanced do not use a brine solution or add any salt to the recipe. Read this article to learn more about enhanced or seasoned pork.
The shoulder lies between the rib section of the loin and the for-shank. The shoulder is divided into 2 sections, the more popular upper shoulder which is called the blade or butt and the lower shoulder which is called the picnic or arm shoulder. The shoulder is a heavily exercised muscle with a great deal of fat, making the meat intensely flavorful. Cuts from this area benefit from long, slow cooking to become tender.
How To Cook Pork Chops
The loin is the pig's entire back, attached to it are back ribs and the tenderloin. The loin lies between the shoulder and leg and contain the most popular cuts on the pig. The loin is lean and tender but is easily dried out if overcooked.
|Baby Back Ribs (Barbecue)||Pork Tenderloin (Oven)|
|Loin Rib Chops (Grill)||Loin Center Chops (Grill)|
|Sirloin Pork Chops (Grill)||Boneless Loin Center Chops (Grill)|
|Boneless Loin Rib Chops (Grill)||Pork Tenderloin (Grill)|
|Stuffed Pork Chops(Oven)|
The leg or fresh ham is the hind leg, lean with robust flavor and texture. The leg is also a popular cut for wet and dry cured smoked hams. The leg can be left whole bone in or cut and retailed into fresh smaller pork roast. Some grocery stores bone out the leg and cut into 3 muscles: inside, outside, and tip. These boneless cuts are very versatile and can be used for steaks, cutlets, kabobs, stew, minute steaks and stir-fry.
The pork belly is the underside of the pig and home to side ribs and side bacon as well as a variety of other processed pork products. The belly is fatty and very flavorful.
|Spare Ribs (Side Ribs) (Barbecue)||Spare Ribs (Side Ribs) (Oven)|
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