Pork chops: Which kinds are there? And what’s the best way to cook them?

The different types, from marinating to baking and roasting

Pork chops are easy to cook. In addition, they are super versatile. There are plenty of options for cooking and marinating them. And it’s simpler than you might think. In this article we take a closer look at the different types and how to cook them.

Gebakken karbonade met een jus van mosterd en appelstroop
Baked pork chop with mustard and apple syrup gravy

Chapter 1

What is a pork chop?

Pork chops are cut from the back of the pork from the head to the buttocks. There are four types of pork chops, each of which comes from a different part of the pig. From the front to the back of the pork these are:

  • Pork neck chops
  • Blade chops
  • Rib chops
  • Loin chops

Each type of pork chop comes with a measure of fat, which means that some have more flavor than the others. The following chapter describes the types of pork chops.

Tips for buying a pork chop
Choose a piece of 2-3 cm thick. Pork chops with bone contain more fat and are therefore tastier. Boneless pork chops are easier to eat and are a leaner choice because they contain less fat, but therefore less flavor.

How to store pork chops?
Pork chops wrapped in plastic containers can be stored in the refrigerator for two to four days before cooking. If you buy a pork chop from the butcher, ask the butcher how best to store the meat. Vacuum-packed meat can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.

A pork chop that is frozen can be stored for about 6 months. Make sure they are wrapped in sturdy freezer bags and let as much air out of them as possible. Keep in mind that it will take about 12 hours to thaw the pork chop. This is best done by putting it in the refrigerator a day before cooking.

Chapter 2

What different types are there?

Pork neck chop

As the name suggests, the pork neck chop comes from the neck of the pig. It is cut from the so-called loin that runs from the head to the buttock, across the back area.

The neck pork chop is a nicely streaked piece of pork. Of all the chops, the neck pork chops have the most fat. This fat provides a delicious taste.

The neck chop is quite tough meat and needs a longer cooking time. After 25-30 minutes of baking it will be nicely tender and juicy.

Other names:
United States: Pork chops, Cutlets
French: Côtes de Porc

Blade chops

A little further back comes the blade chop. This is a piece of meat around the shoulder with bone. Boneless steaks are called shoulder fillets.

The blade chop comes from a part of the pork where the muscles are used intensively. This makes the meat a bit tougher. After the neck pork chop, the blade chop has the most fat, so it also has a lot of flavor.

The blade chop also has a longer preparation time of about 25-30 minutes. After that it is nice and tender.

Other names:
United States: Blade chops, Cutlets
French: Côtes de Porc

Rib chop

The rib chop obviously comes from the rib part of the pork and is also called a cutlet. The vertebrae are cut through with an ax, creating the rib chops. If the rib is removed from this, fillets are created.

The rib chop is rather tender and lean pork. It has a nice fat edge.

The rib chop may be light pink on the inside and therefore only needs to be fried for 7-8 minutes.

Other names:
United States: Rib chops
French: Côtes de Porc, Carré de côtes

Loin chops

The loin chop comes from the back of the pig’s back. It’s the leanest type of pork chop. It often has a thin border of fat.

The loin chop contains a T-shaped bone. On one side of this bone, as the name suggests, is pork tenderloin and on the other side is pork chop meat. Without the pork tenderloin, it’s called loin chop.

The loin chop only needs to be fried for 6-7 minutes, otherwise the meat will dry out.

Other names:
United States: Loin chops
French: Côtes de Porc

Chapter 3

Seasoning pork chop

Oftentimes pork chops are just seasoned with salt and pepper, but marinating them is also a good way to add flavor. In addition, the marinade ensures that the meat does not dry out during cooking.

Marinating

Marinating is a process of soaking raw meat in a liquid spice mixture. This is to add flavor to the meat. Marinating is done in the refrigerator. Depending on the recipe, a pork chop can marinate for several hours or even overnight.

To make a marinade, add all ingredients in a glass bowl and mix. Then you put the marinade in a plastic bag that you can seal. You put the pork chop in this marinade. Put the sealed plastic bag with the pork chop and marinade in the fridge for a time that is indicated in your recipe. Occasionally turn the pork chops so that the marinade covers the entire piece well.

Brining

Another option is to brine the pork chops. This keeps the meat nice and juicy. To brine a pork chop, put water in a bowl with a tablespoon of salt. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 4 hours.

Chapter 4

How to cook the perfect pork chop

A tasty pork chop has some fat. Fat is often seen as a negative thing, but don’t be fooled by this, because fat gives meat more flavor. The neck and blade chops have the most fat.

Frying

  1. Heat butter in a pan over medium heat.
  2. The pork chop should be browned all over. Then let it simmer on medium heat in its own fat. See the table below for how long you can bake your pork chop.
  3. Let the pork chop rest for a few minutes after cooking. Do this loosely in aluminum, so that the heat can still escape.
  4. Sprinkle the chops with sea salt and some pepper.
 Number of minutesColor
Neck/ blade chops13 minutes on both sidesLight grey
Rib chops4 minutes on both sidesLight rosé
Loin chops3 minutes on both sidesLight rosé

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