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17 Different Meat Cuts From One Whole Pork Loin, Including Tenderloin!

The pork loin is one of the most versatile parts of the pig, offering 17 different cuts of meat that can be used for a variety of dishes.

Here is a list of the different cuts the whole pork loin can be portioned into, providing endless recipe possibilities from just one part of the pig.

  1. Bone In Pork Rib Roast
  2. Bone In Centre Cut Loin Roast
  3. Bone In Chump Pork Roast
  4. Boneless Centre Cut Pork Roast
  5. Bone In Rib Chop
  6. Bone In Centre Cut Chop
  7. Bone In Country Style Chops
  8. Boneless Pork Ribeye
  9. Boneless Pork Loin Steaks
  10. Pork Escalopes
  11. Pork Kebobs
  12. Diced Pork
  13. Pork Tenderloin
  14. Pork Medallions
  15. Ground Pork
  16. Baby Back Pork Ribs
  17. Back Bacon

What Part Of The Pig Is The Pork Loin?

The pork loin runs along the back of the animal between the shoulder and rear leg. It is the meat that surrounds the spine and partial ribs of the pig.

This show the loin in relation to the side of pork
A closer view showing the different cuts from a loin of pork

We will now look at the 17 different cuts individually, and offer some advice on how the meat is best prepared, and the types of recipes you can expect to use them.

Pork Rib Roast

The pork rib roast is taken from the end of the loin near the shoulder of the animal. This is the pork version on the ‘prime rib roast’.

The meat around the rib tends to carry a little more fat than the leaner centre cut, and has a succulent sweet taste.

The rib roast can be prepared with the skin attached to provide ‘crackling’, or with it removed.

Usually this roast will have had the back bone removed (chined) to allow for easy carving between the ribs after cooking.

The pork rib roast can also be french trimmed to expose the ribs and prepared as a pork rack, or a ‘crown’ of pork.

Prepared this way, they create a rather special focal point for the dinner table.

Here is a recipe to follow if you want to impress your dinner guests: Roasted Garlic & Herb Rack of Pork

A French Trimmed Pork Rib Roast

Bone-In Centre Cut Pork Roast

This cut is taken from the centre of the pork loin and has the pork tenderloin attached. It is leaner than the rib section of the loin and so needs careful cooking to ensure it doesn’t dry out.

Once again, to facilitate easy carving, the pork roast will have been chined. This could mean either the backbone has been removed completly, or each individual vertebrae joint has been cut through, to allow you to carve between each rib bone.

Bone-In Chump Pork Roast

The ‘chump’ of the pork is the pork equivalent to the beef top sirloin / rump, and attaches the loin to the leg of the animal.

It is not very common to see a bone-in chump roast, as they normally have the bone removed and cut into steaks, or sold as a boneless loin joint.

The Pork Chump / Top Sirloin Attaches The Loin To The Leg

Boneless Centre Cut Pork Roast

This is probably the most popular pork roasting joint on the market today.

With all the bones removed, and much of the fat trimmed away, this roast is just a solid muscle of lean meat that can be carved easily.

You can commonly find whole boneless pork loins on offer in grocery stores and can be an economical way to buy them.

The centre cut pork steaks are also taken from this cut and so if you were to purchase a whole bonelss loin, you could cut yourself a combination of roasts and steaks from the same piece.

This video shows you just how easy it is to get different cuts from a whole loin in your own kitchen!

Pork Rib Chop

The pork rib chop is taken from the rib end of the pork loin and has a rib bone attached along the eye of the meat. This is the bone-in ribeye steak of the pork loin.

These rib chops carry more fat than the centre cut pork chops, and can be sold with the skin attached or skinless. It is more common for pork loin cuts to be sold with the skin removed in the USA, and with the skin attached in the UK.

Rib chops can be cooked under the broiler, in the oven or on the BBQ for great flavor.

Pork Rib Chops

Centre Cut Pork Loin Chops

After the rib chops, you come to the centre cut pork chops, also known as the T-Bone and Porterhouse pork steaks.

These chops not only have the eye of the loin meat, but also contain the small portion of pork tenderloin.

Again, these chops can be sold with either the skin attached or removed.

Due to the lean meat of the centre cut chop, more care needs to be taken during cooking to prevent the meat from drying out and becoming tough.

It is now safe to cook your pork medium rare, and makes for a better eating experience. Read our article about medium rare pork HERE.

The Centre Cut Bone-In Chop Has The Tenderloin Attached

Country Style Pork Chops

The country style pork chops are taken from the area where the loin meets the shoulder of the animal.

These chops are usually much fatter and tougher than the rib and centre cut chops and so benefit from longer slow cooking.

When cooked properly, the country style chops offer a wonderful flavor.

Country Style Pork Chops Need Long Slow Cooking

Boneless Pork Ribeye Steak

The boneless pork ribeye steak is basically the pork rib chop without the bone. It is just the eye of the meat taken from the rib end of the boneless pork loin.

This sweet flavored meat is a firm favorite for pork lovers due to the balance between fat content, tenderness and flavor.

These steaks can be grilled, broiled or baked beautifully.

Pork Ribeye Steaks

Centre Cut Pork Loin Steaks

This cut is probably the most popular and most recognised cut in the stores today, and are the equivalent to a beef strip steak.

Taken from the centre of the pork loin, these steaks are just the eye of the meat with a very thin covering of fat to the outside edge.

These steaks can be cut to any thickness that you desire, and are very lean and tender. They can be broiled, baked, fried or grilled very quickly.

Due to the leaness of the meat, care must be taken during cooking to prevent the meat drying out and becoming tough.

Lean & Tender Centre Cut Pork Steaks Are Very popular

Pork Escalopes

Pork escalopes are lean slices of boneless pork that have been pounded out to make them thinner and more tender.

Although some people use leg steaks to make escalopes, they are also made from trimmed pork loin steaks and even the pork tenderloin.

Pork escalopes are usually cooked very quickly and can either be coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, or served with a creamy sauce such as mushroom.

You can check out our article on different meat for escalopes HERE

Pounded & Breaded Pork Escalopes

Pork Kabobs

Due to the lean and tender nature of the loin, any part of it can be cut into larger chunks and used to make delicious pork kabobs.

Depending on whether you like your meat with a little fat, or whether you prefer lean, will determine which part of the loin you will use.

Pork Loin Makes Excellent Pork kabobs

Diced Pork Loin

Just like the kabobs above, the pork loin can be cut into smaller chunks to make a variety of dishes thaty require diced pork.

Curries, casseroles and meican dishes can all be made using this cut.

If you have purchased a whole loin and cut it at home yourself, the trimmed ends and ‘ugly’ looking steaks are perfect for dicing up and using in these kinds of recipes.

Pork Loin Lean Diced
Pork Loin Off Cuts Can Be Diced For Recipes

Pork Tenderloin

The pork tenderloin is the filet mignon of the pig.

The tenderloin is a long thin muscle found running along the inside of the rear end of the pork loin.

This extremely lean and tender cut of meat weighs approx 500 – 800 grams and will feed 2 people. It is also one of the most expensive cuts of pork due to how little there is on each animal.

The tenderloin tends to be roasted and can often be coated with a mustard and breadcrumb mixture for added flavor.

This cut can also be used for kebons or pounded flat for escalopes.

The lean and tender pork fillet will feed 2 people

Pork Medallions

Pork medallions are made by cutting the pork tenderloin into small bite sized pieces. These pieces are often wrapped in bacon.

Sometimes pork loin steaks are also cut as medallions and have any exterior fat removed.

The loin medallions are usually purchased as a cheaper option to buying the more expensive pork tenderloin.

Pork Tenderloin Medallions Wrapped With Bacon

Ground Pork Loin

Again, if you have cut up a whole pork loin and have some trimmings, these can be put through a grinder to make ground pork.

These ground trimmings are perfect for adding to ground beef to make chilli or meatballs, or can be used to make your own homemade sausages and burgers!

There really is no waste when you buy a whole loin, and you can get many meals at a fraction of the cost of buying each individual cut separately.

ground pork loin trimmings
Pork Loin Trimmings Can Be Ground For Chilli or Meatball Recipes

Baby Back Ribs

When a pork loin is boned out to make a boneless pork loin, the sheet of ribs that is removed is sold as ‘Baby Back Ribs’

These ribs have become very popular over the years and are often seen on the menu at restaurants.

A popular way of cooking the ribs is to roast or grill them and then smother them with a delicious BBQ sauce.

Baby Back Ribs Removed From The Pork Loin And Smothered With BBQ Sauce

Back Bacon & Canadian Bacon

Although it is not so common in the USA, using the pork loin is a very popular choice for making bacon in both the United Kingdom and Canada.

Using different techniques, the boneless pork loin is cured in a brine solution or dry cured in salt to produce ‘back bacon’.

The cured bacon can then be sold ‘green’ which means that it has not been smoked, or it can be also be smoked if you prefer.

The bacon loin is then sliced thinly into ‘rashers’ ready to be sold.

The UK use pork loins to make both smoked and unsmoked bacon rashers

As you can see, there are endless possibilities that you can do with a pork loin, whether it be a bone in loin from your local butcher, or a boneless pork loin purchased vacuum packed from the grocery store.

If you haven’t watched it already, I suggest you scroll back up the video posted above to watch just how easy it is to cut up a boneless pork loin in your own kitchen.

Very often you will find whole boneless pork loins on offer in the grocery stores and you can save big $$$ over buying each cut separately.