Many people who enjoy meat love to have pork in their rotation of meals. If you are a pork lover, you may be curious what the difference between specific cuts of pork is. For example, pork steaks and pork chops may look similar in the store meat section, but the two are vastly different in a plethora of ways.
Pork steaks and pork chops, while both coming from a pig, have important differences. Let's dive into them below.
The Main Difference Between Pork Steaks and Pork Chops
The main difference between pork chops and pork steak is where they're cut from on a hog and the resulting texture and taste differences. Pork chops are cut from the loin and are leaner while pork steak is cut from the shoulder and contains more marbling. This makes pork steaks more flavorful while pork chops generally have less flavor.
Pork chops are ideal for quick cooking whereas pork steaks benefit from slower cooking. Finally, pork chops are usually thinner while pork chops are a thicker cut. Let's examine each cut in more detail.
What Are Pork Steaks?
Pork steaks are a style of pork that is cut from a pig's shoulder region. Despite coming from the shoulder area, it is also sometimes known as a pork butt. This cut of pork has a ton of muscle and marbling due to the location of the pig from where it is cut. Pork steaks are usually very thick and are cut into half-size pieces. They are oftentimes very tough, making it a longer cooking process. However when cooked properly they are incredibly flavorful.
What Are Pork Chops?
Pork chops are a type of pork that is taken from the loin area of a pig. This type of pork is sold both bone-in and boneless and is people's go-to when purchasing pork to cook at home. Pork chops are tender due to the section of the pig, the loin. Chops are typically very thin, therefore require less cooking time.
Differences Between Chops and Steaks
The cut of a pork steak and a pork chop is very different. Pork steaks are cut from the shoulder region of a pig. This shoulder region is not used often by the pig. Pork chops are cut from the loin of the pig.
Pork steaks tend to come thick. When they are served or sold, they are cut into thicker slices and pieces in comparison to pork chops. They are marbled and sold bone-in. Pork chops are usually thinner. They have the tendency to dry out quickly due to the thinness of the meat.
In comparison, pork steaks have a lot of marbling and fat content due to the area of the shoulder that they are cut from. Pork chops typically do not have any fat, or marbling, at all. Both can be sold bone-in. Pork chops can come boneless, as well.
While both cuts are pork and stem from a pig, the flavor between a pork steak and a pork chop can be vastly different. Due to the high amount of fat in pork steaks, they are much juicier when they are cooked. Pork chops are thinner and have usually little to no fat. They can dry out very easily if overcooked. Many people spice and marinade pork chops to ensure that they have a major flavor when cooking.
Pork steaks need to be cooked for longer than pork chops, typically due to their thickness and fat content. Pork chops dry out easily, meaning a cook should be careful when making them. Cooking them for too long can cause a dry, flavorless cut of pork. Both pork steaks and pork chops can be grilled, but pork chops are the choice if you are looking to grill. Pork steaks are usually slow-cooked or pan-fried.
Pork steaks are actually cheaper than pork chops, even though they are thicker and sometimes bigger than pork chops. This is due to the area from which the pork steak is cut. With pork steaks being taken from the shoulder of the pig, there is much more meat to take from. The loin of the pig has less meat, making it more expensive to get a pork chop.
Pork Steaks vs. Pork Chops Nutrition Comparison
Fat content plays a big role in the differences between pork steaks and pork chops. If you are looking for a lower-calorie dinner, pork chops will have slightly lower calories. However, the difference isn't extremely significant with pork chops having about 17 fewer calories per 100-gram serving. The most significant nutritional difference is that pork steaks have much higher saturated fat when compared to pork chops.
A Quick Comparison of Pork Steaks vs. Pork Chops
Pork steaks and pork chops are cut from different parts of the pig, which is what gives them differences in fat content and flavor. Pork steaks come from the shoulder and have more marbling than pork chops. This means that the fat content in pork steaks is higher, giving them a richer flavor. Pork chops come from the loin of the pig, giving them less marbling and a milder flavor. With the right seasoning, pork chops can be just as tasty as pork steaks! The base flavor is just different between the two cuts. Choosing between these two pork cuts is going to depend on your needs for a recipe and your personal preferences. Happy cooking!
Try these easy and tasty oven baked pork chops for next week's dinner:Print
8 boneless pork loin chops (about 3½ pounds)
Salt and pepper to taste
⅔ cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1⅓ cup Italian breadcrumbs
1. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the Dijon and Worcestershire sauce.
3. Dip each pork chop in the mustard mixture to cover and coat heavily with breadcrumbs.
4. Preheat the oven to broil. Cover a baking sheet with foil and lay a baking rack on top. Lay 4 of the coated pork chops on the baking rack and broil for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until done.
- Serving Size: Per chop
- Calories: 302
- Sodium: 797mg
- Fat: 10g
- Carbohydrates: 18g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 34g
- Cholesterol: 81mg