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Apr 14, 2009 04:49 PM

butchering whole pork loin

i recently purchased a whole pork loin and am wondering the best way to divvy it up. its boneless with a nice fat cap and tapered shape. from what i gather, i can cut some roasts, chops and lardons, but which part is best for which?

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  1. When I do this, I start at the tapered end cutting strips for stir fry and cubes for stew, cut double thick chops for grilling or stuffing as it begins to even out, and save the larger end for a single roast.

    This is great for when the supermarket does their "buy one whole pork loin, get one free" deal. I cannot pass that up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mcsheridan

      Funny - I do the same but work from the thicker, roast end! I then cut thick steaks, some thin, and the end for stewing cubes. There aren't any lardons since the cut is usually so lean.

    2. thanks for the tips...but one more question: can i get an actual tenderloin out of this and still use the other bits or would this be a waste? i was thinking of chunking it up for stew or stir-fry, etc.

      7 Replies
      1. re: bflobear

        If I were eating chops out of that loin, I'd miss the tenderloin bit if it wasn't there. :)

        1. re: mcsheridan

          im actually asking which part to cut out for the tenderloin - and would it be worth my money to just buy the tenderloin already butchered if i cannot get the cops etc. out the whole loin...

          1. re: bflobear

            Since it's boneless, I believe you've bought just the loin side. The tenderloin would be on the other side of the now extinct bone.

            1. re: alwayscooking

              i thought that there were 2 tenderloins on either side of the spine beneath the rib cage - and the inside of certain cuts of chops was the tender loin (versus the smaller piece of meat on the other side of bone-in chops)?

              1. re: bflobear

                BBear - although I have seen a few pigs taken apart, I'm not a butcher so my descriptions may be confusing. You are correct that there are 2 tenderloins (one on each side of the spine) that are located on the inside of the rib bones on the sirloin end of the loin. A pork chop is cut to have both the loin and the tenderloin separated by a bone. Boneless loins tend to be the center loin and not the underside of the bone, the tenderloin (confusing because of the similar names). If your boneless loin is in 2 pieces, one smaller than the other, then the smaller one is the tenderloin.

                Hope this helps.

                1. re: alwayscooking

                  no, that was well described - thank you very much. that clears up some confusion :)

            2. re: bflobear

              As to which part to cut out, if your roast still has the tenderloin attached, you'll see it as a rounded, darker muscle next to the main cut.