HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Pork Chops-Bone-In or Boneless?

Boneless pork chops are more expensive but I much prefer the bone-in. The meat close to the bone is so flavorful plus I like to gnaw on the bone to get the goodies off them. Any preferences?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Most definitely bone-in! Boneless pork chops are leaner than chicken breast, and we all know fat is flavor. If you get a center cut chop with the little piece of tenderloin on one side, so much the better.

    4 Replies
    1. re: FrauMetzger

      I thought the tenderloin has next to zero fat and therefore very little flavor.

      1. re: tommy

        That's true, but for some reason, when I cook it on the bone with the rest of the chop, it seems very nice. Perhaps the bone, extra fat, and connective tissue work some type of porky magic?

        1. re: tommy

          Center cut chops in general are pretty low in fat, no? (minus the fat band)

          1. re: joonjoon

            I was highlighting the dichotomy of stating "fat is flavor" in one sentence (I don't agree with this broad generalization) and singing the praises of the least fatty part of the loin in the next sentence.

            The blade and sirloin chops may have a bit more fat, but they also have more connective tissue, of which I am not a fan. I'll take breaded and pan-fried center cut any day!

      2. Yes! Bones! Boneless loin chops are okay for making schnitzels, but that's about it. I've given up on cooking them as plain pork chops, because the same ones with a bone attached are so much better - juicier, tenderer, much more flavor. Even when I want a pork chop sandwich, I'll cook a bone-in one and then trim it. And now I just noticed it's lunch time … !

        1 Reply
        1. re: Will Owen

          Bone-in. Always cook it on the bone...occasionally, I might take it off for serving

        2. One vote for boneless here. With the exception of ribs and drumettes, if I can't eat it, it doesn't belong on my dish. OTOH, Mrs G loves to gnaw on the bones like everyone else who posted here. If we get meat w/bone, she'll cut most of the meat off for me and keep the rest. Gnawing on bones seems so primitive to me. A pile of bones actually nauseates me.

          4 Replies
          1. re: mucho gordo

            You say primitive, I say delicious. :) Why the exception for ribs and wings?

            1. re: mucho gordo

              The Khantessa shares your aversion to bone-gnawing. For this reason, BBQ ribs are right out.

            2. Iowa Chop, Bone-in, 1" to 1 1/2" thick, large tenderloin section. 1 lb each. Come to Iowa State Fair August 11-21 and get a grilled one on a stick. Can't be beat.

              1. Bone-in.

                In fact, unless you've *know* where boneless chops are cut from, they are not worth buying, because "center cut" and "loin" cover everything from blade chops near the shoulder to sirloin chops near the ham. The best chops are from the rib (bone-in chops where the bone forms the shape of a curved number 7); blade chops (from between the rib and the shoulder) can be tasty but typically have more "stuff" in them. Sirloin chops and "T" bone chops are much less desirable, and therefore they are what boneless chops are usually made from. Which is why one shouldn't buy them ....

                1 Reply
                1. re: Karl S

                  Some people like the chops from the t-bone (like Frau, above). I don't see these as inherently inferior. They are good for quick cooking, where as chops near the blade can benefit from slower cooking. I buy different cuts depending on what I plan on cooking.

                2. Bone in, thin cut, fried golden and crispy. Love to pick up and gnaw on bone too!

                  1. I have to admit I use both, but one of my favorite dishes is pork chops Sicilian with bone-in pork chops. Also, after seeing Bourdain's Macau episode, the thin, fried, bone-in chop sandwiches he was eating at the end of the show looked delicious.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: awm922

                      I always tended to go for the thick, the juicy and the slow-cooked, but after repeatedly smelling the thin chops my (Mexican) neighbors were cooking I got some thin ones and fried them crisp. Oh! My! These are a whole 'nother variety of meat! Okay, I still like the thickish ones braised, or coated with something and roasted, but those thin crunchy guys are great. Found some on the breakfast menu at a Mexican place we went to, and golly, were they good with beans and eggs!

                    2. Thin, bone-in, and deep fried. Ultra southern comfort food! My grandma and mom make some amazing pork chops, gravy, and biscuits.
                      Lol not something you can eat every week!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Laurenjo28

                        ok..now we need a google maps link to your grandmas house...........


                      2. There is much more flavor with bone-in. Some tips: Take your time. Start with low heat, a bit of olive oil, season chops with garlic pepper. Some sweet onion in the pan is a nice addition. When chops are half-done move to oven or cover pan. Allow chops to rest 5 minutes before serving.

                        1. Depends on the dish. If the chop is served whole, I definitely prefer bone-in. But if a dish calls for diced pork I'll purchase ultra-lean, boneless chops.

                          1. A pork chop sandwich is one of my favorite lunchtime treats. This obviously precludes bones … BUT: a boneless loin chop is a sad, dry thing, IM(non-humble)O. Therefore, I cook a bone-in chop, trim out the bun-sized main morsel, and have my sandwich. As for dessert, well … ;-)

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Will Owen

                              Properly cooked pork is not dry. The bone certainly doesn't magically inject moisture or fat into the muscle.

                              1. re: tommy

                                No, but it provides an impermeable barrier to help retain the juices that are there. The egg-and-crumb coating on a schnitzel seems to have a similar effect.

                                For Motosport, below: except for the few who insist that since they can't figure how it works, it obviously can't, the widespread consensus is that bone-in IS juicier. I haven't yet got my Howard McGee book so I can't look it up, but I'm sure he has something to say on the subject. I would be very much surprised if he dismissed it as a delusion.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  You are assured I can and do figure out lots of stuff. I rely on science, not assumption and what I've read over and over.

                                  1. re: tommy

                                    Here is what someone else says Harold Mcgee says about "Bone in" http://www.livestrong.com/article/527...

                                    From that you could infer that cooking with the bone in is a bit more forgiving than without. So a properly cooked chop either way is going to be as tender and juicy as the marbling will allow. My personal preference is bone in, but for taste not for juicyness. I realize it's subjective, but meat on the bone tastes better to me.


                            2. Bone in always seems to be juicier. The same for rib eye steaks and chicken thighs. Is it my imagination?