Pork filets or pork chops make an excellent centerpiece for a holiday celebration or an intimate date night. Tender and flavorful, this meat pairs nicely with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables and a glass of wine.
But what’s the difference between pork filets and pork chops? Aren’t they the same thing? Not exactly.
Although pork filets and pork chops both come from a hog, it’s important to understand the differences before following along with a recipe or making a quality meal to serve to your dinner guests.
What are Pork Filets?
Pork filets are cut from the pork shoulder. This muscle isn’t used quite as often by the hog, so it has a higher fat content rich in marbling. This marbling makes the cut tender, juicy and delicious in every meal.
Pork filets are also typically easier to cook. Most don’t have bones in the meat, which makes for a simple meal prep. Due to the high marbling content, filets are tender and moist, making them easier to cook without drying out the meat.
Whether roasting in the oven or cooking on the grill, pork filets are a tender, juicy option for a delicious meal. If you’re baking your pork filet in the oven, cook the meat for around 30 minutes at 350°F.
For the grill, you’ll want to ensure both sides of the filet are fully cooked. Either way, use a meat thermometer to guarantee the internal temperature of your meat reaches 145°F.
What are Pork Chops?
Pork chops are cut from the loin section of the pig, which is a long, lean muscle that runs along the back of the animal. Many kinds of pork chop cuts are available, including shoulder chop, rib chop, loin chop, boneless chop and sirloin chop.
Pork chops have less marbling than pork filets, so this lean cut of meat doesn’t have as much flavor. Dressing pork chops in a marinade or seasonings before cooking is an excellent way to enhance their flavor to provide a delicious meal.
This type of meat can take more time and effort to cook. Since it’s a leaner cut of meat, it can dry out easier while cooking. It’s important to pay close attention to when your pork chop is done to still enjoy a tender piece of meat.
Bone-in Pork Chops provide some fat around the bone for protection from overcooking. This layer can keep the pork juicier and tastier for your meal.
You can cook pork chops using the oven, grill or stove. If you’d like to cook your meat on the stove, use a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Make sure to flip the pork to ensure each side becomes fully cooked.
If you’re cooking pork chops in the oven, bake your meat at 325°F for at least 15 minutes on each side. Cooking times will vary based on your oven.
Regardless of your cooking method, keep a close eye on this cut of meat to prevent overcooking. Also, ensure the internal temperature reaches 145°F to guarantee it’s fully cooked.
Are Pork Chops and Pork Filets the same?
Pork chops and pork filets are not the same types of meat, and it’s important to know the difference. This knowledge will help you select the best meat for your meal.
Location of the Meat
Pork filets come from the shoulder of the pig. This area has more fat content and marbling to provide an incredibly succulent flavor.
Pork chops come from the loin of the pig along their back. This area doesn’t have as much fat and requires additional seasonings and cooking methods to derive a delicious meal.
Pork filets are much easier to cook due to their high marbling content. You can also shred their meat to create delicious pulled pork sandwiches. Fire up the grill or heat a tender pork filet in the oven to enjoy this tender, mouthwatering meat.
Pork chops can dry out easier so they require more attention while cooking. You can also enjoy marinating pork chops before baking in the oven or cooking on the grill.
Both pork chops and filets should reach an internal temperature of 145°F to be fully cooked.
Flavor & Nutrition
Pork chops are leaner types of meat, so they’re a better option for a healthier meal. Since they don’t have as much fat content to flavor the meat, it’s helpful to find a juicy marinade or dry rubs to add more flavor. Comparatively, pork filets’ high marbling content always makes them more tender and delicious pieces of meat.
Which Meat Should You Cook With?
Whether you grill or bake your meat in the oven, pork is an excellent choice for your meal.
Pork chops and pork filets are delicious cuts of meat that can serve as a centerpiece for a luxurious meal or exciting family cookout. If you’re looking for quick, juicy meat that’s easy to cook, go for pork filets. If you’d like a leaner, healthier option, choose pork chops.
Either way, pork chops and pork filets are delicious meats, but it’s important to understand the differences to help prepare the best quality meal.
Whether you’re cooking pork chops or grilling tender pork filets, our all-natural pork is sourced from ethical, high-quality suppliers to ensure you have the most delicious and sustainable meat on your table.