First things first, if you're looking for locally raised hand-trimmed pork, look for the Hy-Vee Midwest Pork label. We work with 430 family farms throughout Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Wisconsin to source only the best quality.
Second thing, Hy-Vee butchers love to give recommendations, so when in doubt, just ask. Otherwise, use this handy list to identify some cuts of pork to try for dinner this week.
Also check out, 15 Go-To Recipes for When You Stock Up on Midwest Pork.
Loin Chops & Top Loin Chops
Loin chops are cut near the center of the loin and have a T-shape bone that divides loin meat from tenderloin muscle. Top loin chops contain the same bone but no tenderloin. Both chops are lean with mild flavor.
Best Cooking Methods: grilling, broiling, oven-roasting, or brining for added tenderness
Boneless Top Loin Chop
Boneless top loin chops are loin chops or rib chops that have the bone removed. Absence of the bone makes it easier to cook and eat, but it may have less flavor. We recommend cutting it into thin strips for stir-fry or into cubes for adding to pasta.
Tenderized Top Loin Chop
This is a top loin chop that is mechanically tenderized to break up connective tissue and muscle fibers. It's also known as sandwich chops and is very quick to cook.
Beth Cooking Methods: bread and oven-fry, pan-fry, or deep-fry for a sandwich
Rib chops are cut from the rib section of the loin. (The rib bones attached to these chops are baby back ribs.) Because they contain more fat than loin chops, they're more flavorful and less likely to dry out during cooking.
Best Cooking Methods: grilling, broiling, oven-roasting
Boneless Butterfly Chop
Boneless butterfly chops are cut from the center of the loin with a small "hinge" in the center to open like a book. The two halves look much like the wings of a butterfly.
Best Cooking Methods: pan-frying, oven-roasting
Pork Shoulder Blade Steak
The pork shoulder blade steak is cut from the shoulder end of the loin. Blade steaks contain more fat and tend to be a bit tougher than loin and rib chops, but they also have great flavor.
Best Cooking Methods: grilling, broiling, pan-frying, braising, or slow cooking
Pork tenderloin is a lean, boneless roast and one of the most tender cuts of pork. Weighing from 3/4 to 1 1/2 pounds, pork tenderloin contains about the same amount of fat as a boneless, skinless chicken breast, making is a healthy choice for dinner.
Best Cooking Methods: grilling, oven-roasting, sautéing, and stir-frying
Boneless Country-Style Ribs
Boneless country style ribs are meaty, tender cuts from the upper side of the rib cage. They're cut from the fatty blade end of the loin, making them extra flavorful.
Best Cooking Methods: braising, slow-cooking, and pressure cooking
Baby Back Ribs
Baby back ribs are small, curved slabs from the pig's rib cage near the backbone. They're meatier than spare ribs but not as meaty as country-style ribs.
Best Cooking Methods: grilling, slow-cooking, oven-roasting