Have you ever read a recipe wrong and brought home pork sirloin instead of pork loin? We can relate. Pork comes in a variety of cuts, all with different names, so if you aren’t a meat expert, it’s only natural to get confused by them.
The four prime pieces of pork are pork shoulder, pork loin, hog leg, and pork belly.
Each piece consists of many sub-parts, so if pork loin is the primal cut, pork sirloin is the primal cut’s subpart — so no, they aren’t the same.
If you like pork and want to learn something new, this post is for you! We’ll explain the primary difference between two popular pig chops, so you’re not as perplexed the next time you go protein shopping. Let’s start!
As we mentioned, pork loin is a primal cut, whereas pork sirloin is the sub-primal cut of the animal.
Pork loin is the meat between the shoulder and the pig’s rear legs. This is the softest and leanest pig chop, and it can be bone-in or boneless.
Pork sirloin is a part from the rear of the pork loin that’s available whole or in chopped steaks.
One of the most valuable parts of pork is no other than the loin. This cut comes from the pork’s back, just above the ribs, and has little fat, making it a particularly lean, soft piece of protein. It has a mild flavor, a vivid red color, and a thick fat layer on top that, when cooked properly, becomes super soft.
The weight of a standard roast can range from 2 to 5lb. Since it’s pretty big, you can ask the butcher to chop it to your preferences.
The best method for making this cut is to sear it and roast it on low heat. Grilling is also a good option.
Pork sirloin is a cut from the back of the loin around the hip bone. It has a somewhat pale red color and consists of strong bones, connective tissue, and muscles.
Pork sirloin is also somewhat lean and soft, so it can be grilled and pan-fried. However, don’t overcook it since it can end up rather dry and tasteless quickly.
Cooking it with extra liquid is one technique chefs employ to keep the meat juicy. Another key step is to cook it on low heat for a longer period of time.
Consider brushing the sirloin with cherry, apple, or peach glaze while it’s cooking, as the meat reacts wonderfully to these flavors.
|Category||Pork Loin||Pork Sirloin|
|Type of cut||Primal||Subprimal|
|Part of cut||Pig’s back, above the ribs||End of the loin, close to the hip bone|
|Bones||Bone-in & boneless||Bone-in & boneless|
|Size||Large piece of meat||A smaller chunk of loin|
|Flavor||Mildly flavored||Mildly flavored|
|Texture||Lean, tender, with a layer of fat||Lots of muscle, bone & fat|
|Color||Vivid red||Pale red|
|Cooking||Grilling & slow-cooking||Grilling & slow-cooking|
|Price||More expensive||Less expensive|
Pork loin is healthier than pork sirloin — it’s lower in fats and almost 10g richer in protein.
Pork loin is lean and the leaner the cut, the more concentrated its healthy qualities are. As you get into the fattier cuts like sirloin, the advantages of the essential vitamins and minerals described in the nutritional chart below get diluted.
Pork has numerous health benefits:
- Pork loin contains high-quality proteins that are ideal for building new muscle. Additionally, it may aid in maintaining your current healthy muscular tissue.
- Pork aids in the synthesis of carnosine, an essential compound for the growth of muscles. If you want to improve your athletic capabilities, you may want to include this in your diet.
- The vital vitamins included in pork loin play a key role in many bodily processes, including the production of red blood cells, control of the neurological system, and maintenance of cognitive function.
Now that we’ve cleared the air on which one is healthier, we can focus on another matter: Are there any side effects of eating moderate amounts of pork?
No, there aren’t. Studies have shown that there is no clear cause-and-effect relationship between eating pork and heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, or mortality, despite the common belief that eating large amounts of red meat increases the risk of these diseases.
|Category (100g)||Pork Loin||Pork Sirloin|
|Cholesterol||80 mg||63.3 mg|
|Sodium||56 mg||51.2 mg|
|Potassium||416 mg||371.8 mg|
|Vitamins & Minerals|
Since pork sirloin is just the end piece of a pork loin, you can easily swap the two for one another. However, keep in mind that pork sirloin is not as lean as, let’s say, the front and middle pieces of pork loin.
Pork sirloin mostly consists of muscle, bones, and fat, and as a result, this cut is tougher and not as tender. It will also take more time to cook.
Now that we’ve explained the differences, it’s time to get cookin’! Here are the four best ways to cook pork loin and pork sirloin chops for your next family gathering.
Heat the grill to the highest temperature (600 °F) and sear each side of the pork loin for 1 to 2 minutes with the lid closed. For pork sirloin, you may need an additional minute or two.
Once done, turn the temperature down to medium and grill each side of the pork loin for another 3 to 4 minutes. As for pork sirloin, you may need around 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Start off by heating the smoker to 200/225°F. Smoke the pork loin chops for 1.5 hours per pound of pork. You may need an additional 15 to 20 minutes for pork sirloin.
We recommend smoking them with fruit woods like apple, pear, and cherry. These options will enrich your pork loin with a mildly sweet flavor.
Bake your pork loin chops for 10 minutes in a 9×13” baking pan. Pork sirloin chops need 5 additional minutes.
Once done, flip them over. Bake your pork loin chops for another 8 to 10 minutes. As for pork sirloin, give it another 3 to 4 more minutes to roast fully.
First things turn your stove on medium-high heat and heat some vegetable oil. Take your pork loin chops and sear each side for 1 to 2 minutes. Pork sirloin needs around 2 to 3 minutes of searing.
Once finished, turn the heat down to medium and cook the pork loin chops covered for an additional 10 minutes. Pork sirloin chops need around 15 minutes of cooking. Flip the chops halfway through cooking time to make sure each side is evenly cooked.
That’s all on pork and its protein-rich parts known as pork loin and pork sirloin! If you ever confuse them, just remember: pork loin is the primal piece taken from the pork’s back, whereas pork sirloin is a subpart of pork loin, the very last piece that’s near the hip bones!
Pork loin is lean, and it’s the healthier option to pick out of the two. Not only that, but it cooks faster than sirloin. Are you going for the healthier alternative or trying to save money? If it’s the second, the cut for you is pork sirloin! Have fun cooking.