How many calories are in center cut Pork Chops?

Center cut pork chops are a lean and delicious cut of pork that can be a healthy part of a balanced diet. But before adding them to your meal plan, you may be wondering just how many calories are in a center cut pork chop? In this comprehensive guide, we will provide a detailed calorie breakdown and nutrition information for center cut pork chops to help you determine if they fit into your nutritional needs.

What Are Center Cut Pork Chops?

Center cut pork chops come from the center section of the pork loin. They contain a significant amount of lean meat and less fat compared to other pork chop cuts. Boneless center cut pork chops contain the loin eye muscle only, while bone-in center cut chops also include a part of the backbone. Boneless chops are sometimes labeled as “loin chops” in grocery stores.

Center cut pork chops are an exceptionally lean and tender cut of meat that is quick-cooking. They have little connective tissue and marbling, so they can dry out if overcooked. Their leanness makes them a healthier choice compared to fattier cuts like country-style ribs or pork belly.

Nutrition Facts for Center Cut Pork Chops

The nutrition information for center cut pork chops can vary slightly depending on factors like whether the chop is boneless or bone-in, the thickness of the chop, and the specific pork used. However, in general, a 3-ounce serving of boneless center cut pork chop contains approximately:

  • Calories: 139
  • Total fat: 4 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 54 mg
  • Sodium: 51 mg
  • Potassium: 349 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Protein: 23 g

As you can see, center cut pork chops are high in protein, while being very low in fat and carbohydrates. They are a nutrient-dense food option.

Calorie Count of Boneless vs Bone-In Center Cut Pork Chops

In general, a boneless center cut pork chop contains fewer calories than a bone-in chop of equal weight. This is because bone-in chops include the weight of the bone, which is not edible and does not contribute any calories. Let’s compare:

Type of Chop Serving Size Calories
Boneless Center Cut Chop 3 ounces 139 calories
Bone-In Center Cut Chop 3 ounces 160 calories

As shown, for an equal 3-ounce serving, the bone-in chop contains around 20 more calories. The bone contributes extra weight but no extra fat or protein. So for the least calories, boneless center cut chops are the better choice.

Calories in Thinner vs Thicker Center Cut Pork Chops

The thickness of a center cut pork chop also impacts its calorie content per serving. Thinner chops weigh less than thicker chops for a given serving size. Here is a comparison of approximate calories for different thicknesses of boneless center cut pork chops:

Thickness Serving Size Calories
1/2 inch thick 4 ounces 186 calories
3/4 inch thick 4 ounces 223 calories
1 inch thick 4 ounces 279 calories

The thinner 1/2 inch chop contains around 90 fewer calories than the 1 inch thick chop for the same 4 ounce serving. This calorie difference is simply due to the variation in weight and size.

Calories in a 6 Ounce Center Cut Pork Chop

To determine the calories in a 6 ounce boneless center cut pork chop:

There are 139 calories in 3 ounces of center cut pork chop.

In 6 ounces, there are 2 servings of 3 ounces.

So in a 6 ounce serving, there are:

139 calories x 2 servings = 278 calories

Therefore, the total calories in a 6 ounce boneless center cut pork chop is approximately 278 calories.

For a bone-in center cut chop, a 6 ounce serving would contain closer to 320 calories, due to the extra weight from the bone.

Calories in an 8 Ounce Serving

Using the same math, we can calculate the calories in an 8 ounce boneless center cut pork chop:

There are 139 calories in 3 ounces.

In an 8 ounce chop, there are approximately 2.5 servings of 3 ounces.

139 calories x 2.5 servings = 348 calories

So an 8 ounce boneless center cut pork chop contains about 348 calories.

A bone-in 8 ounce center cut chop would contain around 400 calories because of the bone weight.

Calories in a Single Boneless Center Cut Pork Chop

The calories in an individual boneless center cut pork chop can vary greatly depending on the size and thickness. Here are some estimates for common boneless chop sizes:

Chop Size Calories
4 ounces 186 calories
6 ounces 278 calories
8 ounces 348 calories
12 ounces 522 calories

Use these values as a guide, and be sure to check the specific weight of your chop to determine the calories as accurately as possible.

Comparing Calories to Other Pork Cuts

Center cut pork chops are one of the leanest and lowest calorie cuts of pork. Here is how they compare calorie-wise to some other popular pork products:

Pork Cut Calories (3 ounce serving)
Center cut pork chop 139 calories
Pork tenderloin 128 calories
Sirloin pork chop 198 calories
Country-style ribs 245 calories
Bacon 417 calories

Center cut chops contain significantly less fat and calories compared to fattier cuts like ribs or bacon. Even pork tenderloin, renowned for its leanness, contains only slightly less calories than center cut pork chops. So center cut chops are definitively one of the lowest calorie pork options.

Nutrition Tips for Center Cut Pork Chops

To make the most of center cut pork chops’ nutritional value, keep these healthy cooking and serving tips in mind:

  • Trim off any external fat before cooking to further reduce calories and fat.
  • Opt for a leaner cooking method like grilling, roasting, sautéing, or broiling rather than frying in oil.
  • Don’t overcook the chops, as they can become tough and dry. Use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness.
  • Pair chops with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Watch your portion sizes, as chops are relatively high in protein and can add up calorie-wise.
  • Season chops with fresh herbs and spices or rubs rather than high-calorie sauces and condiments.

By following healthy preparation methods and pairing center cut pork chops with nutritious sides, you can easily incorporate them into a well-balanced, calorie-conscious diet.

Cooking Methods and Calories

How you cook center cut pork chops also impacts their resulting calorie content. Here is a look at how different cooking methods compare:

Cooking Method Added Calories
Grilling No added calories
Broiling No added calories
Roasting No added calories
Sautéing in oil About 50 calories per tbsp of oil used
Pan frying 70-100 calories per tbsp of oil used
Deep frying Around 150 calories per 1/2 cup of oil used

Dry heat methods like grilling, broiling, and roasting add minimal extra calories. Pan frying, sautéing, or deep frying in oil increases the calorie count significantly through the added oil. Patting chops dry and using non-stick pans can reduce the amount of oil needed for pan frying.

Low Calorie Serving Ideas for Center Cut Pork Chops

Here are some healthy, low calorie meal ideas featuring delicious center cut pork chops:

Rosemary Garlic Grilled Chops

Marinate bone-in or boneless center cut chops in a mixture of minced garlic, chopped fresh rosemary, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill chops to perfection and serve with grilled vegetables.

Apple Chutney Stuffed Chops

Butterfly bone-in chops then stuff with a tasty apple chutney mixture. Bake or grill until cooked through and serve stuffed chops sliced with a fresh spinach salad.

Skillet Herb Chops with Roasted Potatoes

Season boneless chops with thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper then pan sear. Serve over a side of oven roasted potatoes and green beans for a fast, flavorful dinner.

Chili Rub Chops with Corn Salad

Rub bone-in chops with a spicy chili and cumin blend before broiling. Serve with a fresh corn salsa salad for a fun summer meal.

Balsamic Glazed Chops with Quinoa

Sear boneless chops then add balsamic vinegar, garlic, and stock to make a flavorful pan sauce. Serve drizzled over quinoa with roasted brussels sprouts on the side.

Get creative with healthy ingredients and cooking methods to enjoy pork chops as part of a balanced diet.


Center cut pork chops are an excellent source of lean protein that can be incorporated into a nutritious eating pattern when consumed in moderation. A 3-ounce serving contains about 139 calories, with boneless chops having slightly less than bone-in. Thinner chops also contain fewer calories per serving than thicker chops.

Cooking method impacts calories as well, with grilling, broiling, roasting adding minimal extra calories and frying adding significantly more. Overall, center cut pork chops are one of the leanest and lowest calorie cuts of pork. Pair them with plenty of vegetables and use healthy cooking methods to enjoy their full nutritional benefits.

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