Pork Kan Kan Chops, AKA Saddleback Chops
I have had a pork rib cross section with belly attached picture saved on my phone for almost 2 years. I saw it on Instagram and dreamed of one day having a butcher cut it for me. It’s a cut that contains a pork loin chop, a back rib, a side rib and the belly of the pig including the skin. This thing looks like it could feed an army, but I can confirm it comfortably feeds 2 people. I had a butcher friend of mine cut me one last summer and it was great, but now I see you can buy them pre-trimmed from Freson brothers grocery stores. I’ve googled this recipe to make sure I perfected it and lots of people are calling this cut a pork tomahawk or a Kan Kan Pork Chop. Fresons however calls it a a Pork Saddleback Chop because of its resemblance to a saddle. When I cooked this recipe, I tried to cook it 2 different ways… one way was way better than the other, so here we will go over the better of the 2 ways.
Servings: 4 people
- Preheat the smoker to 300 degrees
Prepping the Pork Saddleback Chops
- Remove the saddlebacks from the packaging that they came in and place them on a wire rack on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet directly into the refrigerator for 24 hours. You are doing this to dry out the skin on the pork. This will help the flavors develop, but also dry out the skin the create better crackling!
After 24 hours
- Remove the Pork Saddleback chops from the refrigerator and set them out to be prepped for seasoning. I used a boning knife to score the skin every ½ inch along the whole length of the chop. This will serve to allow more fat to render and moisture to leave the pork and make the crackling that much better. Once the whole skin is scored, drizzle the surface of the meat with a binder like oil or duck fat spray to help the rub stick. Lay down an even layer of Yonedas White Seasonings followed by Yonedas Gold seasoning. Let the rub setup for 20 minutes before placing the pork on the smoker.
Smoking the Saddleback Chops
- Place the Pork Saddlebacks onto the smoker at 300 degrees F for 2 hours. I flipped my chops every 30 minutes or so, making sure to keep the skin and belly portions pointed towards the hot spots on the smoker. The meat will be done cooking when it reaches a minimum internal temperate of 165 degrees and your skin starts to puff up like crackling. There is a fine line between crackling and burnt, so make sure towards the end to keep a close eye and flip more often if required.
Sauce and Serve!
- Once the pork is done, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. I like to serve my sauce on the side, but if you want to paint some onto the chop and belly, you can do that as well. Just make sure that you are not saucing the crackling because that is best served naked.
Step by Step
- Let the Pork Chops sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours
- Remove Pork Saddleback Chops from the fridge and score the skin every ½ inch
- Season the Pork with Yonedas White and Yonedas Gold Seasonings
- Let the pork rest for 20 minutes before placing on the smoker
- Smoke the pork for 2 hours flipping every 30 minutes as required
- Once the crackling forms and the pork is fully cooked, remove and let rest for 10 minutes
- Serve with sauce on the side
What else is this cut of pork called?The heritage cut pork saddleback is also referred to as a Pork Tomahawk, Pork Cross Section, Pork Cross, Pork Loin Chop with Belly Attached, Kan Kan Pork Chop, Can Can Pork Chop, or Mohawk Pork Chop. But no matter what you call it, I call it delicious!
If The belly is fully cooked, won’t the chop be over cooked?I usually eat my pork chops medium rare, so yes, the pork chop in this recipe will be more well done than medium rare, but because of the high fat content and slow cooking, you should not worry about drying out the chop portion of the meat. It will be well insulated by having the fat and skin on the chop.
Where is the best place to buy Kan Kan pork chops?Freson Bros grocery stores, who have 16 locations across western Canada including many in the Edmonton area carry this as a stock item in all of their butcher shops starting this year. However I will also note that any butcher who brings in whole animals could cut you this specially for you if you give them enough notice.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!