Iowa Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

Imagine a giant pork schnitzel sandwich, with an extra crispy crust. That’s the Iowa pork sandwich.

The biggest fallacy of the Iowa pork tenderloin sandwich is that it’s made with pork tenderloin. SOME of them are, but most are actually made with pork loin. In fact, pork loin will create an even bigger, mightier patty. The only real rule is that the patty has to be (much) bigger than the bun!

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Iowa Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches

  • Author: Jess Pryles
  • Yield: 4 serves 1x


Units Scale
  • 4 thick cut pork chops
  • 2 sleeves saltine crackers
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of AP flour
  • 1/4 cup Hardcore Carnivore Red all-purpose seasoning (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • frying oil (canola, vegetable or whatever you prefer)
  • 4 burger buns
  • garnish of your choice


  1. Prepare the pork chops by butterflying them open.  To do this, carefully slice in the middle of the long side, but do not cut all the way through (stop about 1/2 inch from cutting clean through). Open the pork chop up like a book, and press down with your palms to flatten completely.
  2. Cover the pork chops with cling film, and use a meat mallet to tenderize them and flatten them out until they are 1/4 inch thick. Flattening them properly should nearly double them in size.
  3. Use a rolling pin or blender to crush the saltine crackers to a semi-fine crumb (there should still be some larger flakes), then pour into a large shallow dish. Add 2 tbsp flour and half of the seasoning and mix with a fork to combine.
  4. In another shallow pan, place the eggs and milk, then beat to combine.
  5. In a third shallow pan, place the remaining flour and seasoning.
  6. Assemble each chop by placing it into the flour, then shake the excess off. Then dip into the egg wash. Repeat this step by placing back into the flour, then again into the egg (so, twice total), and finally place into the saltine cracker mix, pressing them on well. Set the crumbed chop aside, then repeat till all have been crumbed.
  7. Cover the base of a large skillet with the oil, and heat over high flame. Once the oil reaches 375f, place one of the chops in and cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip and cook a further 1-2 minutes on the other side. Place onto a rack to drain, and repeat the cooking with remaining chops.
  8. Place the fried chop onto the bun, and garnish with your vegetables and condiments of choice – most typical is mustard, pickles and onions.