Tips for Buying Different Cuts of Pork
Before you head out to the grocery store
to pick up some pork for dinner, take some time to educate yourself on
the wide variety of pork available.
A section, or cut, of pork may be made up
of just one muscle or parts of several muscles plus some bone.
Frequently-used muscles, such as those in the legs and shoulders, will
produce tougher pork than less-used muscles, such as those in the
Often, pork cuts contain streaks of fat
interlaced throughout the meat. These streaks of fat, referred to as
marbling, can add flavor and help tenderize the pork as it cooks. The
more marbling a cut of pork has, the better.
DIFFERENT CUTS OF PORK
Different Cuts of Pork
The cut of pork
you choose will help determine how you should prepare the pork. No
matter what method you choose to prepare your pork, make sure it is
cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F to ensure any harmful
bacteria are eliminated.
Pork shoulder cuts are somewhat
fatty, which provides the cuts with lots of flavor. These
economical cuts are often best cooked using slow, moist heat
cooking methods, such as braising and stewing. Shoulder cuts are
often also used for making sausage and ground pork. Examples of
shoulder cuts include blade roasts and steaks, picnic roasts and
The loin section provides the leanest
and most tender cuts of pork. Tender cuts are usually best cooked
using dry heat methods, such as sautéing, grilling, roasting and
frying. Many loin cuts are available either boneless or bone-in.
Examples of popular loin cuts include tenderloin, loin chops, back
ribs and sirloin roasts.
Pork side cuts are tender, flavorful
and contain a considerable amount of fat. Cuts from this area are
usually best cooked using dry heat methods, such as sautéing,
grilling, roasting, and frying. Popular examples of side cuts
include spareribs, bacon and brisket.
The leg section,
consisting of the rump and back legs, provides lean, flavorful cuts
that are not as tender, and often more economical, than loin cuts.
Leg cuts are usually best cooked using slow, moist heat cooking
methods, such as braising and stewing. Leg cuts can be purchased
boneless or bone-in and are often either cured or smoked. Popular
examples of leg cuts, include ham roasts and steaks as well as leg
Types of Pork - Fresh, Cured & Smoked Pork
for Buying & Storing Pork
There are many different types of pork to purchase, whether it is
fresh, smoked or cured.
Fresh pork is meat that has not been cured or smoked. Cured pork, such
as prosciutto, is meat that has been salted and then stored until the
salt has penetrated the meat. Smoked pork, such as ham, is meat that
has been cured and then smoked to give the meat extra smoky flavor.
Pork that you purchase should be pink,
firm and moist, while any fat on the edges should be creamy white. The
packaging should be cold and in good condition.
Refrigerate fresh pork and use it within
two days of purchase. You can freeze ground pork for up to three months
or cuts of pork for up to six months.
Pork Recipes :