Pork Cuts

 



Pork is divided into several basic sections, called cuts. Depending on where you live, the cuts vary slightly, both in the exact section and in the naming. The charts below show the American and British pork cuts.

American pork cuts

1
Blade shoulder
2
Arm shoulder
3
Hock
4
Loin
5
Spare rib
6
Side
7
Leg


British pork cuts

1
Roast spare rib
2
Blade
3
Hand
4
Hock
5
Trotters
6
Loin
7
Belly
8
Leg or ham


Typical cooking temperatures for pork

Type of cut

Internal meat temperature

Pork ribs and shoulder
160 degrees F and above (medium to well done)
Pork roast, steaks and pork chops
140 - 145 degrees F (medium)


Suggested cooking methods for pork cuts

Pork cuts

Suggested cooking method

Roast spare rib cuts
Braise, Stew
Blade or shoulder blade cutsBraise, Stew
Hand cuts
Braise, Stew
Arm shoulder cuts
Braise, Stew
Loin cuts
Grill, Stir fry, Roast
Belly cuts
Grill, Stir fry, Roast
Spare rib cuts
Grill, Stir fry, Roast
Side cuts
Grill, Stir fry, Roast
Leg
Braise, Stew
Ham
Braise, Stew
Hog and Trotter cutsBraise, Stew


Explanation of cooking methods

Braising (Braise): To cook with moist heat, typically in a covered pot with some liquid (beef stock, chicken stock, water, etc). This method is the preferred method for meat cuts that are tough / tenderless.

Grilling (grill) : To cook using direct, dry heat with a device called grill or barbecue. Coals, wood, or a combination of the two can be used as the heat fuel for a grill. In this type og cooking, the heat is below the meat.

Broiling (broil): An alternative to grilling, broiling is cooking in the oven under intense heat. Proper broiling requires the door of the oven to be slightly open (this ensures that the proper temperature is maintained inside the oven) and the meat is cooked over a broiling pan (this will make sure that the meat is not cooked in its juices). Unlike grilling, the heat when broiling is above the meat.

Marinating: The process of soaking meat or vegetables in some kind of liquid (most of the times acidic), herbs and spices, before cooking. This process adds flavour to the ingredients being marinated. It also tenderizes the meat, when some kind or acidic liquid is used. Typical ingredients for marinates include lemon, vinegar or wine (for the acidic part), oil, salt, pepper, herbs and other spices. The marinate process can vary from a few hours to a day or more.

Pot roasting (pot roast): To cook meat (usually beef with some liquid, vegetables, herbs and spices) in a covered pot, in the oven or over medium heat. This process results in a moist, softer meat and is suitable for cheap, tougher meat cuts.

Roasting (roast)
: To cook meat or vegetables using dry heat. The most common way of roasting is using the oven. Roasting usually results in the caramelization of the surface being roasted, which adds an extra flavour to the dish.

Skillet: To cook using a skillet (frying pan). This method is ideal for lean, tender cuts of meat that require little cooking.

Stewing (stew): The process of cooking meat (together with onions and other vegetables) in water or other liquid, over low heat (simmer), for a long amount of time (longer than other cooking methods). The meat and other ingredients are served with the cooking liquid.

Stir-frying (stir-fry): A cooking method that is very popular in Asian cooking, stir-frying is the process of fast cooking meat, fish or vegetables over a high heat source while tossing continuously. The classic pan used for stir-frying by the Chinese is the wok, a round-bottom iron pan.