Pork Loin Vs Pork Shoulder: Their Differences

Posted on

Is Pork Loin Similar to Pork Shoulder



Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


This article may contain affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Although pork loin and pork shoulder come from the same animal and are significantly different cuts of meat, and they both have different textures and are prepared in different ways. But what is the difference between pork loin vs pork shoulder?

Pork loin and pork shoulder come from different parts of a pig’s body; pork loin comes from the area between the shoulder and the back legs, while pork shoulder comes from the upper shoulder and between the shoulder blades.

In this article, we will look at the other noticeable differences between these two cuts of meat.

What Is Pork Loin?

Pork loin is a lean cut of meat, meaning that it’s less fat than pork should. Not only is it a very lean cut of meat, but it is also the most tender.

Pork loin is most commonly found in pork chops, though you can transform an entire pork loin into juicy roast pork.

When it comes to pork chops, the bones are often left in, resulting in a characteristic T-bone shape and the juiciest, most tender meat.

Additionally, pork loin can be found as an entire, intact cut of meat, often referred to as pork roast. Pork loin is best roasted when it is whole and bone-in, though you can also prepare it with the bones removed and stuffed.

What Is Pork Loin Used For?

Pork loin is perfect for feeding a crowd, especially if you love pork sandwiches. Generally, it is best to cook a half-pound of uncooked pork loin per person.

What Is Pork Shoulder?

As the name implies, pork shoulder comes from the upper part of a pig’s shoulder. It is rich in fats and connective tissues, making it especially more suitable for slow roasting and smoking.

Pork shoulder is sometimes called the pork butt or Boston butt. Pork shoulder includes the shoulder blade bone, making it a blade pork roast. If the cut is in the lower part of the arm, it is an arm roast.

This cut Is most often roasted whole and is the perfect candidate for the pulled pork, as its concentration of high fat and cartilage helps it keep from drying out during extended cooking times. Pork shoulder is excellent in making ground pork and pork pies.

What Is Pork Shoulder Used For?

Pork shoulder is a delicious cut that takes deliciously to roasting, braising, stewing, and slow cooking. Low and moist heat turns the meat so tender and succulent that it just falls away from bones and practically melts in the mouth.

Differences Between Pork Loin Vs Pork Shoulder

Pork Loin Vs Pork Shoulder

Nutritional Difference

Pork loin is by far the healthiest choice for the nutritional value of pork loin and pork shoulder. Pork loin has fewer calories, less fat, cholesterol, less sodium, and more protein than the same amount of pork shoulder.

Price Difference

While pork loin is a healthier choice when comparing pork loin to pork shoulder, pork shoulder seems to be the most affordable. While pork loin costs between $3 to $5 per pound, pork shoulder ranges between $1 to $3 per pound.

Is Pork Loin Similar to Pork Shoulder?

Pork loin and pork shoulder are not considered similar as pork loin are leaner than pork shoulder, and their tastes and textures are quite different.

You can use both cuts in a wide range of dishes. However, it is not advisable to substitute one for the other for specific recipes.

Can I Substitute Pork Loin for Pork Shoulder?

It is not good to substitute pork shoulder for pork loin in a recipe and vice versa. If you try to roast a pork shoulder using the same method as a pork loin roast, you will end up with a fatty piece of meat.

Of course, the ultimate substitute for one specific pork shoulder cut is a different pork shoulder cut. Alternatively, pork leg (ham) or top leg works just as well.

Can I Replace Pork Loin For Pork Shoulders for Carnitas?

Making pork loin carnitas is a great way to use a pork loin, so yes, it is a delicious pork cut for carnitas. It is, in fact, better than using pork shoulder because it has less fat than pork shoulder.


Both pork loin and pork shoulders are perfect parts of cute pork. Some people prefer the pork loin while others prefer the shoulder, but your choice of the pork cut you prefer is totally up to you.

Related Posts:


You might also like these recipes