9 Different Types of Pork Cuts (With IMAGES)

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What Are Pork Cuts

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Most, if not all of us, should be conversant with pork meat. Pork is the meat gotten from domestic pigs, and it is often eaten unprocessed, but cured pork products are ubiquitous. These include smoked pork, ham, bacon, and even sausages.

There are different types of pork cuts, such as pork butt, pork should, pork loin, pork side, pork jowl, etc. We will be talking about these pork cuts types in this article.

Since it is very high in protein and rich in minerals and vitamins, lean pork can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet.

What Are Pork Cuts?

Types of Pork Cuts

The cuts of pork are the various parts of the pig consumed as food by humans. The terminologies and extend of each pork vary from country to country.

About 4-6 primal cuts are the significant parts in which the pig is first cut: the shoulder, loin, belly, and leg. These cuts are often sold wholesale, as are other parts of the pig with less meat, such as the head, feet, and tail.

Retail cuts are the specific cuts used to obtain different kinds of meat, such as tenderloin and ham.

Different Types of Pork Cuts

Some commonly known types of pork cuts include:

1. Pork butt (or Boston butt)

The pork butt is gotten from the shoulder of pigs; yes, the name is quite deceiving. It includes the neck, shoulder blades, and upper arms of the pig.

As you may know, the pork butt is a slightly challenging cut of meat that is ideal for slow roasting, braising, or even smoking. It is also great for making pork sausages. 

2. Picnic Shoulder

It can also be known as the pork shoulder, and the picnic shoulder comes from right below the pork butt.

It is mostly smoked or cured and is excellent for ground pork and sausages. It can be roasted, but that’s not the best use for the picnic shoulder.

3. Pork Loin

It is one of the favorite primal cuts, and the pork loin is where we get the tenderloin, fatback, and baby back ribs.

You can choose to roost the entire loin, or you can cut it into pork chops or cutlets. The upper rib cage area gives us the baby’s back ribs that we all know and love.

A lesser-known cut to come out of the pork loin is the fatback which can also be added to sausages or ground pork or used to make salt pork.

4. Pork Ham

The back leg part of the pig is where we can get the ham. When it is smoked and also cured, this is where Serrano ham and prosciutto can be gotten. The fresh ham is typically roasted but can be cut into ham steaks.

The ham is also where ham hock, an essential part of southern cuisine, comes from. It is Found at the joint between the shank and the end of the ham; the ham hock is braised with collards or other dense greens.

5. Pork Side

Moving to the bottom part of the pig, you get the pork side. This is where the pork side can be gotten from.

This is also where you get pork belly, bacon and pancetta. These cuts can also be made in various ways, from slow roosting to frying.

6. Spare Rib

The spare rib is found between the loin and the pork side. The spare ribs are grilled on low heat and slow to ensure they are moist and tender, and they can be braised or cooked in a slow cooker.

7. Pork jowl

A lesser-known cut to the United States, the pork jowl is usually used for making sausages.

Some restaurants have started to serve pork collars and pork cheeks, which come from the pork jowl.

8. Pork Tail

The tail has very small meat, mainly composed of connective tissues. It can be roasted or fried, thereby making the skin crisp and the bone soft, and it also has a strong flavor.

9. Pork Belly or Side

Although a fattier meat, you can use the belly for steaks or diced as stir fry meat. You may roll pork belly for roasting or cut for streaky bacon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Different Cuts of Pork?

The various cuts of pork include- bacon, ham, pork belly, pork rib roast, pork ribs, pork steaks, pork tenderloins, and pork shoulders.

Which Is the Tastiest Cut of Pork?

The pork loin roast or pork tenderloin is the most tender cut of pork and the tastiest. It quickly takes on added flavors from marinades, rubs, and spices.

What Is a Good Cut of Pork for A Roast?

The best cuts for roasting are the pork roast, belly, and legs. In general, fresh-looking meats with a thick layer of fat are usually considered suitable for roasting.

What Is the Leanest Cut of Pork?

Tenderloin is the leanest cut of pork A 3-ounce serving contains 120 calories and 2. 98 grams of total fat, and it is as lean as a skinless chicken.

What Is the Most Expensive Cut of Pork?

Pork loin chops is the most expensive cut of pork is the, and it is mainly known as pork tender or pork fillet, and it is exceptionally well known.

What Are the Cheapest Cuts of Pork?

The pork shoulder is among the least expensive cut of pork. Other good pork cuts that can fit well into any budget include the pork loin roast, pork shoulder, spareribs, ground pork, and sirloin chops.

What Is the Difference Between Berkshire Pork and Regular Pork?

The major differences between Berkshire pork and regular pork are the meat quality, tenderness, taste, and fat. Standard pork comes from the American landrace pigs versus the English or Japanese hogs. Berkshire meat has a more flavorful, juicy, and tender flavor than that of other pigs.

Is Berkshire Pork Better Than Regular Pork?

Berkshire pork is well known for its richness, texture, and overall depth of flavor. It has a darker, richer color with an abundance of intramuscular marbling. Its flavor is distinctive, with an unparalleled juiciest and tenderness for pork.

What Are the Most Popular Cuts of Pork?

The most popular cuts of pork are the chops tenderloin, loin roast, spareribs, and shoulder because they are always readily available.


Pork is one of the most eaten meats around the world, with evidence of pig husbandry tracing back to 5000BC. Pork can be eaten both freshly cooked or preserved, and you can also cure it to extend the product’s shelf life.

Hams, smoked pork, gammon, bacon, and sausages are examples of preserved pork. Pork is noted to be the most popular meat in Western and central Europe.

It is highly prized in Asian cuisines, especially China, for its fat content and texture. Some religions like Islam and Judaism prohibit the consumption of pork.

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