Around 66% of people in America consume pork daily, which is higher than beef and chicken consumption. So, if you are also a pork lover, you must know the different cuts you can get along with and the best ways to prepare them. It is because not all the meat from a pig can be cooked or prepared the same way.
10 Types of Pork Cuts and How Best to Prepare Them?
Here are the 10 types of pork cuts and the best way to prepare them.
Bacon is thinly sliced meat that comes from the belly of a pig and loin, depending on where it is being made. It is made first during the belly in brine and then packed dry. So, the best way to prepare it is by using low heat. You don't need any oils in the pan as over low heat; bacon will lose its fat and start to curl. You need to turn the sides so that every side gets evenly brown and crisps up.
2. Ground pork
Ground pork is usually made from pork shoulder and loin. When you find it in the supermarket, you may not find the source, fat percentage, and other technicalities mentioned, like other meat types. You do not need to give it rest time when cooking it, and it cooks best at 106 degrees Fahrenheit. It does not matter if you boil it, fry, or cook it in a stew; cooking will not take more than 8 minutes.
Ham meat comes from the pig's back leg, and it is preserved and prepared in multiple ways. You can cook it with the bone still in it or take it out. It can also be pre-cured in different ways, but you can buy one that is not cured and cook it immediately.
The best way to cook it is by roasting it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for as long as the thickest part shows 130 degrees Fahrenheit on the thermometer. The longest it may take is 45 minutes.
4. Pork belly
As the name says, pork belly comes from the belly of the pig. It is boneless meat that we get after spareribs and loin are removed. It is succulent in texture, so it is best to cook pork belly slowly. This way, you can tenderize the meat; in the end, a blast of heat will give the skin a crisp.
So, cook it at 180 degrees Celsius for around 2 hours and 15 minutes. Then you can turn the heat to 200 degrees Celsius for around 35 minutes and have a perfectly cooked pork belly.
5. Pork chops
It is the most popular pork cut, and it comes from the loin, the part where meat runs from the hip to the shoulder. You can find multiple names for this pork cut and preparation options. However, the best one is frying it on high heat first and then tossing it into an oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit to bake them gently without drying them out.
When you fry, ensure you are getting both sides golden brown.
6. Pork loin roast
It comes from the area between the beginning of the pig's leg and the shoulder. You can find it with or without the bone, and the meat is flavorful and juicier because of its location. The best way to cook it is by roasting it at 145 degrees Fahrenheit, measured with a food thermometer.
However, you do not remove it directly as it reaches the temperature. Instead, you give it a 3-minute rest and then carve it for the best experience of tender meat.
7. Pork rib roast
Known as the rack of pork, it comes from the area between ribs and loin. The reason it is one of the most flavorful parts of the pig is that it has a higher fat percentage in it. So, it is flavorful, juicier, and tenderer compared to lamb rib roast. As the name says, it is best when roasted, so you can start with a pan preheated at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and roast until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit for a medium cooked meat. You may get a temperature up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for a well-done finish, and once it is done, it can be served right away.
8. Pork steak
Pork steak also comes from the shoulder, and it is technically known as blade steal as it contains the blade bone. It is highly versatile, and you can find multiple cooking methods. However, some of the best ways include frying, roasting, and grilling them.
Stakes are best served when cooked slowly for hours because they get tender and super juice with all the marinade. So, whatever way you follow, make sure to meet the temperatures of that recipe.
9. Pork tenderloin
It is a long, boneless, and narrow cut of pork meat from the muscles on the back. These muscles run along a pig's backbone, and when cooking it, you need to keep it juicy to maintain the best taste.
So, it is best to cook it at high temperatures of around 425 degrees Fahrenheit as it will cook well and does not dry out. However, you only need to bake it in an oven with that high temperature (preheated) for 15-20 minutes maximum.
Sausage can be made from any boneless meat, but it is traditionally made using the butt or shoulder because of the perfect fat-to-meat ratio. You can cook it in multiple ways, but getting it to simmer is the best when preparing it. So, cold, put water in a pan or pot to cover the sausages and bring it to a simmer on medium-high heat. This process can take around 8 minutes, and your sausages will be ready.
You can make the best recipes when you know the best way to prepare a specific pork cut. So, if you want to step up your cooking game from the basic to the pro level, follow the specific preparation and cooking ways for each pork cut. It is because every pork cut has a different level of versatility to it with which you can cook it.