Are you intimidated by all of the different pork cuts at the grocery store? Here are some tips and tricks on how to find the right cut for your next family dinner.
The pork shoulder alone contains several different cuts such as:
- Pork shoulder butts (bone-in and boneless), CT butts
- Boneless shoulder picnics and cushions
- Bone-in pork shoulder picnics
For easy hands-off cooking, like pulled pork sandwiches or carnitas, the pork shoulder butt is the cut for you. It can be labeled as a Boston butt, pork butt, pork roast. Pork butt is also tough and fatty, so it needs to be slow roasted, stewed, or braised in an oven or slow cooker to get that perfect falling-right-off-the-bone texture.
- Whole bone-in hams
- Trimmed bone-in hams
- Boneless Ham insides, outsides, knuckles, sirloin, and shanks
There are several types of ham such as fully-cooked, smoked, or spiral-sliced. As for cured hams, the two most common types are city hams which are wet-cured in brine, and country hams which are dry-cured in salt then aged. Wet-cured hams are easily found in most grocery stores and are what you want to serve when you’re having the family over for the holidays.
- Bone-in and center cut pork loins
- Bone-in sirloins and loin rib ends
- Pork tenderloins
- Boneless sirloins
- Boneless pork loins (center cut)
- Whole boneless pork loins
- Pork loin riblets
Pork tenderloin, also known as pork loin or tenderloin roast, makes for easy dinners. Tenderloin is the leanest cut you can buy, so it will cook quick; perfect for a quick meal.
- Pork spare ribs
- Pork loin back ribs
- Pork St. Louis and Colorado ribs
- Pork briskets
- Pork rib pieces
Brushing ribs with barbecue sauce will keep lean ribs from drying out while they cook. Ribs are the best option when barbecuing and grilling.
- Skin-on and skinless pork bellies
- Single rib pork bellies
The pork belly comes from the underside of the belly so this cut contains a high-fat content that can be very tender when roasted.
So whatever cut of pork you are selecting for your next meal, know that you just can’t go wrong. Pork is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals for you and your family.