Learn about Pork Cuts

The beautiful thing about a pig is that you can eat nearly everything on it, from tail to snout.  However, we realize that people in this era may not have the taste buds for everything.  So here we try to explain what can potentially be done with each part and give you the option to try it.

Fresh vs Cured (Nitrate-Free) You may choose to have your ham steaks, hams and bacon cured or just the bacon.  Cured means your meat is soaked in a nitrate-free salted brine then smoked in a smoke house.  The meat will still need to be cooked.  If you choose to have any part of your pork cured, it will arrive about 3 weeks after the fresh cuts.

Special Requests This is your pig! The butcher, West Gardiner Beef, will do whatever you want, just ask!  Feel free to call them if you have specific questions.  724-3378

pork-cuts-shoulder Pork ShoulderMeat from this section is relatively fatty, which makes for juicy, tender, and flavorful roasts. Shoulder roast, boston butt and country style spare ribs.
porkcutsloin Pork LoinThis is where we get the leanest and most tender pork cuts.  Since they’re lean, these cuts tend to dry out if overcooked.  Pork is safe to eat if it’s cooked to an interior temperature of 160 degrees.  There are three main parts of the loin:  the blade end, which is closest to the shoulder and tends to be fatty; the sirloin end, which is closest to the rump and tends to be bony; and the center portion in the middle, which is lean, tender, and expensive. Pork chops, tenderloin and loin roasts and Canadian bacon.
porkcutsleg Pork LegThe meat from this part of the pig is usually made into hams, but fresh leg meat is lean and makes a terrific roast. Fresh and cured hams, ham steaks and ham hock.
porkcutsside Pork SideThis is where the bacon and rack of ribs come from.  Bacon and rack of ribs.
pork-cuts-picnic Pork Picnic ShoulderThis comes from the lower part of the pig’s shoulder.  It’s usually made into smoked hams, but fresh picnic shoulder makes for very juicy barbecued pulled pork. Small cured or fresh roasts and ham hock.

A typical cured half pig package  includes:

  • Pork chops  8- 2# packages (2 chops/pkg.)
  • Country Style Spare Ribs 5- 2# packages (2/ pkg.)
  • Fresh Picnic Roast 1-4#
  • Cured Hams 4- 4#
  • Cured Ham Steaks 8- 1 ½#
  • Bacon 7- 1#
  • Sausage 9- 1# packages
  • Fat Back 1-10# package
  • Heart, Liver, Tongue 5#


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