A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Cuts of Pork and How to Cook Them


On average, Americans eat around 66 pounds of pork every year, which shows we’re passionate about our hog dishes.

But like with every meat, there’s a cooking etiquette to follow for every part of the pig, which is crucial knowledge for a foodie. Luckily, once you’re familiar with the basics, then you’re good to go. Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with cooking pork and you’re looking for inspiration.

Sounds like you? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here is how to find the best cuts of pork and how to cook them.

Rib-Cut Pork Chops

Out of all the different cuts of pork, chops are the most common. Rib chops have the bone still in and are cut from the shoulder end of the loin. Thanks to the large fat content, these stay flavorful and moist. Note, the best way this is either pan-fry or on the griddle.

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Spare Ribs

Love primal cuts of pork? Then, spare ribs are made for you. It’s important to slow-cook them so they become tender, making them a favorite at BBQs.

Baby Back Ribs

One of the best cuts of pork is baby back ribs as they have more meat. Further, because they are more tender, you needn’t spend hours cooking them. Baby back ribs are best cooked in the oven or smoker.


Foodies looking for the best cut of pork for roasting should add tenderloin to their grocery list. This comes from the muscles that run down the backbone, making it the leanest option. Because of this, it’s easy to overcook tenderloin, so always use a meat thermometer so you can monitor it.

Pork Belly

One of the best pork cuts of meat is the belly. Often found in Asian cuisine, this is uncured and unsmoked bacon. Thanks to the high-fat content, pork belly melts in your mouth when roasted, so ask your local butcher for a pork belly roast today.


Otherwise known as pork butt, the shoulder is a flavorful cut. Not only is it far cheaper than others on this list, but it’s versatile. Because it’s fatty, you can slow roast, stew, or braise pork shoulder, depending on your preference.


Hock comes from the lower shank of the leg and because it’s a hard-working muscle, you must slow-cook this cut. You can do this by stewing, tenderizing, and simmering. A major bonus is you get crispy skin, which makes an incredible dish.

Know the Different Cuts of Pork Today

Now you know the different cuts of pork and how to cook them.

The beauty about these cuts is there’s something for everyone, whether you want spare ribs on the BBQ or crispy pork belly. You should also check out hock, pork shoulder, and tenderloin so you can experiment with different dishes and multiple cuisines. Happy cooking!

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