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About Pork

Technically classified as red meat, pork has been marketed for years as ‘the other white meat’ and is currently the most common protein enjoyed around the world. Pork is a good source of essential nutrients and vitamins, including iron, B6, and zinc.

Pork is commonly ready for market at around 250 + pounds but is far leaner due to diet and science than the pork of generations past. And federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in pork.

It’s a blank canvas for flavors and picks up spices, herbs, and aromatics well, making it a great choice for easy weeknight dinners, long braises, and good old-fashioned barbecue.

Pork breeds

Where commercial farming sustains most of our daily purchases, it’s exciting to know pork, like beef, has variety. Bespoke butcher shops and online meat purveyors now make Heritage breeds readily available. Though more expensive than the commercial pork you find at the market, these breeds do pack a deeper pink-to-red color that looks more like traditional red meat, and a heartier flavor overall.

We are fans of Duroc, Berkshire, and Iberico pork when we have the chance to cook with them. If you’re interested in buying meat online and trying something new, be sure to check out our guide on our favorite places to order meat online.

thick cut bone in pork chops ready to be grilled

Pork Chop Recipes

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Pork Temperature Guide

For years, pork suffered from being overcooked, causing the leaner cuts to dry out, lose flavor and become tough. According to the USDA, pork is safe to eat at a minimal temperature of 145 °F, which will leave it juicy, tender, and have a slight hint of pink color. For shredded or pulled pork, tougher cuts like pork shoulder, or even ribs, you want to go well past the temp for well done, so the fibers break down and become tender.

MEDIUM WELL 145 °FWELL DONE 160 °FGROUND 160 °F

Take into consideration that the temperature will continue to rise from 5 °F to 10 °F while the meat rests.

With pork, it’s crucial to hit the temperature spot on, as even the slightest error can make it overdone or underdone. Always use a quality instant-read digital thermometer inserted away from the bone in the thickest part of the meat.

But what about trichinosis? Modern animal welfare programs and pork farmers have pretty much eradicated the possibility of trichinosis from American-breed pork. However, cooking meat to the recommended food-safe temperature kills any bacteria making it safe for consumption.

BASIC TIPS FOR COOKING Pork:

The taste and texture of pork suffer greatly if overcooked. Being mindful of the internal temperature is the most important thing when cooking pork to guarantee tender, juicy bites. Know if you are working with a quick cooking chop over hot heat or a pork belly, where the fat will need time to render and become delicious.

Check your label when buying pork to make sure it wasn’t injected with additional liquid, as this can affect cooking and texture. And salt as you go not to overseason your pork.

Smoked Pork Ribs

Ground pork Dinner Ideas

Pork as a seasoning

Not only is pork amazing as a main dish, but is often used to flavor other dishes as well, through bacon or pancetta. And offers a great solution for low-carb diets with pork panko, made of ground fried pork skin, working as a substitute in most cases for traditional bread crumbs.

Pulled Pork Recipes

What to serve with pork

Pork pairs wonderfully with almost anything. It picks up on sweet and savory flavors and seasonings, like cola and maple syrup, to warm ancho and cayenne. We love pairing fatty pork with great condiments, like mustard-based bbq sauce to cut through the flavor and crisp slaw or veggies to add texture. We also love pairing it with rich dishes like rajas con crema or creamy Dutch oven macaroni and cheese.

Newest Pork Recipes