What You Need For Cooking Pork
Pork. It’s the other white meat! But not really. Did you know that pork is actually considered red meat? No matter what you call it, I think we can all agree that it’s delicious and one of the best proteins for smoking, grilling, and eating. Pork is almost as versatile as chicken, and often times more flavorful. From bacon to ribs, and beyond, we have the best tips for picking and cooking everything except the oink.
How To Pick The Best Pork
When you’re at the grocery store, the kind of pork you select will likely depend on how quickly you want to put dinner on the table. Something like pork loin or pork chops are a great bet if you’re looking to get dinner done in a jiffy. However, it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a quick meal or have plans for a low and slow cook for a bigger piece of meat like a shoulder cut, there are a couple of tips that’ll make your dish really squeal.
Start At The Meat Counter
As with any protein, freshness is key. If you’re looking for something special, stop by the meat counter before you hit the coolers. The meat you find in the case is generally fresher and of a slightly higher quality than the pre-packaged meat most grocery stores pack for the masses. The meat counter also sometimes has a more interesting selection than what they pre-package.
Pork Is Pink
Don’t be fooled. The pork you pick should be of a pinkish hue and can even range towards the red side. If you have the opportunity to check for texture, push into it gently with your finger. If it gives a little and then springs back, that’s a pretty good indicator of freshness. Finally, that fresh pink color should come with a clean smell.
We will make one note about the color of pork. When picking your brand, make sure the color hasn’t been added after the fact.
Fat & Marbling
Here at How To BBQ Right, we know one thing to be absolutely true. Fat is flavor! When looking for the perfect pork for your project, get a piece that’s going to give you the right amount of fat for the dish you’re cooking. We smoke and grill everything from ribs to pork butts, and one of the most delicious bites of the entire meal will definitely be the one with a glistening, luscious bite of fat attached. Fat helps keep the meat moist and sort of acts as its own basting ingredient, especially for long cooks.
Unfortunately, pork is a product that often ends up with dyes, preservatives, and other additives. In some instances, this is essential to the type of meat you’re buying. A honey ham is pink and flavored due to the extra ingredients, and the same goes for bacon. But if you’re wanting to cook something uniquely you, start with a piece of meat that’s a clean slate and ready to be seasoned.
Cuts That Make The Cut
We use so many different parts of the pig that the list of different cuts is almost exhaustive. But we’ve picked out a few select pieces that we think really shine when it comes to wood chips and charcoal!
- St. Louis Style Ribs
- Whole Shoulder/Porkbutt
- Pork Belly
If you’re feeling really ambitious and want to feed a big crowd, then we absolutely recommend going whole hog, literally! A pig pickin’ is a great reason to invite friends and family over. And the best part? You might
have leftovers after.
Some Of Our Top Recipes For Pork
A grill or a smoker and pork are practically best friends, and we have many amazing recipes for you to try! Check out a couple of our favorites.
More Pork Recipes
Looking for more great tools, rubs, and accessories for cooking pork? Check out these items!