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America’s cut - A boneless, center-cut top loin pork chop cut according to specific industry standards.

Bacon - A cut of pork from the hog’s sides and belly that has been cured and/or smoked. It consists of fat interspersed with strands of meat. Available sliced or in a "slab" (one piece)

Bacon Bits - Small chips of dried, crisp bacon. Bacon bits can also be made from bacon-flavored soy or other vegetable proteins.

Bacon, Canadian-style - A cut of pork from the eye of the loin, located in the middle back of the loin. Canadian-style bacon is cut into round or oblong slices. It more closely resembles ham rather than regular bacon. Also called back bacon.

Blade Steak; Pork Steak - A relatively tender piece of pork from the shoulder. Available with bone or boneless. 

Boar  - An uncastrated male hog.

Butterfly - A process of cutting boneless meat evenly to but not through the opposite edge, leaving the uncut edge as a “hinge.” When the meat is open, it resembles the wings of a butterfly. Pork loin chops and tenderloins are sometimes butterflied.

Casing - A membrane used to encase ground meat for sausages before they are cooked or cured. Natural or animal casings come from the intestines of cattle, hogs, goats and sheep.. 

Chop - A cut cut of pork from the rib section, shoulder or loin. Depending on the section of loin where originated, pork chops are named loin, rib, sirloin, top loin and blade chops. Chops are available boneless or with bone attached; thickness varies from 1/2 to 2 inches. 

Crown Roast - A rack of pork or rib roast turned into a circle and tied.

Cutlet - A thin, boneless piece of pork cut from the loin. Thickness varies from 1/8 to 1/2 inch.

Fresh Pork - Pork that has not been frozen, cured, smoked, precooked or otherwise processed to a form that changes it from its original meat.

Ground Pork - Pork that has been ground or finely chopped. Ground pork is unseasoned and usually available fresh with an average lean-fat ratio of 70% lean, 30% fat.

Ham - A cut of pork from the hind leg that has been cured and smoked.

Ham Hock - The lower portion of the hog’s hind leg, corresponding to a human’s ankle. Available fresh, but more often ham hocks are cured and/or smoked.

Ham, Country; Country-Style - A dry-cured ham.

Ham, Fresh - A cut of pork from the hind leg. Fresh ham has been neither cured nor smoked. Also called pork leg or leg of pork.

Ham, Picnic - A cut of pork from the upper part of the foreleg and includes a portion of the shoulder. By definition, it is not a true ham. However, the Picnic is cured in the same manner as ham, giving it a ham-like flavor.

Hock - The lower portion of the hog’s foreleg (Picnic shoulder), corresponding to a human’s ankle.

Hog - A domesticated pig weighing more than 120 pounds.

Lard - Solid or semisolid white fat made from rendered pork.

Lardon-  Long strips of fat use for larding meat.

Leg of Pork - An uncured cut of pork from the hind leg. Also called fresh ham..

Loin Roast - A roast cut from the loin section. Depending on the specific roast cut, a loin roast can be available with bone (crown roast, for example) or boneless (top loin roast, for example). Learn More >

Pig - A young domesticated hog weighing less than 120 pounds.

Pig, Suckling - A 6- to 8-week old pig. The meat is light in color, moist, flavorful and tender.

Pigs Feet - The front feet of a hog that have been removed from the shoulder slightly below the knee joints. Pigs feet are available fresh, cured, cooked or pickled.

Pork Belly - The boneless side portion of the hog remaining after removal of the loin, fatback and spareribs.

Primal - The major divisions when a carcass is separated. Pork primal cuts are leg, loin, belly, spareribs, shoulder and jowl..

Rack of Pork - The pork equivalent to a rack of lamb. Also called pork rib roast.

Riblet - Pork bones with meat and some fat.

Ribs - A cut of pork from the loin or side. Pork ribs come in four basic cuts—back ribs, St. Louis style, spareribs and country-style ribs—depending on the section of the hog where originated.

Ribs, Back - A cut of pork from the blade and center section of the loin. Also called baby back ribs because they are smaller than spareribs.

Ribs, Country-Style - A cut of pork from the rib end of the loin. Country-style ribs are sold as either “slabs” (one piece) or in individual pieces. They are the meatiest variety of rib.

Ribs, Spareribs - A cut of pork from the belly of the hog. This variety has the least amount of meat per bone, yet a favorite because of their delicious taste. Plan one pound per serving.

Roast  - A large cut of pork from the loin, leg or shoulder. Common pork roasts include crown roast, loin roast and rib roast.

Sausage - Highly seasoned ground meat typically stuffed into a casing. Available in links, patties and bulk. Sausage products may be cooked or uncooked, cured or uncured and smoked or unsmoked.

Shank - A cut of pork from the upper or lower portion of the foreleg (Picnic shoulder).

Shank End - The lower portion of the foreleg (Picnic shoulder).

Shoulder - Pork from the front leg (either the upper arm Picnic section or lower blade Boston-style section). The terminology for pork shoulder can vary widely depending on the region. The Boston-style section is also called a shoulder butt or Boston Butt.

Sow - An adult female hog.

Subprimal - Basic cuts of meat from a primal. Subprimal cuts are further produced into retail cuts.

Tenderloin - An elongated, tender muscle from the loin. Available whole as a tenderloin roast or sliced as tenderloin filets or medallions.



Pork grades are: U.S. No. 1, U.S. No. 2, U.S. No. 3, U.S. No. 4 and Utility. Pork grades are a general indication of product yield, with less emphasis on the quality. Pork carcasses are seldom graded since carcasses are processed to trimmed primals and subprimals before sale to retailer or further processed cured products.



Barbecue; Barbeque; Bar-B-Q. - A method of slowly cooking pork in an open pit or on a spit using coals, hardwoods, gas or electricity as a heat source. The same effect can also be achieved using a grill by placing the pork on the rack away from the heat source. The food is frequently based with a tangy tomato- or vinegar-based sauce.

Cure; Curing - A process of infusing meat with a solution of salt, sugar and nitrite to enhance flavor, color and shelf life. Cured products may also be smoked.

Dry-Heat Cooking Methods - Cooking methods using air or fat to transfer heat through conduction or convection. Common dry-heat methods for pork include roasting, broiling, panbroiling and sautéing.

Smoked; Smoking - A process to preserve and flavor pork by exposing it to smoke, or applying liquid smoke externally as a curing ingredient.