The Whole Pig

Our favorite pork-centric recipes, from chops to baby back ribs.

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America is a pig-loving nation: the animal's meat is tasty and inexpensive, and you can eat almost everything but the oink. Here's a breakdown of the most popular pork cuts, plus a few tasty extras.

Loin

This is the largest section of the pig and where you'll find baby back ribs, chops, the pork loin crown, and the tenderloin.
Our favorite pork recipes

Legs and Hams

The ham is actually the back portion of the leg. This well-known cut can be cooked fresh; our favorite version of ham is slathered with red chile paste, then roasted or grilled. We also like this recipe for Coca-Cola-Glazed Country Ham, which uses a cured ham.

Spareribs

Spareribs are not as meaty as baby backs but are definitely juicier and have a porkier flavor. Our recipe for Chinese Barbecued Spareribs enhances that rich flavor with hoisin sauce and Chinese five-spice powder.

Pork Belly

This is a fattier part of the pig, perfect for making bacon. The meat can also be used as a steak or diced, as in this classic Shanghai dish, Red-Cooked Pork Belly.
More bacon recipes

Other cuts

Pigs' feet, hocks, and knuckles are under appreciated and misunderstood. They can be added to soups, sauces, and other dishes, often transforming mundane ingredients into something special.—Julie Wilson, SAVEUR
Pigs' feet recipe
Knuckles
Pork hocks