A side of pork consists of four main wholesale areas, called primals:
Loin, Leg, Shoulder and Belly.
|Characteristics: This is the most tender and lean and yields the premium-priced pork cuts. It is divided in three sections: the rib (closest to the shoulder); the centre; and sirloin.
Cuts: roasts, chops, cutlets, tenderloin, back ribs, cubes and strips.
|LEG||Characteristics: Leg cuts are very lean and more economical than the loin. The leg may be sold as a whole roast, or a half. It may also be sectioned into three muscle cuts: the inside; outside; and leg tip.
||Cuts: roasts, chops
Can be cooked by dry heat method, but best suited to moist heat methods.
|SHOULDER||Characteristics: The most economical of all retail pork cuts. Divided into two sections: picnic and blade. May be boneless or bone-in.
||Cuts: roasts, chops, steaks, cubes or ground pork.
Best cooked using moist heat method; can also be used using dry heat.
|BELLY||Characteristics: The belly is the source of side ribs, bacon and Very flavorful. and meaty processed pork products (wieners, deli meats).
||Cuts: ribs, bacon|