Prep Guides for Pork – Buying

August 30, 2012

drawing of different pork cuts

The most important factors to consider when purchasing pork are portion, fat content, cooking method and cost.


Plan for about three ounces of pork per person – around the size of a deck of cards. Start with four ounces of raw, boneless meat to get three cooked.

Fat Content

There’s no question that pork is among the leanest of choices in today’s butcher case – with certain cuts even rivaling the ever popular skinless chicken breast. In fact, most loin cuts can be labeled “extra lean”.

Cooking Method

Let your butcher know how you plan on preparing the pork. Chops, for instance, cook quickly, while a roast or belly can take a few hours.


Some boneless cuts are actually a better deal because you’re not paying for the inedible bone. Use this simple equation to figure the best value:

Cost per pound / # of servings per pound = Cost per serving

Tip: Reading the label

The “primal” or “wholesale” cut is listed first and indicates which part of the hog the meat comes from, like shoulder or leg. The “retail cut” is listed next and indicates a specific cut, likes ribs or blade roast.

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