Primal Cuts

Characteristics of Pork Cuts

Pork cuts come from four main areas (Primal Cuts): Loin, Leg, Shoulder and Belly.

A variety of cuts are derived from each area. With The Whole Pig we have tried to simplified the number of cuts with our orders. For example, the Roasts from the Leg are called Pork Roasts or Smoked Pork Roasts. However, if there is something specific you wish to receive call us.


The loin forms the back of the carcass. Attached to it are back ribs and the tenderloin. Once these are removed what is left is the main muscle, which is divided into three sections: the rib portion (closest to the shoulder), centre, and sirloin. The loin muscle is very tender and lean throughout, which is why it yields premium-priced cuts. Ideally, loin cuts are cooked by dry heat methods: roasting, grilling or pan frying.


The leg can be merchandised whole or cut into three muscles: inside, outside and tip. Each of these has its own characteristics, with the inside being the most tender. The eye forms part of the outside. Leg cuts can be cooked by dry heat methods, particularly in the case of schnitzels, but are best suited to moist heat methods; braising, for example. Leg cuts are lean, and a good choice for marinating.


The shoulder is divided into two sections: the blade and the picnic. The blade portion (closest to the loin) is the more popular retail cut; the picnic is usually merchandised as economical roasts, chops or is used to make ground pork and sausages. The capicola is the boneless, well-trimmed eye of the blade and available upon request. Moist heat cooking for both cuts produces excellent results, but dry heat cooking can be used as well.


The belly is the section from which we get side ribs and side bacon as well as a variety of other further processed Pork products and salt Pork.

Specialty Cuts

Our orders include traditional cuts, however, please contact us if there is something you are interested in and and you do not see it.

For recipes please go to the recipe section on our site.