For thousands of years, butchers have been asked to list the best and most popular cuts of meat for what should be a quick and easy task. Not only does this answer help customers get their butchering out in the open, people can easily ask specific questions about what they want.

The “pork cut list” is a list of 9 best and classic cuts of meat. The pork cut list includes the rib, loin, shoulder, belly, shank, neck, picnic ham, spareribs, bacon and sausage.

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So, your basement freezer is empty, and you’re thinking of butchering a half or full pig to fill up, but which cuts should you get?

There are nine typical pieces of meat to butcher a pig, which we shall go through in detail below.

1. Sirloin

The sirloin cut of meat from a pig is found near the hind end of the animal. Above the ham and above the Back Ribs for Babies is where the sirloin is sliced. Typically, sirloins are chopped into chops and grilled.

The sirloin cut is similar to pork chops in appearance. The main difference between the two is that pork chops come from the loin, which is farther up the pig’s back.

2. Ham


I have no idea what you have at holiday parties if you aren’t acquainted with the cut of ham. If you’re searching for a delicious ham recipe, try this double-smoked pineapple ham.

In any case, ham is a popular piece of meat that comes from the pig’s hindquarters. It’s on the upper side of the back legs, just above the hock. When purchasing a ham from the shop, the bone in or bone out option is available.

I like ham with the bone because it gives the meat more taste.

Pork Chop No. 3

Another favorite meat cut from the butcher is pork chops. They’re frequently grilled after being marinated in a sauce like BBQ sauce, or grilled and basted with a sauce like BBQ sauce.

They come in a variety of sizes and may be purchased with or without the bone. Pork chops may generally be found at most supermarket shops.

4. Butte de Boston (Also Known as Pork Shoulder or Pork Butt)


Depending on the part of the globe you are acquainted with, the Boston Butt is known by a variety of names. With one exception, they are all the same cut of beef.

The Boston Butt cut may be done with the shoulder blade in or out when a pig is slaughtered. I like to keep the shoulder blade in since it helps to give flavor.

As you may expect, the Boston Butt cut is positioned behind the pig’s head and is literally the shoulder. Depending on the size of the pig being slaughtered, the Boston Butt cut usually weighs between 6 and 12 pounds.

Smoking a Boston Butt in the Big Green Egg and then plucking it to create pulled pork is my favorite method to prepare it. BBQ sauce is optional after the meat has been extracted since it is so juicy. Pulled Pork with Dizzy Pigs Raging River Rub is my favorite method to prepare it.


Keep the leftovers to make this delicious Pulled Pork BBQ Pizza!

Many people like to roast the Boston Butt in the oven or in the crock pot. Boston Butts are a rough cut of beef by nature. This is why the best method to prepare a piece of Boston Butt is to cook it slowly and low.

The fat layers in the Boston Butt are ideal for the hardness of this cut. The fat is rendered down when cooked low and slow, enabling the Boston Butt to transform from a tough piece of meat to a wonderful soft and juicy cut of meat.

ham for a picnic (Also Known as the Picnic Shoulder)

Directly behind the pork shoulder/Boston butt is the picnic ham cut. The picnic ham has comparable features to the Boston butt, which is to be anticipated given its proximity.

The picnic ham cut, like the Boston butt, is a harder cut of meat. The picnic ham cut is also known for having a large fat cap. The picnic ham, like the Boston butt, is best cooked or smoked low and slow.

When cooked low and slow, the fat cap on the picnic ham cut will eventually render down. When smoked correctly low and slow, the picnic ham will come out juicy and soft, much like the Boston butt.

6. Ribs


Ribs are another favorite part from a slaughtered pig. There are three sorts of ribs that may be produced from a single slaughtered pig. All three cuts of ribs may be juicy and tender when cooked correctly.

Because ribs are a harder cut of meat, they are not cooked at high heats. Smoking ribs is my favourite method of eating them since the smoke taste enhances the flavor of the ribs.

That being said, ribs may also be cooked in a crock pot on low and slow.

Back Ribs for Babies

The cut of Back Ribs for Babies are located on the back of the pig and in front of the sirloin cut of meat. Back Ribs for Babies are my personal favorite of the three ribs and here is my favorite way to make the perfectly tender Smoked Ribs with Raging River Rub.

Even though they contain the least quantity of flesh of the three ribs, they are, in my view, the finest to eat.

When butchered, the Back Ribs for Babies are actually part of the pork loin cut. When you slice down the pork loin to remove the bones you are left with whats known as Back Ribs for Babies.

Ribs to spare in the Country Style

The cut of meat known as Ribs to spare in the Country Style is the backside of the picnic ham. The Ribs to spare in the Country Style are located under the front side of the pork chops.

Ribs to spare in the Country Style are basically a bone in brisket if you were referencing a cow. The country style cut of Ribs to spare are also the meatiest of all three ribs.

Ribs to spare


The cut of Ribs to spare are located on the bottom side of the pig right in front of the pork belly. The spare rib cut can also be made into a St. Louis style cut of ribs which is popular to many people.

St. Louis style ribs have had the cartilage cut off which allows them to cook more evenly. Regular or St. Louis style Ribs to spare are the second meatiest of the three rib types that can be found on a butchered pig.

Pork Belly, No. 7 (Also Known as Bacon After Being Cured, Smoked and Sliced)


After being cured, smoked, and sliced, the pig belly cut is a favorite among millions of people. This is what we all know and love as bacon after this procedure. The pork belly cut of a pig is found just where you’d expect, in the pig’s belly.

The pork belly cut of the pig must first be cured before being used to manufacture bacon. Pork belly is traditionally cured for many days using salt. It’s usually smoked low and slow once it’s been cured. After that, it is cut into thin strips of beef known as bacon using a slicer.

Pork belly may be cooked in a variety of ways, but the most common method is to cure, smoke, and slice it into bacon. Burnt ends are another fantastic pork belly dish to try. This dish for excellent Pork Belly Burnt Ends is also highly recommended.

8. Hock (Rear and Front)

A pork knuckle is another name for a butcher’s cut known as a hock. The hock is the pig’s equivalent of the knee. Because the hock doesn’t have a lot of meat, it’s frequently used in stews or transformed into overly flavored sauces by leaving it to boil while they cook.

The juices from a hock cut give an incredible amount of flavor to any stew or soup.

9. Secret Pork

In Spain, a hidden butchers cut from a pig was formerly called as a secret butchers cut. The secreto cut of meat, as referenced in the Barbecue Bible, is shrouded in mystery, although it is said to be a cut of meat buried behind a thick layer of belly fat, while some allude to it as being on top of the brisket, behind the shoulder, and between the shoulder, ribs, and fat back.

I won’t go into too much depth here since the Barbecue Bible has an excellent piece on the subject that you can read here.

Other Thoughts on Pig Cuts from a Butcher

There are several additional pig parts that the butcher prepares that are used elsewhere. Other cuts include ears, snouts, pig heads, trotters, jowls, and even tails if you want to go further into the realm of a butcher.

The majority of these pieces of meat are used in soups, stock, and even roasted, grilled, and pickled across the globe!

If you like to witness how a pig is processed with all of the aforementioned cuts, I suggest viewing this video from “EATER.” It will demonstrate how a pig is processed and all of the meat portions are prepared.


The “pork cut sheet template” is a helpful tool for anyone who needs to know what cuts of meat they can get from their pig.

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