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Old 03-23-2005, 04:29 PM   #11
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Yes, bacon comes from the side of the pig. It is cured and smoked.

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Old 03-23-2005, 04:36 PM   #12
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Hi, Jpinmaryland. Pork is the meat from a pig, period.

This pork is sold two ways, as fresh pork, that means it comes butchered from the pig without any other messing about, or cured pork, that means it is dry cured, wet cured and maybe smoked. Somewhere along the line going from fresh pork to the cured stuff is going to require salt.

The flavor and texture of the two types of pork is quite different.

When people talk about pork chops they are usually talking about fresh pork from the loin region (it includes the ribs and short loin). You can get cured pork chops, and they are delicious, but in many places you do not see them very often (regularly see them at SuperWalmart).

Ham is the hind leg of the porker. But since it is usually sold cured most people just call that stuff 'ham' and will not say cured. But you can buy fresh, uncured ham, and it is delicious.

Hope that helps.

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Old 03-23-2005, 06:39 PM   #13
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Correct..pork is just pig meat.

Bacon, ham, pork chops, fat back, etc are all cuts of pork.
The pork charts in the Terms & techniques forum may help.

Ham is the hind leg. etc hip.
Not to be confused with the boston butt/butt, which comes from the shoulder/front leg.
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Old 03-23-2005, 09:51 PM   #14
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then what the heck are these "ham steaks?" is that still the hind leg of the pig?
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:23 PM   #15
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Anything that comes from a pig can fall under the label pork. Just like anything that comes from a cow falls under the label beef.

A ham is a cut from a certain location (like GB said) - the way it is prepared will tell you what it is next -

Traditionally, ham is made from the upper portion of the forelegs which weigh from 15 to 25 lbs - but you can take any cut and basically have ham if it is prepared with a brine and a cure. For a garden variety "boiled ham", the meat is removed from the brine, rinsed off and placed in 170 °F water where it is held until the internal temperature reaches 155° F on a meat thermometer. This will take about an hour for a 3 lb piece. You can also take this same cut from the forelegs and smoke it for about 18 hours and get barbeque. A pork chop is just a cut that you cook however you want.

It's all the same theory as a cow - it's like asking why is a London Broil a London broil and why is a filet a filet and what is the difference in those and beef. It's all beef - from a pig it's all pork.

You are thinking too hard.

A ham steak is just a thick slice of ham usually usually less than 1/2" and more than 1/4" - you can heat it up in a skillet or on the grill. The term "steak" is just to associate it with a term people know - it's like chicken fried steak - we know fried chicken - so chicken fried steak is made like fried chicken.

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Old 03-24-2005, 02:48 AM   #16
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This site should answer all your questions about Pork.

I D/L some of the charts but they need to be enhanced and resized. If they come out I'll post them here.

Also a GOOGLE search for "Butchering Hogs" brought back a lot of memories of how my grandparents did it!
I remember they use to say the only thing they didn't eat from the pig was the "Squeal"

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Old 03-24-2005, 03:28 AM   #17
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In the UK we would generally say that pork is untreated meat from a pig.

Ham and bacon are cured cuts- whether by salting or by smoking or both.

And let's not get into the diff between ham and gammon!
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Old 03-24-2005, 07:40 AM   #18
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Hungry, those charts are already listed in the Terms & techniques forum.

Ham steaks are just that. A steak cut from a ham.
Pork steaks are cut from the butt.
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Old 03-25-2005, 12:58 PM   #19
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thanks everyone.
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Old 03-25-2005, 02:06 PM   #20
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Just as there are different names for the various cuts of beef, so to are there differin names for the pork cuts.

You can easily do a Google Search and get a carcass chart that points to the various cuts and identifies them.

Pork includes every cut from the hog, just as beef is used to generally describe cuts from a cow.

Concerning hams and pork, the ham is cuts from the shoulder or hip and has sub-categorizations. A fresh-ham means that the cut has not been cured, brined, or smoked, and is simply the raw ham. A Virginia Smoked Ham is a fresh ham that has been packed in salt for a specified period of time to remove moisture and preserve the meat. It is then hung in a smokehouse and slowly cooked at a low temperature in an atmosphere of woodsmoke, sometimes for months at a time. The cut usually marketed as ham has been brined, or injected with a curing solution that has smoke flavoring added. It is cooked, wrapped and sold. The label will list water added. A ham product is chopped ham that has been cut and pressed into a boneless chunk of meat that resembles ham. Most canned hams, and Spam brand luncheon meat are of this type. Again, they are not truly smoked.

Many hams have a sweet glaze or solution that has been injected into the meat to add flavor. Sugar, maple, and honey are the most widely used. Syrups are sometimes baked onto the outside befor wrapping for the same purpose.

Pork also describes the rest of the carcass. You get pork sirloin, pork steaks, pork chops, pork tenderloins, pork ribs, etc. Even bacon, fat back, and ham-hocks qualifies as pork.

Hope this clears up some of the confusion. By the way, there are standards to describe the names given to various ham products. Those standards tell how much water can be added before the smoked ham becomes a ham product, etc. I have seen them, but don't remember the rules. They're not hard to find though. Just do a bit of surfing around.

By the way, an interesting tidbit of info is that Spam is a product developed during the 2nd world war, I think. It was a method to get food to G.I.'s faster and involved adding a brine solution and chopped pork to a can, sealing it, then cooking to be sent out to the troops. And I have to say that I've had Turkey Spam just once. I won't eat it again. There might be people on the planet that enjoy its flavor, but I'm not one of them.

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