Since the beef cuts guide was such a big hit, and so many people have asked when this might continue so you can all figure out the cuts of pork you want to be buying as well, I figured I had better get cracking. It’s time to delve into the world of pork and see just how the cuts compare in the US and Germany.
First, lets look at the cuts that most of us Americans are familiar with:
Ah, ham. Nothing like a nice juicy ham to toss in the oven for a few hours at Christmas. But alas, I have never seen a ham for sale around here and taking a quick look at the German pork cuts will explain it:
As you can see, that’s an entirely different collection of cuts on the German pig. And you’ll also notice the Germans don’t have a Spareribs cut, although you usually can get them at most butcher shops just by asking for Spareribs.
The neck (Hals/Nacken) is generally reserved for BBQ, roasts, stews and rolled pieces (Rollbraten). Schweinebraten is made from a piece of the Nacken with the pig skin still on.
The tenderloin is the Filet which most people here pan fry or grill, along with cutlets (Koteletten) which might also be used for a roast as well a a lean pork chop.
Legs are generally used for things like Schnitzel, goulash, fondue and cooked ham for slicing.
Most bacon and pork belly cuts come from the belly (Brust), and there are few things like a nicely grilled pork belly to keep things interesting.
If you’d like to take things a step further, have a look at this pork cuts diagram below. You can even click on it to make it really huge. I would imagine that most butchers would be able to cut out exact cuts that you need, as long as they can determine where it’s coming from.
So the next time you start thinking about what’s for dinner, and are thinking about making some ribs or a roast, now you’ll have a better idea of what to ask for without needing quite so many hand and foot signals!
What’s the US cut of meat you miss the most? Or the German cut that you couldn’t live without?
Thanks for the info. What German cut do I miss? The cut that makes Schwnenkbraten. I know it is a neck cut, but we process our own pork and the guys can’t quite get it right. I did package some that “might” be close though they pieces were kind of odd. Those will be coming out for a picnic soon. Looking at the chart you provided it looks like the collar steak might be what I should try to find. Now to get the seasoning right. Thanks again.
I was thinking about you as I wrote this, Sandy. Hope it helps with the quest to process your pork! I’m sure it must be delightful to eat homegrown pig!! 🙂
Ah pork, the noble flesh. I worked as a butcher for the last quarter century before I retired and am well versed in the different cuts available.
I worked for Sam’s Club the last ten years of my working life and had many international customers. Cutting beef and pork for mostly Asian customers was my specialty but I would have tried to make a transplanted German customer feel at home also. 🙂
I had no idea that you could get custom cuts even at Sam’s Club. Very, very interesting!
I also never really realized that Asian butchers also have a completely different way of cutting up the animal. It’s just fascinating to me that one animal could be carved so many different ways and the result would taste so different.
Great Tips 😀
Ahhh… brilliant, Tiffany, thank you so much! I love these posts 🙂
This, and that other beef cheat sheet, are life-savers. THANK YOU!!!
Thanks! So glad you find them useful! It’s amazing how different the cuts are 🙂
Wow this is great…I need this on the Beef too! As I’m constantly baffled as to what “what” is here.
Actually I made one of those first 🙂
You can find it here: http://www.noordinaryhomestead.com/butcher-shop-cheet-sheet-auf-deutsch/
I miss where I can clearly see where I get the “Wiener Schnitzel” cut. I am using right now the loin and ” butterfly cut it” but this is NOT the meat people using in Vienna, Austria. So what is the best meat to use ????
Loin is to dry!
Usually we use veal scaloppini here in the US from the local butchers and supermarkets. It’s not always easy to find, but you should be able to get pork in a thin scaloppini cut as well. It is usually rather tender so you don’t need much pounding either.
What would you order to get close to a “spiral” ham?
Thank you so very much, this is so helpful. Finally, I know what to look for – and what I don’t need to bother looking for anymore.
I did miss Schnitzel of course and now I miss Beef Flank Steaks… but everything is becoming more global, so now we can at least get Sirloin which is nice.
Btw – it is Koteletts … Koteletten are sideburns 😉
We lived in Bavaria, near Nuernburg 40 years ago (military). My favorite meal was a small pork roast and kloss. The spelling is wrong, but have you ever heard of Schuefler. We went back 20 years ago and the restaurant was closed