Need a Little Dinner Inspiration? Fill Your Plate with Arizona – Grown Pork

Baby back ribs

Baby back ribs (a.k.a. loin ribs, back ribs, or Canadian back ribs) are taken from the top of the rib cage between the spine and the spare ribs, below the loin muscle. The designation "baby" indicates the cuts are from market weight hogs, rather than sows. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pork has undergone a makeover elevating it from its long time role as chicken’s understudy on the dinner plate to a starring role of its own.  The Arizona Pork Council wants you to be inspired by “The Other White Meat” and see why pork is just as capable of stealing the show as beef or chicken.  In order to inspire you with all the wonderful and delicious things pork can do, they have a new website packed with everything you need to be inspired.

A Cut for Every Meal

There are such a wide variety of flavorful cuts available, it is a shame that many people only make use of the most common cuts- ham, bacon, and pork chops.  Often that is because the less familiar cuts leave home cooks uncertain about how best to cook them, what recipes they are great in, and safe cooking times and temperatures.  To help increase your confidence and inspire you to create new and delicious pork dishes, here is a breakdown of the most common cuts and creative ways each cut can fill your plate.   These and many other favorite pork recipes can be found on Fill Your Plate.

Fresh Pork Leg/Fresh Ham

This cut comes from the hind leg of the hog and unlike other ham, is not cured.  Available with or without bones, fresh pork leg can be cut into a rump, shank, and center portion in addition to the whole leg.


Cured ham, which generally comes fully cooked, is one of the most common cuts of pork and needs no introduction.

Canadian Bacon

Although it sounds similar, this cut is less like bacon than it is like ham and often used during breakfast.  It is fully cooked like ham, smoked, and comes from the loin in the middle of the back.

Loin Roast

This cut can be purchased bone-in or deboned and comes from the area between the shoulder and the leg on the pig.  This cut is more flavorful when cooked with the bone and is best barbecued or roasted.

Pork Ribs/Rack of Pork

Cut from the rib area of the loin, this cut is like a rack of lamb and can make a gorgeous centerpiece for any dinner.  Make sure you “French” the rack before roasting or ask your butcher to do it when ordering.

Back Ribs

Made famous in a jingle, baby back ribs, as these are also known, these come from the center section of the pork loin and are great for barbecuing and grilling.


This cut is from the pork loin part of the pig and can be cooked a variety of ways.  It has a mild flavor and works really well with spices, marinades, and rubs.


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