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Cuts of Pork from a whole hog

You did it! You ordered your first whole hog. Now the anxiety sets in about how you’ll know what to order to fill your freezer with your very own, customized bulk pork. This post will alleviate any worries and ensure you know exactly what cuts of pork from a whole hog you should be asking for! If you want to skip all the decision making, see the standard cut outlined at the bottom of the post!

When your whole (or half) hog is delivered to Wanders Farms, the processor in Otley, Iowa, they will call and ask you how you’d like your hog processed. Below we’ll outline your options for a whole hog, and if you ordered a half, assume half the amounts described below. If any of these cuts have you saying, “No, thanks!” Just say that on the phone and you’ll enjoy more things from the “trim” category.

Please keep in mind, the locker does charge based on the weight of the hog, and what “work” you have them do. If you wanted your entire hog made into brats– the bill would be more! We’ve found that a “standard cut” is about $350 and the bill is closer to $500 if you wanted all fancy cuts. Our YouTube channel has examples of both!

Shoulders

Shoulder is describing of the hog. Mix and match these options

  • Roasts- usually 4 roasts. Grocery store cuts would be called “pork butt” or “pork shoulder.”
  • Steaks- usually 4 steaks per roast. This is NOT a pork chop.
  • More trim
Traditional barbecue pulled pork piece of Bosten butt torn to bits as close-up on board

Loins

These are cuts you can get from your hog’s loin. Mix and match however you’d like, and choose how many you’d like in a pack.

  • Boinless Loin
  • Bone-in Loin
  • Iowa Chops
  • Boneless Chops
  • Tenderloins (approx. 12 per loin)
Roast pork meat with herbs and spices on black stone table. Top view with copy space.

Ribs

Yes or no? How big of a package do you want?

Hams

Hams can be cured or kept fresh, meaning no cure added. You can also choose to smoke them. If you want a ham for Easter or such, typically people do smoked and cured. Be sure to say what size of ham or roast you’d like. Typically there’s 6 made from a whole hog.

  • Roasts
  • Ham (meaning cured and/or smoked)
  • Ham Steaks (4 to 5 per ham)

Sides (BACON!)

If you want your bacon like the store (ONLY BETTER) most will choose to cure and smoke. If you’d like what’s known as “pork belly” let them know you’d like your bacon “fresh.”

Many of our buyers are into smoked and curing their own meat. You can definitely tell the locker you’d like your side left whole, bring it home and cure/smoke it on your own!

Trim

Every time a hog is processed, there are some bits and pieces that just aren’t part of your cuts listed above. This is known as “trim.” If you take all the cuts above, there would be about 10 pounds of “trim” you can choose what to do with. We always say “No thanks!” to some of the cuts so we can enjoy more of these delicious options below. One of the BEST things about this locker is they can do patties, links, or tubes– all customized to how big of a package you’d like. Need 2 pounds to feed your tribe? No problem!

  • Ground Pork- loose ground, patties or links
  • Italian Sausage- loose ground, patties or links
  • Breakfast Sausage- loose ground, patties or links
  • Skinless Brats or Brat Patties- plain, cheddar, hot pepper or hot pepper cheddar

Other

There are a few other things you may be wondering about with your whole hog. Below are some miscellaneous things we think you may or may not want.

  • Leaf Lard- If you’ve wondered how to make delicious fluffy biscuits or pie crusts, leaf lard is the answer. Ask the locker to give you your leaf lard. Connect with us if you are unsure how to use it when you get it back!
  • Back fat- Great for frying so you can save that leaf lard for the pies.
  • Organ meat. It’s all yours if you want it, but it’s okay if you don’t!

Ordering a whole hog for the first time may sound overwhelming, we want this to be a fun experience and provide you with cuts of pork you can use without needing to run to the store. Please reach out with any questions you have!

The Standard Cut

If you still feel overwhelmed, below is a standard cut option. Many will choose this for the first hog they order, and once they know which cuts they loved, they will customize it next time.

  • 3-4 Shoulder Roasts
  • 26-28 3/4″ Thick Pork Chops
  • Spare ribs
  • 2 Cured and Smoked Hams (4-5 Ham Steaks and 2-3 Roasts)
  • 16-20 Pounds of Cured and Smoked bacon
  • 1/2 Fresh Ground Pork, 1/2 Breakfast Sausage

Our whole and half hog options fill up quickly, so be sure to pay your deposit now!

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