Some different cuts of pork include the pork loin roast, picnic shoulder, Boston butt, tenderloin and chops. The pork belly area of the pig is also important, as it is the source for bacon and spare ribs.
The pork loin roast is a fairly lean cut of meat with an outer layer of fat. This cut runs horizontally between the shoulder and back leg. Butchers generally sell pork loin rolled up and tied with twine to create a uniform thickness. It makes a good roast. The tenderloin is the muscle located on the inside of the ribcage at the aft end of the loin, below the pork loin. It is a lean piece of meat and quite tender. It marinates well and cooks quickly, making it suitable for pan-frying or barbecuing.
The picnic shoulder is an inexpensive cut of pork and is available either bone-in or boneless. It is the most desired section of meat when roasting a whole pig, and makes a good slow-roasted option. The Boston butt is the portion of the shoulder above the picnic shoulder. It is a common cut of pork and also good for slow roasting.
There are three different types of pork chop, classified by their position on the loin. The rib chop sits at the shoulder end of the loin. The center cut, the most popular chop, sits in the middle and the sirloin chop\ sits at the other end.