A: Pork-jowl bacon doesn't differ much from pork-belly bacon. You do, however, have to cook it a bit differently than you do regular bacon to get the best out of it. Regular bacon has a 1:3 ratio of meat to fat, whereas jowl bacon has about a 2:1 ratio of meat to fat, making it perfect for the pressing-and-roasting cooking method.
A: You can’t avoid nitrates and nitrites by eating “nitrite- and nitrate-free” hot dogs and bacon. These products are “natural” sources of the same chemical like celery and beet juice or even sea salt. They are no freer from nitrates and nitrites than standard cured meats. Depending on the brand they may even contain more nitrates and nitrites when cured with “natural” preservatives.
The vast majority of nitrate and nitrite exposure comes not from food, but from endogenous sources within the body. In fact, nitrites are produced by your own body in greater amounts than can be obtained from food, and salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure.
When it comes to food, vegetables are the primary source of nitrites. On average about 93% of nitrites, we get from food come from vegetables. It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 460 hot dogs.
A: Absolutely! Pork is safe to eat with a blush of pink in the center. In fact, we’d bet that you will likely enjoy it more. Although we don’t have science to back this up, we’re certain that enjoying properly cooked pork on a regular basis will improve your quality of life. Properly cooked pork is cooked to 145 degrees, removed from heat, and allowed to rest for three minutes before slicing.
Pork today is very lean and shouldn’t be overcooked. The best test of doneness is to use an instant-read meant thermometer to check the internal temperature of your pork.
A: It’s easy to prepare your favorite pork cuts and because pork is so versatile, there are several different cooking methods that we recommend.
Here is a list of pork cuts and preferred cooking methods:
A: Humans and animals can pass certain “bugs” back and forth, just like people can share the common cold. When dealing with any cold or flu virus best prevention is to wash your hands frequently. If you touch animals, be sure to wash your hands immediately. Farmers are encouraged to get flu shots and avoid contact with animals if they are sick. The same common-sense measures are encouraged for others.
A: A few factors weigh heavily on the end result of your pork.
Your best bet is to find a market that gives you consistent results and stay loyal to them, that way you know exactly what kind of quality you are getting.
A: Click here for a PDF of the pork cuts chart!
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