Pork Cutting Methods
The average meat retailer does not cut up whole hogs except in certain localities. Therefore, hog cutting methods and practices are confined almost entirely to the packing house industry. The great majority of retailers buy pork products already cut up, such as hams, shoulders, loins, fat backs and other cuts.
Cutting tests on hogs also vary considerably according to localities. In many sections of Texas, for instance, retailers leave the skin on the loin of pork, which is not done in any other part of the country. Other retailers may trim loins very closely in order to get plenty of fat for making lard. Furthermore, hams may be cut long or short. Shoulders may be cut New York style, or they may be cut short, all of which depends upon the local demand or the habits of the trade. Therefore, the cutting tests given can only be used as a guide for cutting up hogs this standard way.
A typical hog cutting method is shown in Illustration No. 87, which may be considered a standard method of cutting up a hog carcass. Inasmuch as whole hogs are bought to a very limited extent by the retail meat trade, there are no official classes, and grades of hog products as applied to the retail meat trade.
These do exist, however, in the packing house industry. The principal distinction in buying hog cuts is found in the weight of the particular cuts. Pork loins, hams, shoulders and bellies are usually classified according to weight. Pork loins, for instance, are usually classified on the Chicago market by weights of from :
8 to 10 lbs. 10 to 12 lbs. 12 to 14 lbs. and over.