How should you cook jowl bacon?
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.
Source: JK Assar / LiveStrong.com
from Cleveland, Ohio^
What is a farrowing stall?
A farrowing stall is a special pen, used for sows (mother pigs), designed to keep baby pigs safe and aid in the care of the sow. These stalls help keep the sow from accidentally laying on top of her pigs. Farrowing stalls also give the baby pigs an area, under a heat lamp, where they can keep warm while allowing the sow to remain cool.
from Gary, Indiana^
Are any nitrates used in the preparation of nitrate-free bacon?
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, buy 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 serving of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 460 hot dogs.
from Plymouth, Indiana^
What is a safe cooking temperature for pork and how long should I cook it
Properly cooked pork is cooked to 145 degrees, removed from the heat and allowed to rest before slicing or serving.
from Lafayette, Indiana^
How long can cooked bacon sit out?
For bacon, and most cooked items, the USDA recommends no longer than two hours to sit out. If cooked items, like cooked bacon, sit longer they should either be kept warm (140F) or chilled (at or below 40F). This doesn’t count shelf-stable bacon that comes precooked. Shelf-stable bacon still needs to be refrigerated after opening.
from Mesa, Arizona^
I purchased pork at the grocery store. How do I cook it?
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:
- Braising- Chop, cubed, or sliced pork, tenderloin and shoulder
- Stewing- Ground, cubed or sliced
- Roasting- Loin roast, crown roast, fresh pork leg, shoulder, tenderloin, spareribs and back ribs
- Grilling- Chop, tenderloin, country-style ribs, spareribs, back ribs, shoulder and ground pork
- Baking- Chop, country style ribs, ground pork and sausage
- Barbecuing- Back ribs, country-style ribs, shoulder and spare ribs
- Sautéing- Cutlet, chop, tenderloin, ground pork, and cubed or sliced
As always make sure you are cooking your meat to the proper temperatures. Click here for a complete list of proper cooking times.
from Cleveland, Ohio^
Are there hormones in pork?
Hormones are not ever allowed in raising hogs. Therefore, the claim “no hormones added” cannot be used on the labels of pork or poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”
from New Haven, Indiana^
What about the swine flu?
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.
from Plainfield, Indiana^
Why are some of my cooked pork chops soft, pale and tasteless when they look perfect raw?
A few factors weigh heavily on the end result of your pork.
- Cooking temperatures. Cooking temperature makes all the difference in the world when it comes to how your pork tastes, looks and feels. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees using a meat thermometer. Properly cooked pork will be tender, juicy, and safe to eat with a blush of pink in the center.
- Processing. You are liable to notice subtle differences in color, marbling, mouth-feel, etc. in your pork if you purchase from different markets. Reason being, there are many different meat processors in the country and they all do things just a little different. The process in which the pork, chops in your case, are rendered and packaged will have an effect on the end product.
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.
from New Albany, Indiana^
What are the cuts of pork?
Click here for a PDF of the pork cuts chart!
from Lawrence, Indiana^
Where can I find local pork?
Many families that raise pork do so to provide for their families. They may or may not choose to market directly to customers. Direct marketing takes different skills and resources than raising pigs. Many of our farmers in Indiana are so productive because they have chosen to focus on raising pigs versus retail or product promotion. You support farmers in Indina by purchasing pork at grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets in Indiana.
Also, the National Pork Board has an online search function available for those interested in locating specialty pork in their area. Check it out here!
from Cedar Lake, Indiana^
Do you have a recipe for great pulled pork?
from Marion, Indiana^
How do I find local pig farms?
Indiana is home to about 3,000 family pig farmers. If you are interested in learning more about a farm or purchasing from a local producer please contact the Indiana Pork office.
from Indianapolis, Indiana^
What do pigs eat?
Most pigs eat a diet of corn, soybeans, vitamins and minerals. In some cases the corn and soybeans fed will be grown by the farmer or by members of the local community, enriching the local farming community.
from Speedway, Indiana^
Why do farmers raise hogs inside barns?
Many Indiana farmers believe that raising pigs in barns helps them better care for their animals. The majority of pigs in Indiana are raised in barns that use technology like fans, misters, and heaters to the animals comfortable all year round. Barns can also be helpful in providing animals with clean fresh feed and water daily.
Read more here!
from Indianapolis, Indiana^
Is pork safe to eat when it’s pink?
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 and instant-read meant thermometer to check the internal temperature of your pork.
from Hobart, Indiana^
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