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  • Cassandra Kyser

Expand Your Palate with Pork Hocks

A maroon illustration of the profile of a whole pig set on a tan background.
Pork hocks are a flavorful, yet often overlooked, cut of meat.

A large jar of pickled pork hocks used to be a fixture at most taverns in Wisconsin. This salty snack goes great with a cold beer!

Pork hocks aren’t as popular as they used to be. But hocks are a versatile and flavorful cut of meat that can be served pickled, smoked, or as a substitute for bacon. Learn more about pork hocks, including what part of the pig they’re from, and if “pork hocks” and “ham hocks” are the same cut of meat.

What Are Pork Hocks?

Pork hocks are cut from the lower part of the pig’s leg. 

Are “Ham Hocks” and “Pork Hocks” the Same Thing?

Historically “ham hocks” are from the hog’s back leg, while “pork hocks” are from the front legs. Today, “ham hock” and “pork hock” are often used interchangeably. 

No matter what you call them, you’re getting the meat from the lower part of the pig’s leg, above their feet. Hocks cook up the same, whether they are from the front or back legs. 

What Do Pork Hocks Taste Like?

Unlike mild pork chops, pork hocks have a rich, savory taste. Some people think smoked pork hocks have a flavor similar to bacon.

Pickled pork hocks will have a distinctive “tang” to them and are meant for eating as-is. If a recipe calls for pork hock or ham hock, you want to use a smoked or plain cut. 

Pork Hock Recipes

If you want to cook with pork hocks, they go great in stews and soups. They must be cooked low and slow for best results. Try this slow cooker ham hock and split pea soup for a hands-off, easy meal.

Where Can I Buy Ham Hocks?

You probably won’t find ham hocks at your average grocery store. It’s a rarer cut — you can only get so many hocks from a pig.

If you do find hocks at a store, they will probably be pickled in a jar of brine or smoked.

Buy Ham Hocks at The Grain Bin Butchery & Market

We carry jars of pickled pork hocks in our grocery section. Please call the store to see what we have in stock or to place an order, 715-632-2800.

Our custom pork processing customers also have the option of receiving smoked or unsmoked hocks with their order. To learn more about our mobile butcher services or custom meat processing, call our store and ask for Jason or Aron.


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