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Pork Tips

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Want to cook your own pork? Here are some helpful tips on pork cuts, cooking methods and storage.

How do I know what cut of pork to purchase, and how much?
Use this chart to help identify fresh pork cuts at the meat counter when deciding what to buy. The average serving size for pork is 3 ounces of cooked meat. Start with 4 ounces of boneless, raw pork to yield 3 ounces of cooked pork. A 3-ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards.

What else should I look for when selecting quality pork?
– Pork that is a pinkish-red color will provide a better eating experience. Avoid choosing meat that is pale in color and has liquid in the package.
– Look for pork that has marbling, or small flecks of fat. Marbling is what adds flavor.
– Avoid choosing any meat that has dark colored bone.
– The fat of the pork should be white with no dark spots.

How should I cook my pork?
Pork today is very lean and shouldn’t be overcooked. The best test of doneness is to use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your pork. A good rule of thumb is to cook pork until the internal temperature reaches between 145° and 160° F, followed by a three-minute rest time, and is a little pink inside. Use this chart as a guideline for cooking times.

How long can I keep my fresh pork in the refrigerator? 
Sealed, pre-packed fresh pork cuts can be kept in the refrigerator 2 to 4 days; sealed ground pork will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If you do plan on keeping the raw, fresh pork longer than 2 to 3 days before cooking it, store it well-wrapped in the freezer.

How long can I store ham or other smoked products in the refrigerator? 
Whole smoked ham and whole ham slices can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or the use by date on the label. Smoked sausages, hot dogs, bacon and other luncheon meats can be kept for up to seven days.

What length of time can I keep pork in the freezer? 
Generally, fresh cuts of pork, like roasts, chops and tenderloin can be kept well-wrapped in the freezer up to six months. Well-wrapped ground pork can be kept for about three months in the freezer.

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