Pork Belly Vs Pork Loin: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to cooking pork, there are a few different cuts that you can choose from.

Pork belly and pork loin are both great, but do you know which one is better?

If not, let’s figure it out in this article by weighing these two pork cuts in the comparison and see how they differentiate from each other.

What is pork belly?

Imported Pork Belly 'Salo' with eatable rind(skin) 1lb by HolanDeli

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Pork belly is a boneless and fatty cut of meat from the belly of the pig.

It’s also called bacon on some menus!

Pork belly is made up of layers of fat and meat, which are then cut into slabs and cooked to create delicious bacon or pork rinds.

Pork belly can be eaten by itself but also goes well with other dishes like Korean-style fried rice, tacos, or sandwiches.

It’s usually sold either as raw pork belly that you cook yourself or precooked pieces that are ready to eat.

What is pork loin?

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Pork loin is a cut of pork from the back and upper side of the animal.

This means it comes from the meaty part near the spine, just below where you would find the rib cage.

Pork loins are usually boneless, but they can also be sold with the bone in.

Pork loin is one of the leanest cuts of the pig, so it is easy to be tough and dry if improperly cooked.

However, the meat is also extremely tender when you know how to cook it.

What are the differences between pork butt vs pork loin?

Pork belly and pork loin come from different parts of a pig, therefore, they differ in many ways from where to cut them, how they taste, to their prices on the market.

 Pork bellyPork loin
PositionThe pig’s bellyThe pig’s loin, from the back and sides that are near the spine
Fat content and textureHave more fat (the layers of fat and meat alternating) and juicer when cookedLeaner (one of the leanest parts of the pig) and tender when properly cooked, but easier to get dry if being cooked for too long  
FlavorRicher and fattierLean and mild
Cooking methodUsually cured with salt and sugar before being smoked or roastedUsually grill or roast the fresh marinated meat
Cooking timeLongerShorter because the long cooking time might result in dry and chewy pork loin
PriceCheaperHigher due to the less fat content and its tenderness

What are the similarities between pork belly vs pork loin?

Pork belly and pork loin have some similarities besides the aforementioned key differences.

Here are some typical ones:

1. They are from the pig

Isn’t it obvious that pork loin and pork belly are actually just pork?

Therefore, the base flavor is actually the same, well, simply the pork flavor.

2.They can both create delicious dishes

There are many mouth-watering recipes that call for pork loin or pork belly.

Some can even use these two ingredients interchangeably.

For example, both are great to be roasted, although the cooking time might vary.

You can serve the finished dish (no matter is made from pork loin or belly) with some roasted vegetables, sauce, or salad on the side.

Which one is better?

Product ComparisonImported Pork Belly "Salo" with eatable rind(skin) 1lb by HolanDeliPork Loin Chop Boneless Step-1
Product ImageImported Pork Belly 'Salo' with eatable rind(skin) 1lb by HolanDeliPork Loin Chop Boneless Step-1
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With the information we have covered, it’s clear that pork belly and pork loin are two different cuts of meat with different tastes and using purposes.

Pork belly is a fattier cut with more connective tissue but is also cheaper than its counterpart.

The loin section has a less fat content and can be cooked quickly because to avoid being dry; however, this will cost you more money in comparison to buying a pork belly.

It all boils down to what your preference is when deciding which one would work best for you!

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