Cooking Guide

What Are The Differences Between A Pork Butt And A Pork Loin?

If you are wondering if pork butt or pork loin is a better cut of meat, you are in the right place.

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They are both great and there are plenty of delicious recipes calling for these two ingredients.

So now let’s learn how they are different from each other in the next sections.

What is pork butt?

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Pork butt refers to the shoulder portion of the pig that has been separated from the loin and ham.

Pork butt is the cut of meat from the upper part of a pig’s back and can be cooked in many ways.

Pork butt is also known as Boston butt or arm roast.

It typically includes an outer layer of fat, which makes it perfect for barbecuing because that fat will help keep the pork moist while cooking.

The cut also contains multiple muscles including the muscle running down its spine (the spinalis), which makes it an ideal candidate for slow-roasting since this tough muscle will become tender during long periods of cooking time.

So once again, pork butt is not from the pig’s butt, but the shoulder instead.

What is pork loin?

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Pork loin is a cut of meat from the pig that comes from the loin section.

The pork loin has very little fat and is often used in dishes for its tenderness.

The best way to cook this type of meat is to sear it, then lower the heat and cover it with a lid or tin foil.

Pork loin can be eaten as-is, but it’s also delicious when cooked into Italian sausages like Milanese-style sausage or chorizo sausage.

What are the differences between pork butt vs pork loin?

Pork butt and pork loin are obviously different because they come from two completely different parts of the pig.

But how do they differ from each other and what are the typical distinctions? Here are some:

 Pork buttPork loin
PositionThe shoulder of the pigThe loin section from the back of the pig
Fat content and textureHave more fat and connective tissues, so pork butt is usually tougher.Leaner (one of the leanest parts of the pig) and more tender when properly cooked  FlavorMore flavorMilderCooking method and timeSlow-cook like stew, pulled pork to make sausage Can be cooked in a longer period of time without worrying about being dryGrill or roast Shorter cooking timePriceCheaperHigher due to the less fat content and its tenderness

What are the similarities between pork butt vs pork loin?

Despite some key differences between pork butt and pork loin, there are also alike in some factors, such as below:

They have similar nutrient values

Although pork butt has a little more fat content, these two cuts are both rich in protein, calories, iron, and calcium.

They are both delicious and suitable to enjoy with some similar side dishes

The flavor of each meat cut can actually depend on what dish you are cooking, but they are always palatable if properly cooked.

Pork loin and pork butt can be served with some rice, salad, or roasted vegetables on the side.

Which one is better?

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Pork butt and pork loin are both great cuts of meat.

It really depends on what you want to cook with the cut, as they have different uses.

They do not taste very similar or look alike either, so it’s important to know which one is being called for in a recipe before buying them–or ask your butcher at the grocery store! We hope this blog post has helped you learn about these two delicious pieces of piggy goodness.

Which one would you like more?

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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