Cooking Guide

Pork Knuckle Vs Ham Hock: What’s The Difference, And Which One Is Better?

Pork knuckle vs ham hock.

Why trust me?

I'm an experienced food writer and passionate cook. My website,, features accessible, informative, and engaging content with quality recipes and articles that are thoroughly researched and enjoyable to read. You can trust my expertise with 8 years of experience in the field. Learn more about me and my work on this website, and check out my featured articles on TastingTable, Mashed, and 5-Minute Crafts. Read more about me HERE.

The two are often confused for one another, but they’re actually very different.

Pork knuckles are a cut of meat that comes from the pig’s forelegs and can be compared to beef shanks or oxtail in terms of texture and flavor.

In this post, we will compare and contrast these two cuts in more detail.

What is special about pork knuckles?

[amazon fields=”B01AWPUDPE” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

[amazon fields=”B01AWPUDPE” value=”button”]

Pork knuckle or pork hock is a type of smoked cut of pork.

A pork knuckle is a thin skin that covers the joint between the leg and the shoulder.

They are usually seasoned with salt and pepper before being cooked to make them more flavorful.

Pork knuckles can be roasted or braised in a liquid such as water, stock, or wine.

A common way to cook pork knuckles is by first searing it on all sides over high heat, then cooking it slowly at a low temperature for several hours until tender.

What is special about ham hock?

[amazon fields=”B07RFNMB4J” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

[amazon fields=”B07RFNMB4J” value=”button”]

A Ham hock is a cut of pork from the shank and upper leg that comes from a hog.

It can be smoked or boiled to make it tender for cooking.

The meat has a very distinctive taste because of the high-fat content, which makes it best suited for dishes with rich sauces like beans and greens.

The meat from this area is deliciously flavorful, even when cooked for hours.

You can use it to flavor soups or stews, as well as add it to roasts or casseroles.

What are the differences between pork knuckle and ham hock?

Many people are confused as to what the difference is between a ham hock and a pork knuckle.

The table below will help clear up any confusion by outlining some key information about each of these meats, including how it’s cooked and their distinguishing features.

 Pork knuckleHam hock
Texture– Pork knuckle is the upper joint of the pig’s leg
– Pork knuckle has a higher fat content than a ham hock
– Ham hock is from the lower part
– Ham hock is leaner
FlavorPork knuckle is sweeter with hints of fruit flavorsHam hocks are saltier with hints of pepper
Cooking methodPork knuckles can be cooked whole or cut into pieces Pork knuckles have been boiled for hours to make them tender Pork knuckles can be boiled, roasted, or braisedHam hocks are usually smoked or cured with salt and sugar
Ham hocks should be simmered slowly to extract all the juices before being served as-is
ServingPork knuckles are often served with sauerkraut and potatoesHam hocks can be used as an ingredient in dishes like soup or beans
PricePork knuckles are more expensive than ham hocksHam hocks are cheaper because they have more connective tissue than pork knuckles

What are the similarities between pork knuckle and ham hock?

1. Both types of meat are usually served with cabbage and potatoes on the side

There are countless ways to prepare pork and ham, but one of the best dishes is a hearty meal that includes both.

Pork knuckle and ham hock come with cabbage or potatoes on the side for added flavor!

2. They are both pork products and can be used interchangeably in recipes

Pork knuckle and ham hock are both pork products, but they can be used interchangeably in recipes.

They’re similar because their flavor profiles have a lot of meaty notes that work well for dishes where you want to balance out rich flavors with something lighter like rice or vegetables.

3. Both are usually smoked to add flavor and preserve it for long periods of time

The smoked flavor of ham hock and pork knuckle can be very addicting, with the smoke adding to its appeal.

Smoking meats such as ham hocks and other types of meat adds a ton of flavor while also preserving it for long periods without spoiling too quickly.

Which one is better?

Product Comparison[amazon fields=”B01AWPUDPE” value=”title”][amazon fields=”B07RFNMB4J” value=”title”]
Product Image[amazon fields=”B01AWPUDPE” value=”thumb”][amazon fields=”B07RFNMB4J” value=”thumb”]
Latest Price[amazon fields=”B01AWPUDPE” value=”button”][amazon fields=”B07RFNMB4J” value=”button”]

In our opinion, pork knuckles are a better choice for those looking to make soups and stews.

They’re also ideal if you want a meatier texture in your meal that’s not too chewy.

Ham hocks are also great if you want a milder taste but still have some good flavors in your meal.

Whatever your preference, we hope this post has helped clear up any confusion between these two cuts.

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
Back to top button