Cooking Guide

Which Cut Of Pork Is Better: The Shank Or The Hock? Find Out Now!

Pork shanks and hocks are both cuts of meat with a lot of flavor.

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They are often used in soups, stews, and braises because they have a tough exterior that helps them retain moisture while cooking.

They both have many similarities and differences in taste, texture, and cooking methods.

In this post, we will compare and contrast two these cuts that may help you decide which type is best suited for your needs.

What is special about pork shank?

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Pork shank is a cut of meat from the lower part of the pig’s leg.

It is often used in soups, stews and braises because it has plenty of connective tissue that breaks down into gelatin with long cooking.

The best way to cook pork shank is by slow cooking it for hours and hours at low temperatures until fork-tender.

This ensures that you will have a moist piece of meat with plenty of flavor coming from all those delicious ingredients like garlic, onion, celery, carrots etc.

What is special about pork hock?

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Hock is a cut from the lower part of a pig’s leg.

It has many uses in cooking and for other purposes.

The flavor of this cut can vary depending on how it was cooked, but most people agree that it tastes best when braised or roasted.

Hock meat may be used in stews, soups, and casseroles to add flavor and texture to dishes; or as an ingredient in sausages, pâtés, terrines, galantines and brawns.

Are shanks and hocks the same thing?

The short answer is: no, they aren’t the same thing.

A shank is the lower part of an animal’s limb, while a hock is the joint between an animal’s leg and ankle.

Now for a more detailed answer!

It can be easy to mix up these two terms because there are some similarities between them.

Both are attached to an animal’s hind legs, so it’s easy to assume they’re interchangeable.

But they actually have very different functions and appearances!

A shank is generally made up of two or more bones that attach to an animal’s knee (which you can think of as a joint).

The shank holds up the hind legs and provides support for walking and running.

On the other hand, a hock is made up of one bone that attaches to an animal’s ankle.

This bone allows animals like sheep and goats to walk on uneven terrain without fear of twisting their ankles or losing balance due to instability in their joints.”

What are the similarities between pork shank and hock?

1. They both have a lot of connective tissue, which can be cooked to become gelatinous

Pork shanks and hocks are known for their tough, collagen-rich meat.

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Cooking the connective tissue will result in gelatinous pieces of meat which can be as tender or firm as you like.

2. While they may be different, both are excellent for braising or stewing

The pork shank and hock are excellent for braising or stewing.

Pork is a great lean meat, which means that cooking it in broth will keep you feeling light on your feet when the weather cools down.

Hocks add flavor to any dish without adding too much fat!

3. They can also be used in dishes like pot roast, soups, stews, and casseroles

Pork shank and hock can be used in dishes like pot roast, soups, stews, or casseroles.

They are often cooked with vegetables long enough to break them down into soft strands for a hearty dish that is packed full of flavors!

Is there a difference between pork hock and ham hock?

Yes. There is a big difference between pork hocks and ham hocks, but it’s not as simple as one might think.

The terms “pork” and “ham” are used interchangeably to refer to the hind leg of a pig; however, they are actually different cuts of meat that come from different parts of the pig.

Pork hocks are made from the lower part of the leg—the shank—and ham comes from its upper part—the thigh.

The difference can be seen in how each cut cooks: pork hocks take longer than ham to cook because you need to boil them for about an hour before you roast them.

Ham is already cooked when you buy it, so all you need to do is roast it for 30 minutes or so at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).

Pork shank and hock are two commonly confused cuts of meat.

Their differences will be explained in this table:

 Pork shankHock
Texturethe lower part of the pig’s leg A pork shank has a lot more meat than a hockhock is the upper part Hock is tougher and less flavorful than pork shank
Cooking methodPork shanks are typically braised in liquid, often with vegetables and herbs added for flavorPork shanks are typically cooked for longer periods of time to make them more tender– Hocks are usually smoked or cured before they’re cooked – Hocks are better suited for slow-cooking methods  
ServingPork shanks are generally served as an entreeHocks are usually served alongside other main dish components like cabbage rolls or baked beans
PricePork shanks are more expensive than hocks due to their lower availabilityHock is cheaper because there are many sources of supply available

What can I substitute for pork shank?

When you’re trying to substitute pork shank in a recipe, the first thing you should do is look for a similar cut of meat.

If you don’t have access to pork shank, look for something like beef short ribs or lamb shanks.

These cuts will give you the same texture and taste as pork shank.

If you can’t find any of these cuts of meat at your local grocery store, don’t worry!

There are plenty of other options out there—you just have to be willing to get creative.

For example, if your recipe calls for pork shank but doesn’t specify what kind of meat it should be, feel free to try using chicken thighs instead.

Chicken thighs have a similar texture and shape as pork shank, so they should work well if substituted without any changes being made elsewhere in the recipe (such as adding extra liquid).

Alternatively, if your recipe calls for pork shank but also calls for using bone-in meat (such as chicken thighs), consider using boneless meat instead.

Boneless chicken thighs are still high in protein and low in fat compared with most other meats; they’ll also save you some time because they don’t require any special preparation before cooking them up!

Which one is better?

Pork shanks and hocks are both good to use when you cook a dish.

If you want something that is full of flavor, is hearty, and won’t hurt your teeth then pork hocks are best for you.

But if you want something leaner and more versatile than pork shank would suit your needs just fine as well.

The decision is yours!

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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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