While other meat cuts from a pig like tenderloin, shoulder, or baby back ribs are more common, pork knuckle is something you should add to your shopping list next time.
With a high amount of collagen, pork knuckle provides body to the broth and the flavorful taste for the whole dish.
So what is more about this meat cut and where can you buy the best pork knuckle? Let’s figure it out in this article.
What is pork knuckle?
A pork knuckle is a cut of meat that comes from the pig’s upper leg and resembles a human hand with its fingers curled into its palm.
Pork knuckles are typically roasted for hours to make the skin crispy while maintaining some fat within the meat itself so that it becomes moist and flavorful when cooked properly.
They can also be braised in liquid until fork tender if desired as well, using wine or broth to create an amazing flavor profile.
Cooking times vary depending on how long you want your final product to be.
How many calories are in pork knuckle?
Pork knuckle is intermediate in calories because it doesn’t contain too much meat or fat.
A serving size of 100 grams pork knuckle will deliver about 191 calories, 12 grams fat, and 20 grams protein.
To burn these 191 calories, you need to either cycle for 29 minutes, run for 19 minutes, or clean for more than one hour.
One more notable thing about pork knuckle is that it contains a high amount of collagen and gelatin, which will especially benefit our skin, help relieve joint pain, and contribute to muscle gain.
This pork cut is also a rich source of other essential nutrients like iron, zinc, phosphorus, and Vitamin B12.
How to choose the best pork knuckle?
Choosing pork knuckle is not as hard as picking the best of other meat cuts.
However, to make sure that your dish that calls for pork knuckle will reach restaurant quality, referring to the following tips to choose the best pork knuckle on the market:
1. Choose the pork knuckle that has a bright pink to white color skin without any discoloration
When cooking pork knuckle, you will need to cook meat, fat, connective tissue, and the skin as well.
Skin is the outer layer of the pork knuckle and you can depend on the color of the skin to judge the quality of this cut.
You should opt for the knuckle with a bright skin.
There shouldn’t be any gray or black spots on the skin because it might be a sign of a somewhat disease from the pig.
2. Front knuckle has more meat, so consider the knuckle from the front legs of the pig
Depending on your family preference to choose what kind of knuckle for your next meal.
The pork knuckle that comes from the front shank has more meat, so if you prefer having more meat around the bone, this is a better choice.
On the other hand, if you enjoy nibbling the bone with a little meat and fat, then consider the pork knuckle from the back legs.
3. Buy pork knuckles from pasture-raised pigs if possible
We all know that pigs that are raised in a healthy diet and living condition will produce higher quality meat, including knuckle.
Therefore, if you can afford pasture-raised pork knuckle, which is usually more expensive, you can see the difference in the taste and texture of it compared to regular pork.
Where to buy pork knuckle?
Pork knuckles are not hard to find on the market.
Moreover, they are even sold at a lower price than other meat cuts.
Below are some typical places where you can purchase pork knuckle:
1. Local butcher
Visit your nearest local butcher shop and you can see a variety of options of pork cuts for you to choose from, and of course, including pork knuckle.
An advantage of shopping in a butcher shop is you can buy the freshest cuts of pork because the pigs have just been slaughtered right beforehand.
2. Grocery store or supermarket
Pork knuckle is also available in the meat section of any grocery store or supermarket.
Here, you can find both fresh and frozen knuckle.
If you want to cook pork knuckle right in the next meal, it would be better to buy the fresh version instead of the frozen counterpart, which is more suitable if you are not planning to cook it in the near future.
You can also buy pork knuckle from many online platforms like Amazon or eBay.
There are a lot of supermarkets offering this selling method, so search for it and add this pork cut to your cart whenever you crave roasted pork knuckle.
Pork knuckle is a cut of pork that you can find in most butcher shops or grocery markets.
You may have seen it before and not realized what to do with it, but now that we’ve explained some more about this meat cut, you know all the benefits of adding pork knuckles to your family’s meal list next time, right?
Well, there are a few different places where you might be able to get good deals on pork knuckles- local butcher stores, food coops, or even online stores like Amazon if they carry them.