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Pork: The perfect summer meat

Pork is a fantastic meat for barbecuing; why? Well it’s affordable, tasty, and appeals to most in its versatility. 

A family favourite

Pork sausages have a famous association with British barbecuing and have been a family favourite for years, but it’s not only sausages that go down well at a barbecue; ribs, chops, tenderloin steaks and bacon all taste great on the BBQ too, and pulled pork in particular has become extremely popular, with chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson championing this dish. 

Hosting a BBQ can be an expense, and it is often hard to please all, but pork is a great option for helping to reduce both cost and waste. Lots of cuts of pork are cheap to buy, and these are often the most tasty when cooked slow and low on the grill, so rather than trying to impress with expensive cuts of meat, why not impress this summer by transforming the humble pork with an outstanding barbecue. BBQ pork doesn’t only taste great, but also has several health benefits and is highly recommended as part of a healthy, balanced diet. 

How pork keeps you perky!

Pork contains lots of vitamins and minerals that are great for your wellbeing and energy levels such as Vitamin B1, helping to release the energy from food and essential for vitality, Vitamin B12 and Iron, which are vital for healthy blood, and Zinc, which gives our immune systems a boost. Pork is also a great source of protein (21.8g per 100g on average) and amino acids which are essential for healthy growth, healing, and strong bones.

Not only is Pork packed full of goodness, but contrary to popular belief, it can also be incredibly lean. It is thanks to changes in breeding and butchery techniques over the past 30 years that the fat content of lean pork meat has changed from 30% average to just 4%, making it an often overlooked healthy option. Approximately 50% of the fat lean pork does contain is actually heart-healthy unsaturated fat too, so great for balanced diets.

What to look out for when purchasing pork?

- Firstly, always check for the Red Tractor Pork logo on packaged meat to ensure that your meat is high quality and has been produced responsibly if buying from a supermarket.
- The origin of pork products should be stamped on the packaging. In buying British pork you will be supporting British pig farmers and as we have higher animal welfare standards than the rest of the EU, you will be sure that the animal had a higher quality of life.
- Look for cuts of pork that are a moist and deep-pink colour rather than greying or red. Avoid cuts that look damp or have oily or chalky fat. Note that slight marbling of fat is common in the meat, despite it being lean.
- If you are buying rare-breed cuts of meat, expect an increase in cost. Pork and bacon from pigs such as Saddlebacks, Gloucestershire Old Spots and Tamworths are considered especially flavoursome so well worth a try.
- Be aware of salt content. Although lean pork is naturally low in salt, processed pork products generally contain higher levels of salt, so check the labels before buying.


How to store it

Once you have purchased your pork it is important to store it correctly. It is recommended that pork is stored in the coldest part of the fridge and that raw and cooked meats are separated. Generally, pork will keep for three to five days in the fridge, but smaller cuts and mince or offal are best consumed within two days. If you choose to freeze your pork, ensure that you defrost it thoroughly before cooking and consume within 6 months.

BBQ is best!

Our favourite way of cooking and consuming pork is at a barbecue, of course! The texture of pork makes it ideal for marinating, ensuring that flavour is cooked in, so try and prepare in advance to get the most out of marinating! Barbecued pork also gives a fantastic sticky, chargrilled taste, particularly popular on ribs, and smaller joints of meat are great for spit-roasting too.

We have a fantastic variety of pork recipes from Apple grilled Tenderloin to Hawaiian Mojo Ribs, and have specially selected the best products for cooking pork, so there’s no excuse not to try pork on the barbecue this summer.