What’s the Difference Between Ham and Pork?

Ham and pork. Two types of meat cut from the same animal, yet two completely different looks, tastes, textures, cooking methods, ham, and pork come from the same place, but couldn’t be more different!

The main difference between ham and pork comes from the fact that all ham is pork, but not all pork is ham. Ham is a specific cut of the pork meat from the pig’s thighs. It’s usually cured and salted. Hams are available in a ready-to-eat form.

Meanwhile, pork is raw meat, ready-to-be-cooked, and can be from any part of a domesticated pig. Pork has many different applications. It can be used to cook foods like sausage, bacon and pulled pork.

Another difference between ham and pork is their shelf lives. As ham is salted and cured, it has a far greater shelf life than raw pork.

Holiday glazed sliced ham

What can I Cook with Ham?

Cooking with ham is far more about what you add the ham to, than making it a central part of your dish — though this is certainly possible, even favorable at times like Christmas, some people will opt for ham as opposed to a turkey, due to the cost. You may even decide to go the whole hog and opt for a full pig roast.

Ham can be added to just about everything — they’re a favorite in eggs, they’re a favorite at breakfast tables all around the world as well as being a favorite in chowders and casseroles.

What can I Make from Pork?

Pork, as the raw form of the pig, and is much more versatile than its salty cousin. Pork can be used to make just about anything.

Many breakfast dishes feature pork. Sausages and bacon are favorites on the breakfast plate all over the world. Meanwhile, in Germany,  Oktoberfest is not just for drinking beer and listening to music, Oktoberfest is also a time for eating a lot of sausages. Sausages of all kinds with all kinds of flavors and spices, from bratwurst to schnitzel, sausages (essentially, rolled ground pork) are a firm European favorite.

Pork derivations are also some of the most popular summertime barbecue food. Another popular thing to do with pork for those with a penchant for flavor and spice is to make pulled pork. This is a smoked pork Butt, that has been rubbed with your favorite seasoning and then slow-smoked for about 12 hours until it falls apart.

Other pork dishes are usually accompanied by potatoes and vegetables. A traditional suppertime meal is pork tenderloin or pork chops. The “chops” are cut from the loin of the pig.

Ham and pork are two different cuts from the same animal. Both hold their own unique flavors and applications. It doesn’t matter how you like to eat them, just make sure you enjoy them!