Pork Hocks and Ham Hocks are similar in many ways, but they’re not the same. Judging by the appearance and quality of the meat, the two types of hock are almost identical. The difference becomes much clearer if you compare their taste. That’s why we thought it’d be appropriate to compare pork hocks vs ham hocks.
Once you’ve made it to the end, you’ll have a good idea about different types of hock. You’ll be equipped with information to use for cooking.
Throughout this article, we’ll guide you through the process of preparation. You’ll learn about hocks’ nutrient value, seasoning, and their availability. We’ve also included recipes, so you can cook both types of hocks.
Pork Or Ham- Are All The Hocks Same?
The differences between Pork Hocks and Ham Hocks are very subtle. However, the two can not be used interchangeably. If a recipe specifies the type, it’s a good idea to find that variety of hock. Otherwise, you might end up cooking food with an unexpected taste.
What Is Hock Of A Pig?
Hocks are essentially the joints on the pig’s rear and front legs. Pork hocks and ham hocks are often used in recipes. Hocks can add a very specific flavor to your food. That’s why they are very popular and widely used. Each type has its distinct flavor, so they’re not interchangeable. You can find these hocks in most supermarkets and definitely in the butcher shops.
Are Pork Hock And Ham Hock The Same?
The differences between the two types of hocks are minor but important. Pork hocks and ham hocks come from different parts of the pig. Ham hocks are extracted exclusively from the rear legs. Pork hocks can be sourced from the rear and front.
The quality of the meat of pork hock and ham hock is nearly the same. The main difference is that ham hocks are seasoned and/or cured, whereas pork hocks are raw.
Pork Hocks Vs Ham Hocks: Head To Head
|Factors||Pork Hocks||Ham Hocks|
|Where They Are From||Rear or front||Rear legs|
|Cholesterol CountFat Count||~100mg per serving||~100mg per serving|
|Curing And Smoking||Not cured/smoked||Cured|
|Cooking Time||2-3 hours||3-4 hours|
|Diversity Of Cooking||Used in more recipes||Specific use|
|How Pricey They Are||Affordable||A bit pricey|
Materialistic Differences: Pork Hocks Vs Ham Hocks
The two types of hocks look almost identical. However, factors like nutritional value and cooking time are different.
Where They Are From?
Pork Hocks and Ham Hocks are sourced from different parts of the pig. Let’s look into it to determine the source of meat and differences.
Where Is Pork Hocks In A Pig?
Pork hocks can come from both pairs of legs – rear and front. Joints and the meat that surround them are called hocks. Because of their distinct quality and taste, pork hocks are often sold separately. Once extracted, the pork hock from the rear legs can be cured.
When they’re cured, pork hocks transform into ham hocks. The curing and seasoning is the biggest difference between the two types of meat.
Where Is Ham Hocks In A Pig?
The raw meat for ham hocks comes from the rear legs of the pig. More specifically, the ham hock is extracted from the ankle. As we all know, the rear is where ham comes from. That’s why the joints on the back legs are called ham hocks. However, the meat must be cured to be labeled as a ham hock. Hocks that are not seasoned or cured are called pork hocks.
Pictures Of Pork And Ham Hocks In A Pig
As you can see in the picture, the joints on both pairs of legs are called “hock”. The only distinction between a ham hock and pork hock is their source. Ham hocks come from rear legs, while pork hocks can come from both sides.
Anyone with a heart condition should avoid consuming foods with too much Cholesterol. Ham Hocks and Pork Hocks both contain certain amounts. Read on to find out whether the cholesterol contents are dangerous.
Is Pork Hock High In Cholesterol?
The information about cholesterol levels can be found on the product’s packaging. Based on this information, an average-sized serving of 120g(~4oz) contains 120mg of cholesterol. This doesn’t exceed the daily limit of 300mg recommended by doctors. Still, if you have a heart condition, you should only eat pork hock on rare occasions.
Different products contain roughly the same amount of cholesterol per serving. If you want to know the exact number, check the packaging of your product.
Is Ham Hock High In Cholesterol?
The two types of meat aren’t that different in their composition. That’s why the cholesterol values of both hocks are nearly the same. One standard serving contains about 120mg of cholesterol. Again, this isn’t alarming, but still alarming. To ensure that you don’t go over the Cholesterol limit of 300mg, cook ham hock cautiously. Avoid having more than one serving at a time.
Which Hock Is High In Cholesterol?
Both types of hock contain an equal amount of cholesterol. The levels aren’t dangerously high, but enough to take into account.
Most calories in both types of hocks come from fat. It is important to control your fat consumption. Doing so will help you avoid problems of obesity down the line.
How Much Fat Count Is In Pork Hock?
An average serving of pork hock contains 20 to 30 grams of fat. The number itself isn’t alarming, but having more than one or two servings is not advised. As a result of consuming too much pork hock, you’re likely to go over your daily limit of calories.
More importantly, pork hock contains 10 grams of saturated fat. Consumption of this type of fat can increase the likelihood of heart-related diseases.
In summary, fat contents in pork hock are safe, as long as you eat it moderately.
How Much Fat Count Is In Ham Hock?
Serving of 4oz ham hock contains about 25 grams of fat. About 7 of the total 25 grams are saturated fat. If consumed excessively, this is the type of fat that is particularly harmful to our health. However, the fat contents in ham hocks are quite low.
Which Hock Is Higher In Fat?
Both types of hock have the same nutritional value. In the sections above, we mentioned average numbers. Check the label of any product to ensure that the fat content is close to that average.
Curing And Smoking
Smoked hocks have distinct tastes, which can influence the flavor of the food. Seasoning is the biggest difference between pork hocks and ham hocks.
Do Pork Hocks Need To Be Cured Or Smoked?
Naturally, pork hocks are neither smoked nor cured. Most recipes that require pork hocks don’t mesh well with seasoned meat. Some recipes require ham hocks, which are seasoned.
If you want to use pork hocks as a substitute for ham hocks, you can season them. Pork hocks can be cured by roasting or using liquid smoke.
Do Ham Hocks Need To Be Cured Or Smoked?
Ham hocks are pre-seasoned by definition. This type of meat does not require any additional curing or seasoning. If the recipe requires seasoned meat, ham hocks can provide the required distinct taste.
Which Wok Is Easier To Season And Cure?
Ham hock, since it requires little to no additional seasoning/curing. Pork hocks are not difficult to prepare, either.
Most recipes use hocks for their flavor. Ham hocks are usually smoked, which gives them a very distinct flavor. Pork hocks have a more subtle, but still recognizable flavor. Both types of hocks are used for many soup recipes.
How Long Does Pork Hocks Take To Cook?
The main goal of cooking pork hocks is to infuse their flavor with that of a dish. To achieve the desired effect, pork hocks must cook for at least 2-3 hours. The duration can be longer if necessary. The meat is hard, so cooking it for 3-4 hours won’t be a problem.
How Long Does Ham Hocks Take To Cook?
Ham hocks have a distinct flavor. Their taste is infused with the food through cooking. For best results, ham hocks need to be cooked for at least 2-3 hours. For some recipes, the recommended cooking time is even longer.
Ham hocks are very firm and need to be boiled until the meat becomes tender. Usually, this process doesn’t take longer than three hours. Ham hocks should be cooked until the meat becomes softer.
Which Hock Is Faster To Cook?
Pork hocks take slightly less time to cook. Ham hocks have a stronger flavor, so need to be cooked for a longer time.
Diversity Of Cooking
Hocks are nutritious and widely available. This type of meat contains connective tissue and muscle fibers. Hocks can be used in many different recipes.
How Many Diverse Ways Of Cooking Pork Hocks Are There?
Pork hocks have a subtle flavor, so it is a great addition to many recipes. This type of meat is not saddled with heavy smoke flavor. It is used in many cuisines all around the world.
Pork hocks are primarily used for their nutritional value. They’re rich in proteins and fats that can dissolve into an extremely flavorful broth. Pork hocks can be cooked in different ways. Some recipes require cooking it at a low temperature. Other recipes instruct the chefs to use high heat.
Pork hocks are mostly used to cook various types of stews and soups.
How Many Diverse Ways Of Cooking Ham Hocks Are There?
Because of their strong flavor, ham hocks pair with certain foods well. Ham hocks are not suited for experimentation. As long as the recipe requires it, ham hocks are going to be a good addition to the flavor palette.
Once you’re done cooking, you can choose between removing ham hocks or keeping them. The meat itself is delicious, so keeping it in the soup or a stew is often a good idea.
Which Hock Offer More Diverse Dishes?
Ham hocks have a very specific flavor. Pork hocks, on the other hand, have a subtle taste that is suitable for a wider variety of dishes.
How Pricey They Are?
Pork hocks and ham hocks are very inexpensive. The two are primarily used for making various types of soups and stews.
How Much Does Pork Hocks Cost?
Even though it is a highly sought-after type of meat, pork hock is not expensive. We should mention that most of the weight consists of bones and joints. The exact price depends on the weight of the package. Most pork hock products in the supermarket cost around 10-20$.
This type of meat is safe to use for making soups and stews, even if the recipe doesn’t explicitly require it. In raw condition, pork hocks are hard meat. They contain connective tissue and parts of leg muscles.
How Much Does Ham Hocks Cost?
Ham hocks aren’t expensive either. However, since they’re seasoned, ham hocks tend to be a bit more expensive. Either in butcher shops or supermarkets, products of this type cost around 10-20$. The cost per pound is around $3, but packaged ham hocks in the supermarket might cost a bit more.
You can get ham hocks for cheaper if you buy them in bulk. Considering their unique taste, ham hocks are an excellent value for the money.
Which Hock Is Better Value For Money?
Both types of hock are a fantastic value for the money. Still, pork hock is the cheaper between the two. If you like the smoke flavor, ham hocks are probably better. Otherwise, use the type of hock that is specified in the recipe.
Recipe Comparision: Pork Hocks Vs Ham Hocks
These meats are used in many cuisines all around the world. Let’s take a look at specific recipes where hocks are used as an ingredient.
3 Best Pork Hocks Recipes
While as nutritious as ham hocks, pork hocks don’t have a distinct smoke flavor. They’re great for making stews, soups, or as a German pork hock.
Recipe 1: German Pork Hock
In Germany, the hocks are known by the name of Schweinshaxe. Bavarians in particular love having this dish. It is especially popular on their holiday, Oktoberfest.
To prepare this dish, you’re going to need: 2 pieces of pork hocks, peppercorn, four pieces of bay leaves, 4 pieces of juniper berries, diced onion, caraway seeds, salt.
Fill a large pot with water, add diced onions, peppercorns, 2 teaspoons of salt, leaves, and berries. Wait until it boils. Once it does, decrease temperature so that the water is still hot, but not boiling.
Cook for about 1.5-2 hours. Afterward, remove pork hocks from hot water. Cut the meat’s surface in a diamond pattern.
Apply caraway seeds and salt to the pork knuckles. Once seasoned, put them in an oven preheated to 390 ° F (200 °C). Cook each side for about 45 minutes, which amounts to 90 mins total.
Once 90 mins have passed, broil it for another 5-10 minutes. Check up on it frequently so that it doesn’t get burned.
Serve while it’s hot.
Recipe 2: Slowly Cooked Pork Hock Stew
This stew is a great treat any day of the week.
3 pounds of pork hock, can of tomato sauce, few potatoes (2-4, depending on their size), 1-2 green bell peppers, two average-sized carrots, average-size onion, one cube-shaped piece of beef, water, few grams of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of white sugar, 3pcs dried bay leaves, salt to your preference.
Add every ingredient into a slow cooker in this order: pork hocks first, then tomato sauce, followed by bell pepper, vegetables, and other ingredients.
Get it going and cook for about 8 hours. Add as much salt as you like.
Take the food out of the slow cooker and place it on a serving tray.
Serve it along with white rice.
Recipe 3: Smoked hock and vegetable soup
A fantastic hot dish for chilly evenings.
About 2 pounds of smoked pork hock, 2-3 oz vegetable oil, 5pcs diced garlic, single cut onion, 1 fennel sliced, 2 or 3 diced carrots, diced celery (half a bunch), 1 diced celeriac, tomato paste (~5oz), one tablespoon of fennel seeds, one teaspoon of chili flakes, salt, one pound of beans, crusty bread.
Put pork hock in a large container. Drain it by pouring boiling water on the hock. And set it aside.
Take a large pot and add vegetable oil, cooked onion, and garlic.
Add other vegetables, cook for 5 additional minutes, until vegetables become tender. Mix the tomato paste.
Dry fennel seeds separately. Look after them to ensure that they don’t burn.
Add everything else – pork hock itself, seeds, and chili to the pot. Increase the temperature, until the pot contents start to boil. Then bring the temperature back down and leave it to cook for about 2 hours.
Your soup will be almost done when the meat becomes soft. Take pork hock out of the soup, separate the meat from the bones and place it back in the pot. Add beans and as many spices (salt, chili) as you prefer.
3 Best Ham Hocks Recipes
Many chefs love to utilize ham hocks in their cooking. Their distinct smoke flavor is ham hocks’ biggest appeal.
Recipe 1: German Ham Hock
In this recipe, we’ll describe how to prepare ham hocks using a traditional German method. The dish can be served with potatoes and sauerkraut.
For this recipe, you’ll need 3 pounds of ham hock, 1 tablespoon of allspice (dried brown) berries, 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns, 2 pieces of bay leaves, 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds (preferably yellow), half a tablespoon of red pepper flakes.
Take an average-sized pot and fill it with all the ingredients. Add enough water to submerge all ingredients.
Increase the temperature until the water inside the pot starts to boil.
Once the water has reached boiling temperature, reduce the heat so that water starts to simmer.
Periodically check ham hock’s condition. Cook until the meat becomes tender. This takes about an hour.
Take out the hock once it’s finished. Dry it softly, and it’s ready to serve.
Recipe 2: Ham hocks and beans
Smoked ham hocks add a great aroma to the food. The mix of these ingredients makes this dish delicious as well as nutritious. It is also easy to prepare.
A mix of different beans, 4-6 pcs of ham hocks, 1-2 pieces of onion, 4-6 pieces of garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and pepper.
Clean the beans by removing any type of dirt or tiny rocks.
Combine beans, ham hocks, chopped onions, spices, and minced garlic in a Dutch oven. Make sure to add enough water to cover the ingredients.
Turn up the heat until the water starts to boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the temperature and let it simmer for about 4 hours. More if necessary.
Ham hocks are done cooking when the meat becomes softer and easy to separate from the bone.
Once it’s prepared, remove ham hocks and separate meat from bones. Place the meat back in the main dish.
Recipe 3: Braised Ham Hocks
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s simple to follow but the food is extremely delicious. Bruised ham hocks are a great option for dinner any time of the year.
To cook this recipe, you’re going to need ham hocks (any amount) and vegetable broth.
Place the ham hocks on a braising pan. Insert the pan into an oven preheated at 350 degrees F.
Once the ham hocks’ surface becomes crispy, add vegetable broth to the mix.
Take the pan out, add a lid on top of it, and put it back in the oven.
Let it cook for at least 2.5 hours. You’ll know the ham hocks are ready when the meat gets softer.
Frequently Asked Questions
The two types of hocks might appear similar, but they’re very different. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions:
Is Pork Hock The Same As Pork Knuckle?
The two labels refer to the same part of the pig’s meat. Similar to pork knuckles, pork hocks are extracted from pig’s joints.
Is Pork Hock The Same As Pork Shank?
Pork shanks are sourced from the high forearms of the pig. Pork hocks are sourced from the joints. The two types of meat are not the same.
Is Ham Shank Same As Ham Hock?
Once shank meat is cured, it becomes ham shank. Ham hock, on the other hand, refers to cured meat sourced from the joints.
Is A Ham Hock A Ham Bone?
Ham hock contains bones, but it also comes with muscle fiber, meat, and connector tissues.
Is Ham Hock Healthy?
4oz ham hock serving contains about 120mg of cholesterol. It is also high in fat. However, when consumed moderately, ham hocks are not dangerous for your health.
The differences between pork hocks vs ham hocks aren’t easy to notice. The two types of meat are somewhat similar. The biggest difference is that ham hocks are seasoned while pork hocks are not. This gives them a unique flavor, which can be a great addition to various types of stews and soups.