How to differentiate between front and back bacon leg to avoid buying the wrong one

Pork trotters can be used to prepare many delicious dishes. However, not everyone knows whether the front trotter or the hind trotter is tastier.


Distinguishing between front leg and hind leg

– By appearance

The front leg usually bears the weight of the body and moves more, so it has a larger, rougher, and slightly curved shape. The meat of the front leg is usually thicker and you can easily see wrinkles on the surface of the front leg.

The hind leg mainly supports movement and is less weight-bearing, so it usually has a slimmer shape than the front leg. The hind leg is also straighter, less meaty, and has fewer wrinkles on the surface compared to the front leg.

– By the hoof of the leg

A pig’s hoof usually has 4 toes. When moving, only 2 toes will touch the ground. In the front leg, the pig’s toes are usually large and even. They also look quite smooth. In contrast, the toe of the hind leg will be rougher and often have uneven sizes.

The difference in taste between the front leg and the hind leg

The front leg usually has thicker meat and more tendons, so when cooked, it will be more tender and delicious. On the other hand, the hind leg has less meat and larger bones. Depending on the dish, you can choose between the front leg and the hind leg. For braised, roasted, and grilled dishes, it is recommended to use the front leg. For stewed and soups, you can choose the hind leg.

Whether you choose the front or hind leg, you should also pay attention to these things when buying pork leg.

The pork leg should be firm. When pressing the pork leg, it should have good elasticity. Observe the meat to see if it is even and the cut surface is dry and pink.

Super fatty pork tends to have a stronger unpleasant odor than clean pork.

Avoid buying meat that is hard and dry, without elasticity when pressed, feels watery inside, and has yellowish fluid.

Good pork leg usually has a fresh pink color, dry cut surface, natural blood color, bright appearance, no stickiness, and no leaking fluid.

When you bring the pork leg home, you should remove the hair and dirt stuck to the hoof. Depending on the dish, you can have different pre-processing methods. For some dishes, people may scorch the pork leg over a fire before cooking to remove any remaining hair and enhance the flavor of the dish.