What Are Pork Wings? (According To Experts)

Are you a fan of chicken wings but looking for a meatier alternative?

Look no further than pork wings!

Despite their name, these “wings” don’t actually come from flying pigs. Instead, they are cut from the shank or bottom of the ham on a pig, resulting in tender and flavorful dark meat.

With a single bone running through the center and a small handle for easy eating, pork wings are a delicious and unique addition to any menu or party spread.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what exactly pork wings are and how to cook them to perfection.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn all about this exciting cut of pork.

What Are Pork Wings?

As mentioned earlier, pork wings come from the shank or bottom of the ham on a pig. They are essentially small pork shanks that have been frenched, exposing the bone with a chunk of meat on the end.

Each wing typically weighs around 0.4lb-0.5lb and is surrounded by tender meat, making them a perfect “meat popsicle” for any occasion.

Pork wings are a great alternative to traditional chicken wings, offering a meatier and more flavorful option for those who love their wings but want something different.

What Are Pork Wings And Where Do They Come From?

Pork wings are a pork product made from the fibula of a pig’s shank, which is the tibia bone from the hind leg of the pig. This cut is the same as a ham short shank. The shank or bottom of the ham is known for its tender, dark meat that has more flavor than other parts of the pig.

The single bone running through the center of the pork wing makes it easy to pick up and eat, similar to a chicken wing drumette. During the cooking process, the meat shrinks away from the bone, creating a handle for holding the wing while consuming it.

Several companies produce pork wings, including Farmland and Swift. However, it is not legal to call them “pig wings” due to a legal threat from the poultry industry. Each company has its own catchy name for the product.

Pork wings can be cooked in various ways, just like chicken wings. They are traditionally cooked barbecue style, with smoke and low heat, then sauced. They are also a great alternative to regular chicken wings for those who prefer pork over chicken.

How Do Pork Wings Compare To Chicken Wings?

When it comes to comparing pork wings to chicken wings, there are a few key differences to consider. First and foremost, pork wings are larger and meatier than chicken wings, with each wing containing around twice as much meat as a standard chicken wing. This means that pork wings can be a more satisfying option for those who want a heartier appetizer or main dish.

In terms of flavor, pork wings also offer a unique taste compared to chicken wings. Because pork is a red meat with more marbling, it tends to have a richer and more savory flavor than chicken. This makes pork wings a great option for those who love bold and flavorful dishes.

Nutritionally, pork wings offer slightly more protein and slightly fewer calories and fat than chicken wings. However, it’s important to note that the preparation method can make a big difference in terms of nutritional value. For example, deep frying pork wings will add more calories and fat than baking or grilling them.

Different Ways To Cook Pork Wings

There are several different ways to cook pork wings, depending on your preference and available equipment. Here are a few options:

1. Baking in the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F and place the pork wings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.

2. Deep Frying: Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large pot to 375°F. Coat the pork wings in seasoned flour or batter and fry for 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and serve.

3. Smoking: Preheat your smoker to 275°F and add your preferred wood chips or pellets. Place the pork wings on the smoker grates and smoke for 30-45 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Baste with your favorite sauce during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.

4. Grilling: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 400°F) and oil the grates to prevent sticking. Place the pork wings on the grates and grill for 15-20 minutes, flipping every few minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F. Baste with sauce during the last few minutes of cooking.

No matter how you choose to cook them, pork wings are a delicious and unique addition to any meal or gathering. Experiment with different seasonings and sauces to find your perfect flavor combination.

Tips For Serving And Pairing Pork Wings

If you’re planning on serving pork wings, here are some tips to make sure they are a hit with your guests:

1. Pair them with the right sauce: Pork wings have a slightly sweet and savory flavor that pairs well with a variety of sauces. Try a classic buffalo sauce or a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce for a crowd-pleasing option. You can also experiment with different flavors like honey mustard, teriyaki, or garlic parmesan.

2. Serve them as an appetizer or main dish: Pork wings can be served as an appetizer or main dish depending on the occasion. If you’re serving them as an appetizer, make sure to have plenty of napkins on hand as they can be messy to eat. For a main dish, consider pairing them with sides like coleslaw, mac and cheese, or roasted vegetables.

3. Cook them to the right temperature: Pork wings come fully cooked, but it’s important to reheat them to the right temperature before serving. Use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 140°F.

4. Experiment with different seasonings: While pork wings come pre-seasoned, you can add your own twist by using different rubs or seasonings. Try a spicy Cajun seasoning or a smoky chipotle rub for a unique flavor profile.

5. Pair them with the right beverage: When it comes to pairing beverages with pork wings, think about the flavors and spiciness of your sauce. A cold beer is always a classic choice, but you can also try pairing them with a crisp white wine or a fruity cocktail to balance out the heat.

Where To Find Pork Wings And How To Buy Them.

If you’re interested in trying pork wings, you may be wondering where to find them and how to buy them. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Specialty Butchers: Look for specialty butchers in your area that carry unique cuts of meat. These butchers are more likely to carry pork wings, and they can also give you advice on how to cook them.

2. Online Retailers: Many online retailers offer pork wings for sale, making it easy to get them delivered straight to your door. Just make sure to check the shipping costs and delivery times before placing your order.

3. Local Farmers: If you have a local farmer’s market in your area, you may be able to find pork wings there. Local farmers often sell unique cuts of meat that you can’t find in grocery stores.

When it comes to buying pork wings, look for cuts that are fresh and have a good amount of meat on them. Avoid wings that are discolored or have an unpleasant odor. If possible, choose pork that is pasture-raised and free from antibiotics and hormones for the best flavor and quality.