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If you’re looking to buy pork wings, don’t know much about them, or are confused by all the options available to you, rest assured that you aren’t alone! Pork wings are relatively new to the market, so many people don’t know much about them. But don’t let this intimidate you! With a little preparation and patience, shopping for pork should be as fun and easy as chowing down on them after they’re cooked up in your kitchen. Here’s how to buy them the next time you find yourself at the market!

Know the terms

When buying pork (or any other fresh meat product), it’s important to get a few things straight. For starters, you should probably know what cut of meat it is. Though people often use wings and chicken wings interchangeably—even though they’re different cuts—knowing what you’re looking for makes shopping that much easier. The wing section of an animal is a part of its forelimb, and on pigs is typically from around where its hoof used to be until mid-forearm. It’s thus made up of three parts: shank (the piece closest to the hoof), drumette (the wider part), and wing tip (extremity farthest from the body).

Fresh Vs. Frozen

It’s hard to make direct comparisons when it comes to fresh and frozen products. While frozen meat will not have lost any nutritional value by going from frozen to cooked, there are many factors that can affect fresh pork’s taste. However, if you know what you’re looking for—freshness labels like Display Until dates or packaging features like vacuum seals can give clues about freshness—you can feel pretty confident that a fresh product tastes better than a frozen one. 

Smell & Touch

The way a pork wing smells is going to be your first indication as to whether or not it’s fresh. The best-smelling wings will have an almost sweet aroma that’s just a little bit tangy and should make your mouth water right away. Remember that smell doesn’t stay forever, so don’t worry if they smell a little funny at first — they can come around with some time in your fridge. If they have no scent at all? They aren’t fresh.

Look for lines in the skin

Even though it may be tempting to just buy frozen wings (they’re already cooked and all!), don’t. The skin on fresh pork won’t have many holes or cracks running through it, which means they haven’t been frozen very long. The skin should also feel like a rubber band when you stretch it—if it feels limp and rubbery, they’re too old. 

Inspect The Wing Tip

The best way to make sure your wings are fresh is by looking at them. One of our trained butcher’s favorite places to check for freshness is on a part you’re usually not focused on when buying wings—the wing tip. The wing tip should be pink and elastic. If it’s dark grey or brittle, it has likely been frozen. In fact, if your pork wing tips are dark grey or brittle at all (meaning they don’t spring back into shape), they’re probably not as fresh as you’d like and should be passed over for fresher options instead.

The meat itself should be firm and plump

The quality of your wings will depend on a few things. First and foremost, find a place where to buy pork wings and make sure that you’re buying from a reputable source. Next, you want meat that’s firm and plump — avoid dry or shriveled chicken wings because these are likely old and have lost their flavor. Be sure to compare smell as well; if it smells earthy or even sweet like dirt, you’ll know your wings are fresh. Last but not least, be wary of frozen wings (unless they’re properly sealed). Frozen products won’t last long and may be too harsh on some recipes.

The most important step of all – taste!

Despite what some people may tell you about letting pork wings sit for a day or two after purchase, there’s no getting around it: If you don’t like how a pork wing tastes straight out of the package, chances are high that you won’t like it cooked either. That said, not all pork wings are created equal, and not all brands taste as good.

You will certainly get the freshest and tastiest porks by following the above steps. Now that you know how to buy it you must be wondering where to buy pork wings. Stay Classy Meats is the ultimate destination to buy porks online. Check out the Stay Classy Meats website and get the best pork wings delivered to your doorstep.

Main photo: Peter Pham/unsplash.com

Lilliana Ross

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