- Pork Storage
- Natural Pork
The pork answers you want
If you have a question about Good Nature® pork – whether it's related to cooking or storage – we have the answer. Just browse our FAQs or type your question into our handy FAQ search bar.
- Q. How long can I keep my fresh pork in the refrigerator?
- Sealed, prepackaged, fresh pork cuts can be kept in the refrigerator 2 to 4 days; sealed ground pork will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. If you do plan on keeping fresh pork longer than 2 to 3 days before cooking it, store it well-wrapped in the freezer.
- Q. Can I freeze pork?
- Follow these steps to help keep your pork fresh in the freezer.
- Use one of these freezer-wrap materials: specially coated freezer paper (place the waxed side against the meat); heavy-duty aluminum foil; heavy-duty polyethylene film; heavy-duty plastic bags.
- Rewrap pork in convenient portions: leave roasts whole, place chops in meal-size packages, shape ground pork into patties. Put a double layer of waxed paper between chops and patties.
- Cover sharp bones with extra paper so the bones do not pierce the wrapping.
- Wrap the meat tightly, pressing as much air out of the package as possible.
- Label with the name of the pork cut and date.
- Freeze at 32° F or lower.
- Follow FIFO practices, first in, first out.
- Q. How long can I keep pork in the freezer?
- Generally, fresh cuts of pork, like roasts, chops and tenderloin, can be kept well-wrapped in the freezer for up to 6 months. Well-wrapped ground pork can be kept for about 3 months in the freezer.
- Q. How long can I store ham or other smoked products in the refrigerator?
- Whole smoked ham and whole ham slices can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or until the "use by" date on the label. Smoked bacon and sausages can be kept for up to 7 days.
- Q. What temperature should be reached on an internal meat thermometer when cooking Good Nature® pork?
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking tenderloins and chops to an internal temperature of 145° F, followed by a 3-minute rest time, resulting in a flavorful, tender and juicy eating experience. Ground pork, like all ground meat, should be cooked to 160° F. Precooked ham can be reheated to 140° F or enjoyed cold.
View the National Pork Board's Time and Temperature Chart for further reference.
- Q. What is the best method for cooking leaner cuts of pork?
- Pork today is so lean, it cooks much quicker. This is especially true of chops and tenderloins. Well-done pork is a thing of the past. Good Nature® pork is best when cooked medium or still on the pink side. If time is limited, you'll want to select a smaller cut, like pork chops, that cook quickly. If you're entertaining and have several other dishes to prepare, you may want to choose a roast that can be put in the oven and requires very little attention.
- Q. Why should I use a meat thermometer?
- A digital instant-read thermometer is an inexpensive must-have for every kitchen. When inserted into the thickest part of your pork, an internal meat thermometer can give you an accurate approximation of your pork's doneness within a few seconds. And because pork can sometimes be overcooked, checking the internal temperature often will help prevent your pork from drying out. Be sure to cook your pork until the internal temperature reaches at least 145° F and allow a 3-minute resting period.
- Q. What kind of meat thermometer should I use?
- Digital instant-read thermometers can give you a quick readout, but they're not meant to be left in your pork while cooking. If you wish to invest a bit more, you can purchase a continuous-read thermometer that's designed to be left in your meat for the duration of cooking. These thermometers include a probe that is inserted into the roast and delivers a readout to an external unit that can be placed on a countertop near your stove.
- Q. How can I tell when my pork is properly baked?
- To ensure doneness, check your meat with a meat thermometer. The thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the cut and should read at least 145° F (certain cuts may require a higher temperature to be more tender – see the National Pork Board's Cooking Time and Temperature Chart for reference). Be sure to allow your roast to rest for several minutes before serving.
- Q. What is the best way to store any leftovers?
- Always refrigerate leftovers, making sure to wrap your leftover pork tightly to prevent it from drying out in the refrigerator.
- Q. What steps should I follow when grilling pork?
- There are a couple of things to remember when grilling. First, always use clean grates when grilling, and be sure to coat your grates with vegetable oil or nonstick vegetable spray to prevent your meat from sticking to the grill. Second, be sure to preheat your grill before grilling to ensure the surface of your meat is seared quickly, which will help give it a flavorful crust.
- Q. How do I properly broil pork?
- Season your pork as desired and then place it on a preheated broiler pan so that it's three to five inches from the heat source. Be sure to not crowd your pan – this will allow moisture to escape during the browning process. For successful browning, ensure your pork is pat dry and free of moisture, otherwise it will steam and not brown.
- Q. Can I utilize the drippings from my pork roast?
- Yes, the drippings from your roast actually provide great flavor to any stock, gravy or sauce.
- Q. How do I check the doneness of my roast?
- To check your roast's doneness, insert an internal meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roast. Be sure your thermometer isn't touching bone, as this can result in a false temperature reading.
- Q. How do I turn my pork roast?
- Always use utensils such as tongs, wooden spoons or spatulas to turn your pork roast. Don't use sharp utensils that may pierce your roast and allow valuable juices to escape.
- Q. Which cooks faster – a boneless roast or a bone-in roast?
- A roast with a bone in it will cook faster than a boneless roast because the bone will conduct heat faster than the meat.
- Q. How can I make a roast with a crisper crust?
- For a crisp roast surface, be sure your oven is fully preheated before placing your roast in it, and roast your pork uncovered.
- Q. What is the average serving?
- The "average" serving size for pork is 3 ounces of cooked meat. Start with 4 ounces of boneless raw pork to yield 3 ounces of cooked pork. A 3-ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards.
- Q. How should I prepare a pork roast?
- Start by seasoning your roast with the fresh herbs and spices of your choice (salt, pepper and garlic). Before roasting your pork in the oven at the temperature your recipe calls for, be sure to add ½ to 2 cups of broth, water, juice, beer or wine to the bottom of your roasting pan to preserve tenderness.
- Q. What's the difference between a cooked ham and an uncooked ham?
- Cooked hams can be served directly from the refrigerator without heating. To serve a cooked ham hot, simply unwrap it and heat it to an internal temperature of 140° F. Uncooked hams should be cooked at 350° F for 20 to 30 minutes per pound until they reach at least an internal temperature of 145° F. Allow your ham to rest for several minutes before serving.
- Q. In a nutshell, what sets Good Nature® pork apart from other pork?
- It's 100% natural* pork. No antibiotics. No growth stimulants. No artificial ingredients. Minimally processed. It's also pork raised on a 100% vegetarian diet, so you know you're getting a truly natural* product when you choose Good Nature®.
- Q. What is vegetarian-fed pork?
- Vegetarian-fed pork is pork raised on 100% vegetarian diets using wholesome feed comprised of a mixture of natural grains. This kind of diet leads to pork that's rich in taste without the use of any artificial means. Good Nature® pork is natural*, vegetarian-fed pork.
- Q. What do you mean 100% natural with no antibiotics and no growth stimulants?
- Some companies use antibiotics up to a certain point in a pig's life cycle and then stop, claiming to be antibiotic-free. Some use different growers and genetic types, which lead to inconsistencies in their products. Some pork is pumped full of tenderizers and preservatives. Good Nature® pork is not. Good Nature® pork has no artificial ingredients and is minimally processed. Good Nature® follows strict protocols for raising pigs to ensure a product that meets all of our high standards and assures you of its superior quality and consistency.
- Q. What's NOT in Good Nature® pork?
- We do not use antibiotics or growth stimulants EVER. We provide our pigs with 100% vegetarian diets to ensure growth at a natural and normal pace. This means that our meat quality is greatly improved, because healthy pigs make better meat.
- Q. Does Good Nature® pork maintain humane-handling practices?
- Absolutely. To ensure the optimal well-being of our animals by minimizing stress and improving living conditions, Good Nature® is 100% socially raised where the animals are allowed to interact and socialize in a spacious setting.
- Q. What's involved in the Good Nature® pork program?
- Steps in the Good Nature® pork program include:
- A process completely free of antibiotics and growth stimulants
- Feed-ingredient verification
- 100% traceability of all animals in the program
- Meat-quality measures and quality of workmanship
- Total-system animal welfare
- Q. Lean, mean, healthy machine. Has pork changed over the years?
- Pork today is healthier and better to eat because animals benefit from controlled nutrition and better genetics. Due to the corn- and soy-fed diets, pork today is much leaner than years ago. In fact, pork is a major contender in the lean meat category, and many cuts of pork are as lean or leaner than chicken. For example, pork tenderloin is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast with 2.98 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving and meets the government guidelines for "extra lean." For the leanest cuts of pork, look for the word "loin" on the label.
- Q. Does Good Nature® produce only fresh pork products?
- Not only does Good Nature® produce fresh pork tenderloins, top loin pork chops, top loin roasts, center loin chops, rib chops and sirloin chops, but we also, without over-processing, produce hickory-smoked bacon, bone-in spiral cut hams, several sausages, and fully cooked pork loin back ribs and pork spareribs with sauce.