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Do you love your pork hot and spicy or sweet and savory? Well, whatever your tastes or preferences, the type of seasoning you choose will determine if your pork recipe turns out just the way you want it.
Whether you are a professional chef or a home cook, choosing the best seasoning for pork is the first step to preparing a perfect recipe. Nevertheless, this is easier said than done since there are so many options to choose from as far as seasoning your pork is concerned.
Then again, pork is not conspicuously tangy like beef, thus it requires the best herbs and spices to bring out its savory taste.
Moreover, the seasonings you choose for your pork recipe will depend on parts that you intend to cook. For instance, pork tenderloin requires a different type of seasoning to pork chops, belly or ribs.
Your personal tastes will also come into play. For this reason, you should experiment with the different spices at your disposal until you learn what you love.
Here are suggestions for the best seasonings for pork:
As suggested by its name, allspice is a distinct type of spice that combines the flavors of other spices. It tastes much like nutmeg and cinnamon, with notes of black pepper and clove.
Many people will likely raise questions about using allspice on pork, but this seasoning brings out the classic jerk flavor to any cut of pig meat, particularly fatty pork cuts. It also works well with lean meat, and it is ideal for pork roast as well as pork chops.
Basil is a peppery, slightly minty herb, which is ideal for savory meats such as pork. It works well with pork recipes that have a less indulgent flavor. Furthermore, you can combine basil with a wide range of spices to enhance the flavor of your pork dish.
It is also an all-season spice, hence you can use it while it’s fresh in the summer or dry some for winter and other cold seasons.
If you are looking for a spice that works wells with almost everything, then consider garlic. It has pleasant savory, sulfuric taste and it combines well with other spices such as rosemary, basil, sage and parsley – no wonder it is called a universal spice.
Moreover, garlic is extremely versatile, and it is available in powder, minced and roasted forms. You can use garlic powder for smoked or grilled pork, and fresh garlic when braising.
Mustard has a sharp, strong and pungent flavor that goes well with pork and other types of meat. You can use it as a marinade or as a rub for all your pork recipes.
For best results, use mustard glaze on roasted pork loin, grilled pork chops, oven-baked ribs, or as topping for grilled pork chops.
For Mediterranean-inspired pork recipes, Oregano is the best seasoning to use. This classic Italian herb has a strong and earthy flavor that goes well with the sweet and savory taste of pork.
However, oregano tends to lose its touch quite easily when exposed to heat. With this in mind, you should add it to your pork dish last to preserve its flavor.
Here are more great seasoning choices
How to Season Pork
Here are a few tips on how to season pork:
- Remove your pork from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking
- If frozen, defrost the pork overnight before the day you intend to cook
- Prepare your seasoning ingredients. You can combine a wide range of ingredients such as ginger, cumin, pepper, cloves and garlic, or use commercial seasoning
- Pat dry the pork
- Sprinkle both sides with seasoning (herbs and spices)
- Sear, grill or bake the pork as desired
To many people, the best seasoning for pork is perhaps the commercial spices found in supermarkets and retail stores. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
If you want to enjoy the best pork dishes, you are advised to prepare your own seasoning at home. In any case, most of these herbs and spices are readily available in your local stores, and you can make the best seasoning for pork quickly at home without spending much.