19 Best Pig Breeds for Meat, Lard, and Bacon

19 Best Pig Breeds for Meat, Lard, and Bacon

19 Best Pig Breeds For Meat, Lard, and Bacon

Introduction

Pigs have been raised for their meat for centuries, providing humans with a valuable source of protein and other nutrients. In addition to the delicious meat, pigs also offer other valuable byproducts such as lard and bacon. But not all pig breeds are created equal when it comes to their meat, lard, and bacon production. In this article, we will explore the 19 best pig breeds for meat, lard, and bacon, helping you make an informed decision if you are considering raising pigs for your homestead or survival farm.

1. Berkshire

The Berkshire pig breed is renowned for its excellent meat quality, marbling, and flavorful bacon. This heritage breed is known for its black coat with white points and is highly regarded by chefs and butchers alike. Berkshire meat is often described as rich, tender, and juicy, making it a popular choice for meat lovers.

2. Duroc

Duroc pigs are prized for their exceptional meat quality, which is known for its tenderness, juiciness, and marbling. This breed has a reddish-brown coat and is known for its fast growth rate, making it an efficient choice for meat production. The Duroc breed also yields delicious bacon and flavorful lard, making it a versatile option for homesteaders and preppers.

3. Hampshire

The Hampshire pig breed is renowned for its lean and flavorful meat. Known for its black coat with a white belt around its shoulder, the Hampshire pig has well-developed hams and loins, making it an excellent choice for pork cuts. Hampshire bacon is also highly regarded for its rich and smoky flavor, and the lard from Hampshire pigs is also of high quality.

4. Large Black

Large Black pigs are a heritage breed that is known for its excellent meat quality. These pigs have a long body, straight back, and floppy ears. Their meat is prized for its tenderness and juiciness, and it is often described as having a distinctive flavor. Large Black pigs also produce high-quality lard, which is excellent for cooking and baking.

5. Tamworth

Tamworth pigs are known for their flavorful and lean meat. They have a reddish coat and are renowned for their ability to forage and thrive in outdoor environments. Tamworth meat is often described as succulent and flavorful, making it a popular choice among chefs and homesteaders. Tamworth bacon is also highly regarded for its rich and smoky flavor.

6. Mangalitsa

Mangalitsa pigs, also known as “wooly pigs,” are a unique breed with a curly, wool-like coat. These pigs are prized for their exceptional meat quality, which is heavily marbled and incredibly flavorful. Mangalitsa pork is often compared to that of high-quality Kobe beef due to its tenderness and rich flavor. Mangalitsa lard is also highly regarded for its exceptional texture and flavor.

7. Landrace

Landrace pigs are known for their long and lean bodies, making them an excellent choice for meat production. This breed originated in Denmark and is now widely distributed around the world. Landrace meat is known for its tenderness and mild flavor, making it a versatile option for various pork recipes. While Landrace pigs may not produce as much fat as other breeds, the fat they do produce is of good quality.

8. Yorkshire

Yorkshire pigs, also known as Large Whites, are a popular breed for meat production. They have a white coat, erect ears, and a long body. Yorkshire meat is known for its lean and flavorful characteristics, making it a favorite among consumers. This breed also produces excellent bacon, with the perfect balance of meat and fat.

9. Pietrain

Pietrain pigs are recognized for their muscular build and excellent meat quality. They have a short, stocky frame and a distinctive black and white spotted coat. Pietrain meat is known for its tenderness, juiciness, and deep flavor. This breed also produces a good amount of high-quality fat, which can be rendered into lard or used in cooking.

10. Chester White

Chester White pigs are known for their superior meat quality and their ability to adapt to various environmental conditions. This breed has a white coat, a broad body, and drooping ears. Chester White meat is often described as tender, juicy, and well-marbled, making it a great choice for pork cuts. The lard from Chester White pigs is also of high quality and can be used for cooking and baking.

11. Gloucestershire Old Spot

Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, also known as “orchard pigs,” are a heritage breed that is highly regarded for its meat quality. These pigs have a white coat with black spots and floppy ears. Gloucestershire Old Spot meat is known for its tenderness, juiciness, and excellent flavor. The lard from Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs is also highly regarded and can be used for various culinary purposes.

12. Hampshire Duroc

The Hampshire Duroc crossbreed combines the desirable traits of both parent breeds, resulting in excellent meat quality and flavor. This crossbreed can have a black or red coat, depending on the specific genetics. Hampshire Duroc meat is often described as tender, juicy, and well-marbled, with a rich and distinctive flavor. The lard from this crossbreed is also of high quality and can add flavor to your cooking.

13. Spotted Poland China

Spotted Poland China pigs are known for their meat quality, rapid growth rate, and adaptability. These pigs have a black coat with white spots and floppy ears. Spotted Poland China meat is often described as tender, juicy, and flavorful, making it a popular choice for commercial pork production. The lard from this breed is also of good quality and can be used in various cooking applications.

14. Hereford

Hereford pigs originated in the United States and are known for their excellent meat quality and productivity. They have a light red coat with white face and legs. Hereford meat is often described as tender, juicy, and flavorful, making it a versatile choice for various pork recipes. Hereford pigs also produce a good amount of lard, which can be utilized in cooking and baking.

15. Red Wattle

Red Wattle pigs are a heritage breed that is renowned for its exceptional meat quality and flavor. These pigs have a reddish coat and distinctive wattles, which are appendages hanging from their neck. Red Wattle meat is known for its tenderness, juiciness, and rich flavor, making it a favorite among pork enthusiasts. The lard from Red Wattle pigs is also highly regarded and can be used in a variety of culinary applications.

16. Hampshire Poland China

Hampshire Poland China pigs are a crossbreed between the Hampshire and Poland China breeds. This crossbreed combines the qualities of both parent breeds, resulting in excellent meat quality and flavor. Hampshire Poland China meat is often described as tender, juicy, and well-marbled, with a distinctive flavor. The lard from this crossbreed is also of high quality and can enhance the taste of your dishes.

17. Yorkshire Poland China

Yorkshire Poland China pigs are a crossbreed between the Yorkshire and Poland China breeds. This crossbreed combines the desirable traits of both parent breeds, resulting in excellent meat quality and flavor. Yorkshire Poland China meat is often described as tender, juicy, and flavorful, making it a popular choice for commercial pork production. The lard from this crossbreed is also of good quality and can be used in various cooking applications.

18. Hampshire Yorkshire

Hampshire Yorkshire pigs are a crossbreed between the Hampshire and Yorkshire breeds. This crossbreed combines the qualities of both parent breeds, resulting in excellent meat quality and flavor. Hampshire Yorkshire meat is often described as tender, juicy, and well-marbled, with a rich and distinctive flavor. The lard from this crossbreed is also of high quality and can add flavor to your cooking.

19. Yorkshire Duroc

Yorkshire Duroc pigs are a crossbreed between the Yorkshire and Duroc breeds. This crossbreed combines the desirable traits of both parent breeds, resulting in excellent meat quality and flavor. Yorkshire Duroc meat is known for its tenderness, juiciness, and marbling, making it a popular choice for pork cuts. The lard from this crossbreed is also of high quality and can be used in various culinary applications.

My 2 Cents

When it comes to raising pigs for meat, lard, and bacon, choosing the right breed is crucial. Each breed has its own unique characteristics and flavor profile, so it’s important to consider your own preferences and goals. Additionally, don’t forget to provide your pigs with a well-balanced diet, ample space to roam and exercise, and proper veterinary care to ensure their overall health and well-being. With the right breed and proper care, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious, homegrown pork and other valuable byproducts on your homestead or survival farm.