Timothy Woods
Published by Timothy Woods
Last Updated On: September 29, 2023

Kurobuta is known in the meat world as the "Wagyu" of the pork family. What makes this premium pork cut juicy, tender, and flavorful is the marbling and fat content of each cut.

As a professional chef and advocate of the carnivore diet, I would like to share my personal experience as well as those who tried and loved kurobuta pork.

I conducted considerable research to learn the history, raising practices and characteristics that make kurobuta pork the prime meat in its line.

Quick Summary

  • Kurobuta pork is a Japanese term that translates as “black hog”.  It is a heritage breed of swine that is raised under a special program.
  • Kurobuta pigs originated from Berkshire, a county in England, and were imported by the Japanese in the 1800s.
  • Certified kurobuta meat is high quality pork that costs an average of $14 per pound, whereas, commodity pork is priced at $4 per pound


What is Kurobuta Pork?

Kurobuta pork is a premium type of meat derived from berkshire hogs raised under natural conditions and fed a special, chemical-free diet.

The main reason kurobuta meat is superior to regular pork has to do with marbling – fine fat deposits that are present within the fibers of the meat.

Kurobuta hogs are renowned for their rich marbling characteristics and is enhanced by Japanese hog raisers by a highly nutritious diet and natural environment.

During cooking, the fats blend into the meat, making it moist and tasty when consumed. Since fat is softer than muscle fiber, well-marbled meat is more tender.

Is Kurobuta Pork The Same As Berkshire?

Kurobuta pork is the same as berkshire pork in the sense that it is the same heritage breed from England that was imported by the Japanese.

It is the same as Kurobuta pork, but not every Berkshire pig qualifies as Kurobuta grade meat.

In the United States, the American Berkshire Association only gives the Kurobuta designation to those purebred Berkshire hogs whose heritage can be traced back to that of English group roots.

Where Does Kurobuta Pork Come From?

meat on a chopping board

Kurobuta pork came from England and was imported by Japan sometime in the 1800s. Originally from Berkshire, they were renamed kurobuta which translates as black hog.

In Japan, every Berkshire pig is raised in or around the Kagoshima prefecture, the same way cattle are bred to produce Wagyu beef.

Many chefs claim that Japanese Kurobuta pork is regarded as the most flavorful due to their diet and free-range habitat.

In the United States, this pork comes from Berkshire breeds raised by credible and authentic farms such as Snake River Farms.

They are raised in low-stress environments that keep them calm and regulate the pH in their bodies. The American Berkshire Association gave the first Kurobuta designation to a heritage breed named the “Ace of Spades.”

In England, most Berkshire breeds are raised and bred in Reading in Berkshire county. They follow a similar farming method as Japanese and American farmers. The first Berkshire pig pork meat was said to be enjoyed by Oliver Cromwell in 1640.

How Are Berkshire Pigs Raised?

Berkshire piglets are raised on small family farms. They are free of any hormones, nitrites or antibiotics, a characteristic they share with cattle ranches that produce Wagyu beef.

Farmers raise the Berkshire breed on pasture land and ensure every Berkshire pig gets a healthy serving of grain feed daily.

A Berkshire hog must be raised in small herds and given only the best care. They are treated in the most humane way possible to keep them calm while being raised.

On some farms in Japan, the pigs are allowed to go for daily swims to maintain their activity levels.

What is the Difference Between Kurobuta and Regular Pork?

The difference between Kurobuta and regular pork are the taste, meat quality, tenderness, and fat. The flavor of Berkshire pork is much more juicy, flavorful, and tender than that of other pigs.

Kurobuta pork is set apart by its intense, thin stripes of soft, white fat that showcase the main difference between the two types. That's why it's known as the Wagyu or Kobe beef in the pork world.

Also Read: Mojo Pork Recipe

What Are the Different Kuobuta Cuts?

different meat cuts

The different kurobuta cuts include kurobuta pork chop, bacon, pork belly, baby back ribs, and tenderloin.

For the most part, the pork comes from a local farm in the US or England. You may not be able to find these flavorful meat cuts at your local food grocery store, so we recommend shopping at online food delivery services such as Crowd Cow or Snake River Farms website.

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How Expensive Is Kurobuta Pork?

Kurobuta pork is considerably expensive than regular meat. It is usually not available at a grocery store chain since it comes from heritage breeds.

One pork chop from a grocery store will cost around $3 to $4 a pound, while one Berkshire heritage breeds pork chop will cost $10 to $14 per pound.

A rack of ribs from regular pigs will cost about $5 per pound, but one Berkshire hog rack from a Japan breed will cost around $20 per pound.


How are Kurobuta Pigs Fed?

Kurobuta pigs are fed with a diet of corn, nuts, clover, apples and milk, and bred in free-range farms.

Which Takes Longer to Cook, Kurobuta Meat or Commodity Pork?

Commodity pork takes longer to cook than kurobuta meat because the latter contains more marbled fat which melts and cooks quicker.

Kurobuta Pork

Kurobuta or Berkshire pork is one of the highest quality pork cuts available. The premium fat of these prized pigs is what makes the experience unique.

Now that we've settled the question on what exactly Kurobuta pork is, we're sure you'd like to get your hands on the tasty cut of this new pig in town.

Berkshire pork could be a good option for you to use to add some variety to your keto or carnivore diet. Many people think that steak is the only way to go, but this may be an option for your next barbecue or meal plan.

We recommend you check out several meat delivery websites that offer Kurobuta pork.


  1. https://www.laurelridgefarm.com/pricing
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