Impulse buy - pork jowls

Saw these at a local market and couldn’t resist. I don’t come across these that often, without going to a specialty store. I recall having some fantastic pork jowl dishes at restaurants before (nothing recent), but I’ve never cooked these at home before.

What would you make with pork jowls?


Do you have raw jowls or cured a la guanciale?

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I remember what sounded like an amazing but ambitious project involving an extra refrigerator, if I ever found jowls. I thought it was from Serious Eats for guanciale, but this is all I could find there.

ETA Here it is!

Making Guanciale at Home-Nick and Blake, the guys behind The Paupered Chef

Pork cheeks aren’t the same as jowls, at least where I have lived and cooked.

Cheeks are a lump of muscle…the actual cheek of the beast.

I braise cheeks for gorgeous, unctuous stews and ragus. I love how silky these dishes feel…I do the same with beef cheeks too, when I can find them.

Jowls are the lower jaw, incuding the bone. Here in the southern US, they are cured and used as a seasoning base for beans and braised vegetables like collard greens.


These Thai grilled pork jowls sound fabulous


Spaghetti alla carbonara.

With fresh jowls?

Smoke 'em if you have 'em?

Understood. It was the link I added with the edit that was about the guanciale made from jowls.

Fresh jowls, with no skin and no jaw bone. I like the guanciale idea but don’t really have a place to let this hang and dry/cure for weeks.

I don’t have a smoker, and prefer non smoked meats (even with bacon), so likely won’t go that route. Most of the hotel dishes I’ve had in the past were braised dishes.

I got pork cheeks!


They are fantastic braised low and slow into stew or taco meat.


Softer than lengua and has fat. I don’t know how one could crew it up. I like the taco idea, too. Or, wrap in banana leaves and go cochinita de pibil. Get some achiote love in there so they come out red.


Thank you both! I especially love making cochinita pibil, when I have the time and banana leaves! I think I may have both! I think I could use that in tacos too.

I also found this;


Try making “burgers” with your pork cheeks.

It’s fantastic. We had it this week at our July 4th gathering.

It’s like Sloppy Joe’s, but elevated for the Grey Poupon crowd.

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Great minds think alike. But, so do ours, sometimes. :slight_smile:

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Interesting! 100 percent pork cheek? Medium or coarse grind?

Don’t quote me on it, but I believe our hosts used this recipe (or something very similar to it)

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You know those turn out. Whenever I go to a spanferkel, I patiently wait for jowl meat.

Smoked at about 225 f. Meat is registering 200 f after 3 hours

Oops! I forgot the onion, tomato, and bay leaf. Adding it now, re-wrapping, and keeping warm in the oven on 180f.