How to Cook Delicious Pork Jowl Bacon

Pork jowl bacon is a delicious and flavorful cut of meat from the hog jowl or cheek. While it may not be as readily available as traditional pork belly bacon, it’s worth seeking out for its rich taste and versatility. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about cooking this southern delicacy.

What is Pork Jowl Bacon?

Pork jowl bacon is made from the cheeks or jowls of a pig. It undergoes a similar curing and smoking process as regular bacon made from the belly. The pork jowls are first trimmed of skin and excess fat. Then they are cured or brined with salt, sugar, and sodium nitrite (curing salt). This curing process infuses flavor, preserves the meat, and gives it that iconic pink color.

After curing, the pork jowl is smoked over wood to add robust, smoky flavor. Hickory, pecan, oak, cherry, and apple woods pair nicely with pork. The smoking process not only imparts flavor but also cooks and dries out the meat slightly. The end result is a savory, slightly chewy bacon with a more pronounced pork flavor than regular bacon.

Compared to belly bacon, jowl bacon has a higher fat content, which means more rich, meaty flavor. It tends to be chewier and is often used in small diced pieces rather than slices. While you may not find it in your average grocery store, pork jowl bacon is common in the Southern U.S. and worth seeking out from specialty butchers or farms.

How to Prepare Pork Jowl for Cooking

Before cooking pork jowl bacon, it helps to prepare it properly:

  • If purchased unsliced use a sharp knife to cut the jowl bacon into slices strips, cubes or lardons depending on the recipe. Cut slices approximately 1/8 to 1⁄4 inch thick.

  • If the rind is still on, decide whether to cook it with the rind on for texture and flavor, or remove it by slicing it off with a knife before cooking.

  • Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture for crisper cooking.

  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm it up before slicing or chopping. This makes it easier to cut cleanly.

Proper preparation is key for even cooking and the best texture of the final pork jowl bacon dish.

##Cooking Methods for Pork Jowl Bacon

There are several techniques for cooking pork jowl bacon perfectly


This traditional method gives you hands-on control for crispy bacon.

  • Heat a skillet or griddle pan over medium heat. Cast iron works well.

  • Add pork jowl slices in a single layer without overcrowding.

  • Cook for 8-12 minutes, frequently flipping and adjusting heat as needed.

  • It’s done when browned and sizzling.

  • Drain on paper towels.


The oven distributes heat evenly for consistent results:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

  • Arrange pork jowl slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.

  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy and browned.

  • Rotate the pan and flip the bacon halfway through.

  • Drain bacon on paper towels before serving.


The microwave cooks the bacon quickly with less splatter:

  • Place pork jowl between sheets of paper towel on a microwave-safe plate.

  • Microwave on high in 30 second intervals until crisp.

  • Drain on paper towels.

  • Let stand 1 minute before eating as it will be very hot.

The method you use depends on your preferences for ease, speed, and the desired texture.

Tips for Cooking Perfect Pork Jowl Bacon

Follow these tips for the best results when cooking pork jowl bacon:

  • Don’t crowd the pan when cooking on the stove or in the oven. Overcrowding causes steaming instead of browning.

  • Use medium heat to prevent burning. Pork jowl has more fat than belly bacon.

  • Cook low and slow for tender, meaty texture. High heat can toughen pork jowl.

  • Flip frequently while pan frying to cook evenly. Spoon rendered fat over the top.

  • Blot with paper towels before and after cooking to remove excess grease for crisper bacon.

  • Cook until deep golden brown for the best flavor and crunch.

  • Let rest 1-2 minutes after cooking as the fat firms up.

  • Save the rendered bacon fat for cooking other dishes like greens, beans, or cornbread.

How to Know When Pork Jowl Bacon is Done

It can be tricky knowing exactly when pork jowl bacon is fully cooked without overdoing it. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Deep golden brown color

  • Crisp, sizzling texture

  • Fat is rendered and meat has shrunk in size

  • Little to no pink color remaining

  • Internal temperature reaches 145°F

  • Irresistible smoky aroma

The thicker the cut, the longer it takes to fully cook pork jowl bacon. Lean jowl cooks faster than cuts with more fat.

Serving Suggestions

Pork jowl bacon is delicious on its own but also shines in these dishes:

  • Breakfast – Mix crispy jowl bacon chunks into biscuits, cornbread, eggs, hash browns or gravy.

  • Salads – Top fresh greens with jowl lardons or bacon bits for crunchy garnish.

  • Soups and stews – Add smoky depth of flavor as a cooked garnish.

  • Beans and greens – Braise raw jowl cubes as a flavorful cooking fat.

  • Pasta – To

Easy PORK JOWL Bacon Recipe!


What’s the best way to cook hog jowl?

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons butter along with the onions and garlic. Cook until fragrant and add in the chopped hog jowl. Cook until browned and crispy. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer covered for about 1 1/2-2 hours.

How long to bake jowl bacon?

Bake the jowl for 18-20 minutes, checking occasionally for doneness. For additional crispiness, back the jowl uncovered to render out more fat. Remove the bacon from the oven & transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined platter. Blot bacon with an additional paper towel & transfer to a plate and serve.

Is jowl bacon better than regular bacon?

Jowl bacon is the fattiest of the bacons and has a rich, almost smoky/sweet flavor different than traditional (from the pork belly). While they can be enjoyed cooked up as is like the other bacons, I personally love using jowl bacon as I would bacon ends, and cook with it.

How do you know when pork jowl is cooked?

Once the collagen has transformed into soft gelatin and the meat is fork-tender, the pork jowl can be removed from the braising liquid (which can and should be used when making a sauce or soup) and sliced into strips.

How do you cook pork jowl?

You can unsubscribe at any time. Pork jowl or hog jowl is a delightfully fatty cut, best enjoyed in small quantities. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Place the pork jowl in a rimmed baking dish large enough to fit it (I typically use an 11 X 8 -inch baking dish). Season it with salt and pepper.

How long do you cook pork jowl bacon?

Place the slices of pork jowl bacon in your pan, being sure not to overcrowd it. Cook it for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning the jowl meat frequently to prevent burning. For oven cooking the jowl bacon, bake in a preheated 350 F oven.

How to cook hog jowl bacon?

How to bake hog jowl: Cook the bacon for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, flipping halfway through. Watch the bacon closer near the end to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn. How to fry hog jowl: Cook the jowl bacon at medium heat for 10-15 minutes, flipping them as they cook.

Is pork jowl bacon fresh?

Pork jowl may be available fresh. But like traditional bacon, pork jowl bacon needs to undergo a curing and smoking process in order to be called bacon. After the meat has been skinned and trimmed, the pork jowls are cured with salt and nitrites. Then the meat is heat processed and smoked to add flavor.

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