Pork jowl or hog jowl is a delightfully fatty cut, best enjoyed in small quantities. Start by braising it to soften any connective tissue, then brown it to crispy perfection.

I like to serve it sliced over mashed cauliflower. The leftovers are great, and you can enjoy them reheated or even cold.

Sliced pork jowl served on top of mashed cauliflower.

If you like rich, fatty cuts of meat, you are going to love this pork jowl recipe. Once braised and then browned, it’s a wonderfully melt-in-your-mouth treat.

Just remember that its richness and fattiness mean that it should be enjoyed sparingly. Serve about two strips per person – it’s more than enough!

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Ingredients

You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:

  • Pork Jowl: The jowl can be found below the cheek, right behind the jaw. This ultra-fatty cut is great for making homemade cured bacon. It’s even fattier than pork belly! But if you want a simpler and faster way to cook it than curing, I recommend braising it to soften the connective tissues, then broiling or baking it to brown and crisp up the fat.
  • To season: Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and dried thyme.
  • Braising liquids: Chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, and hot pepper sauce.
The ingredients needed to cook pork jowl.

Instructions

Cooking a pork jowl is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here’s an overview of the steps:

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Place the 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.
  • In a jar or a bowl, add the broth, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Whisk or shake well to combine.
  • Pour the sauce into the pan.
  • Cover the pan tightly with a double or even triple layer of aluminum foil. It must be completely sealed with no gaps.  
  • Bake the jowl until very tender, for about 2 hours.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and switch the oven to broil. Set an oven rack 6 inches below the flame (not directly below).
  • Remove the foil (carefully – hot steam will escape). Transfer the jowl to a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice it into ½-inch-thick slices.
  • Arrange the slices in a single layer on a broiler-safe rimmed baking sheet. Place the baking sheet 6 inches below the broiler for around 2-3 minutes per side to brown and crisp up the fat.
A six-photo collage showing the steps for cooking pork jowl.

Expert tips

  • Keep in mind that eating this pork cut is almost like eating pure fat, so you’ll want to serve very small portions of it. One jowl makes about six 2-ounce servings, and although the servings might seem small, they’re in fact very appropriate considering the richness of the dish.
  • When broiling the slices, there will be some splattering in your oven. If this is an issue, you can opt for baking or pan-frying instead.

Frequently asked questions

What is a pork jowl? Is it the same as pork cheek?

The jowl can be found below the cheek, behind the jaw. It’s sometimes called hog jowl. It’s not the same as the cheek – this cut is not actually in the cheeks but in the surrounding area of the face. It’s fattier than the cheeks. In fact, it’s almost pure fat.

Where do you get pork jowl?

This is actually not a cut that’s easy to find in grocery stores or even at Whole Foods (unless you ask the butcher to special-order it for you). I usually order it online at grasslandbeef.com.

Is the jowl the same as pork belly?

No. The belly literally comes from the belly area of the animal, while the jowl comes from the face. Both are fatty cuts, but the jowl is fattier – it’s almost pure fat, so it should be well-browned and eaten in very small quantities.

Variations

You can vary this recipe by using different cooking methods. If the jowl you get is mostly fat, you can actually skip the braising, slice it, season it, and bake it on a rimmed baking sheet until browned on both sides, as I do when I cook pork belly.

You can also pan-fry the slices on both sides until browned, although you will need to do so in several batches.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve the slices on top of mashed cauliflower, as shown in the photos on this page.
  • Cube the cooked jowl and add it to pan-fried or roasted vegetables such as Brussels sprouts or green beans.
  • Serve thin slices of browned jowl with eggs for breakfast instead of bacon.

Storing leftovers

You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to four days. Reheat them in the microwave at half power. Place a paper towel on top to prevent splatters.

I actually like to eat the leftovers cold, straight out of the fridge. They’re so creamy and flavorful when eaten this way.

Pork jowl served on top of mashed cauliflower.

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Recipe card

Pork jowl.

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Crispy Pork Jowl

Pork jowl or hog jowl is a delightfully fatty cut, best enjoyed in small quantities.

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time2 hrs 10 mins

Total Time2 hrs 20 mins

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 340kcal

INSTRUCTIONS

  • 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.

  • In a jar or a bowl, add the broth, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and dried thyme. Whisk or shake well to combine.

  • Pour the sauce into the pan.

  • Cover the pan tightly with a double or even triple layer of aluminum foil. It must be completely sealed with no gaps.

  • Bake the jowl until very tender, for about 2 hours.

  • Remove the pan from the oven and switch the oven to broil. Set an oven rack 6 inches below the flame (not directly below).

  • Remove the foil (carefully – hot steam will escape). Transfer the jowl to a cutting board. Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice it into ½-inch-thick slices.

  • Arrange the slices in a single layer on a broiler-safe baking sheet. Sprinkle them with more salt. Place the baking sheet 6 inches below the broiler for around 2-3 minutes per side to brown and crisp up the fat.

NOTES

  • I wasn’t sure how to calculate the nutrition info, so I decided to go with the nutrition info for Smithfield® Pork Jowl Bacon. It’s not 100% accurate, but it should give you a general idea. 
  • Keep in mind that eating pork jowl is almost like eating pure fat, so you’ll want to serve very small portions of it. One pork jowl makes about six 2-ounce servings, and although the servings might seem small, they’re in fact very appropriate considering the richness of the dish.
  • When broiling the jowl slices, there will be some splattering in your oven. If this is an issue, you can opt for baking or pan-frying instead. You can bake the slices in a 400F oven until browned, for about 15-20 minutes per side, or pan-fry them over medium heat on both sides until browned.

ADD YOUR OWN NOTES

DISCLAIMERSMost of our recipes are low-carb (or keto) and gluten-free, but some are not. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Recommended and linked products are not guaranteed to be gluten-free. Nutrition info is approximate and the carb count excludes non-nutritive sweeteners. Nutrition info may contain errors, so please verify it independently. Recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them. Please read our Terms of Use carefully before using any of our recipes.

NUTRITION PER SERVING

Serving: 2ounces | Calories: 340kcal | Protein: 3g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 630mg

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