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How To Fry Hog Jowl

| December 31, 2013 | 14 Comments

How to fry hog jowl, as seen on Taste of Southern.
Follow step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to fry up some good old Southern Hog Jowl.  Often referred to as Pork Jowl Bacon, it’s not just for New Years Day.  We’ll show you how easy it is to slice it for frying, or to use it as seasoning in lots of your favorite beans and greens side dishes.  Printable recipe included.

Hog Jowl is typically something you might only look for in the grocery store as you plan your New Years Day menu.  It’s sad, but that’s just the way it is.  I say “sad,” because it can be used all year round, but most folks don’t think about it beyond the traditional New Years Day meal.

So, what exactly IS this Hog Jowl that we speak of?  Well, it’s Bacon.  Maybe not the typical bacon you might think of, but it’s still a type of bacon.  And, it’s just as good as what you normally consider bacon to be.  The bacon you typically purchase is made from smoked and cured pork belly.  Hog Jowl Bacon comes from smoked and cured cheeks of the pig.  Both have sections of fat, and sections of meat. Regular bacon though, doesn’t come with the rind, or skin, like Hog Jowl normally does.  The Hog Jowl part, is more like fatback in that respect. But, we’re getting off into another section and direction all together.  Let’s try to stay focused.

You can slice the Hog Jowl, as we’ll show you below, and fry it just like bacon.  (Because it IS bacon.) You can also use it to season up Pinto Beans, Butterbeans, Black Eye Peas, or even your Collard Greens.  It’s very versatile, AND it’s usually much cheaper than regular bacon.  That makes me smile.

Serving pork on New Years Day is a big part of our Southern tradition.  Because pigs “root,” or “forage” in a forward direction, this moving forward is seen as a symbol of moving forward as you begin a new year.  You can read more about our Southern New Years Day meal by clicking: HERE

Personally, I prefer to use Hog Jowl over Ham Hocks when I cook up a pot of peas or beans.  There’s just a little difference in the taste of the smoked jowls that tickles my taste buds, so I try to keep some in the freezer year round.  Normally, buying a section or two just as the year ends, and placing it in the freezer, will keep me in good supply for months to come.

So, if you’re ready to keep the tradition going, Let’s Get Cooking!

 

How Jowl, slider.
How To Fry Hog Jowl

 

How Jowl, ingredients.
Fried Hog Jowl:  You’ll need this, a Hog Jowl, smoked and cured.

 

How Jowl, meat side up.
This is the meat side of this particular piece of Hog Jowl.  It’s been fully smoked and cured and it’s ready to be sliced and fried.

You’ll find Hog Jowl in all types of shapes and forms, large pieces and small, when you go to purchase it.  It just depends on how it’s been cut and prepared by the butcher.  You’ll find thin pieces and you’ll find thick pieces.  Just pick out the one that suits your fancy.

 

How Jowl, skin side up.
This is skin side up.  Most of the time, Hog Jowl will come with the rind, or skin, still attached.  You can leave this on, but you’ll need a good sharp knife to cut through it.  I think the markings on this one is what caught my attention the most.  It looks like it’s straight off the grill, but it’s just from where it was smoked and cured.

 

How Jowl, looks like bacon.
It looks like bacon!  Once you slice into it, you’ll see how much it resembles bacon.  You’ve got a good amount of fat, and some marbled lean meat as well.  You’ll often find it labelled as Pork Jowl Bacon if it’s been smoked and cured.  The neat thing about it is, you can slice it up as thin or as thick as you like.

 

How Jowl, slice it up.
As mentioned, you’ll need a good sharp knife to slice through the skin part.  It’s best to have the meat really cold, so you might want to pop it into the freezer for about 15 minutes before you try to slice it.  It just make it firmer and easier to work with.

Slice off enough bacon like pieces to fry up in the skillet.  I like it a little thick so these pieces are a good quarter of an inch thick or more.

 

How Jowl, good for seasoning meat.
When I got down to the thinner edge, I just cut it up into hunks.  I’ll freeze these to be used later as seasoning meat when cooking up Pinto Beans, Black Eye Peas and other dishes.

 

How Jowl, wrap it in plastic.
Because I still don’t have that food saver to vacuum seal my foods with, I start out by wrapping each piece in clear plastic wrap.

 

How Jowl, wrap in foil.
Then I wrap each one of those in aluminum foil.  Next, I place several pieces inside a good Ziplock bag and place them in the freezer.  I did this to keep that heavy, smokey aroma from getting into my ice cubes and other food items in the freezer.  I can pull one of these out of the freezer when I start to soak my Black Eye Peas overnight, then it’ll be thawed and ready to toss in the pot when I start cooking the peas the next day.

 

How Jowl, place slices in skillet.
I warmed up the cast iron skillet and placed the sliced pieces of the Hog Jowl inside.

 

How Jowl, turn as needed.
Cook them just below Medium heat on your stove top.  You’ll need to turn them as needed so they don’t overcook in any one place.  Rotating them around in the pan can help as well.  Just keep an eye on them and don’t let them cook too fast and burn.  Unless you like it burned, that’s your choice.

 

How Jowl, brown as desired.
Thicker slices will not crisp up like thin slices of bacon, but it will get pretty close.  Cook it up as brown as you like it.  When it’s done, remove it from the pan and place it on a couple of sheets of folded paper towels and let it drain a bit.

Because it’s full of fat, you’ll have a good amount of grease remaining in the pan.  This can be saved and used just like you would with bacon grease.  It will also add good flavoring to your other dishes. Don’t pour it out, save it in a container inside the refrigerator.

 

How Jowl, enjoy.
Serve it warm and enjoy!

 

How To Fry Hog Jowl

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Varies, according to beginning weight.

How To Fry Hog Jowl

Follow step-by-step, photo illustrated instructions to fry up some good old Southern Hog Jowl. Often referred to as Pork Jowl Bacon, it's not just for New Years Day. We'll show you how easy it is to slice it for frying, or to use it as seasoning in lots of your favorite beans and greens side dishes.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Hog Jowl, smoked and cured

Instructions

  1. Using a sharp knife, slice the jowl into desired thickness strips, like bacon.
  2. Part of the jowl can be cut into hunks for seasoning of beans and greens.
  3. Wrap any sections for freezing in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil.
  4. Place wrapped sections in a Ziplock type bag and place in freezer for use later.
  5. Heat a skillet to just below Medium heat on your stove top.
  6. Place the slices of jowl in the warm skillet.
  7. Turn jowl slices as needed, to prevent burning, and cook until fat is translucent and browned.
  8. Remove from pan, place on paper towels and drain.
  9. Save remaining grease from skillet by placing in a container and storing in refrigerator.
  10. Use leftover grease just as you would any type of bacon grease for seasoning and cooking.
  11. Serve the cooked hog jowl slices while warm.
  12. Enjoy!

Notes

Store sections of hog jowl in the freezer to add to your next pot of beans or greens. Jowl may be frozen then thawed prior to adding to Pinto Beans, Butterbeans, Black Eye Peas, Collard Greens and more. It makes a great seasoning meat for most any type of beans and greens. Leftover grease, after cooking the hog jowl, may be used like any other bacon grease for added flavor.

http://www.tasteofsouthern.com/how-to-fry-hog-jowl/

 

Your Comments:  Do you serve Fried Hog Jowl as part of your traditional New Years Day menu?  We’d love to hear from you and invite you to share your comments and thoughts with us in the section below.  It will only take a minute or two of your time and we’d greatly appreciate your participation.  Keep in mind that all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and everyone of them before they are approved for our family friendly home here on the Internet.  I also reply to as many comments as possible so I hope you’ll check back for my reply in just a few days.  Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts and comments with all of our readers.

Sign Up For Our FREE Newsletter:  While you’re here, be sure to signup for our FREE Newsletter.  I try to send out a quick note after we post a new recipe, or any time anything of interest is happening around Taste of Southern.  It’s just a quick reminder for you to check out our latest recipe and to keep you informed of any Giveaways, Contests or other events that we might be presenting.  It’s totally FREE to signup and you can do so by entering your information in the block below or in the top right hand corner of each page.  We hope you’ll never feel the need to unsubscribe, but in case you do, it’s even easier to have your name removed from our list.  So, Sign Up NOW, and we’ll look forward to seeing your name on our list very soon.  Thanks again.

Be Blessed!!!
Steve

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Category: Main Dishes, Pork, Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (14)

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  1. Howard moore says:

    Growing up I remember jowl bacon. Most often after breakfast there was some biskits left or some cornbread, we would sneak back in the house an grab a biscuit dip in some of the left over bacon grease for a little snack yum yum . My family raised our own hogs and cured our own meat granny used every part of the pig but the squeal ☺️☺️

  2. Sarah says:

    A friend had a pig butchered and processed and gave us the parts he didn’t know what to do with. We were lucky enough to get the cured jowls. Thanks for the cooking info.

  3. Lola says:

    love your web site thank you for sharing, can I use smoke jowls in potato soup

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lola, I don’t see why not. Just use it sparingly so it doesn’t over power the soup. Let me know how it turns out if you try it. I appreciate the question and hope that you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. Hello Steve, I Googled smoked hog jowls and I ended up here! Glad I did, too, you have a great site from what I’ve seen so far. I will share your blog on anything pork on my Facebook page to educate folks who may be missing out on some good eating. While the old folks didn’t waste any part of a hog,some people are now several generations removed from the farm and some of the old ways are being lost. I raise heritage breed hogs and we’re interested in using the whole animal – from nose to tail. You can see what we do at our website, come see us: http://www.sunnycedars.com Thanks, Russell

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Russell, I’m thankful Google sent you to Taste of Southern. Don’t you just love the Internet? I appreciate your comments and that you’re willing to share our site with your friends and family. That means a lot.

      I went all over your site and really enjoyed reading about your farm. You’ve got some great photos and the videos are just as nice. Loved the “Field Meeting” you held with your animals.

      We visit South Carolina a good deal and the next time I’m in your area, I’m going to stop by if you’ll allow me. I do appreciate your comments and hope that you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. Brad Ebling says:

    I agree I remember my Grandpa would refer to it as smoked joe. I’ve loved it since he introduced me to it as a child . Another overlooked cut are the hocks, beans ain’t beans without hocks . Sometime if you have one share a good ole fashioned macaroni and tomatoes or goulash recipe with us . May God bless you yours .

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Brad, Thank You for sharing your comments and your memories of the Hog Jowl. I think some folks are just put off by the name, but I like it myself and use it often. We used ham hocks in our Southern Collard Greens Recipe, here on Taste of Southern. I certainly agree, it makes a lot of beans taste a whole lot better.

      Thank you for the recipe suggestion, I’ve added it to my list. Maybe once we start getting some fresh tomatoes around here, we’ll give it a try. How’s that? I greatly appreciate your visit, and I do hope that you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  6. Brad Ebling says:

    Aint nothing better than a hog jowl sandwich ! I have found that making 2 or 3 little slices through the fat on the fatty side helps with curling .

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Brad, Thank You for your comments and your tip about the Hog Jowl. I think the name is what throws a lot of people off on this particular cut of pork, but it really is good if done right. Thank you, and I do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Linda says:

    WOW! I’m 75 and never tasted jowl bacon until a few days ago. I was looking for hocks and found this, it is so good. I’m sure my youngsters won’t try it but I’m an adventurous eater in my old age. I’m afraid this will catch on and jowl bacon will become hard to find, if people only knew how tasty it is!!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Linda, I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and our How To Fry Hog Jowl recipe. I’m just wondering how you’ve gone through 75 years of life and never tried hog jowl. I’m glad you finally discovered it, and I’m in agreement with you that most people don’t know just what they’re missing. I use it a good deal for seasoning, and pretty much prefer it over the ham hocks.

      I appreciate your comments and do hope you’ll “discover” some other new things here on Taste of Southern. Do stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Leigh Stacy says:

        when we have hog jowls we roll them in flour and add alittle oil to pan to get them frying crispy and brown good with fried eggs for breakfast they are awesome. you must try them. I love Your website and your recipes have a good day Leigh

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Leigh, Thank you so much for your compliments. I’m very thankful you found Taste of Southern and that you’re enjoying the recipes.

          I’ve never tried the Hog Jowls with the flour on them, I’ll certainly keep that in mind and try it real soon. Learn something new everyday don’t we?

          I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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