How to Cook Pork Jowl Bacon

Pork-jowl bacon doesn't differ much from pork-belly bacon, except for one thing: technically, it's offal. Although you wouldn't know by its appearance -- both jowl bacon and regular bacon are cured and smoked -- pork-jowl bacon comes from the inside of the pork cheek, just below the eye. You do, however, have to cook it a bit differently than you do regular bacon to get the best out of it. Regular bacon has a 1:3 ratio of meat to fat, whereas jowl bacon has about a 2:1 ratio of meat to fat -- a proportion for which the pressing-and-roasting cooking method was made.

Step 1

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Slice the pork jowl into 1/4-inch-wide slices with a straight-edged knife. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 3

Arrange the jowl bacon strips on the baking sheet at least 1/2-inch apart. Season the bacon with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Step 4

Cover the bacon with another sheet of parchment paper. Place another rimmed baking sheet on top of the parchment paper and bacon.

Step 5

Place a baking dish or a pot filled with dried beans on top of the baking sheet. You have to press the baking sheet down with something that weighs 2 or 3 pounds, so you can use almost anything as long as it's oven-safe. Place the bacon in the oven.

Step 6

Roast the bacon for about 18 to 20 minutes. Pull out the oven rack and check the bacon for doneness. The bacon should have a dark-brown or mahogany color, and most of the fat should have rendered out. You can roast the jowl bacon uncovered and without a weighted pan for a few minutes if you want to render out all the fat and crisp up the meat.

Step 7

Take the weighted dishes off the baking sheets and set them on a heat pad to cool. Take the top baking sheet off the bacon and place it on a heat pad to cool, also.

Step 8

Discard the top piece of parchment paper. Pour off the rendered bacon fat into a heat-proof jar or bowl by tilting a corner of the pan downward.

Step 9

Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and blot the oil from it with paper towels. Serve the bacon as-is or add it to another dish, such as pizza, salads or any dish you would add regular bacon to.

Things You'll Need

  • Parchment paper

  • 2 baking sheets


Sprinkle the bacon with raw brown sugar, such as turbinado or demerara, before roasting to make salty-sweet candied bacon.

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