Where to Buy Pork Jowl: A Comprehensive Guide to Savory Pork Cuts

Pork jowl, a delectable cut of meat from the pig’s cheek, has gained popularity in recent years due to its rich flavor and versatility in cooking. Whether you prefer to cure and smoke it for a traditional bacon experience or braise it for a succulent dish, pork jowl offers a unique and flavorful culinary adventure. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best places to buy pork jowl, ensuring you have access to the highest quality cuts for your culinary creations.

Online Retailers

Porter Road: Known for its commitment to sustainable and ethical meat sourcing, Porter Road offers pasture-raised pork jowl in convenient 1.25-1.75# packages. Their pork is sourced from heritage breed pigs raised on small family farms, ensuring exceptional flavor and quality.

White Oak Pastures: A leader in regenerative agriculture, White Oak Pastures offers pastured pork jowl in 2-pound portions. Their pigs are raised on a diverse diet of foraged plants, resulting in meat that is rich in nutrients and bursting with flavor.

Local Butcher Shops

Local butcher shops often carry a variety of pork cuts, including jowl. The advantage of purchasing from a local butcher is the ability to personally inspect the meat and consult with knowledgeable staff who can provide cooking tips and recommendations.

Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ markets are a great place to find locally sourced pork jowl from small-scale farmers. By purchasing from farmers’ markets, you not only support local businesses but also gain access to fresh, high-quality meat.

Specialty Food Stores

Specialty food stores that focus on artisanal and gourmet products often carry pork jowl. These stores typically offer a curated selection of meats from reputable suppliers, ensuring that you have access to the finest cuts available.

Comparison Table

Retailer Product Weight Price Shipping
Porter Road Pasture-Raised Pork Jowl 1.25-1.75# $12 Flat Rate Shipping on Orders $125+
White Oak Pastures Pastured Pork Jowls 2 lb. $16.99 $15 Perishable Shipping on ground network orders over $149
Local Butcher Shops Varies Varies Varies Varies
Farmers’ Markets Varies Varies Varies Varies
Specialty Food Stores Varies Varies Varies Varies

Tips for Selecting Pork Jowl

When selecting pork jowl, look for cuts that are firm to the touch and have a good amount of marbling. Avoid jowls that are excessively fatty or have an off-color.

Cooking Pork Jowl

Pork jowl can be cooked in a variety of ways, including:

  • Curing and Smoking: The traditional method of preparing pork jowl is to cure it with salt and spices, then smoke it until it develops a rich, smoky flavor.

  • Braising: Braising pork jowl in a flavorful liquid, such as broth or wine, results in a tender and juicy dish that can be served with a variety of sides.

  • Grilling: Pork jowl can be grilled over medium heat until cooked through, creating a slightly crispy exterior and a succulent interior.

Pork jowl is a versatile and flavorful cut of meat that can elevate any culinary experience. Whether you purchase it from an online retailer, a local butcher shop, a farmers’ market, or a specialty food store, selecting high-quality pork jowl is essential for creating delicious and memorable dishes. By following the tips and recommendations outlined in this guide, you can confidently purchase and prepare pork jowl, ensuring that your next culinary adventure is a resounding success.

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What is another name for pork jowl?

As a cured and smoked meat in America it is called jowl bacon or, especially in the Southern United States, hog jowl, joe bacon or joe meat. In the US, hog jowl is a staple of soul food, and there is a longer culinary tradition outside the United States; the cured non-smoked Italian variant is called guanciale.

Why is pork jowl so cheap?

Cheeks are so cheap because almost no one bothers to use them. Main reason for that is that they can be a bit of work to trim (for unexperienced hom cooks) and they take quite some time to get tender, so they’re not exactly a ‘fry and go’-affair.

What is a substitute for hog jowls?

Salt Pork” (not really salty) at Walmart works very well as a locally available substitute…is inexpensive and fresh. Pancetta is also good but sometimes difficult to find unless you have an Italian grocery store where you live. Also some Walmarts infrequently carry Hog Jowl Bacon which I have successfully used.

Is pork jowls healthy?

Hog jowls themselves may be high in fat and, therefore, high in calories, notes Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RDN. So use in moderation—you only need a few ounces for the whole recipe to add a lot of wonderful flavors to big pots of vegetables, soups and stews.

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