The Hog Jowl Air Fryer Recipe: A Comprehensive Guide To Perfectly Cooked, Flavorful Delicacy

hog jowl air fryer recipe

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on cooking the perfect hog jowl using an air fryer! If you’re a fan of rich and flavorful pork dishes, then you’re in for a treat. Hog jowl, also known as pork jowl or cheek bacon, is a lesser-known cut of meat that boasts a deliciously fatty and tender texture.

In this article, we will delve into all aspects of cooking hog jowl with an air fryer. From understanding the food science behind this delectable dish, to selection, cleaning, preparation, and even exploring various recipe variations – we have you covered. So, let’s get started!

Understanding Hog Jowl: The Food Science

Hog jowl comes from the cheek area of the pig and contains a good amount of fat and connective tissue. This inherent marbling makes it incredibly juicy and tender when cooked to perfection. It is particularly popular in Southern cuisine and is often used as a key ingredient in dishes like collard greens, black-eyed peas, and hearty stews.

Since hog jowl has a high fat content, it is important to cook it properly to ensure that it renders down and becomes delectably crispy. This is where the air fryer comes into play, providing a quick and efficient way to achieve that desired texture.

Selecting and Cleaning Hog Jowl

When selecting hog jowl, look for cuts that have a good ratio of lean meat to fat. The fat should be evenly distributed throughout the meat, with a creamy white color. Avoid cuts that seem excessively fatty or have a yellowish tint, as this may indicate spoilage.

Before cooking, ensure that the hog jowl is properly cleaned. Rinse it under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Removing any excess moisture will help promote better browning and crispiness during the cooking process.

Preparing Hog Jowl for Air Frying

hog jowl

To prepare hog jowl for air frying, you’ll need to season it with your favorite flavors. Here’s a simple yet delicious spice rub recipe to get you started:

Spice Rub Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)


  1. In a small bowl, combine all the spice rub ingredients.
  2. Rub the spice mixture all over the hog jowl, ensuring all sides are thoroughly coated.
  3. Let the seasoned hog jowl sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
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Tips for Air Frying Hog Jowl

Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s go over some valuable tips to ensure your hog jowl turns out perfectly cooked and bursting with flavor:

  • Preheating: Preheat your air fryer to ensure consistent and even cooking. Follow your specific air fryer model’s instructions for preheating.

  • Layering and Spacing: Arrange the hog jowl in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring that each piece has enough space to allow hot air circulation. This will promote even cooking and help achieve crispy results.

  • Flipping: Flip the hog jowl halfway through the cooking time. This will help both sides brown evenly and prevent any part from becoming undercooked.

  • Monitoring: As cooking times may vary depending on the thickness of the hog jowl slices and your air fryer’s specific settings, it’s crucial to monitor the cooking process. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The hog jowl should reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

  • Resting: Once cooked, allow the hog jowl to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps retain its juiciness and allows the flavors to meld together.

Air Fryer Hog Jowl Recipe

close up view of air fried hog jowl

Now that you’re familiar with the food science and essential tips, here’s a detailed recipe to guide you through the cooking process:


  • 1 pound (454 grams) hog jowl, sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
  • Spice rub mixture (see previous section for spice rub ingredients)


  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for at least 5 minutes.

  2. Place the hog jowl slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Make sure not to overcrowd the basket.

  3. Cook the hog jowl slices for 10 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

  4. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The hog jowl should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption. If needed, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

  5. Once cooked, carefully remove the hog jowl from the air fryer basket and let it rest for a few minutes.

  6. Serve the hog jowl slices warm, either as a main dish or as a delightful addition to your favorite Southern recipes.

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Recipe Variations

Now that you have mastered the classic hog jowl air fryer recipe, let’s explore some exciting variations to add even more deliciousness to your plate:

1. Sweet and Spicy Glazed Hog Jowl:

  • Prepare the hog jowl slices as per the basic recipe.
  • In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup maple syrup, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, and a pinch of salt.
  • Heat the sauce mixture over low heat until it thickens slightly.
  • Brush the sauce over the hog jowl slices during the last minutes of cooking and continue air frying until finished.

2. Garlic and Herb Infused Hog Jowl:

  • Prepare the hog jowl slices as per the basic recipe.
  • In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, or parsley), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  • Coat the hog jowl slices with the mixture before placing them in the air fryer.
  • Air fry as instructed in the basic recipe.

Feel free to experiment with other seasonings and sauces to create your own personalized twist on this classic dish.

Cleaning and Maintenance

After enjoying your delightful meal, it’s essential to clean and maintain your air fryer properly. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Allow the air fryer to cool completely.
  2. Remove the basket or tray from the air fryer.
  3. Wash the basket and tray with warm, soapy water using a non-abrasive sponge or cloth.
  4. For tough grease or residue, soak the basket and tray in warm, soapy water first before cleaning.
  5. Dry the basket and tray thoroughly or allow them to air dry completely before reassembling.

Always refer to your air fryer’s specific cleaning instructions for the best results and longevity.

Final Thoughts

Cooking hog jowl in an air fryer is a fantastic way to enjoy this often-overlooked delicacy. The air fryer’s ability to quickly and efficiently render down the fat while maintaining moisture and achieving a crispy texture is unparalleled.

Now armed with this comprehensive guide, you can confidently select, clean, season, and cook hog jowl to perfection using your air fryer. Whether you’re a fan of the classic recipe or eager to explore exciting variations, this mouthwatering dish is sure to elevate your culinary adventures. Happy cooking!

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  • How To Fry Hog Jowl : Taste of Southern
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  • FAQS On Hog Jowl Air Fryer Recipe

    What Is A Hog Jowl?

    A hog jowl is a cut of meat from the cheek and jaw area of a pig.

    Can I Use Any Type Of Air Fryer For This Recipe?

    Yes, as long as it has the capability to reach high temperatures and has a large enough basket to fit the hog jowl.

    Do I Need To Marinate The Hog Jowl Before Cooking In The Air Fryer?

    While marinating is not necessary, it can enhance the flavor of the hog jowl. You can marinate it for 1-2 hours or overnight for best results.

    How Long Does It Take To Cook Hog Jowl In An Air Fryer?

    The cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the hog jowl, but on average it takes about 20 minutes at 400°F.

    Can I Use Frozen Hog Jowl For This Recipe?

    It is recommended to use thawed hog jowl for better results. If you do use frozen hog jowl, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

    What Can I Serve With These Hog Jowl Fries?

    You can serve the hog jowl with a variety of sides such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a side salad. You can also use it as a topping for salads or sandwiches.

    How Should I Store Leftovers Of This Hog Jowl Recipe?

    Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze the cooked hog jowl for longer storage. Reheat in the air fryer for best results.