Black Folks Pork Jowl Bacon In The Air Fryer

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What is Black folks’ pork jowl bacon?

In the US, pork jowl bacon, or hog jowl, is a soul food staple, usually served on New Year’s Day with black-eyed peascornbread, and collard greens (or Black folks Hoppin John).

Outside the United States, the cured non-smoked version of pork jowl is an Italian delicacy called guanciale.

 

Black Folks Pork Jowl Bacon In The Air Fryer

 

What part of the pig is bacon?

The traditional bacon you know and purchase is made from smoked and cured pork belly.

 

More specifically, what is pork jowl?

Cured and smoked pork in the South is called jowl bacon, pork jowl, or hog jowl.

However, hog jowl bacon comes from the fattier cheeks of the pig. So, even though today’s store-bought bacon and hog jowl are both varieties of bacon, hog jowl bacon is a true fatback.

 

What does pork jowl bacon taste like?

Pork jowl bacon tastes like regular bacon, just sliced thicker. Thick bacon is also called streaky bacon.

 

Black Folks Pork Jowl In The Air Fryer

 

How do you make soul food pork jowl bacon?

People often ask, “How do you make bacon from scratch?”

The traditional way to make good ole Southern pork jowl is to slice and fry hog jowl – just like bacon.

And oh yes! You can buy smoked and cured hog jowl in the grocery store. It looks like a ham section and comes in various shapes and cuts – from thick to thin, depending on the butcher.

My instructions here are a contemporary soul food recipe for pork jowl. A new twist on an old classic. Cooked quicker, easier, and still to perfection in the air fryer!

 

 

What’s an air fryer?

According to Wikipedia, an air fryer is a small countertop convection oven designed to simulate deep frying without submerging the food in oil.

Instead, a fan circulates hot air at high speed, producing a crisp layer via browning reactions. Like convection baking, you can enjoy many of your favorite foods air-fried and with up to 80% less oil and, in this case, less bacon grease!

Lamb chops, Southern fried chicken, and smoked turkey legs are examples of healthier and easier air fryer recipes – what I call Magical Meals In Minutes!

 

Million-dollar bacon

In this air fryer recipe, jowl bacon strips are generously seasoned with brown sugar and various peppers to yield a sweet and spicy candied pork jowl with mild heat. Known by some folks as million-dollar bacon!

 

Black Folks Pork Jowl Recipe In The Air Fryer

 

Kitchen equipment for pork jowl bacon in the air fryer

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How To Fry Hog Jowl

 

Ingredients for Black folks pork jowl bacon

  • 12 oz of bacon, sliced thick 
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • ½ a cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ a teaspoon of red pepper flakes (1 teaspoon if you like it hot!)

 

Black Folks Jowl Bacon Recipe

 

Instructions for Black folks pork jowl bacon in the air fryer

  1. Mix together the brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Cut the bacon strips in half for a proper pork jowl size to better fit in the air fryer.
  3. Then lay the bacon out on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  4. Generously drizzle the maple syrup over the bacon strips.
  5. Next, spread a generous amount of the brown sugar seasoning on the bacon.
  6. Transfer the bacon to your air fryer basket or air fryer tray. 
  7. Air fry at 350 degrees F for 8-9 minutes (8 minutes for soft bacon and 9 minutes for crunchy bacon).
  8. Place the cooked pork jowls on a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet to cool for about 5 minutes. The bacon will continue to get crispy as it cools.
  9. Repeat the above steps until all the bacon is air-fried, as it’s not likely that it will all fit in the air fryer in one batch.
  10. Serve Black folks pork jowls with cornbreadcollard greens, and black-eyed peas or Hopin John, and enjoy!

 

  • How to bake hog jowl: Cook the bacon for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, flipping halfway through. Watch the bacon closer near the end to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn. 
  • How to fry hog  jowl: Cook the jowl bacon at medium heat for 10-15 minutes, flipping them as they cook.

 

Pro tips:

  • Depending on the size of your air fryer basket or tray, you may need more than one round of air frying to cook all the bacon.
  • After the cooking time has finished, you can air fry in 1-minute increments until you’re satisfied with the crunchiness. 
  • You can crumble jowl bacon with crispy skin to make bacon bits!
  • Be sure to let the slices fully cool. This will allow the caramelized sugar to harden. 

 

Black Folks Pork Jowl Bacon Recipe

 

What do you serve with Black folks pork jowl bacon?

Serving Black folks pork jowl is part of a simple soul food New Year’s Day menu tradition of homemade cornbreadcollard greens, and black-eyed peas – or Hoppin John.

 

Black Folks Soul Food Hoppin John Recipe
Black folks' Hoppin John is black-eyed peas, collard greens, and rice with Southern soul food flavors. An African American New Year's tradition and comfort food recipe.
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Soul Food Hoppin John Recipe

 

You can either eat pork jowl on the side or mix it with the collards and black-eyed peas.

And don’t forget to wash down this New Year’s feast with a glass of homemade eggnog!

 

Black Folks Soul Food Homemade Eggnog
Creamy and sweet, Black folks' homemade eggnog has a flavor profile that resembles cinnamon, coconut, and rum. Southern comfort spice eggnog and soul food at its finest!
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Black Folks Soul Food Homemade Eggnog

 

Million Dollar Bacon Recipe In The Air Fryer

 

Black folks pork jowl bacon FAQs

Why do Black people eat pork jowl on New Year’s Day?

While pork jowls are used in meals and recipes all throughout the year, it’s highlighted on New Year’s as a deep South tradition, especially among Black people

Legend has it that pork on New Year’s will usher in good fortune and prosperity since pigs move in a forward direction. So the wish is for the New Year to move you forward too! 

Some folks even believe that the bigger the pig (the more pork you eat on New Year’s), the fatter your wallet will become!

 

Where Do You Buy Pork Jowl?

 

Where do you buy pork jowl?

You can buy smoked and cured hog jowl in the grocery store at the butcher’s counter. Hog jowl looks like a ham section and comes in various shapes and cuts – from thick to thin, depending on the butcher.

 

Are bacon and hog jowl the same thing? 

Yes, hog jowl is bacon, and bacon is hog jowl. They are both pork jowl.

Hog jowl is specifically the cut of pork from the pig’s cheek. Therefore, hog jowl and pork jowl are both kinds of bacon.

 

Is pork jowl the same as pork cheek?

Yes, hog jowl is specifically the cut of pork from the pig’s cheek.

 

What is jowl meat good for?

The jowl is the most significant cut of meat on the head. In the case of pork jowl, it’s the fatty and meaty cut from the pig’s cheek.

 

Is pork jowl the same as guanciale?

Guanciale is Italian smoked meat similar to bacon but fattier because it’s cut from the hog’s cheek. Guanciale is a non-smoked version of pork jowl.

 

Is hog jowls the same as ham hocks?

Hog jowl that you purchase from the butcher and slice into bacon strips is more like a ham hock because the cut is from the fattier pig cheeks. 

 

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Black folks are famous for our sweet ham glaze recipes, especially with pineapple and brown sugar. So you may know this Black folks soul food recipe by other names like pineapple ham, pineapple baked ham, or pineapple and brown sugar ham.
No matter what you call it, it's the same beautiful and delicious glazed ham recipe masterpiece!
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Black Folks Pineapple Glazed Ham

 

Many soul food recipes include ham hock because of the distinctive flavor it adds to the dish. Particularly true for collard greens, cabbage, and Southern-style green beans.

 

How long does it take to cook smoked jowl?

Air frying is the fastest way to cook smoked pork jowl bacon. It takes less than 10 minutes, and you don’t have to turn on the oven or stand over high heat.

 

Black Folks Hog Jowl Bacon Recipe

 

How do you fry hog jowl?

Cook pork jowl on the stovetop just like you’d cook bacon in a cast-iron skillet. Cook the jowl bacon over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, flipping the bacon as it cooks.

 

Can you bake pork jowl bacon in the oven?

Yes. To bake bacon jowl, place it on a lined baking sheet for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, flipping halfway through. Watch the bacon closer near the end to ensure that the sugar doesn’t burn. 

 

How do you store pork jowl bacon?

Store cooked pork jowl bacon in the refrigerator for up to 4 days sealed in a food storage bag, plastic wrap, or an airtight container. 

 

Can you substitute turkey bacon for pork jowl?

Yes! Air fryer + turkey bacon = a healthy & delicious soul food swap! Turkey bacon is a great substitute for this pork jowl recipe.

 

What if you want to make this recipe vegan? Is there vegan bacon?

Another wonderful swap for pork in this Black folks hog jowl recipe is vegan bacon, made from pea or soya protein. Vegan bacon is often flavored with smoked paprika, onion, and garlic for a bacon-like taste.

 

22 Best New Year’s Soul Food Recipes
African-American New Year’s soul food tradition best recipes. What traditions do Black folks have on New Year’s? Start w/ this soul food menu
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What do you think of this recipe?

Do you have different holiday food traditions?

Will you add pork jowl bacon to your New Year’s soul food feast?

Leave your answers in a comment below!

 

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Black Folks Pork Jowl Bacon In The Air Fryer

Black Folks Pork Jowl Bacon In The Air Fryer

Pork jowl or hog jowl is a Black Folks soul food staple served on New Year's Day with black-eyed peas, cornbread & collard greens.
This recipe is a contemporary soul food recipe for pork jowl. A new twist on an old classic, cooked quicker, easier, and still to perfection in the air fryer!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Keyword: air fryer bacon, Black folks hog jowl, Black folks pork jowl, hog jowl, million dollar bacon recipe, pork jowl, pork jowl bacon, pork jowl recipe, soul food, southern food
Servings: 16 pieces of bacon
Calories: 231kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole

Equipment

  • Air fryer

Ingredients

  • 12 oz bacon thick slices
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (1 teaspoon if you like it hot!)

Instructions

  • Mix together the brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Cut the bacon strips in half for a proper pork jowl size to better fit in the air fryer.
  • Then lay the bacon out on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Generously drizzle the maple syrup over the bacon strips.
  • Next, spread a generous amount of the brown sugar seasoning on the bacon.
  • Transfer the bacon to your air fryer basket or air fryer tray.
  • Air fry at 350 degrees F for 8-9 minutes (8 minutes for soft bacon and 9 minutes for crunchy bacon).
  • Place the cooked pork jowls on a paper towel-lined plate or baking sheet to cool for about 5 minutes. The bacon will continue to get crispy as it cools.
  • Repeat the above steps until all the bacon is air-fried, as it’s not likely that it will all fit in the air fryer in one batch.
  • Serve Black folks pork jowls with cornbread, collard greens, and black-eyed peas or Hopin John, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • Depending on the size of your air fryer basket or tray, you may need more than one round of air frying to cook all the bacon.
  • After the cooking time has finished, you can air fry in 1-minute increments until you’re satisfied with the crunchiness. 
  • You can crumble jowl bacon with crispy skin to make bacon bits!
  • Be sure to let the slices fully cool. This will allow the caramelized sugar to harden. 

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 35mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 32IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
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Nutrition Facts
Black Folks Pork Jowl Bacon In The Air Fryer
Amount per Serving
Calories
231
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
21
g
32
%
Saturated Fat
 
8
g
50
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
10
g
Cholesterol
 
20
mg
7
%
Sodium
 
35
mg
2
%
Potassium
 
23
mg
1
%
Carbohydrates
 
10
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
10
g
11
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
32
IU
1
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
12
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Cyrene Jo Peñas
    April 1, 2022 / 12:41 pm

    5 stars
    Love the idea of homemade bacon!

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