How to Cut Guanciale (Explained!)

Guanciale is a type of cured pork fat that’s used in Italian cooking.
It has a strong flavor that makes it perfect for adding depth to sauces and stews.
But guanciale isn’t always easy to find.
And if you don’t know where to look, you might end up wasting money at the grocery store.
I’m going to explain you how to cut guanciale into strips using a sharp knife.
Then I’ll demonstrate how to dice it into cubes.

How Do You Remove Pork Jowls?

Guanciale is a type of cured pork jowl. It is similar to pancetta but it has a darker color and a stronger flavor. It is used primarily in Italian cuisine. To remove guanciale from the bone, place the meat between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, cut around the edge of the fat, being careful not to cut into the meat. Then, using the same knife, slice along the length of the jowl until you reach the end of the bone. Repeat this process on the other side of the jowl. Once the jowl is removed from the bone, rinse off any remaining fat with cold water.

Do You Cut the Skin Off Guanciale?

No, you don’t cut the skin off guanciale. In fact, if you were to cut the skin off, the fat underneath would dry out and become very hard. This is why we recommend rinsing guanciale off after removing it from the bone.

Remove the Skin Before Curing

Guanciale is cured pork jowl. It’s usually sold sliced thin and used in Italian dishes such as pasta sauces and soups. To cure guanciale, you’ll need to remove the skin. Once the meat is removed from the bone, rinse it well under cold running water. Then pat the meat dry with paper towels. Next, place the meat in a glass dish and rub it with salt. Cover the meat with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight. The next day, rinse the meat again under cold running water and pat it dry with paper towels. Now you’re ready to proceed with curing. Cure the Meat Answer: After rinsing the meat, place it in a shallow pan or bowl. Add enough kosher salt to cover the surface of the meat. Let the meat sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 2 days. Turn the meat every 12 hours. On the third day, rinse the meat under cold running water and dry it thoroughly with paper towels. Place the meat in a glass baking dish and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the meat for 1 week. Remove the meat

Remove the Skin After Curing

After the first week, rinse the meat under cool running water and pat it completely dry with paper towels. Cut the meat into slices about ¼ inch thick. Lay the slices flat on a cutting board and cut each slice crosswise into strips about ½ inch wide. Spread the strips on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Freeze the strips until firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer the frozen strips to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. To serve, thaw the strips in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Arrange the strips in a single layer in the prepared pan. Bake the strips until crisp and golden, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately.

How to Cure Pork Jowls

Cure pork jowls in a salt brine solution for 3 days. Rinse the pork thoroughly under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the pork in a nonreactive container such as glass or plastic. Cover the pork with cold water and refrigerate for 48 hours. Drain the pork and discard the liquid. Combine 1 cup kosher salt, 2 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 4 bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon ground ginger in a medium bowl. Add the pork and mix well. Let stand at room temperature for 12 hours. Cover and refrigerate for another 12 hours. Pour off any accumulated liquid from the surface of the pork. Repeat the process twice more. Discard the liquid.


Pork jowls are cured pork cheeks. These are usually found in Asian markets. To cure pork jowls, place the pork in a non-reactive container such as a glass or plastic container. Cover the pork with enough cold water to completely submerge the meat. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove the pork from the refrigerator and drain the pork. Pat the pork dry with paper towels. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup kosher salt, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 4 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder. Mix well. Rub the mixture into the pork. Let stand at room temp for 12 hours. Cover the pork and refrigerate for another 24 hours. Repeat the process three times more. Pour off any accumulated liquids from the surface of the meat. Discard the liquid and let the pork sit at room temperature until ready to serve.


Ingredients: Pork Jowls are cured pork cheek. These are usually found at Asian Markets. To cure pork jowels, place the pork in non reactive container. Cover the pork in enough cold water to completely submersed the meat. Refrigerated for 24 hours. Remove pork from fridge and drain the pork. pat the pork dry with paper towel. In a medium bowl mix together 1 cup kosher salt,1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon Black Pepper, 4 bay leaves,1 teaspoon Ground Ginger, and 2 teaspoons Chinese Five Spice Powder. Mix well. Rub mixture into the pork. let stand at room temp for about 12 hours. Cover the meat and refrigerate for another day. repeat the process 3 times more. pour off any accumulated liquids from surface of the meat. discard the liquid and let the meat sit at room temperature until you are ready to serve.

Do you cut rind off guanciale?

To eat guanciale, slice it into strips and sauté it in olive oil until crisp. Add salt and pepper to taste.

How do you cut and cook guanciale?

Guanciale is a type of cured pork jowl. It is used in Italian cuisine as well as other cuisines. Guanciale is usually sliced thin and added to dishes such as pasta sauces, soups, stews, and meatballs.

How do you melt guanciale?

To cut guanciale, lay it flat on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut across the length of the package. This will separate the slices from each another. Cut the slices into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Place the strips in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.

How do you prepare guanciale?

Guanciale is usually sliced very thinly about ⅛ inch thick and used in place of bacon in many Italian dishes. It adds a rich flavor and texture to pastas such as spaghetti and ravioli. Guanciale is typically sold precut and packaged in vacuum-sealed packages. To slice guanciale, lay the package flat on a cutting board and carefully pull back the top flap. Using a sharp knife, cut along the edge of the package to separate the slices from each other.

How do you cut guanciale for pasta?

To prepare guanciale, cut off the fat cap of the pig’s jowls and trim away any remaining fat. Cut the jowls into strips. Place the strips between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or rolling pin to flatten. Trim the edges of the jowls to remove any gristle. Slice the jowls crosswise into thin pieces.

How do you use guanciale?

You can easily melt guanciale using a pan. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, place the guanciale slices into the pan. Let the guanciale sit in the pan until it becomes crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.

How do you eat guanciale?

Guanciale is a type of cured pork jowl. It is usually used in Italian cuisine. Guanciale is similar to pancetta but it is not smoked. It is sometimes called “cured pig cheek” or “pig jowl”. In Italy, guanciale is typically sliced thin and served as a topping for pasta dishes. It is also used in many types of sauces, especially tomato based sauces.

In summation, guanciale is a delicious, savory Italian bacon made from pork jowl. The fat is coarse and there’s a lot of it. It’s a little intense but adds a ton of flavor to a dish.