This isn’t so much a recipe, as I’m not really going to go over the details of smoking meat, how to setup indirect cooking and the general 101 BBQ stuff - instead I’m going to go for a whistle stop tour of the cook, as pork cheeks are not the most common cook and might seem daunting if you have never tried them before.
Thankfully though, the science is identical to other slow-twitch, hardworking muscles, and they cook exactly the same way - but as they are smaller pieces of meat it takes a lot less time as it takes less time for the heat energy to transfer to the centre of the meat and be fully cooked.
This cooks is basically I slightly shorter version of the 3-2-1 technique you might use for cooking meaty pork ribs - which makes sense as these little pieces have several similar properties of ribs (or shoulder for that matter)
1. How to prep pork cheeks for smoking
2. Mid cook - Wrapping the ribs (texas crutch)
3. Glazing the pork cheeks and the final unwrapped cook
4. The reveal - Pork cheeks finished
- 5-10 servings (plenty for freezing)
- 10 minutes
- 5 hours
- 1 kilo pork cheeks - this will be 12 - 14 individual pork cheeks
- BBQ spice rub - either homemade or bought. I often use Angus & Oink rubs for pork such as Irn BBQ, Pigasus or Sweet Butts & Bones.
- A smoker, or BBQ capable of indirect cooking
- BBQ sauce for finishing glaze
- Generously season the pork cheeks with the rub
- Set up the BBQ for indirect cooking, at about 100 degrees centigrade (225F), add a handful of wood chips or one chunk of wood. A milder wood like oak would be good for this cook
- Put the pork cheeks on and smoke for about two hours
- After two hours remove from the grill wrap in foil and add a little bit of liquid - water, apple juice etc will be fine - about a tablespoon) make sure the foil is tightly wrapped so no moisture can escape, return them to the grill
- After another two hours remove from the grill, unwrap and paint them with a glaze off BBQ sauce, return to the grill for another 30 - 60 mins. When they are done, you should be able to squeeze one between you thumb and finger and it should easily fall apart.
- Either pull/shred with forks and serve like pulled pork, or serve whole with coleslaw, grilled vegetables, bread rolls
More delicious recipes
This is one of the many fantastic recipes available on this blog