What are Cheek Meats and how do I smoke them ??

Cheek meat, the small cut of meat in the hollow of an animal’s cheek (if that wasn’t already obvious enough) is uniquely lean and tender. While most cuts can often be one or the other — lean but dry or tender but fatty — those little cuts of cheek are both.

Cheek FAQ’s 

What is a beef cheek?


Beef Cheeks are the cheek muscle of cows and they are a very lean cut of meat. It’s a budget cut that needs to be cooked long and slow to make it tender. It absorbs the flavors of braising liquid well and when you cut into it, it is stringy, almost like pulled pork or brisket.

Where does the beef cheek come from?

 Funnily enough, the name ‘beef cheek‘ refers to the facial cheek muscle of a cow. It’s a very tough and lean cut of meat and is most often used for braising or slow cooking to produce a tender result. You may need to order them ahead from your butcher.

What is pig’s cheek?

Pork jowl (alternately called jowl bacon or, especially in the Southern United States, hog jowl) is cured and smoked cheeks of pork. Hog jowl is a staple of soul food, but is also used outside the United States; the Italian variant is called guanciale.

What are the cheeks of a fish?

 On medium to larger fish, such as trout, walleye or halibut, cheek flesh is a tasty and budget conscious part of the fish that can be consumed. The cheek flesh (or medallion) can be found sitting under the cavity where you’d presume the cheeks to be.

Simple method & technique Beef Cheek recipe.  

  • Start with a well-trimmed cheek muscle.
  • Rub generously with a Three Little Pig’s Texas Beef rub & Memphis rub.
  • Place beef cheeks in a smoker at 250f, and cook for approximately 5 hours until you reach an internal temperature of 205-210f.
  • At this temperature, they can be either pulled or sliced.

Sliced for sandwich’s, or pulled for tacos, burritos or cheek sliders.

 Chris Marks (CBBQE) Chief BBQ Expert Three Little Pigs Rubs & Sauces 

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