GourmetRecipeVault Staff
Guanciale is a traditional Italian cured meat made from pork jowl or cheeks. Its name derives from "guancia," the Italian word for cheek. Renowned for its rich flavor and fatty, tender texture, guanciale is a staple in Italian cuisine, particularly in central regions like Lazio. Unlike pancetta or bacon, which can be used as substitutes, guanciale has a unique taste due to the specific fat and muscle composition of the pork cheek. It's typically seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes garlic or other spices, then cured for several weeks. Guanciale is often used to add depth and a distinct pork flavor to dishes such as pasta carbonara, amatriciana, and other Italian pasta or sauces. Its unsmoked, earthy, and robust flavor profile makes it a cherished ingredient in many kitchens.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Curing/brining 70 days
Total Time 70 days 20 minutes


  • Sharp knife
  • vacuum sealer and bags You can use ZipLock bags if you don't use a vacuum sealer
  • Butcher's twine
  • Collagen sheets



  • 1 kg Pork cheek


  • 36 gr salt
  • 8 gr Course black Pepper
  • 4 gr Sugar
  • 4 gr Fennel seeds


  • Rinse the pork jowl and pat it dry
  • In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt, pink curing salt, black pepper, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and sugar.
  • Rub the spice mixture evenly over the pork jowl, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies
  • Place the pork jowl in a resealable plastic bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and seal the bag
  • Place the bag in a baking dish or other container, and refrigerate for 7-10 days, flipping the bag over every day
  • After 7-10 days, remove the pork jowl from the bag and rinse it well under cold running water. You can skip the rinsing for a deeper flavor. I normally don't rinse but it's a matter of preference.
  • Pat the pork jowl dry with paper towels, wrap with collagen sheets. After wrapping, make sure to use some elastic netting which will ensure that the collagen sheets adhere well to the meat.
  • Hang it to dry in a cool, well-ventilated area for 6-8 weeks, or until it has lost about 30% of its original weight. Use the below calculator to estimate the weight loss needed and consequently, when you can open it.
Guanciale Recipe Scaler

Guanciale Recipe Scaler

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  • pork jowl
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • sugar
  • Fennel Seeds
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Weight Reduction Calculator

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