Cheeks, we believe, are one of the most underrated cuts of meat on the market, yet they are possibly one of the most delicious!
Slowly smoked over glowing embers with a chunk of your favourite wood renders them into the most delicately tender morsel of meat that will ever pass your lips. These smoked Hill House Farm pigs cheeks are a brilliant foundation to so many dishes.
4 pigs cheeks, trimmed of their rind but leaving a good cap of fat
2-3 tsp BBQ Barn blend seasoning
A few glugs of your favourite beer, around half a bottle
1 fist sized lump of cherry wood
1 ½ chimneys of lumpwood charcoal
Let’s start by marinading your meat, take your pigs cheeks and scatter over The Salt Box BBQ Barn Blend. Make sure they have an even covering of the seasoning, put the cheeks into an airtight container and place in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours but preferably overnight. Remove the pigs cheeks from the fridge and allow them to come up to room temperature for at least half an hour before cooking.
We are cooking our pigs cheeks in the ProQ Smoker Elite but you can cook your cheeks in a kettle bbq, an offset smoker or an egg, setting up each for indirect cooking. Place half a chimney of charcoal into the base of your Pro Q smoker and refill the chimney to the top. Light the chimney and allow it to smoulder away until the charcoal is well lit. Carefully pour the lit charcoal into the fire basket of the Pro Q smoker.
Insert the water bowl just above the charcoal and fill with hot water. Stack the Pro Q together and clip into place. Open all the vents and allow the smoker to reach a temperature of 100-110℃. Once the Pro Q has heated up remove the lid and place the pigs cheeks on the grill rack, replace the lid and clip it shut quickly to lock in as much heat as possible.
Place the lump of cherry wood in with the lit charcoal and shut the door, the cherry wood will quickly begin to smoke. Smoke the pigs cheeks for 1 ½ – 2 hours. Place the cheeks into a heatproof tray and pour the beer over, cover tightly with tin foil and place back into the smoker for an hour. Continue to cook until the pigs cheeks are spoon tender, check on them every half an hour or so.
Once the pigs cheeks are cooked to perfection, they can be teased into chunks. These smoked pigs cheeks are a great foundation to so many dishes! Tucked into a taco, eaten on toast with pickles and chutney or crisped up and scattered over a salad. You could even set them in the fridge with a little of the cooking liquor and then cut them into bite sized pieces, crumb them and deep fry for the most incredible nuggets!
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These smoked pigs cheeks are a great foundation to so many dishes! Tucked into a taco, eaten on toast with pickles and chutney or crisped up and scattered over a salad. You could even set them in the fridge with a little of the cooking liquor and then cut them into bite sized pieces, crumb them and deep fry for the most incredible nuggets!
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