Classic BBQ recipe!
Pork cheeks are extremely nice cut of meat. Especially for BBQ. Strangely enough, they are often overlooked and underrated. Maybe that is the reason they are rarely available. Be brave and ask your local butcher like I did. Follow these instructions and you will be a Pitmaster of The Day, again!
Pork cheeks should be cooked low and slow. Only time and gentle heat will allow all connective tissue to dissolve. If you go too fast, they will remain chewy. If you go too hot, they will dry. So take it easy and enjoy the ride.
First step is to season pork cheeks. Choose your favorite rub for pork and start working. (NOTE! It is not necessary to remove membrane from the cheeks. When you cook low and slow, membrane will melt.)
First, apply thin layer of mustard all over the cheeks. Mustard act as a binder for a rub
Then rub cheeks well on every side
Put into the fridge for one hour
Prepare your grill for indirect heat Indirect Grilling and 230°F (110°C) smoking temperature. Pick few chunks of smoking wood. I use apple for pork.
Place all cheeks onto grill grate
Smoke 2hrs in 230°F (110°C)
Take aluminum pan and foil.
After 2 hrs of smoking, move all cheeks into a pan
Pour good splash of apple juice inside
Put back into the grill at 230°F (110°C)
No smoke anymore!
Now it will take some 2 to 4hrs when cheeks are ready. They will overcook and it is ok. You don’t cook cheeks to certain temperature. Instead, take a toothpick or use your thermometer probe every hour and try if cheeks feel ready. When you stick your probe into the meat, it should go through without resistance. If cheeks fight back, give another hour. Do not be afraid cheeks drying. If you cook on low temperature like instructed and cheeks are inside covered pan, with some apple juice on them, they will be just fine.
There you go, enjoy your juicy cheeks!
Full instructional video: