how long does guanciale last

How Long Does Guanciale Last?

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How long does Guanciale last? Guanciale is a pork item produced using a pig’s cheek.

Guanciale is really greasy and generally restored with salt, sugar, and flavors.

It very well may be purchased raw, but mostly sold in a cured form.

It also has a unique salty and buttery taste, due to its rich fatty content.

As long as it is properly prepared, you will surely enjoy your delicious guanciale.

So, how long does guanciale last in the fridge?

Guanciale will last up to six months in the fridge.

Storing meat properly can be very challenging sometimes.

On account of guanciale, it is much more difficult. Guanciale contains a high fat-to-meat proportion.

It is a semisolid fat item. They will generally turn sour rapidly at room temperature.

That is why it is very important to store them in the fridge.

Prior to placing them in the fridge, you ought to wrap the guanciale in plastic or paper wrap.

Sliced or unsliced, you ought to continuously store guanciale in your fridge.

As time goes by, guanciale will lose a portion of its quality or taste because it has stayed for too long.

The Guanciale meat will become stiffer the more you store it.

At a certain point, it will be firm to such an extent that you might not be able to eat or cut it.

That is why you need to consume your guanciale within a few months after buying so that you can enjoy the original taste.

How Long Does Guanciale Last In The Freezer?

Frozen guanciale can last up to twelve months. Storing in the freezer for more than a year will affect the quality of your guanciale.

Once you have removed the guanciale from its original packaging, you must ensure you quickly wrap it.

If possible, vacuum seals it for the best result. You can also double wrap with tin foil, in Incase vacuum packaging is not available.

Always make sure your tin foil is dry and not wet. Put your properly wrapped guanciale into a container, and place it in the freezer.

Since the purpose is to store your guanciale for a very long period, write the date of storage on the container before placing it in the fridge.

This will help you keep track so that it doesn’t overstay in the freezer.

As a reminder, it is better to freeze the whole guanciale, instead of slicing it.

It is best to freeze your guanciale in its original packaging, before opening it.

This is because the original packaging is thoroughly vacuum-sealed.


Does Guanciale Go Bad?

Just like every other cured meat, guanciale can go bad. It will not remain edible forever.

At some point, degradation of quality will start to occur which will surely change the flavor.

In the first place, assuming that the meat begins to change color, it is an indication that you shouldn’t eat it.

More specifically, assuming the color turns out to be somewhat more brown or dark, it implies that it has turned sour.

In a few outrageous cases, it might even become green. Something else is the smell.

Similarly as with a wide range of meat items, either cured or not, you can know a great deal regarding its quality by smelling it.

Thus, on the off chance that it smells different or weird in contrast to its normal smell, then you must throw it in the trash immediately.

This could be an indication of microorganisms’ development or even the growth of molds.


How To Cure Guanciale?

There are a few steps that you need to follow, in order for you to properly cure your guanciale.

First of all, after the pig head has been purchased, and the cheek or jowl is isolated from the bone,

you should make sure you don’t trim the skin of the meat in the process.

The cut of the meat is generally three-sided or rectangular-shaped.

The piece of meat is then mixed or rubbed with sea salt.

When you are done rubbing, you leave it for a few days to cure.

After the curing phase, the next step begins. The cured meat undergoes brushing, in order to eliminate all the excess salt in the curing process.

Then, at that point, this meat is prepared with extra flavors.

It tends to be rosemary, dark and red pepper, garlic, and different flavors.

Subsequent to preparation, the meat is left for maturing. The maturing process for guanciale is 60 days.

But you can decide to age it for a longer period of time.

The longer the maturing, the richer and tastier your guanciale will be.

So for the best result, age your jowl for about sixty days which is approximately two months.

This will surely bring out the rich flavor. As a reminder, the aging process will result in the loss of weight of your jowl, and this is totally normal.


Can You Eat Raw Guanciale?

It is important to note that there are two types of raw guanciale.

We have the salted raw jowl and dried cured guanciale.

Salted guanciale should not be eaten raw.

Even though salt helps to reduce the deterioration process, it still contains loads of harmful microorganisms.

The salt can preserve it for months, but it doesn’t entirely get rid of all microorganisms.

So you must make sure that you rinse your raw salted jowl and cook properly before consuming it.

The cooking process will help to completely kill all the microorganisms.

On the other hand, dried cured jowl can be consumed raw.

This is because the meat curation undergoes dehydration.

Bacteria can not thrive in a dehydrated environment that lacks moisture.

So the salt content and lack of moisture helps to kill the microorganisms.

However, you must also ensure you follow the proper storage guidelines,

So that your dried cured jowl will not be at risk of contamination.

The main difference between salted raw guanciale and dried cured guanciale is the water content.

That is why microorganisms can survive in salted jowl, but cannot thrive in dried cured jowl.


Can You Refreeze Guanciale?

Refreezing your jowl will cause damage to the texture and ruin the taste, that is why you must freeze only once.

Some have concluded that freezing jowl for a long time can cause damage to the meat.

They prefer storing in the refrigerator because it helps the guanciale to keep its taste.

This does not mean that freezing is bad, but refreezing should be strictly avoided.

And when you freeze, make sure it is placed in a double-wrapped foil and stored in a freezer container so that it doesn’t go bad.


Is Guanciale Better Than Pancetta?

Guanciale and pancetta both have similarities and differences.

The major similarity between guanciale and pancetta is the pork origin.

They both come from pork, and they also undergo the curation process.

This process helps to prevent bacteria growth and gives it a salty taste.

Even though they are salty due to the curation process, they still differ in flavor and texture.

This is because the spices used for the preparation of jowl are different from the pancetta.

They are also used in different Italian dishes. Most Italians prefer using guanciale in pasta dishes because of its unique rich flavor.

Jowl also contains more fat than meat, which gives it that delicious melting texture when placed in your mouth.

You can decide to eat any one of your choices continuously or substitute them with different dishes.


10 Best Substitutes For Guanciale?

There are other substitutes for guanciale, that can be used for different dishes and still taste delicious.

Here are the 10 best substitutes for guanciale. They include;

  1. Lardo
  2. Pork jowl
  3. Salt pork
  4. Bacon
  5. Pancetta
  6. Prosciutto
  7. Speck
  8. Pork belly
  9. beef jerky
  10. Nduja

These are the best alternatives that you need to try.


Why Is Guanciale So Expensive?

One of the principal reasons why your guanciale is so expensive is because this cut of meat couldn’t be imported from Europe for a long period of time.

This is due to the ban that was set up by the FDA.

This also implies that finding it in the States would end up being considerably more difficult than tracking it down in Italy.

Luckily for jowl fans, that ban was lifted in 2013 and you can now get guanciale in the states.

In truth, getting it fresh as opposed to importing will taste better.

It is ideal to get this cut of meat at an Italian supermarket or on the web.

Be cautious, however, while requesting, as it could come smoked or unsmoked.


Does Guanciale Need To Be Cooked?

You can eat raw guanciale by cutting it into thin pieces, and you can also decide to cook it.

This is done by cutting your jowl into cubes.

Then you place your jowl cubes in the frying pan.

Cook it at low to medium intensity until the meat tans.

The fat in the jowl slice ought to break down, and the leftover Guanciale meat ought to turn crispy or delicate.

This is fundamentally the way that you need to cook your guanciale.

You can eat your cooked jowl with any kind of dish.


Why Does Guanciale Taste Bad?

There are some reasons why your jowl may taste bad.

It may be that you forgot to trim off the skin before browning.

The outer skin has an unpleasant strong flavor when mixed with spices and salt.

So ensure you trim it off, to avoid a bitter taste. Another reason could be that you burnt your guanciale, by excessively cooking it with high heat.

Your jowl should be cooked with medium heat so that it comes out creamy on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Remember that the slices of your jowl should not be too thin so that it doesn’t get burnt and lose their taste.



Guanciale is a well-known Italian dish that is tasty and rich in flavor.

It has a different method of preparation and can also be eaten raw, only when it is properly cured.

The perfect combination of sweet and savory brings out the unique flavor and texture.

For you to enjoy this tasty meat, you must ensure that it is properly cured and stored in the right condition.

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