The mean structure of turbulent bluff-body jets and flames is presented. Measurements of the flow and mixing fields are compared with predictions made using standard turbulence models. It is found that two vortices exist in the recirculation zone; an outer vortex close to the air coflow and an inner vortex between the outer vortex and the jet. The inner vortex is found to shift downstream with increasing jet momentum flux relative to the coflow momentum flux and gradually loses its circulation pattern. The momentum flux ratio of the jet to the coflow in isothermal flows is found to be the only scaling parameter for the flow field structure. Three mixing layers are identified in the recirculation zone. Numerical simulations using the standard k-ϵ and Reynolds stress turbulence models underpredict the length of the recirculation zone. A simple modification to the C1 constant in the dissipation transport equation fixes this deficiency and gives better predictions of the flow and mixing fields. The mixed-is-burnt combustion model is found to be adequate for simulating the temperature and mixing field in the recirculation zone of the bluff-body flames. © 1998 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.