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Pimento wood substitute

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    Pimento wood substitute

    Jamaican jerk is a favorite here, and to do it right; you really should use pimento wood. Since it's generally only sourced from Jamaica, it can be hard to find and expensive when you do.

    Some quick research told me that you could substitute a combination of something mild like hickory or maple, and fruit tree like cherry or apple. So yesterday, I tried a 50/50 mix of cherry and hickory chips. They were of different brands, so one type of chips were a little larger than the others, so I used just a bit more of the smaller ones.

    I spread Walkerwoods paste on some bone-in skin-on chicken breasts and let them hang out in the fridge for a day. I like to peel back the skin, so the meat gets a good dose of smoke. Then I fired up the WSJ with GrillGrates, added the chips directly to the coals and got cookin'.

    Of course, this is the time of year when late afternoon localized downbursts can pop up without warning, and sure enough, as soon as the KBB Pros started to ash over in the chimney, it started raining. That's OK, Joe can take it. I wrapped a piece of foil around the lid handle and draped it over the vent.

    The results were great! I'll probably try some other wood combos in the future.







    #2
    J. Kenji Alt-Lopez tackled this a few years ago.

    https://www.seriouseats.com/2013/08/...n-at-home.html

    For the direct transfer of flavor, I built chicken-shaped beds for my marinated birds out of soaked bay leaves, creating a solid layer over the cooler side of the grill. By limiting the amount of coals I used at the beginning, I was able to completely prevent the bay leaves from burning, allowing them to slowly transfer their flavor to the chicken. At the same time, they gradually released their moisture, their steam wafting around the chicken as it cooked.

    For the smoke, I tried using a foil pouch stuffed with bay and allspice—a common technique for producing smoldering smoke from wood chips—but found that with bay leaves, throwing them directly onto the hot side of the grill and replacing them every 15 minutes or so produced the level of smoke I needed without actually creating the more acrid compounds that straight up burning wood will produce. The allspice berries produced just enough pimento wood flavor to make my ruse complete.
    The attached slideshow makes it a bit clearer:
    https://www.seriouseats.com/2013/08/...slideshow.html

    Comment


    • N227GB
      N227GB commented
      Editing a comment
      Recipe bookmarked, thanks! I have to go out of the way for Walkerwoods, and I always like rolling my own rubs and marinade.

      That's interesting on how steam is a component here. I stopped soaking wood ~20 years ago, but in this case, it makes sense

    #3
    I actually have a bag of pimento would chips. Problem is, I don't really have a cooker that uses chips well these days. Buying chunks or sticks is just unaffordable any more. The couple of times I cooked jerk using the pimento chips however, it was most definitely the "missing ingredient" that took ok home made jerk to "oh my" restaurant quality jerk.

    Comment


    • N227GB
      N227GB commented
      Editing a comment
      It's been almost four years since the last time I was in a Jamaican restaurant, in North Carolina I think, and there is a difference with using the real stuff!

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