I’m playing a new game this summer called “What can I smoke next?” My Big Green Egg plays a big role in this game, and I think it is going to be really fun. My goal this summer is to smoke as many different meats and other food stuffs, in as many different ways as I can. There is just something very satisfying about hanging out in the backyard with friends, cold libations and the smell of smoked meat lingering in the air. So far, we are two rounds into this game.

Smoked Pork Butt

Smoked Pork Butt

The first round was dueling pork butts over mesquite, one BBQ and one Adobo. Both were smoked low and slow until fork tender and then finished with respective sauces. The BBQ pork was turned into sandwiches and served with pickles and grilled veggies; all delicious. The Adobo Pork was pulled and simmered in Salsa Verde for another hour. We ended up making tacos out of the Adobe Pork with queso fresco, lettuce and tomatoes and after many servings of deliberation the Adobo Pork was the victor.

Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken

The next round was Jerk Chicken over Pimento wood chips. For truly authentic Jerk, this in the only way to grill. The chicken was marinated overnight in my homemade jerk blend based on the recipe I got while visiting Montego Bay. The trick here is to use the legs and thighs; they are much less expensive and absorb more flavor.

For smoking the meat, I used a plate setter in the grill between the grate and the coals. This acts a diffuser, giving you an intense, indirect heat. The soaked wood chips are placed on top of the plate setter, not in the coals. Pimento wood can make food a little bitter if it burns to hot. By placing them on the plate setter, they will smoke without burning as fast. This will give a more balanced flavor. The Jerk was cooked at 425 degrees until the internal temperature was just less than 165 degrees; the carry over heat will finish them. We served this with some mango salsa and coconut sweet potato puree.

Next up is beef brisket. What are you smoking this summer?