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Jun 18, 2007 05:33 PM

Pimento Wood Chips?

I'm planning on making some jerk chicken on the grill and I see a lot of recipes refer to pimento wood chips to add more authentic jerk flavor. Has anyone seen this locally? I know I could order it online, or just substitute some other wood chips for smoke, but if the real deal is close by, I'd like to give it a shot. Any idea?

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  1. You are going for real Boston Beach JA jerk authenticity, well done.

    I have looked in the past and could not locate any locally, you may want to check Brookline Ice and Coal as they have a broad selection of chips. I ended up soaking some whole allspice and making a tin foil pouch and using that for some smoke flavor, not sure it made a real difference given the strong flavors (and habaneros) in my marinade but it smelled great.

    8 Replies
    1. re: PaulB

      Kenji (I think it was, it might have been someone else in the SE crew) did a lot of "what if you can't get pimento" experiments and ended finding that bay leaves made the closest approximation.

      1. re: jgg13

        All spice berries and Bay Leaves soaked in water and a bit of distilled white vinegar placed in some tin foil works quite well. That is what I personally use for my jerk if I havent ordered the wood from here:(

          1. re: Matt H

            Wow, I forgot posting this. I can't remember how much flavor or aroma it imparted on the chicken, but I do remember soaking some allspice berries and putting them in tinfoil. The last several times I just went with hardwood charcoal and maybe a chunk or two of applewood.

            I usually grow scotch bonnets in the summer and make a jerk marinade with them. I'll have to revisit the berries and bay leaves.

            1. re: Ali G

              How well do they grow up here? I havent tried it, but I used to grow my own when I lived in FLA.

              I have also found that hardwood charcoal and any type of fruit wood is the closest you are going to get to a roadside Jerk type experience. Minus the pimento wood.

              1. re: Matt H

                I've had mixed luck with my peppers. We recently removed a tree that was casting some early morning shade on the garden so hopefully this year will be better. Last summer I switched to containers and got a decent yield. I usually grow 1 - 2 plants since I'm the only one who likes heat. It's enough to give some away, make a hot sauce and maybe some jerk rub. My cherry peppers took off like crazy last year. I pickled some of these and stuffed with cheese and prosciutto. Awesome!

                1. re: Matt H

                  I grow superhots here (nagas and beyond) and I don't get a ton of fruits but they are hot enough.

                2. re: Ali G

                  Here in Mexico the allspice trees, of which I have 20, are called pimento. I harvest about a ton a year of the allspice berries, which most are exported.
                  I use allspice wood on the grill, the fresh leaves in stews and soups.
                  I think if you research allspice in the Caribbean islands you will find they too refer to it as pimento.

          2. How about calling some local Jamaican restaurants and asking them for ideas? I imagine they'd be happy to help. I googled Jamaican restaurants in the Boston area, and it appears there are many. Just a thought...

            Let us know-- now I'm intrigued about these pimento wood chips!

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