How to make authentic Jamaican jerk pork roast using pimento wood

One of my other favorite ways to eat jerk besides cooking chicken would have to be Jerk pork. There is something magical about the flavor of a high quality pork roast smoked with pimento wood. The pimento brings out an amazing smokey explosion complimented by hints of sweetness and a mouthful of incredible Jamaican spices that when combined makes for a delicious all around meal that all of your friends and family are going to love.

Serving size: (2) 3LB pork roasts
Marinade Time: 24 hours
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Grilling Time: 3-4 hours

STEP 1:  The Marinade

You can use the same marinade as the one posted in the “how to make authentic Jerk chicken” blog post OR implement any of your favorite jerk marinade into this recipe. For this example I was feeling a little lazy so I simply used an already pre-made marinade called “Obsessions Jerk Marinade” by Joan Ortiz. To check out her marinade and sauces you can do so by visiting the following link. Click here to go to Obsessions marinade homepage. This is one of my favorite pre-made marinades.  It is so much better than Walkerswood or Grace jerk marinade as the salt content is only half of those big brands and the flavors of Obsessions is the closest that I could find that truly brings that authentic Jamaican jerk flavor to the meats. Joan sure has created something special over there at Obsessions Jerk Marinade.

Pick out two pork roasts. The ones above are about 3 LBS each. For my demonstration I will be making two pork roasts.

Simply cut the strings off the pork roasts and then salt and pepper the pork roasts really well on all sides. Once you finish applying salt and pepper to your roast it is now time to apply your marinade to the roasts.

Evenly distribute the marinade throughout the pork roasts. Be sure to massage marinade into the meat and  cover meat throughout. I like to use a large sized bowl to marinade the meats in as you can see from the picture above. Once your meat is salt and peppered and rubbed throughout throughly with the jerk marinade, it is now time to cover the pork roasts and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours.

Step 2: Preparing the grill

Soak pimento sticks, chips and leaves in water. I usually soak the sticks and leaves for about 30-45 minutes and the chips for about 10 minutes.

On the cool side of the grill (left) lay a bed of pimento leaves. Strategically lay your pimento wood sticks above the leaves as seen in the picture above. You can also see that on the heat side of my grill (right) I have my smoker box with pimento wood chips placed directly over where my heat will be to create good smoke. Once you get your grill set up similar to how I have my example above you are ready to turn the grill on and lock your temperature in.

Step 3: Locking in your grill temperature

Get your grill temperature locked in at 285 degrees. Do not let the grill go over 300 degrees during your cook. Once you get your grill temperature locked in around 285 degrees it is time to place the meat atop of the sticks and start the grilling process.

When making jerk pork you are going to “offset cook”  Meaning heat on one side of the grill, meats on the other side.  In my example above I will be using the burner of my grill that is located directly below the smoker box on the right side. For additonal smoke I have made a homemade tinfoil pouch to go along with my smoker box.  On the left side of the grill (cool side) I have my leaves, sticks and meat and a pan of water filled with small pieces of pimento leaves for moisture and aroma.

Once your grill is dialed in to it’s desired temperature that is when your cooking time begins. Close your grill lid and do NOT open for 60 minutes.  You will notice your pimento wood chips smoking nicely after about 20 minutes or so. After one hour it is time to slip the roasts. Carefully flip both roasts and then go another 60 minutes without opening your grill, remember no peeking! After you hit the 2 hour mark of the cook it is important that you have a beer available to baste the roasts with. You will need to baste the roasts with beer at least every 30 minutes after the 2 hour mark of the cook.  Baste roasts with beer, then flip the roasts a second time and again let sit for another hour only opening your grill at the half-way point to baste roasts with beer. When basting your roasts with beer baste them religiously but be sure not to wash the marinade off the meats.

Here is a nice shot of the roasts a little over half-way through the cook. Notice the nice charring starting to naturally occur on the meats. Also if you look at the above photo the top of the roasts look like they could use a little bit more jerk rub on it so I will gently apply a thin layer of the rub before closing back the grill again and begin my third hour.

Once you reach the 3 hour mark of your cook it is at this point that I recommend your first internal temperature check of the roasts. Usually the roasts will be around 135-140 degrees internally by the 3 hour point of the cook. With pork roasts the internal temperature should be 160 degrees however I am going to teach you a trick that will have your pork roasts perfect every time.

Once you hit the 3rd hour mark you will flip the roasts again and after 30 minutes do another check on the internal temperature of the meats. To finish the cook for pork roasts that are around 3 LBS the average time is about 3-4 hours varying.

Once you see the pork is at 152-154 degrees internally  you want to take the roasts off the grill right away and wrap tight in tin foil and let rest for 20-25 minutes.  Remember your roasts will continue to slowly cook while they are resting. After 20-25 minutes unwrap the roasts, serve and enjoy.  Your final efforts should look similar to this.

Notice because I took the roasts off around 152 degrees and wrapped them in tinfoil it left me with perfect juices all throughout and the most perfect hint of pink.  It is important that you do not keep the roasts on the grill until the hit 160 degrees. Always pull them about 6-8 degrees before being done (152-154 degrees) and then wrap in foil. This will ensure perfect juicy cuts throughout the entire roast!