Pimento wood is made from the allspice tree, which can be found in abundance in Jamaica but is scarce elsewhere. The wood is usually cut into small chunks and moistened portions are laid over the charcoal in a barbecue by Jamaican cooks.
The chips are a backbone component in the Jamaican jerk chicken, they produce a distinct smoke flavor that cannot be replicated. Pimento wood chips are difficult to come by outside of the Caribbean due to the scarcity of the tree, thus home cooks must commonly substitute different woods.
What is the best substitute for pimento wood? Pecan wood chips are the best substitutes for pimento woods among the other woods that are out there. They provide a good substitute, with a hint of the nutty flavor that lower fruitwood chips lack. If you like the flavor of pecan chips but want it to last longer, you can combine wood chips from different fruit trees.
An overview of pimento wood
The attractive myrtle tree, closely related to the Bay tree is common on the limestone-derived soil of central parishes, particularly St. Ann, and thrives at lower elevations. The tree grows to a height of 7-15 meters, and its distinctive light-colored bark peels readily from the trunk.
Pimento is a plant that commonly grows in Mexico, Central America, Cuba, and Hispaniola, but Jamaican pimento is regarded as the best and held a virtual monopoly on world markets until recently.
Why replace pimento wood?
Anything can be replaced for reasons that vary. Some of the reasons why you may want to replace pimento include:
• Scarcity of pimento in some regions: In North America, pimento wood is in low availability. The majority of the world’s allspice trees are found in Jamaica, however, small patches can be found in a few other Caribbean countries. Attempts to cultivate allspice trees on other continents failed due to low yield, according to researchers. As a result, most North American home cooks must make substitutes. Though imported pimento wood can be purchased for a considerable price on occasion, most cooks choose to use other woods for convenience and frugality.
Other substitutes for pimento wood
Best fruit substitutes for pimento wood: pecan chips:
When pimento wood isn’t available, pecan chips are a good substitute. Pecan is more expensive than fruit woods because it grows in a confined geographic zone, similar to pimento wood. Pecan chips are available nationwide through barbecue-oriented retailers. If you live in the South, you may have the luxury of harvesting pecan wood from your backyard or local groves, but pecan chips are also available locally through barbecue-oriented retailers. Pecan brings out the brighter elements in your jerk seasoning with a slightly nuttier flavor than most fruitwoods.
Other substitutes: hardwoods
If pecan or fruit woods aren’t readily available, look for chips of mellow-flavored woods like alder or even birch. Skip the wood chips entirely if you don’t want to employ these heavily scented woods like oak, hickory, and mesquite m. With pure charcoal smoking, your cuisine will taste better than with any of these added.
Enjoy your barbecuing with or without pimento wood!