I met the team from The Shizzle at the 2012 Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival in Charlotte. While I usually don’t do much in the way of jerk marinades, I had to make an exception for this stuff. And while it took me quite a while to finally open up the product and try it out, it was well worth it!
For those who don’t know what jerk is, it’s a style of cooking originating from Jamaica where the meat is flavored (either through a dry rub or a wet marinade) using a combination of spices known as a Jamaican jerk spice. While it is traditionally used in pork and chicken, more and more recipes are available for all types of protein – fish, shrimp, beef, and even tofu! The Jamaican jerk spice has two highlighting components – allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers. Other ingredients can be added to the spice mixture as well (cloves, cinnamon, etc.).
The Shizzle Jerk Marinade is produced by the folks at Big & Fine Food Co. out of Raleigh, NC. Their goal with The Shizzle is to offer a unique marinade that pays homage to traditional Jamaican jerk flavors while offering up one-of-a-kind taste profiles in as natural a manner as possible. The product touts itself as being free of high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial preservatives, and artificial colorings.
Ingredients: pineapple mash, soy sauce, traditional jerk spices, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, cane sugar, sea salt, habanero peppers, xanthan gum.
Appearance: muddy brown in color; very thick and chunky
Aroma: hints of sweet are picked up on top of soy sauce, peppers, cloves, and maybe a touch of cinnamon
A Taste: the jerk spices are the star here, with the soy flavoring in the background; not much sweetness here; fairly spicy (if you have a low tolerance for heat, this will push your limits)
Normally I’d try this out on two or three different types of meat before reviewing. And I still have intentions of doing so. But I was so happy with the results that I had to go ahead and write about it. Two pork chops (between 1 and 1 1/2” in thickness) were tenderized thoroughly using a jaccard style meat tenderizer. They went into a zip top plastic bag along with about one-half of the marinade. After about three hours sitting in the marinade, they went directly on the grill where they were cooked to an internal temperature of approximately 145 degrees.
Juicy… tender… tasty… definitely one of the better pork chops I’ve cooked recently! I can tell that this would work great on poultry as well – I’m thinking jerk wings. This product is a must-have for you marinade lovers!