Jamie Leighton: Smoking J
I was born with a passion to cook and the love and taste of all food prepared on the barbeque. I started smoking fish in the ’90s and slowly moved into the big meats like pork shoulder, brisket, whole hog, chicken and ribs.
I knew my way around a grill, but in 2009 I was searching for someone who could show me the art of cooking slow smoking meats at a much higher level. In the process, I met and teamed up with a man who was to become my brother in the BBQ world: Phil Wingo.
After attending Jack Waiboer’s Carolina Pit Masters Barbecue Cooking School with Phil in 2011, I returned home to Canada and started catering under the name Smoking J, which later became Porkmafia Canada Inc. My passion was no longer a hobby. Porkmafia Canada is a family-run catering business specializing in BBQ southern-style. The food is prepared with real wood smoke and a lot of love.
When I cater, it’s done live on-site when possible and the meat can take up to 12 to 18 hours to cook and two days to prepare on an Ole Hickory Pit CTO DW, which, in my opinion, is the best on the market. My meats of choice are pork shoulder (Boston Butt), brisket, ribs and chicken.
I pair my entrées with my own take on classic sides that I have perfected over the years, such as mac and cheese, smoked pit beans, Brunswick stew, Caesar salad, coleslaw, potato salad, green beans and fresh baked pies for dessert — naturally.
What started as a hobby 20 years ago turned into an obsession and evolved into a way of life for me and my family. I’ve traveled to Europe, the United States and throughout Canada instructing classes in live fire BBQ and I enjoy cooking with friends.