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A Delicious and Tender Pork Pamplona Using the Spark 3-in-1 Charcoal Grill

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I’m back again to convince you that charcoal grilling is much easier than you think. One of the skills I teach students at Barbecue University is how to set up and light a chimney starter. The feedback from students is usually, “That is easier than I thought it would be.” I’m here to tell you it is even easier with the new Spark 3-in-1 Charcoal Grill. No chimney starter required!


The Spark 3-in-1 Charcoal Grill provides you with the flavor of charcoal grilling with the convenience of a gas grill. (See below for details on a discount on the grill offered exclusively to readers of this blog.)

The Spark Grill

In previous blogs, I grilled Lamb Kebabs with baked Mac ’N’ Cheese, and smoke-roasted a Berry Crisp, all highlighting the versatility of the new Spark 3-in-1 Charcoal Grill. In the blog, “Grilled Pizza in Less Than 5 Minutes,” I focused on how fast you can make a pizza with a crispy crust thanks to Spark Grill’s ability to reach a blistering 900 degrees. Most recently, I took advantage of the wide cast-iron grill grates on the Spark and made Yakitori.

This time, I’m going feature Spark’s cool technology by cooking a Pork Pamplona. Once you download the Spark app to your phone, you can monitor your food and grill temperature via the two temperature probes. You set your target temperature and the app will track the progress of your cook. I was able to sit on my porch while the Pork Pamplona cooked.

The Spark Grill App

If you missed my previous posts, let me give you a summary of the Spark Grill’s uncommon features.

The Spark Grill

Spark, founded by world traveler Ben West, has introduced a grill that’s different than others on the market. It combines the convenience of a gas grill’s turn-the-dial ignition and temperature setting with the flavor of charcoal, letting you focus more on the food, rather than the time-consuming (and sometimes messy) start-up process and ongoing temperature regulation.

Spark Grills are fueled by charcoal briqs that include the quick, the everyday, the high heat, and the low and slow briq. Two heat sensors inside the grill communicate with two electric-powered fans to stoke and cool the briq to hit and hold pre-selected temperatures.

The Spark Grill - Briq

The Spark comes with extra-wide cast-iron grates for good caramelization and the grill marks Steven prizes. The Spark is constructed of double-walled porcelain enamel and insulated steel. The Spark also has an app that allows you to monitor the grill and your food via Bluetooth technology.

Pork Pamplona is the name Argentineans and Uruguayans give to a cylindrical roast stuffed with bell peppers, ham, and cheese. I followed Steven’s recipe. His recipe is a kicked-up version of traditional Pamplona. He incorporates roasted red peppers, Boursin cheese, and bacon.

Pamplona of Pork

Pamplona of pork

Get The Recipe »

To ignite the Spark Grill, I placed an everyday briq in the front-loading charcoal drawer and then turned the dial to “spark-up” the grill. It was up to temperature in 10 minutes. While the grill heated up, I prepared the Pork Pamplona.

The Spark Grill Igniter

Making Pork Pamplona

I started by butterflying a pork tenderloin and seasoning it with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Next, I painted the inside with Dijon mustard. The pork was then stuffed with Boursin cheese, strips of roasted red peppers, and slivers of ham. To finish the Pamplona, lay out 4 to 5 pieces of butcher string perpendicular to the pork. Place a strip of bacon on the top, bottom, and each side of the tenderloin, and then tie it up. The bacon will add flavor and helps to keep the tenderloin moist.

Pork Pamplona

Once the Spark reached 400 degrees, I placed the pork in the center of the grill and inserted the temperature probe. I was able to monitor the grill temperature and track the progress of the pork right from my phone.

The Spark Grill App

The Pork Pamplona cooked for about 15 minutes, and I then flipped it over so the bacon would crisp up on all sides and the pork would cook evenly. I cooked the pork for an additional 10 minutes until it reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees. I let the pork tenderloin rest on a wire rack over a sheet pan. I grilled zucchini and squash to accompany the pork.

Pork Pamplona on the Sprak Grill

The Pamplona looked great. The bacon on the outside was crispy and I could see some cheese oozing out of the tenderloin. The pork was super tender and juicy. I enjoyed the smoky aroma and flavor the roasted red pepper added. The crispy bacon and salty ham balanced the tender pork and creaminess of the cheese. Pork Pamplona is the perfect dish for a quick weeknight meal on the Spark 3-in-1 Charcoal Grill.

Finished Pork Pamplona

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