Cook of the Week Jody Sharp and son Paxton Sharp, 9, stand in front of the smoker a close friend gave Jody after he won the Shady Lane Smoke Off in 2013. Paxton goes to Deer Camp with his father, where Jody first learned to cook.
Cook of the Week Jody Sharp and son Paxton Sharp, 9, stand in front of the smoker a close friend gave Jody after he won the Shady Lane Smoke Off in 2013. Paxton goes to Deer Camp with his father, where Jody first learned to cook.
For Jody Sharp, cooking is about more than coming out with a good meal. Sharp said what he enjoys most about a home-fired meal is enjoying the time gathered around the smoker with friends and family.

Sharp enjoys many aspects of cooking, from firing up the grill or smoker to entertaining guests and sharing his special recipes with friends and family.

Cooking for Sharp began at Lone Possum Deer Camp east of Philadelphia. He and friends would gather around, and he learned many techniques from his father and friends frying deer meat. At Brooksville Deer Camp, Sharp picked up a knack for smoking meats.

Sharp’s specialties include fried deer meat, pulled pork, and brisket. His favorite is the brisket, which is injected with Cajun spices before smoked, then left to simmer in beef broth. In all, it takes 8 to 9 hours for Sharp to cook his favorite dish.

Sharp has gone to the Neshoba County Fair every year since he was 2 years old. Sharp’s family built a cabin, and his favorite tradition is sitting around the smoker with old friends of the family at the annual gathering place.

“We’re always smoking meats during the Fair,” Sharp said. “It’s great just to get up every morning and see all the people getting back to their cabins. You’re up before daylight, firing up the smoker, sitting there talking and carrying on. It’s just good times. I’ve had a lot of memories made there, sitting around that smoker.”

The smoker Sharp uses is from his cooking friend Justin Ward’s father-in-law, Johnny “Buzzy” Heard. Sharp and Ward have cooked together for years. In 2013, the two wanted to enter the Shady Lane Smoke Off competition on Fourth of July weekend, and asked Heard if they could use his smoker.

“He said if we won anything, he’d give us the grill,” Sharp said. “We won best Pork Shoulder that year and we’ve had that smoker ever since. He’s the one that kind of taught us how to cook. Then Ward and I kind of added our own little stuff here and there.”

Sharp and Ward won grand champions in the Shady Lane Smoke Off in 2013 and 2015 using that same smoker.

Sharp married the love of his life, Arrah from Edinburg, 11 years ago. They have two children, Peyton, 5, and Paxton, 9. Arrah works at Neshoba General Hospital while Jody has been at B & G Equipment for 11 years. The two enjoy entertaining guests, hosting barbeques and throwing a large Super Bowl Party every year.

Family is important to Sharp. He brings Paxton to Deer camp and the children are always involved in parties and get-togethers the Sharps host.

Sharp’s wife said he is the go-to cook for their friend group.

“We have people in here all the time, and before they come all the wives say, ‘What’s Jody cooking tonight?’” Arrah Sharp said. “They ask because they know it’s going to be something good.”

Most of the grilling and smoking is done near the family “Man Cave”, a building atop the hill behind the Sharp home which houses an entertainment area complete with seating, elegant patio string lights, televisions, and plenty of space to display and serve food.

“During the summer time we’ll have friends over and Jody will bring his fryer down here and fry and grill stuff,” Arrah said. “After being in the pool all day, everybody’s starving.”

Sharp enjoys family, friends, entertaining, and sitting around the smoker, basking in others’ company while dinner smokes to perfection. He said firing up the grill helps relax him, and it’s something he looks forward to.

“I’m going to cook something everyday,” Sharp said. “When I get home, I’ll fire up the grill and cook a hot dog or cook something. It’s just relaxing, to be able to hang out and cook.”

Grilled Porkchops with Ronnie B. Sauce

4 thick-cut bone-in porkchops

8 ounces Italian dressing

1 stick salted butter

1 small aluminum pan (6 inch by 3.5 inch)

1 tablespoon Lawry’s Season Salt

Black Pepper

Table Salt

Salt and pepper porkchops on plate. Cover, let sit 5-10 minutes. Put Italian dressing and butter in pan. Add season salt. Place porkchops on hot grill, sear about 4minutes on each side. Internal temp should be around 160 degrees. Place on cool side of grill. Take aluminum pan with dressing and place over open flame. Bring to boil, stirring often until butter is fully melted. Pull porkchops off grill and cover with Ronnie B. Sauce. Let stand 3 minutes. Serve with asparagus and brown and serve rolls.

Smoked Brisket

1 Whole Brisket (14-16 pounds)

10 ounces of Montreal Steak Seasoning

16 ounces Cajun Injector Creole Butter

32 ounces Swanson Beef Broth

Large aluminum pan (20.5 inches by 3.3 inches by 13 inches)

Trim excess fat off brisket, but be careful. You want to leave a consistent layer of fat. Inject entire 16 ounce bottle of Cajun Injector in brisket, spacing injections about 1 inches apart. Rub brisket down with Montreal Steak Seasoning, making sure to cover brisket completely. Place on smoker at 250 degrees, with fat side up. Flip once every hour for 4 hours. Brisket should have a nice dark bark on the outside. Place in aluminum pan and pour entire bottle beef broth all over brisket. Cover and simmer brisket at 200 degrees for four hours or until tender. Remove brisket from pan and slice into 1/4-inch slices with electric knife. Place slices back in pan with the broth. Serve with aside of baked beans and potato salad, or on hoagie bun with pepper jack cheese and light mayo.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Crawfish Sauce

2 Green tomatoes (8-10 ounces)

16 ounces heavy whipping cream

1 pound precooked crawfish tails

1 stick salted butter

2 tablespoons of Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning

1/2 pound of Bacon (thin-sliced)

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 large egg

12ounces Zatarain’s Fish Fry Mix (Crispy Southern)

4 ounces all purpose white flour

Mix buttermilk and egg together in mixing bowl. Slice tomatoes into 1/8-inch thick slices and soak in mix. In a 10-inch sauce pan, add heavy cream, butter, crawfish tails and Cajun seasoning together. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Fry bacon extra-crispy and crush into bacon bits. Mix fish fry and flour together and place tomatoes in it. Make sure each tomato gets covered in mix. Deep fry tomatoes at 325 degrees for 3-5 minutes. Let cool and serve covered in crawfish tail sauce with bacon bits on top.

Smoked Meat Fajitas with Tanned Tortillas

2 Pounds Chuck Roast

2 Packs McCormick Fajita Seasoning (1.12 ounce pack)

1 Red Bell Pepper

1 Yellow Bell Pepper

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 Large Sweet Onion

1 Four Ounce Can of Diced Jalapeños

1 Aluminum Pan (9 inches by 13 inches extra deep)

2 Packs of 10-inch tortillas

2 Cups of Taco Blend Shredded Cheese

Cut chuck roast, bell peppers, and onion into thin strips. Place them in aluminum pan and add the jalapeños. Mix the Fajita seasoning in a mixing bowl with 4 cups of water. Pour seasoning into aluminum pan and stir. Place on grill at 400 degrees uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring often. Cover and let simmer around 225 degrees for another 30 minutes or until meat is tender. Tan tortillas above open flame on grill. Place fair amount of peppers, onion, meat, and cheese on tortilla. Roll up and wrap in aluminum foil. Let sit for 3 minutes or until cheese has melted. Serve with your favorite taco sauce and sour cream.

Deer Camp Gizzards

2 Pounds of Chicken Gizzards

1 Large Onion

1 Pound of Thick-sliced bacon

32 ounces of Italian dressing

1 aluminum Pan (9 inches by 13 inches extra deep)

6 tablespoons of Lawry's Season Salt

Cut onion and bacon into 1-inch pieces. Place onion, bacon, and gizzards into aluminum pan. Pour entire bottle of Italian dressing into pan. Add season salt and stir. Place on smoker at 255 uncovered for 4 hours stirring occasionally. Cover and let simmer until gizzards are very tender. Makes a great accent to any BBQ meal.

Southern Fried 

Deer Meat

1 Pound of Tenderized Deer Tenderloin

4 ounces of Louisiana Hot Sauce

1 1⁄2 Cups of Buttermilk

2 Large Eggs

2 Pounds of Self Rising Flour

Lawry's Season Salt

Red Pepper

Mix egg, buttermilk, and hot sauce in large mixing bowl. Add deer meat. Mix well and let

marinate 10 minutes. Flour deer meat making sure full coverage. Deep fry at 325 for 4-5 minutes.

Sprinkle with Lawry's Season salt and pinch of red pepper. Serve with home cut fries and fresh sweet