Punch Cigars wants you to be King of the Deck this Summer.  That’s why they’re here to giveaway 3 smoker boxes filled with a Punch Rare Corojo Magnum, a Punch Magnum, a Punch Gran Puro Rancho and the new Punch Upper Cut Robusto. To win, friend us on Facebook, and tell us why you’re King of the Grill.  We’ll announce the best three answers next week, and the winners get a free smoker box filled with smokes! 

Even if you’re not the winner, though, we still want you to have a hot and smokey Summer dominating the backyard grilling scene on your block with your signature panache, delicious recipes, and perfectly-paired cigars.  That’s why we talked to Punch Cigar’s Barry Martin about what smokes to smoke while your smoking meat, and just what exactly makes a man King of the Grill.  

MM: How do you decide which cigars go with which grilled meats? Which comes first?

BM: The most important thing to remember when pairing cigars and grilled meats is to match flavor profiles – recipes with spicy flavors pair well with a robust cigar while foods with a more delicate taste pair best with a milder smoke. Once you get that down, it’s easy to start with either the recipe or the Punch cigar of your choosing.

MM: Between the two, did you have a first love?

BM: To me, nothing is better than enjoying a great grilled meal with a fine cigar, but my first love is grilling. However, I’ve found that a great pairing brings out the best flavors in each other.

MM: What are the similarities in how you taste a cigar versus how you taste good, grilled food?

BM: Tasting any fine product relies on all of the senses. Just like the first step to enjoying a great cigar is examining the product to make sure there are no flaws, the same holds true for grilled food. Preparation of a cigar is key… you’ll want to cut and toast the cigar before lighting. With grilling, prepping the grill and meat is also critical for a great meal. Lastly, savoring all great things slowly is critical – give it time for every delicious smell and flavor to develop.

MM: What’s your favorite recipe/cigar combo for this summer?

BM: For me, nothing is better on the grill than a great steak. My favorite recipe this summer is EZ Grilled Hanger Steak "Moutarde", a sweet and spicy take on a classic cut of meat. It pairs well with Upper Cut by Punch Grand Corona, a cigar with complex flavors that complement a zesty recipe like this. Check it out here.

MM: What about on the beverage side? What drinks go well with good grilling? Or with a good cigar? Preferably both?

BM: The same rule of matching flavor profiles for grilled meats and cigar applies when choosing a beverage to complete the meal. A zesty steak recipe or robust cigar pairs well with a brown spirit such as bourbon or scotch while a meat with a more subtle flavor goes well with a clear spirit such as vodka or gin. And you can also consider the same qualities if you want to pair with a cold beer or rich red wine.

MM: What makes a man “King of the Deck?”

BM: For Punch Cigars and Char-Broil, King of the Deck is the outdoor chef who takes pride in everything he does and celebrates the arrival of the summer barbeque season with two of his favorite pastimes – grilling and cigars.