Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Recipe

for Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork, or Jerk Fish

Any Jerk Seasoning Recipe which has ingredients that weren't around when Jerk was first created can not claim to be the real thing. I've seen recipes with ketchup, mustard and other ingredients that I am sure were not used by the Maroons, nor are they used in Boston Jerk Pork. Boston Bay is the home of Jamaican Jerk and until Jerk stalls started to spring up all over the island Boston Bay was about the only place you could get good Jerk Pork, or Jerk Chicken, and I have known people drive over two hours to Boston Bay just to get their Jerk.

Jerk Recipes tend to be very closely guarded secrets. And with so many new and different places springing up, each creating their own Jerk seasoning recipe, you now get a wide variety of different flavors of Jerk.

But as I've said before every Jamaican is a cook ... and every Jamaican cooks their own way. It doesn't matter how it's made if it tastes good.

In the home it is virtually impossible to reproduce the flavor that you get when the meat is cooked on an open pit as in Boston Bay.

A platform made from thin green saplings cut from the nearby hillsides is constructed about 6" - 8" above a bed of hot coals. The meat to be jerked is placed on top of this platform, and  loosely coverd over with zinc sheets.

It is slow cooked and turned often, and apart from any other ingredients ... as the meat is cooking these saplings are giving off oils and smoke ... and imparting their own flavor to the cooked meat.

So any home cooking ... or for that matter any bottled seasonings ... can only aproximate the real Jerk.

We all try ... so hope you enjoy my Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Recipe.


  • 4 to 6 Scotch Bonnet Pepper - de-seeded and de-veined (Leave the seeds and veins if you want it real hot).
  • 2 tbspn ground Pimento (Allspice) - or about 20 whole dry berries
  • 3 sprigs fresh Thyme
  • 8 stalks scallion
  • 2 tbspn ground Nutmeg
  • 2 tbspn dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbspn Salt
  • 1 tbspn Black Pepper
  • 2 tbspn Oil
  • Vinegar

To Make Your Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

  • Blend all ingredients in a suitable food processor.
  • Or if your food processor can't blend them, then pound them using a mortar and pestle until thoroughly mixed together.

Add enough Vinegar to make a paste that you can spread easily, and because of the Vinegar this Jerk Seasoning can be kept for quite a long time.

I do not keep mine in the fridge, and have kept it for over a year when I make a large batch.

To Make Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork or Jerk Fish

  • Rub the Jerk Seasoning thoroughly into the chicken, pork, or fish.
  • Marinate overnight.
  • For best results slow cook on a barbecue.
  • Or alternatively, slow cook in an oven.
  • Turn as neccessary until both sides are brown.

Good eaten with Hard-Dough bread, a nice ripe Roast Breadfruit, or Festival.

Enjoy your Jamaican jerk ... and "Give Thanks".

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