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Real, Hot, Authentic Jerk? [Moved from Midwest Board]

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Ive recently decided to focus my BBQ'ing ideas around Jerk and Island Style flavors and ingedients.

With this Ive spent time messing with Mango or Pineapple Salsa's, Spicey meats and soothing sauces. BUT: I havent been able to nail a Jerk seasoning.

I had the best jerk in my life at a random BBQ in a local park, but alas... The cook was gone already. The seasoning had a strong taste of Allspice, Cinnamon and garlic. I was told the meat was marinading for almost 2 days, but the marinade itself was junky by nature. No powder or dirty sawdust looking rub, But large pieces garlic and all sorts of green leafs ranging from what looked like Sage or Oregano to Bay leafs and what might have been Chive or Table Onion stalks.

I love chicken, but this will Primarily used on Beef. From Tenderloins to Flank to Ribs and Brisket.

Bottom Line, Im looking for a flawless, Top secret style Recipe for a maranade. Be it Liquid Based or Dry, I have experiance with both.

Any help would be Hugely apprecaited!!
Thanks for Reading

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  1. hi, welcome to the chowhound boards SQ-- posts asking for recipes & cooking techniques go on the home cooking board (where you will get a much faster & more varied response to your question). i'm going to ask the mods to move your post over there so you can get some action :)

    are you doing your jerk bbq over wood/charcoal? if so what kind of wood are you using?

    4 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten

      9 times out of 10 im using Kingsford Hickory charcoal. Ive only used my smoker a few times, stocking it with Apple wood, Hickory, and Georgia Peach wood, (each individually of course.)

      And i would very much Appreciate this being moved, Im sorry i miss-posted. Must have missed that part in the Posting etiquette. I appologize

      1. re: squ1r3

        don't apologize, it's no skin off my nose! i am always happy to hear a new voice and these other folks are too. seriously-- welcome & i hope we can help you on your quest for deliciousness. :)

        i talked dh the pitmaster about giving you a good jerk marinade & he's giving it up! it's a great recipe, it's fast & easy, & it yields to-die-for jerk pork in particular-- i know you said you wanted to try jerk beef, so try it out & see what you think-- i do think pork is more traditional tho, but do whatever makes you happy.

        jerk pork marinade:

        1/2 cup chopped scallion
        2 jalapenos
        1 scotch bonnet
        1 Tablespoon soy sauce
        1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
        2 tsp allspice
        1 Tablespoon minced garlic
        1 tsp sea salt
        1/2 tsp sugar
        1/2 tsp black pepper
        1/2 tsp dried thyme
        1/4 tsp cinnamon
        1/4 tsp ground ginger
        fresh nutmeg to taste
        1 can of beer

        combine all ingredients in food processor and blend. place in gallon sealable bag. marinate 1 pound pork loin, chops or similar, or chicken, turning occasionally. leave for up to 8 hours or overnight. direct grill the meat.

        have lots of fun & don't forget to report back on your jerk cooking results!

        1. re: soupkitten

          Soup!! Your marinade was fantastic!!! I let my Beef Tenderloin sit over night in this fantastic blend, cooked 'er up Sunday around noon and wow... Pure penitration on every ounce of meat. Not just the crust. And i was surprized that even with only 1/4 tsp of Cinnamon, it really stands out as an earthy tone with the heat. I left out the Beer (Alergic to Hops) So it was mostly a paste over an actual liquid. I couldnt be happier!

          Im using your recipe Thursday Val, we'll see how she turns out!

          Thank you all Very much!

          1. re: squ1r3

            awesome. thanks for taking the time to write back! i do love that marinade & it sounds as if it doesn't lose its punch when you leave the beer out. i will be following along to see how Val's recipe works, as it looks fabulous as well!

    2. Hey squ1rl! Funny you should ask, I was reading a jerk thread earlier today. You can find it at
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/315618
      It seems pretty all inclusive- allspice = peminto, scotch bonnet vs habaneros, and don't forget the gloves when handeling the peppers.
      BTW, when you get you recipe perfected Tim says you need to bring some to work and make it x-tra hot for Joel!
      Cheers!

      1. SQ, welcome! I've visited Jamaica four times and have always loved jerk. The closest I've come to what I've tasted there is a recipe for a wet marinade from Sara Moulton...the green stuff you saw on the meat was most likely pieces of scallion. The basic ingredients to authentic jerk seem to be scotch bonnet peppers (some folks use habaneros); scallion; allspice and thyme. Mine also uses soy sauce, lime juice and bay leaf...I've seen other recipes that include rum...there are variations, to be sure. Here's a recipe to consider...I always marinate the chicken pieces overnight and cook over a hot charcoal flame...I doubt there is much smoking of jerk chicken when the friendly folks sell these morsels to visitors...they use whatever means they can to cobble together a grill. Oh, and if your mixture is a little dry in the blender, just add a little more lime juice balanced with soy sauce.

        Jerk Chicken

        2 scotch bonnet peppers, chopped (now a word of caution: these are incendiary and if you get the oils on your fingers and then rub your eyes, you will be in terrible pain...so you may want to use gloves)
        2 cups chopped scallions, green and white parts
        2 Tablespoons soy sauce
        2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
        5 teaspoons allspice
        3 teaspoons Colman's English mustard powder
        2 bay leaf, crumbled
        1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme (or 3 teaspoons fresh)
        2 cloves garlic, peeled & chopped
        1 teaspoon salt
        2 teaspoons sugar

        In a blender or food processor, (my blender works best for this, not my processor), mix all ingredients til fine. Pour over 6-8 chicken pieces and marinate, refrigerated, overnight, turning a few times. Prepare hot grill and cook chicken pieces. **Sometimes the fumes will affect you...Sara Moulton cooked hers on an indoor studio grill and almost choked to death, I'll never forget that, eyes teared up, whole 9 yards**...so it may be best not to stand directly over the smoke no matter where you are...those adorable little scotch bonnets are killer good. Also, you mention cinnamon...if you like it, use it...add some to this and see how it comes out, it can't hurt.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Val

          "(now a word of caution: these are incendiary and if you get the oils on your fingers and then rub your eyes, you will be in terrible pain...so you may want to use gloves)"

          Use HEAVY rubber gloves, not those flimsy little hand-saver dealies, and preferably new ones to ensure no holes. After you're done with the peppers, wash your gloved hands with dish soap and very hot water. Then take the gloves off and wash your hands very thoroughly. And then STILL refrain from picking your nose or digging for eye-boogies for several hours! Ask me how I know!

          But the jerk is SO worth it...