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Feb 10, 2011 04:47 AM

Jerk seasoning

Need a recipe for a (gallon) of Jerk. Something for 2 dozen chickens or whatever. I'm not satisfied with the mix that I've come up with.

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  1. What is your mixture? Most recipes I've come across are a combination of allspice, thyme, garlic, scallions, scotch bonnets, lime juice or vinegar and soy sauce. You can also add some brown sugar to aid in caramelization and tame the heat as well as cinnamon and nutmeg for complexity.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JungMann

      Spot on. I always add cinnamon, and nutmeg. The only other thing I would suggest is shallots.

      3MTA3 - I can suggest Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning (it's a paste) if you don't want to go the homemade route. It's insanely delicious. I use that brand only when I run out of my homemade stuff and don't have the time to make a new batch.

    2. This is mine and it makes enough for 7-8 lbs of cut up chicken, so for your two dozen chickens, do the math based on total weight of chicken, or this recipe makes about a 3/4 cup of jerk. However, I would NOT increase the Scotch bonnets at the same rate, unless you want a totally screamin' hot jerk:

      Patty's Jerk Paste

      1 large bunch scallions (about 8), white and green parts
      2 shallots, peeled and halved
      4 to 6 Scotch bonnet chili peppers, stems removed, or habaneros
      1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
      6 garlic cloves, peeled
      1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
      2 tablespoons ground allspice, more for sprinkling
      2 teaspoons cinnamon
      2 tablespoons soy sauce
      2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
      1 tablespoon salt, more for sprinkling
      1 tablespoon black pepper
      1/2 cup vegetable oil
      1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
      Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes

      At least 1 day before cooking, pat chicken dry with paper towels. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender or food processor and grind to a coarse paste. Slather all over chicken, including under skin. Refrigerate 12 to 36 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking and lightly sprinkle with more salt and ground allspice.

      The soy sauce might seem incongruous for a Caribbean cuisine based recipe, but it appears in many "authentic" jerk recipes and works very well in this one for a boost of umami and to color the chicken while it grills. My other jerk paste recipe contains beer and nutmeg, as well as the ingredients listed above. Feel free to improvise.


          1. re: bushwickgirl

            the jerk joints I frequent in South London use it pretty routinely.

            1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

              Mm, interesting, certainly would add a different flavor to what jerk joints in Brooklyn serve up, (we have quite a few here, as there is a sizable Caribbean population) with no ketchup in sight.

              Wonder why the discrepancy in ingredients, or maybe it's just Levi's preference for a jerk paste base. I assume they're using an English ketchup? Don't remember having ketchup In London, HP yes, no ketchup. I assume it's less sweet than American?

              For the OP, here's an older thread witha few more recipes and some Scotch bonnet handling tips, and other jerk ephemera:


              Oh, and I should give credit where credit is due, I got my jerk recipe from poster Will Owen, and I have adapted it slightly to my own taste. Thanks, Will, it's a good one!

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                That's FUNNY! And completely wrong.