Categorized |Bits and Bites, Chicken, Fish, Pork

A Classic Jamaican Jerk Marinade.

jamaican jerk chicken

I just love the variety of exciting and scrumptious dishes you can find as you work your way up and down the islands that make up the Caribbean. To date I’ve not been to Jamaica, even though my friends who hails from there have  extended several invitations the past few years. Hopefully I can make the trip down the next time they plan a vacation and finally get to see “jerk” done the traditional way. Until then, I’ll keep making my homemade marinade/sauce and hopefully you’ll give it  a try. Beware! You won’t go back to the bottled stuff you get in the grocery store once you do though. You won’t believe how simple this is.

You’ll Need…

5 scallions (green onions)
5 sprigs of fresh thyme (about 1 tablespoon chopped)
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 scotch bonnet peppers
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1 onion
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger

Notes: If you’re using dried thyme, use about 1/2 table spoon. This makes about 3 cups of marinade and it can be stored in the fridge for about 1 month.

Basically  all you’ll be doing is making a puree with all the ingredients I mentioned above. So you’ll need a blender or food processor.

jamaican jerk marinade

Rough chop the scallions, peppers, garlic, onion and thyme and place in the food processor to make it easier to puree. Remember when working with these hot peppers to wear gloves (the natural oil is deadly). Also note that most of the heat is within the seeds and the membrane that surround the seeds. So to control the heat, discard those. However, for that true authentic Jamaican feel.. keep the entire peppers.

jamaican jerk marinade (2)

jamaican jerk marinade (3)

Now add all the other ingredients and pulse to start. Then run the puree speed for about 2-3 minutes until everything breaks down to a smooth consistency.

jamaican jerk marinade (4)

jamaican jerk marinade (5)

For best results use this sauce immediately, but marinate your pork, chicken or fish (haven’t tried beef yet) for at least 2 hours before grilling or roasting in the oven. The next recipe I post I’ll show you how simple it is to use this marinade/sauce to make the Ultimate Oven Jerk Chicken. Stay tuned.

In the coming months I’ll also show you a secret ingredient I use to give this a Canadian twist.. I can’t right now as I’m sending off a challenge to Bobby Flay (he’s taking entries for a new show he’s working on). Wish me luck.

Don’t forget to join us on Facebook and check out the cooking videos – see on the upper right side of the page for links to those. And before you go, do leave me your comments below – it’s appreciated.

BTW, as we “Trinis” do… you can always add our signature to this by adding a couple shots of rum (I would use a dark rum), a little shado beni and how could we forget a drop or two of Angostura bitters.

Recipe Name
A Classic Jamaican Jerk Marinade.
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Average Rating
3.5 Based on 86 Review(s)
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116 Responses to “A Classic Jamaican Jerk Marinade.”

  1. Bibi Schmitt says:

    What temperature and how long you bake for

  2. Lady E says:

    Delicious recipe! I made it as my marinade for my thanksgiving chicken (there are just two of us, so no need for a turkey yet), and it was so good! Definitely was a hit, and without the habanero seeds, the spice is perfect. I will definitely make this again, and probably even put some in the freezer to have when I need it. And one of these days, when I make a turkey, I’m going to try this as a marinade and injection. Yum!

  3. Amanda says:

    I’ve used this recipe 3 times (minus the orange juice) and could not understand why it only got an average of 3 stars because it tastes amazing!!! Then today I made it without the cilantro (forgot it) and it tasted completely different. It’s still good, but doesn’t have nearly as much flavor. I would recommend using cilantro every time for flavor and a thicket marinade. Thanks, Chris – I love this recipe!

  4. julian says:

    An excellent recipe which i’ve used a number of times. Can you tell me though , did you not have a recipe for a hot scotch bonnet dipping sauce to increase the fieryness of the jerk chicken. I made it last year and it was fantastic but i can’t find it again and i need it bad.

  5. Dorothy Hudson says:

    Will try this weekend. My friend buys his sauce from a specialty store.

  6. Kiki says:

    Chris, what do you know about my life?! OMG, I have some people coming on Sunday to eat up the niceness and I’m planning to make rice and peas and oven jerked chicken. Lo and behold, I check my mail and you’ve shared this recipe again (I’ve seen you share it before & watched on YouTube). It was very delicious the last time I put it on pork and chicken. I added a little powdered smoke and put the meat in the oven with a ‘smoke boat’ accompanying it. In said ‘boat’ was: a little water, powdered smoke, ground pimento, and some cinnamon sticks. Flavour for days, everybody raved and licked their ten fingers! Alas, I have no powdered smoke right now but it’ll still be good this time around, I reckon. Thank you again for the timely assistance :-)

  7. Pakmann2k says:

    I have been making this recipe for about two years now and love it. For best results, I marinade my meat overnight in the sauce and cook the next day. I baste a few times during a slow cook and have even used a smoker to get the most flavor. When done basting, take all the sauce that the meat marinated in and bring it to a slow boil in a saucepan. Have to boil out contaminents, especially if you had raw chicken in it. After cooking it gently, chill the sauce and it rocks on everything. From your jerk chicken to eggs in the morning, the sauce is really good if you follow the recipe above.

  8. chrissy says:

    After getting tired of the same old grace jerk recipe ( which is too salty, and spicy for me) I just tried this recipe yesterday 3/22/2015 and it is the best jerk chicken I ever had. I did not have any orange juice on hand, so I used a little lemon juice instead. I give it five stars!!

  9. Kelly says:

    This is easily the BEST jerk recipe I’ve ever tried making. Love it, always keep some on hand now.

  10. Sylvie says:

    I’m making it with snow crab legs tonight, it’s going to be delicious……

  11. Tamira McGee says:

    I know your good enough for Bobby clay ‘s … keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your recipes….

  12. Tim dinelle says:

    This sounds awesome I will try it on the grill with chicken this weekend and good luck with bobby

  13. NathanDe says:

    I have today just tried making this marinade, I’m using for the ultimate oven Jerk Chicken but it’s has not come out looking as dark, I didn’t have enough time for marination only an hour, I wonder if this has something to do with it. I’m from the uk and I don’t know what a broiler is

  14. Danielle says:

    I tried this recipe last night and it was easy to put together and it was tasty. I didn’t have orange juice so I used apple instead. Next time I’ll try with orange.

  15. Anne says:

    Hi Chris this marinade sounds wonderful, can’t wait to try it…yummm…thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes with us..keep up the good work..


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