In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Jamaican Jerk Dry Rub.

Here’s my take on a classic Jamaican Jerk Dry Rub! A recipe I’ve tailored to my own taste, as you won’t see any Paprika (as in many recipes online) and to be honest with you, dried thyme is NOT my fav. However it’s a key ingredient in any Jamaican jerk rub or marinade you’ll ever come across, so I included it.

You’ll Need…

3 tablespoon Pimento Berries (allspice)
4 tablespoon Cane Sugar
3 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
3 tablespoon dehydrated garlic
3 tablespoon ground ginger
4 tablespoon dehydrated scallions (or chives)
1 1/2 tablespoon scotch bonnet pepper flakes
6-10 bay leaves
3 tablespoon dry rubbed thyme

Note! To add a smoky undertone (if you won’t be using a smoker or grilling over charcoal), the smoked Paprika I mentioned that I didn’t use above, will work. NO, regular pepper flakes will NOT give you the same effect as the Scotch Bonnet pepper flakes. But if that’s all you can source, so be it.

I find that by crushing the Pimento (allspice) berries, it gives the finished rub a much deeper flavor. However, the ground stuff will work, if you don’t want the work or you don’t have a heavy mortar and pestle.

The addition of the Bay Leaf compliments the Pimento Berries as the have the same flavor profile, so I’d recommend using them. Those I crushed also. A spice grinder will also work.

To be honest, that’s the only real work involved in putting this wicked Jamaican Jerk Rub together. Basically all you have to do now is place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to combine.

Use fresh or store in a airtight glass jar. I prefer a glass jar as the flavors of the rub is very strong and can leave a scent-stain on plastic containers. Store in a cool, dry/dark place in the airtight jar and it will last you a few months easily. Give it a good shake before using next.

Do keep in mind that I didn’t use any salt in this rub as I much prefer to control that, depending on what I’ll be using the rub on. Speaking about use, it can be used on vegetables, fish, shrimp, pork, chicken (poultry) and lamb.

My fave is smoked/grilled dry rub chicken. Trim the excess skin and fat off chicken pieces, dust generously with the Jamaican Jerk Dry Rub, allow it to marinate for a couple hours (or go directly onto your grill), then grill as you’d normally do.

Circling back on my comment above about dried thyme… while I’m no fan of it, fresh thyme out of my garden is my JAM! I can use that herb on everything I cook.

Do keep in mind that this will be SPICY and if you use your hands to rub onto whatever you’re grilling, wash with soap and water immediately after.

Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @

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1 Comment

  1. Cutler
    January 22, 2023 / 12:54 am

    Hello! I have been cooking some of your recipes for the past few weeks and they are great! However, made the brown stew chicken using your jerk rub but it tasted a bit flat. I am trying to cut back on salt, so that may have had something (or everything) to do with it. I did salt the chicken a bit and added the soy sauce and browning sauce, but I didn’t put any salt in the jerk rub and I grinded the spice very very fine (too fine I think). Perhaps mixing some salt in with the rub would make the flavor pop a bit more as opposed to adding salt separately? Anyways I really appreciate your videos. Even though sadly I am living a cooks worse nightmare by having to cut back on salt, I love all the other jamiacan flavors. Thank you for all you do!!

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