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Caribbean Jerk Seasoning Guide 

Caribbean Jerk Seasoning is a very fiery mixture of spices. It can be used as a dry rub onto meat before it is cooked or it can be used with a marinade. Either way this seasoning adds a delicious flavour that packs a punch! 

Typically, Caribbean jerk seasoning contains a lot of herbs and spices blended together. These include, ground cayenne pepper, paprika, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried thyme, garlic and onion powder, black pepper, salt and sugar. 

This seasoning blend is also commonly known as Jamaican Jerk. When cooking with these seasonings this style of cooking is known as jerk. It is native to Jamaica but is also used widely throughout the Caribbean.

Caribbean Jerk Seasoning


3 tablespoons onion powder

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon black pepper

3 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg


Take a small to medium mixing bowl and add all the herbs and spices and mix well, breaking down any lumps.

There are a lot of Caribbean Jerk (Jamaican Jerk) recipes where you can make your own seasoning blend. But you will need to have all the herbs and spices for your particular recipe, which are all available online. You can also buy some fantastic pre made Caribbean Jerk (Jamaican Jerk ) seasonings. These are readily available online.

You can also buy a Caribbean (Jamaican) jerk sauce. This is also available online, and is great as it gives the option to marinade your meats with this sauce first. 

Caribbean Jerk Seasoning Cooking Tips

These days, traditional cooking jerk style is often done using an old, oil barrel that has been cut in half length ways. It then has holes added to it for ventilation and is  hinged together so as to have a base and a lid. These adapted barrels are normally fuelled with charcoal. This is a great method to use for the heat and it also adds to the delicious smokey, spicy flavour of the meat or other food.

There are other methods to cook jerk style when the above is not available. One other popular way to cook this, which is probably more convenient for a lot of places, is to use a wood burning oven.You could also use your BBQ at home. 

Traditionally chicken and pork were always the meats of choice for cooking with this seasoning blend. Now a days a lot of recipes use shrimp, fish, sausage, beef, lamb, tofu and vegetables. Below is a simple recipe in which you marinade your chicken before you cook it on a grill or BBQ. This is great served with a salad or rice.

Caribbean Jerk Chicken - Marinated


Serves 4-6 people


1 Kg chicken legs and thighs, skin on and bone in

3-4 tablespoons of Caribbean jerk seasoning

3 tablespoons of sunflower oil

3 tablespoons soy sauce

Juice of 2 limes


Take a large bowl and add the seasoning, oil, soy sauce and the lime juice and mix together. Add the chicken and mix it in making sure it all gets covered.

Now place into the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, giving it a little mix every now and then.

Using your grill or BBQ, cook the chicken on a medium heat  - no more!

Cover with a lid and cook for 45 minutes or until cooked, turning the chicken a few times in the process.