How to make jerk seasoning marinade for chicken

Jerk Marinade

Jerk is one of those amazing flavor combinations that is so distinctive that you can often identify it with one bite. Jerk is truly Jamaican, but originates from Western Africa. When slaves were brought to Jamaica, they used local ingredients to make a similar flavor, producing the jerk seasoning we know today.

One of those ingredients is the scotch bonnet pepper. One of the hottest peppers in the world and similar to habanero peppers, scotch bonnet peppers are commonly used in Jamaican cuisine and give the food some real heat.

Jerk Chicken Marinade text

Even though everyone has their own jerk recipe, common ingredients include allspice, ginger, onions, lime, cinnamon and more. Jerk is great as a marinade for chicken, seafood, pork, beef and more. Excellent both on the grill and cooked in the oven, jerk seasoning adds deep flavor with some strong heat.

How to Make Oven Baked Jerk Chicken Jamaican Style

If you are looking for how to cook jerk chicken in the oven, then check out this recipe: Oven Baked Jerk Chicken

For grilling chicken drumsticks, marinate in the jerk marinade and follow these instructions: How to Grill Chicken Drumsticks on a Gas Grill

How to make jerk seasoning marinade for chicken

How to make jerk seasoning marinade for chicken
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5 from 1 vote

Jerk Marinade

Easy jerk marinade that is great for grilling or baking chicken, shrimp, fish, pork, steak and more. Scotch bonnet peppers, green onions, allspice and more!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Steve Cylka


  • 8 green onions , including green part
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch piece ginger , peeled
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers , with seeds
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  • Marinate meat for at least 1 hour (preferably 2 or 3) before cooking.
  • Use on chicken, seafood, pork or beef. Great for grilling or coking in the oven.

About Steve Cylka

Steve is the author of The Black Peppercorn. He is a recipe developer and food photographer. His recipes have been featured on websites like Bradley Smoker, Times Picayune, Buzzfeed, and Basil & Salt. He has also authored and co-authored a couple cookbooks.


  1. This marinade sounds amazing! I’ve never made anything like this before, but the flavors sound great and exciting. Do you think I could substitute jalapenos or some other pepper for the scotch bonnets. I’m living in France right now and would have no idea where to get them or if I even could. I definitely want to put this on my list for next week 🙂

    • You could substitute the scotch bonnet with any hot chili pepper. Jalapeno would be fine, but it would not be at hot. Habanero, thai chilies or any other would work also. Hope you enjoy it! I have a recipe for Oven Baked Jerk Chicken coming on the site in a day or two. 🙂

  2. Hi I love making my own jerk seasoning. How long can you store this unopened? I’d like to make my own version and give to friends as gifts

  3. I would like season 2 lbs of ground beef with this marinade. How much do you think I would need?

  4. just try it and it’s awesome

  5. Can I put the chicken in a roaster bag?

  6. How many pounds of meat would you use for this marinade?

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