Jerk Marinade

How to make jerk seasoning marinade for chicken

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

Jerk Marinade

How to make jerk seasoning marinade for chicken
5 out of 5
3 reviews
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


  • 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.


How to make jerk seasoning marinade for chicken

Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating


  • 5 stars
    Made the Jerk Chicken and my family ate it up, quickly. I hadn’t made Jerk chicken in years so I had to look to a recipe for guidance and this did the trick. Cheers
    The Backhouse Crew

    • Reply
  • This is one of the best recipes I have tried! My family loved it!!!

    • Reply
  • Can you freeze the marinated chicken for cooking at a later date? (dinner was cancelled after I marinated the meat.)

    • Reply
    • I have not tried it, but I imagine it should work.

      • Reply
    • Yes I always seasoned my meats and freeze them. Btw I’m a Jamaican and this recipe is a good one. That’s the ingredients I have been using for years with the addition of pimento berries.

      • Reply
  • How many pounds of meat would you use for this marinade?

    • Reply
    • This should be able to marinate somewhere between 2-3 pounds of chicken. I typically use bone in chicken.

      • Reply
      • 5 stars
        This was by far the best jerk chicken I ever had

        • Reply
  • Can I put the chicken in a roaster bag?

    • Reply
  • just try it and it’s awesome

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

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    • Hmm, never did ground beef with this so I am not sure. I might say half the recipe. Maybe a bit more. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

      • Reply
  • 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

    • Reply
  • 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 🙂

    • Reply
    • 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. 🙂

      • Reply

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