We are huge jerk chicken fans and just can’t seem to get enough of it! Our Jamaican jerk rub is perfect for adding delicious flavors to a variety of dishes, from pork ribs, chops, and roasts to chicken, vegetables, and meat substitutes.
While this Jamaican jerk rub is meant to be spicy, you can adjust the cayenne to suit your tastes. If you’re new to Jerk seasoning, we recommend starting your journey with chicken breasts or thighs.
What is Jamaican Jerk?
Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica. Meats like chicken or pork are dry-rubbed (or marinated) in a spicy mixture that consists of allspice, Scotch Bonnet peppers, herbs, and spices. The meat is then slow-roasted or grilled. Scotch Bonnet peppers are incredibly flavorful but very hot. So, if you are a chili lover, you might want to consider swapping out the cayenne pepper for Scotch Bonnet powder. Word to the wise, use it sparingly at first, then work your way up!
The origins of jerk seasoning began with the Arawak people, who used similar seasonings. Today, jerk seasoning remains an important part of Jamaican cuisine and culture, and has spread beyond Jamaica.
- coarse salt
- paprika (not smoked)
- black pepper
- white sugar
- onion powder
- granulated garlic or garlic powder
- dried thyme
- cayenne or Scotch Bonner powder
- powdered allspice
- grated nutmeg or powdered cinnamon
Making and using Jamaican Jerk Rub:
- Combine all of the herbs and spices called for this recipe in a small bowl. Use a fork to break up any clumps. Use right away, or store in an airtight container in the cupboard for up to one year. I like to keep my spice rubs in these lidded jars. They work quite well, and they help keep my homemade seasonings in order. Just slap on a label, store it in the pantry, and you’ll be good to go!
- Use 1 tablespoon of Jamaican jerk rub per 1 pound of meat. Coat the meat well and cook as directed. Check out my Jamaican Jerk Marinade recipe if you’re planning on making kebabs! For meat substitutes, follow the same measurement. My recommendation is to use an unflavored vegan-friendly protein like tofu or ground meat substitutes.
Jamaican Jerk Rub
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons cayenne
- 1 teaspoon powdered allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Combine Jerk seasonings in small bowl and apply evenly to meat, vegetables, or meat substitutes. Remember, what sticks to the surface is all that is needed. Cook as directed.
- Make a large batch, by tripling the recipe, and store in an airtight plastic container or lidded glass jar in the cupboard for up to 12 months after preparation.
- As always, discard any rub that has come into contact with raw meat.