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Traditional Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Traditional Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

Gimme Yummy
This traditional Jamaican jerk chicken recipe is bursting with sweet, tangy, smoky, and spicy fiery hot flavor that will have you jumping out of your seat. Easy to prepare, fire it up on a grill or simply cook it in the oven, either way, you'll enjoy the wonderful Caribbean unique smokiness this jerk chicken will bring to the table. Explore the amazing flavors of Jamaican cuisine right at home.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Marinade 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Caribbean, Jamaican
Servings 4 people
Calories 450 kcal



  • 1 whole chicken cut into quarters or small pieces (You can also use chicken thighs, chicken wings, chicken legs, or chicken breast)
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons ground thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 scallion stocks cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil olive
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 large onion cut into small pieces
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet pepper diced


  • 1 small onion cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice or 4 tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup pineapple chunks
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or granulated sugar



  • Add all the ingredients for the Scotch bonnet sauce into a blender or food processor and pulse until saucy consistency. If you want a thicker chunkier pepper sauce reduce the number of pulses.
  • Place the sauce into a medium-size pot and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • Allow the bonnet sauce to cool, then transfer into a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.


  • Cut the whole chicken into quarters or smaller pieces and set it aside in a bowl.
  • To prepare the jerk chicken marinade, add the vinegar, brown sugar, thyme, salt, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, olive oil, water, black pepper, white pepper, ginger, scallions, onion, and Scotch bonnet pepper into a blender or food processor and puree until a saucy consistency.
  • Marinade the chicken by rubbing the jerk marinade and coating both sides of the chicken. Cover the chicken bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour up to 24 hours.
  • Prepare your barbecue grill: For best results, use a charcoal grill to cook the jerk chicken. If you don’t have a charcoal grill, it’s fine, prepare your gas grill.
  • Grill the chicken on medium-high heat with a low open flame if using a charcoal grill, be careful not to scorch or burn the chicken, slow cook the jerk chicken turning it over as needed. It will take about 50 minutes to fully cook depending on how big the chicken pieces are. The chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) or above.
  • If you’re using a gas barbecue grill to cook the jerk chicken follow the same steps the only difference is they won’t be an open flame like the charcoal grill.
  • Allow the chicken to char a little but be careful not to burn the marinade.
  • Serve the jerk chicken with bonnet pepper sauce, rice, and beans.


  • To start follow the above steps from 1-3.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)
  • Place the jerk marinated chicken in a cast iron pan or baking pan.
  • Bake for 60 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the internal temp reaches 165°F (74°C) or above.
  • Remove from the oven and Enjoy!
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