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THE Best Jamaican Jerk Sauce Seasoning

Updated on January 16, 2015

We LOVE Jamaican Jerk Sauce and Seasonings. Wanna come for dinner? :)

Hi everyone! I have a friend from a marketing group that I belong to who was born and raised in Jamaica. When I told her that John and I REALLY like jerk paste we asked her for HER recipe.

As it oftentimes happens in home cooking, she told me, "Well, Kath, I don't always really MEASURE" (hint: remember that this takes a lot of HOT pepper). :) But she told me how she would pretty much do it - more or less based on the recipe that follows.

But, I have to say that this is really not too difficult! Except for finding Scotch Bonnet peppers (aka Jamaican peppers) in grocery stores up in northern New Hampshire, just about everything else is available here.

Ok, except for the pimento planks that Barb, my friend says is CRITICAL to really cooking Jamaican jerk chicken...

Anyway, Let's take a look at a recipe, as well as some commercial brands of jerk seasoning that - from personal experience - I can recommend (or not). Trust me... we've gone through a LOT of this! :)

PS: I took the photos accompanying these paragraphs (other than the ones from Amazon or AllPosters), and ask that you please don't use or copy them without my permission. Thanks! :) Photos copyright Kathy Tremblay

Are You a Fan of Jerk Sauce or Paste?

Just curious!

Do you enjoy Jamaican jerk sauce, paste, or seasoning?

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Even if you don't have Scotch Bonnet peppers (as is the case for us), you can still make an authentic sauce or marinade. In this recipe, we're making an authentic Jerk Sauce (seasoning) marinade. My actual favorite COMMERCIALLY prepared jerk sauce (Walkerswood as of this writing) has a lot LESS ingredients in it - but my friend Barbara uses these ingredients. As I mentioned, we cannot find Scotch Bonnet peppers where we live, so we use jalepenos (see our home grown jalepeno in the photo!).

Again, Barb says that she really doesn't measure, so experiment with this!

Again, this particular recipe is more for a marinade than a paste - so you can experiment with making this more into a paste by taking out the liquids like the soy sauce and vegetable oil. You'll still want a little lime though! :) Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Scallions (aka Green Onions) - about 6 or 7
  • Scotch Bonnet (aka Jamaican) Peppers - 1 or 2 - Use jalepeno or habenero if you can't find Scotch Bonnet. Careful! These are HOT!!!
  • Brown Sugar - approx 2 tablespoons (to taste)
  • Thyme - If using FRESH thyme - approx 1 tablespoon. If using DRY thyme - approx 1 TEASPOON
  • Salt & Pepper - approx 1-2 teaspoons each (feel free to go easy on the salt if you're cutting back)
  • Allspice - approx 2 teaspoons ground
  • Nutmeg - approx 1 teaspoon ground
  • Cinnamon - approx 1 teaspoon ground
  • Cloves - approx 1/2 teaspoon ground
  • Soy Sauce - approx 1/3 - 1/2 cup
  • Lime Juice - Barb starts with 2 large limes and juices them - she adds more if needed for "more zing" as she says
  • Vegetable Oil - approx 2 tablespoons (wonder how coconut oil would taste! Hmmm?)
  • Fresh Garlic - approx 2 cloves
  • Fresh Ginger - approx 1 inch (before chopping) or approx 1 tablespoon. Can omit if you're not a ginger fan. Ginger adds a little "heat" too.
  • Chicken Pieces - approx 1.5 - 2 pounds. Personally I love dark meat but it should work find on breasts as well!

Instructions

  1. Well, this is the easy part! :)
  2. 1) Put it all (well, except for the chicken!!) into a food processor or blender and combine until it's well blended.
  3. 2) Place chicken pieces into bowl or container with the seasoning/marinade - cover, and let it marinade in the refrigerator for anywhere from a few hours to overnight. I like to use large zipper-lock bags so I can turn it easily and keep the marinade covering the chicken better.
  4. 3) Pre-heat your grill to high, and put a bit of oil on the grill if you want to help keep the chicken from sticking. We have been using a grill basket which is really excellent for cooking chicken on the grill.
  5. 4) Grill the chicken for about 8-10 minutes per side - you'll want the juices to run clear. This step is a little tough for me to recommend because John has a "thing" about chicken, and likes to REALLY cook it through. Use your judgement or consult with your copy of "Joy of Cooking" :)
4.5 stars from 2 ratings of How to Make an authentic Jerk Sauce or Seasoning Marinade for Chicken

Look! Look! I Even Made a YouTube Video!! - Step by Step... How John & I make our Jamaican Jerk Sauce / Seasoning Marinade!

I decided that I'd demonstrate the recipe that my friend Barbara gave me, and wound up with a nice YouTube Video showing our amazing and delicious Best (and pretty darned authentic) Jamaican Jerk Sauce Marinade in step-by-step fashion! Enjoy!

It's not REALLY Jamaican Jerk if it isn't cooked over Pimento Wood

That's what Barb says. So, try as I might, I could NOT find Pimento Wood on Amazon OR eBay (Imagine that? Finally found something they don't have??).

Anyway, Barbara found a place called www.PimentoWood.com

Get some of that and you'll be stylin'!

Island Jerk Seasoning - LOOKS a lot like Walkerswood... but ISN'T
Island Jerk Seasoning - LOOKS a lot like Walkerswood... but ISN'T

Island Jerk Seasoning - Another Commercial Brand of Jerk Sauce

We're gonna pass on this one next time...

Well... It looked good in the store. But, once we got it home and tried it, it reminded us of Busha Brownes - which USED to be good... But, when Busha Browne spoiled it (in our opinion) by making it more vinegary, we stopped using it.

Same here. We won't buy this brand again - really, because of that overly vinegary flavor.

Ok, in their defense, they are not claiming that it's a JAMAICAN sauce. It's made in Costa Rica. Hey... at least it's not made in some factory in China.

Also... take a look at this list of ingredients. Enough with the vinegar and citric acid already! :)

Our FAVORITE is Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning
Our FAVORITE is Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning

Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning - Actually Made in Jamaica

This is our NEWEST favorite! At least in the Commercial bracket!

We found Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning at (believe it or not) the Daytona Beach (Florida) Flea Market. Now, this "flea market" isn't really a flea market in the way that John and I think of flea markets (remember, we also deal in buying and selling to make money on eBay and stuff).

This particular market is more like a ramshackle type of mall - most of the stuff is new, a LOT of this stuff is Dollar Store types of items... BUT, they DO have a Thai restaurant on the premises (alongside your beer and hot dog kiosks), and an enormous selection of produce with dozens of vendors. There's one kiosk that specializes in spices - we love that booth!

Then there was this booth that sold sauces. THAT is where we stumbled upon Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning.

Now, let me tell you - if you need a jerk sauce fix, and all you can find is an $11 bottle of Walkerswood, well, that's what you'll have to pay. That's what we had to pay. But, look in the Amazon offerings below and you'll quickly find that you can find this VERY inexpensively. I just received my latest order - 4 bottles (10 ounces each) for about $8 per bottle - and that included shipping. So shop around!

Anyway, this is the taste we're after! And, if you look at the ingredient label here, you'll see that it's simple and straightforward. Who says great taste has to be complicated! TRY THIS! It's WONDERFUL!!!

Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning Wins Our Vote! - Please try this! It really is good...

A little bit about the Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning, and why we prefer it above others.

Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, 10 oz
Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, 10 oz

If you read the previous paragraph about our preference for a "less vinegary" type of jerk sauce, and you tend to agree, then you'll like Walkerswood. The ingredients are simple - scallions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, citric acid, cane sugar, and thyme. The citric acid is not overpowering - probably like the amounts of lime juice we use when we make it homemade.

But honestly, as long as we have Walkerswood, we don't have a hankering to make it. Oh yeah... Notice that Walkerswood uses SCOTCH BONNET peppers? That's one of the keys right there! Try to find those little buggers in your local grocer (not gonna happen in northern NH!)

 

We USED to Use Busha Browne... - But we don't any longer...

I think we mentioned it above. We used to LOVE Busha Browne jerk paste - but something changed. Maybe they got too big, or maybe they got bought out by some large conglomerate... who knows. All we know is that it began to taste... well... "cheap." Vinegary.

But, in all fairness to you, my dear readers, if you would like to try it for yourself - and that's really only fair - here are a few choices for you! You can let me know how you like it. I DO realize that everyone's tastes are different!

Now that you've gone through this article... - What do you think?

Would you try to make a Jamaican jerk sauce yourself? Or would you prefer to buy it?

Make it yourself or buy it? What do you say?

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Please let me know you were here! - Let's hear your thoughts on Jamaican Jerk Sauce!

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    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      Oh, man... my mouth is watering. Jerk is one of my favorite flavors! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • writerkath profile image
      Author

      writerkath 4 years ago

      @JoshK47: That's so nice of you Josh! Thank you so much!! I think I'm going to make it this weekend for the grill...

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I love Jamaican food and I really want to make this now.

    • EvilChicken profile image

      EvilChicken 4 years ago

      This looks delicious! I will be trying this recipe verrrry soon!

    • writerkath profile image
      Author

      writerkath 4 years ago

      @EvilChicken: I actually made the sauce last week and filmed it. I'll be posting the video soon!

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 4 years ago

      My hubby loves this:-)

    • writerkath profile image
      Author

      writerkath 4 years ago

      @happynutritionist: So does mine! The hotter the better!

    • profile image

      FashionMommy 4 years ago

      This looks really delicious. I will try to make the recipe.

    • writerkath profile image
      Author

      writerkath 4 years ago

      @FashionMommy: Oh definitely do it! I just made it AGAIN last night for company. We thought we made plenty for everyone, and I think we should have made a double batch! It is a real crowd pleaser (we just used ONE pepper for guests though)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just by reading the comments in your guestbook, I am going to buy some...gotta' try it. Then, I might be back for the recipe. :)

    • writerkath profile image
      Author

      writerkath 4 years ago

      @anonymous: It is truly delicious Tipi! Definitely try it!

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 4 years ago

      blessings for sure!!

    • writerkath profile image
      Author

      writerkath 4 years ago

      @davenjilli lm: Thank you so much! That means a lot to me!

    • writerkath profile image
      Author

      writerkath 4 years ago

      @loveanime22: Oh, it is! :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      Way to go with the bonus video and everything. Very nicely done. I'm thinking we could have a Squidoo gathering in Jamaica to sample authentic jerk sauce at the source. Count me in!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love anything with spice. And I do love trying to making it myself. It's almost always better.

    • Weremuffin profile image

      Weremuffin 4 years ago

      Oh wow... This looks great and I can't wait to try it out. I'm pretty sure jerk seasoning is a cure-all for everything, especially glum moods.

    • GKREW profile image

      GKREW 3 years ago

      I use Walkerswood and I make my own almost like the recipe you have here. I marinate my chicken for 2 to 3 days before cooking. I find that bone-in chicken tastes a bit better than boneless chicken. Great lens and I am glad you like Jamaican food.

    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      My Jamaican indulgence is their ginger beer - I absolutely love it.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      My neighbour used to do this and it was just so tasty.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 3 years ago

      I haven't made jerk chicken in years and I'd forgotten how much we love it. I'll definitely give your recipe a try, and I enjoyed your video.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I've never had this, and had to see the ingredients - looks unbelievably good! Have to say, I laughed at the name "jerk" sauce.

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 2 years ago

      I am always on the look out for a great recipe and your recipe for jerk sauce fits that bill. Thanks for sharing, it sounds delicious

    • jtrader profile image

      jtrader 17 months ago

      I like jerk sauce on sandwiches, especially veggie burgers. I use Walker's Wood original seasoning when I'm seasoning chicken and fish. Yum!

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