Homemade Jerk Seasoning is jam packed with flavor! Quick and easy to make at home using common pantry spices, this seasoning will rock your socks off!
Homemade spice rubs allow you to know exactly what flavours are going into your food!
Save on running out to get 'just one thing' from the shops and raid the pantry instead for all the spices needed to make this recipe.
Quick and easy to prepare and combined simply by stirring together, you will love how effortless it is to make this homemade jerk seasoning!
Rub it on chicken, pork or sprinkle over a pizza for maximum Jamaican flavor!
What is jerk seasoning made of
Jerk seasoning is made from a combination of spices, pepper (also a spice) and salt (not a spice but a mineral).
As wide as there are recipes for roast chicken, you will find variety in flavour, heat and ingredients across jerk seasoning recipes.
I like to keep it simple and use it as a dry rub for chicken more so than any other dish.
I also like to keep the heat moderated, by only using red pepper flakes (measured amount) so that you have a reliable spice combo that works every single time!
Some key ingredients for jerk seasoning is sugar, chilli, herbs and complimentary spice flavors. You can use white or brown sugar, my recommendation is brown as it makes for simply irresistible flavour and texture!
What are Caribbean spices
Some typical Caribbean spices that you will find again and again are:
- red pepper (red chilli flakes)
In saying that, this seasoning recipe is not limited to the spices listed above, nor is it essential that we use each of those flavors in our homemade jerk seasoning.
The combination of flavors is both sweet and savory and combined really take one on a Jamaican Island holiday!
The ingredients needed for the recipe are all simple and easy to find at the local shops. I recommend soft brown sugar, but you can use white if you choose.
As you can see from the photo above, the recipe calls for:
- brown sugar (option to use white)
- red pepper (red chilli flakes)
- garlic powder (not salt, but ground garlic)
- onion powder (not salt, but ground onion)
- mixed spice (cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg)
- ginger (just a tiny bit)
- salt and pepper
If you have the individual spices of cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg, you can use a little of each of those. I prefer using mixed spice as I don't use sweet spices as much as savory so find it more economical to usually purchase these 3 in one!
If you have a look at the photo below, you will see that once you have all of your spices, sugar and salt measured out, it is only a simple matter of stirring to combine them!
You might find that the garlic and onion powders have little lumps in them so just keep pressing down as you stir them together to get rid of these (much the same as sifting flour).
The 2 techniques I recommend are either measuring the spices and piling on a plate as you go, or adding them to a zip lock bag, sealing and simply shaking till consistently combined.
The quantity for this recipe is enough to cover one whole chicken (approximately 3 tbs including the sugar). If you want to make more and store it in an air tight container for frequency use, please feel free to do so and simply increase the quantities.
To use the spice mix, simply add raw meat to a zip lock bag (shown in the photo below) and sprinkle it over. Seal the bag and massage the seasoning into the meat.
In the photo above, you can see me using the jerk spice mix to season raw chicken.
Is jerk seasoning spicy
Some jerk seasoning mixes can be very spicy (hot!).
It is quite common to find scotch bonnet peppers (similar to habanero chillis) in the seasoning, especially when it is made as a wet seasoning mix, not dry rub.
I find however, I like to have the same consistent heat each time I make a recipe, so I use red pepper (red chilli) flakes and always the same amount.
How to use jerk seasoning powder
There are a wide variety of ways to use jerk seasoning powder, one of the most popular being as a rub for chicken.
You can rub it on a whole chicken, chicken thighs, wings, chicken breast, chicken legs, pork or sprinkle over flat breads.
It adds delicious flavor which is authentic, unique and original.
My favourite way to use this seasoning is with chicken. The above photo is my Air Fryer Jerk Chicken and I recommend pairing it with the herb salad and garlic yogurt sauce! (As shown in the photo above).
Frequently asked questions
- This is a quick, easy to bring together recipe!
- It will take approx 10 mins to measure and mix the spices
- The quantity will be enough for 1 whole large chicken, double it if you want to make more.
- Store left over spice mix in a sealed air tight container
This is what I have learnt that will help you master the recipe from the 1st time and every following time:
- Ensure there is no liquid or moisture around when measuring the spices
- Use a honey dipper to break down any lumps in the garlic and onion powders
- Only use the tiniest amount of ginger (less than other ingredients)
- Sprinkle over chicken, massage to coat and then oven bake or air fry for dinner
- Serve jerk chicken with a homemade sauce like the garlic yogurt sauce!
PIN and save this recipe for later!
Homemade Jerk Seasoning
- Honey Dipper
- 2 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tsp hot chilli flakes Note 1
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder Note 2
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Measure spices, salt and pepper onto plate
- Use a honey dipper to tap and break down any lumps in the spices and stir till consistently mixed together.
- Store in a sealed air tight container until ready to use
- Note 1 These are also known as red chilli flakes or red pepper flakes.
- Note 2 Be careful not to confuse this one and onion powder with garlic or onion salt. We don't need anymore salt in the seasoning than the amount we are already adding. These are simply ground garlic and onion powders.
I said it once before and I will say it again, Jamacian-me hangry!
Haha, I hope you are hangry too.
This is an easy spice mix that delivers maximum flavour to recipes.
I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below. Please let me know if you make the recipe.
Go get jerking my friends!