grilled jerk chicken featured image
This Grilled Jerk Chicken recipe is full of authentic Jamaican flavor from the homemade marinade. It’s tangy and delicious, without being too spicy.
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Table of Contents
  1. Jamaican Jerk Chicken Seasoning and Recipe
  2. Why We Love This Jamaican Jerk Chicken
  3. Ingredients/Shopping List
  4. Substitutions
  5. How to Make Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. Other Easy Grilled Recipes
  8. Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

This grilled Jamaican Jerk Chicken recipe is easy to make and full of authentic Jamaican flavors. Its tangy lime and zesty island-inspired marinade is perfectly balanced without being too spicy, so it can be enjoyed by the entire family! You will feel like you are on vacation in the Caribbean!

grilled jerk chicken hero image

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Seasoning and Recipe

Grilled jerk chicken is one of my staple grill meals. It’s bursting with authentic Caribbean flavors and takes me back to being on vacaiton. Don’t let the use of jalapeños scare you away! They add loads of flavor, but not too much spice, making the seasoning just perfect, even for the eaters who don’t love the heat.

This authentic jerk chicken recipe only takes 30 minutes total to prep, plus marinating time. I like to place the chicken in the marinade in the morning, then it’s all set when I’m ready to grill in the evening. You can even do it the night before and let it soak up all those Jamaican jerk seasoning flavors overnight.

Don’t have a grill or want to enjoy this delicious chicken recipe all year round? No worries, we provide alternate forms of cooking the chicken indoors!

grilled chicken on the plate

Why We Love This Jamaican Jerk Chicken

  • Marinate in the morning and it’s ready to grill at dinner time
  • Quick prep –ready in 30 minutes (plus marinating time)
  • Delicious homemade Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • Tangy and flavorful
  • Easy grilled chicken recipe
  • Perfect for a family barbecue meal
  • Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months
showing the inside of grilled jerk chicken

Ingredients/Shopping List

  • Jalapeño peppers
  • Rice vinegar – White wine vinegar is a good substitute if you don’t have rice vinegar. 
  • Olive oil – Other oils can be used instead. I like using grapeseed oil, but you can use vegetable oil or canola oil too. 
  • Soy sauce
  • Lime juice – You can use lemon juice instead. Use either fresh juice or concentrate. 
  • Honey – Substitute this with maple syrup or agave nectar if desired. 
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Allspice 
  • Chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks) bone-in, skin on
grilled chicken on top of the grill

Substitutions

  • Kick up the spice: For spicier chicken, you can also use a habanero pepper. The jalapeño can be made with all of the seeds because it won’t carry as much spice through the marinade to the chicken.
  • Protein: If you would like to try this recipe with another type of meat, like pork or steak, you can. Be aware that the cooking times will vary, depending on the internal temperature needed. A meat thermometer is recommended to check for doneness.

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How to Make Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

I like to get the marinade ready in the morning or night before and leave the chicken in the fridge to soak up the flavors as long as possible. Then, completing the rest of the Jerk Chicken Recipe only takes a quick 20 minutes!

  1. Place jalapeño, rice vinegar, oil, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, thyme, salt, garlic powder, and allspice in a food processor and blend until smooth.
    blend all ingredients
  2. Pour the mixture into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and add the chicken pieces. Let the chicken marinate overnight.
    Pro-tip: When adding the chicken pieces to the plastic bag and try to remove as much air as possible. After you seal the bag, mix the marinade around in the bag to make sure it coats all the chicken pieces.
    Pour the mixture into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag and add the chicken pieces
  3. Grill the chicken for 6-10 minutes on each side.
    Pro-tip: If you don’t have a grill, you can still enjoy this tasty chicken! If you have a stovetop grill plate, you can cook the chicken over the stove. You can also bake your chicken at 425 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
    chicken on top of the grill
  4. Plate and serve warm.
    Pro-tip: Cooked chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re using drumsticks and chicken thighs, they will cook at different rates because of their size difference, so make sure to check for doneness often.
    grilled chicken on top of the grill

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store leftover Jamaican Jerk Chicken?

Once cooked, place leftover chicken into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. The chicken will be good for up to three days. It can also be stored frozen for 2 to 3 months.

How do I use the jalapeno or chili pepper properly?

Be careful with hot peppers because the spiciness can get everywhere. Here are a few tips for handling jalapeños:
– Rub some olive oil on your hands before handling the pepper (or use rubber gloves). Jalapeno and habanero peppers are hot but not unbearable, so you might be able to handle them with just your hands. However, if you are worried about it, use rubber or latex gloves instead.
– Olive oil can also help any burning that might happen as you cook this. Rub it into your skin and leave it on for a minute before rinsing. Dairy products such as milk or yogurt can also help ease any burn you might get from handling the hot pepper. 
– If you want less heat from the pepper, take out the seeds and inner white membrane before using the rest of it. The heat shouldn’t transfer over to the chicken as much as it typically would because the chicken is marinating in the pepper. 
– Make sure to not touch anything, especially your face or eyes, while you are handling the hot peppers. 
– When cutting the pepper, use as few kitchen tools as possible so that you don’t get the spiciness sticking to tools that are used for other meals. For instance, if you don’t want to place the pepper in the food processor, use a knife to chop it up as tiny as possible instead, then mix all the ingredients in a bowl. 

Can I make Jerk Chicken in the Oven?

Yes, you can make jerk chicken in the oven. Prepare the chicken as directed and bake it at 425 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Note: cook times may vary depending on your oven.

showing the inside of grilled chicken

Other Easy Grilled Recipes

Grilled Chicken Breast | How to Grill Corn on the Cob | Grilled Salmon | Grilled Pineapple | Grilled Chicken Wings | Campfire Potatoes – Campfire, Grill or Oven

5 from 1 vote
grilled jerk chicken featured image

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Serves — 6
This Grilled Jerk Chicken recipe is full of authentic Jamaican flavor from the homemade marinade. It’s tangy and delicious, without being too spicy.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Marinating Time 1 d
Total Time 1 d 30 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 jalapeno peppers left whole with the tops cut off
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (about half of a large lime)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 2 pounds chicken pieces (thighs, drumsticks), bone in, skin on

Instructions
 

  • Place the jalapeno pepper, rice vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, dried thyme, salt, garlic powder, and allspice in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the marinade into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Add the chicken pieces to the plastic bag and try to remove as much air as possible. Seal the bag and slosh the marinade around to coat all the chicken pieces.
  • Let chicken marinate overnight or as long as you can.
  • Preheat the grill to medium high heat (350-400 degrees F).
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the grill. Grill for 6-10 minutes on each side or until the chicken's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The drumsticks and chicken thighs will cook at different rates because of their size difference, so make sure to check for doneness often.
  • Plate and serve warm.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
Once cooked, place leftover chicken into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. The chicken will be good for up to three days. It can also be stored frozen for 2 to 3 months.
Tips:
  • When adding the chicken pieces to the plastic bag and try to remove as much air as possible. After you seal the bag, mix the marinade around in the bag to make sure it coats all the chicken pieces.
  • If you don’t have a grill, you can still enjoy this tasty chicken! If you have a stovetop grill plate, you can cook the chicken over the stove. You can also bake your chicken at 425 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Cooked chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re using drumsticks and chicken thighs, they will cook at different rates because of their size difference, so make sure to check for doneness often.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 906mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 209IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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