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Jerk Jamaican Seasoning (Homemade Spice Blend Recipe)

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Our homemade Jerk Jamaican seasoning is an easy-to-make recipe using everyday pantry staples. Perfect for seasoning meats and vegetables alike, this spice blend captures all the bold flavors of jerk cuisine without the need for special ingredients or equipment.

One of the best things about this jerk seasoning recipe is how easy it is to make with ingredients you likely already have on hand! It’s super approachable and uses everyday pantry staples.

Think ground allspice, dried thyme, ginger, and basically all the spices you’d find in any grocery store aisle. No need for special trips or online shopping (although we love our Amazon hauls)! You won’t need any fancy equipment either—just a mixing bowl and some measuring spoons. 

I love authentic ingredients like powdered Scotch bonnet peppers and habanero powder, but I can never find them. So, I swapped it out with ground cayenne pepper, delivering that signature jerk flavor and heat.

Just adjust to your spice preference and make it your own. This seasoning isn’t just for chicken or pork, though it works wonders on both. I particularly love using it to season grilled chicken breasts or chicken thighs—the combination of allspice, thyme, ginger, and aromatic spice gives it very authentic flavor.

But seriously, you could sprinkle this versatile spice blend on whatever you want. It’s that good! This jerk Jamaican spice yields about one cup of seasoning—enough to keep in your pantry. Just store it in an airtight container, and it’ll stay fresh for months.

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • EASY RECIPE – Made with pantry staples and ingredients easily found at most grocery stores, this spice blend is accessible to everyone. No need for special trips or online orders—just grab what you need and start mixing.
  • VERSATILE – Beyond its traditional use as a seasoning for chicken or pork, this jerk spice blend can be used in various ways. Mix it with oil, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce to create a flavorful marinade for meats or vegetables. It’s also great as a dry rub for grilling, roasting, or even sprinkled on popcorn for a spicy snack.
  • AUTHENTIC JAMAICAN FLAVOR – Despite using substitutes like cayenne pepper for dried habanero or Scotch bonnet peppers, this spice blend still captures the flavor of authentic Jamaican jerk seasoning. 

What is Jerk?

Jerk is a key part of Jamaican cuisine. It’s a distinct style of cooking that’s known for its bold, spicy flavors. Jerk cooking involves marinating meat, typically chicken or pork, in a flavorful jerk marinade before grilling or smoking it over wood charcoal. The jerk marinade is where the magic happens—it’s a blend of spices like allspice, thyme, and fiery Scotch bonnet peppers, along with garlic, and onions. The marinade in particular not only infuses the meat with intense flavor but also tenderizes it, resulting in tender, juicy meat. 

What is Jerk Seasoning?

Jerk seasoning (or jerk powder) is a flavorful spice blend that originates from Jamaican cuisine. It’s known for its bold and spicy profile. It typically includes a variety of aromatic ingredients such as ground allspice berries, thyme, garlic, onion, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and Scotch bonnet peppers or cayenne pepper for heat. 

Is Jerk Seasoning Spicy?

The spiciness of the jerk seasoning will depend on how much chile pepper you choose to add to the blend. Cayenne pepper is known for its heat, but it also adds a vibrant red color and a bit of smokiness to the seasoning. 

In this recipe, there is a noticeable kick of heat but not overwhelmingly hot. However, if you prefer a milder flavor, you can start with less cayenne pepper and adjust to your taste as you mix the seasoning. We also recommend that you taste as you go to achieve the perfect balance of flavors and heat for your personal preference.

Ingredients

  • Dried parsley
  • Ground allspice
  • Dried thyme
  • Bay leaf powder
  • Ground ginger
  • Coarse ground black pepper
  • Cayenne (ground red pepper)
  • Ground cloves
  • Granulated garlic (or dried onion powder)
  • Granulated garlic (or dried garlic powder)
  • Grown sugar
  • Kosher salt (or sea salt)
  • Ground cinnamon
  • White pepper

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Blend

  • Combine the Spices: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dried parsley, ground allspice, dried thyme, bay leaf powder, ground ginger, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground cloves, granulated garlic, brown sugar, kosher salt, and ground cinnamon.
  • Mix Thoroughly: Stir the spices together until they are evenly mixed. Ensure there are no clumps and the mixture is homogeneous.

Storage

Transfer the jerk seasoning to an airtight container such as a glass jar or plastic containers. Store it in a cool, dark place to maintain its freshness and potency for up to six months.

How to Use

  • Marinade: Mix a few tablespoons of the seasoning with olive oil or grapeseed oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire, green onions, and minced garlic to create a marinade for Jamaican jerk chicken, pork, or shrimp.
  • Dry Rub: Use it as a dry rub on meats before grilling, roasting, or smoking.
  • Seasoning: Sprinkle it on vegetables, potatoes, or even popcorn for flavor.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Ingredient Substitutions: If you can’t find some spices like bay leaf powder, you can grind dried bay leaves in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  • Adjusting Heat: Play with the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your spice tolerance. Start with less and add more gradually until you reach your desired heat level.

Summary

Give this homemade jerk seasoning a try and let us know how it spices up your meals! Don’t forget to leave a comment below with your thoughts and share this recipe with friends.

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Jerk Jamaican Seasoning (Homemade Spice Blend Recipe)

  • Author: Krysten and Marrekus Wilkes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: seasoning
  • Cuisine: jamaican, jerk

Description

Our homemade Jerk Jamaican seasoning is perfect for seasoning meats and vegetables.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon bay leaf powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or dried onion powder)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or dried garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or sea salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Stir spices together until they are evenly mixed. Ensure there are no clumps.
  3. Transfer jerk seasoning to an airtight container and store it in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

Keywords: Jerk Jamaican Seasoning

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