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Jerk Seasoning

Jerk seasoning varies from region to region, home to home, and kitchen to kitchen; this recipe contains the spice blend we use in our home. We use it as a dry rub for chicken, pork, or fish or turn it into a paste by adding scotch bonnets to get that classic jerk chicken flavor.

Our Jamaican- inspired spice blend is also a great addition to soups and stews.

A spoon of jerk seasoning spilled on the table.

WHAT IS JERK?

“Jerk” is often associated with a distinct flavor profile. And while certain spices are commonly included in jerk seasoning, the term actually describes a method of cooking; “jerking” refers to a Jamaican culinary technique of cooking over an open flame. The jerk flavor we’ve come to know and love is attributed to a surprising ingredient, pimento wood. Pimento trees are native to Jamaica and the wood of choice when building a fire to cook. And wouldn’t you know it? Pimento trees produce allspice berries, one of the main ingredients in jerk seasoning. As the wood burns, natural oils release, producing smoke that infuses grilled meat with deep aromatics.

WHAT IS JERK SEASONING?

Jerk-inspired dry rubs and wet sauces add a similar savory and smokey flavor to food without cooking over an open flame, making this delicious flavor accessible to home cooks everywhere.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Onion Powder: Check to make sure you’re using onion powder and not onion salt.
  • Garlic Powder: Garlic powder adds the garlicky flavor it’s named after, but unlike fresh garlic, garlic powder has a nice sweetness to it.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Build heat that doesn’t overwhelm with cayenne.
  • Paprika: Paprika lends a warm, smoky heat.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: It’s more subtle than other spices, but I continue building the heat by adding red pepper flakes.
  • Cumin: Cumin adds a warm, citrusy flavor to the spice blend.
  • Nutmeg: Nutty and sweet, nutmeg compliments other spices in the mixture.
  • All Spice: You have to include all spice for a sweet and savory component.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon provides color and imparts more sweetness to counteract the heat.
  • Thyme: Dried thyme blends with the other spices and adds earthiness.
  • Salt + Pepper

HOW TO MAKE JERK SEASONING

Mix the spices for jerk seasoning together in a bowl.

MIX – Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl; stir to combine.

Store leftover jerk seasoning in an air-tight jar.

STORE – Store the spice blend in an air-tight container.

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Store leftover jerk seasoning in an air-tight jar.

WHAT DO YOU USE JERK SEASONING ON?

Historically, jerk seasoning is for chicken, pork, and fish, but this versatile spice blend can be used to prepare so many recipes.

Crispy, juicy chicken is ready to be served.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • STORAGE – Once you’ve stored the jerk seasoning in an air-tight jar, it will keep in your pantry or cabinet for up to 2 months.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

What does jerk seasoning taste like?

You can cater jerk seasoning to your preferences by altering spices used to the amount of each spice included. Classic jerk seasoning often contains allspice, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin. We added a few more spices to the base, resulting in a salty, sweet, and smokey spice blend.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

Store leftover jerk seasoning in an air-tight jar.

Jerk Seasoning

Tressa Jamil
Like all good spice blends, jerk seasoning varies from home to home and kitchen to kitchen; this recipe contains the spice blend we use in our home.
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Spice Blends
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 8 Tablespoons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper, coarse ground
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • ½ tablespoon all spice
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, dried

Instructions
 

  • Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl; stir to combine.
  • Store the spice blend in an air-tight container.

Notes

  • Nutrition Disclosure: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
 
  • Web Story: Check out our web story for jerk seasoning! 
Keyword jerk seasoning
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