Jerk Marinade

4.23 from 9 votes

Jerk marinade is a fabulous classic Jamaican marinade that is loaded with spicy, tangy flavors. This recipe makes the best homemade authentic marinade in just 5 minutes using simple ingredients. Use it to marinate chicken, pork, beef, fish, shrimp, etc (vegan, gluten-free).

Here are some more sauces and dips, that can be used in other recipes – Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce, Avocado Basil Pesto, and Bechamel Sauce.

Jerk marinade kept in a glass bottle.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

About This Recipe

Jamaican Jerk marinade is a classic Jamaican (Caribbean) marinade that is spicy from the use of Scotch Bonnet peppers, very flavourful with complex flavors from the use of various spices and aromatics.

Authentic Jerk marinade has a perfect balance of spice, sweetness, and heat and is a very versatile marinade sauce. The flavors are bold and very complex but they come together perfectly as one once the meat is grilled.

Made using basic pantry staples and in under 5 minutes, this homemade recipe is highly customizable and you can control the heat level according to your taste preference. It is vegan and gluten-free too.

Jamaican Jerk marinade is now very popular in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Caribbean communities around the world. And after tasting it on a trip, yours truly has become its die-hard fan as well.

Marination makes the meat or veggie super flavorful, moist, and tenderize it as well. A spoonful of this pungent marinade can instantly add tons of flavors to chicken, shrimp, beef, or pork. It is great on veggies too.

Although you can easily get it in stores these days, making it at home has many advantages.

  1. The homemade marinade is completely free of added preservatives, colors, and flavor enhancers.
  2. It is very customizable.
  3. Economical

Ingredients

Lime and Orange – This jerk marinade uses lime juice and orange juice, which provides a tangy taste. If you cannot find orange juice, you can increase the amount of lime juice.

Pepper – Scotch Bonnet pepper is traditionally used to make this marinade. The heat level and spiciness of this pepper are similar to the Habanero peppers. So if you cannot find Scotch Bonnet peppers easily, you can replace them with Habanero peppers. In fact, any hot pepper will work in this recipe.

Onion, Ginger, and Garlic – Onion, ginger, and garlic are also used, which adds a lot of flavors to this marinade.

Soy Sauce – Dark Soy Sauce adds a nice salty sweet umami flavour in the sauce.

Spices – When it comes to spices, we will use whole black peppercorns, fresh thyme, ground allspice, ground nutmeg, and ground cinnamon. Along with taste, it also adds a nice aroma to the marinade.

Dark Brown Sugar – To add that little hint of sweetness, add in dark brown sugar that also adds to the color of the sauce. if you do not have brown sugar, you can add in white sugar too.

Others – Apart from these, you will need green onion, vegetable oil and white vinegar.

How to make Jerk Marinade?

Add 1 cup chopped onion, 2 tablespoon chopped garlic, 2 tablespoon chopped ginger, 3 chopped green onion, 2 tablespoon fresh thyme, 2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, ¼ cup dark soy sauce, ½ cup vegetable oil, ¼ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup lime juice, ½ cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 3 scotch bonnet peppers (remove the stalk) to the medium jar of a blender.

All the ingredients added to a grinder.

Blend until smooth.

Top shot of jerk marinade.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Scotch Bonnet Peppers?

“The scotch bonnet is the pepper of choice in the Caribbean—it’s the most widely used hot pepper in the region’s cuisine.

Other hot peppers, such as cherry peppers (wiri wiri), bird peppers, habanero, and pimento peppers are also readily available and used in various recipes, and Indian chili peppers can also be found in markets and supermarkets.

But when someone talks about hot peppers in the Caribbean, particularly in the English-speaking Caribbean, they’re almost certainly referring to the scotch bonnet pepper.

You might see them labeled in stores and markets as “hot peppers” or “big peppers.” Read more about them here.

Can I use any other pepper instead of Scotch Bonnet Pepper?

If you cannot find scotch bonnet peppers then you may also use habanero peppers or any other spicy chili to make this marinade. Thai Bird’s eye chilies work well too.

Pro Tips By Neha

If you are using the peppers for the first time, wear hand gloves, it might burn.

If you cannot find scotch bonnet peppers then you may also use habanero peppers or any other spicy chili to make this marinade. Thai Bird’s eye chilies work well too.

The time of marination depends on the type of meat, seafood, or vegetables. Meat needs a longer time, seafood and veggies need less time.

Remove the seeds of the peppers if you want mild jerk marinade.

To make this marinade paleo friendly, replace sugar with honey or coconut sugar.

You can also add tropical fruits like mango and pineapple while making the marinade.

Usage Suggestions

You can use jerk marinade to marinate thin cuts of steak, chicken, pork, seafood, and veggies.

It can also be used as a dipping sauce. But never use the used marinade that was used to marinate meat as a dipping sauce. Make sure to cook the leftover marinade for 10-12 minutes before using it for dipping.

Marinating time will depend on the type of meat used and its cut. Firstly, cover the meat completely with the marinade in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Rub the pieces with the marinade using your fingers. You can wear gloves while handling the marinade to avoid burn.

Chicken must be marinated for 2-4 hours, pork and beef for 4-6 hours, veggies for 30-40 minutes, and seafood for 20 minutes.

Storage Suggestions

You can refrigerate it for up to a week and freeze it for up to 6 months. Bring it to room temperature before using.

You might also like

Jerk marinade is a fabulous classic Jamaican marinade that is loaded with spicy, tangy flavors. This recipe makes the best homemade authentic marinade in just 5 minutes using simple ingredients. Use it to marinate chicken, pork, beef, fish, shrimp, etc (vegan, gluten-free).
4.23 from 9 votes

Jerk Marinade Recipe

Jerk marinade is a fabulous classic Jamaican marinade that is loaded with spicy, tangy flavors. This recipe makes the best homemade authentic marinade in just 5 minutes using simple ingredients. Use it to marinate chicken, pork, beef, fish, shrimp, etc.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 3 green onion (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup dark soy sauce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 whole Scotch Bonnet peppers
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions 

  • Add 1 cup chopped onion, 2 tablespoon chopped garlic, 2 tablespoon chopped ginger, 3 chopped green onion, 2 tablespoon fresh thyme, 2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, ¼ cup dark soy sauce, ½ cup vegetable oil, ¼ cup white vinegar, ¼ cup lime juice, ½ cup orange juice, 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 3 scotch bonnet peppers (remove the stalk) to the medium jar of a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.

Notes

If you are using the peppers for the first time, wear hand gloves, it might burn.
If you cannot find scotch bonnet peppers then you may also use habanero peppers or any other spicy chili to make this marinade. Thai Bird’s eye chilies work well too.
The time of marination depends on the type of meat, seafood, or vegetables. Meat needs a longer time, seafood and veggies need less time.
Remove the seeds of the peppers if you want mild marinade.
To make this marinade paleo friendly, replace sugar with honey or coconut sugar.
You can also add tropical fruits like mango and pineapple while making the marinade.

Nutrition

Calories: 211kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Sodium: 1320mg, Potassium: 188mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 260IU, Vitamin C: 29.1mg, Calcium: 39mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




2 Comments