Jerk marinade is a Jamaican classic that goes great on just about anything beef, poultry, seafood, and veggies! It is amazing how just enjoying its aroma is enough to set your taste buds on fire.

Homemade Jerk Marinade in mason jar

Anyone who loves spicy food cannot miss the jerk marinade recipe. Its set-your-nails-ablaze scotch bonnet pepper will make even the most prepared foodie reach out for honey.

What’s even better is how easy and quick you can make it. Also, you don’t have to worry about the leftovers either. You can turn it into a dipping sauce and enjoy it with the simplest dishes like breakfast sandwiches (apples won’t feel like the best way to wake up after that). 

So let’s dive right into it. Oh, and let me caution you – if you are dealing with a scotch bonnet, you need gloves, or that pain from under the nails will not go for a week. 

Homemade Jerk Marinade in bowl

What types of food taste good with jerk marinade?

There is no limit! You can add a dollop of this marinade to seafood, meats, quinoa,  or veggies like cauliflower steaks. You can also turn the marinade into a sauce. Pour the marinade into a saucepan and heat. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer until it reduces the thick consistency.

Do you season after marinating?

There is salt, bonnet peppers, and spices in the marinade, so it should be nicely salted even without seasoning. Besides, adding extra salt can take the moisture away from the meat, leaving it tough when cooked. If you need to season the dish after marination, the best time to do so would be once it is cooked. I suggest sampling a small piece after cooked before adding seasoning.

Pouring jerk marinade over chicken in slow cooker

How to store leftover marinade?

Place leftovers in an airtight container or mass jar, then refrigerate. If you are unsure whether you will use it in a week, freeze the marinade. Pour the marinade into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, place in an airtight freezer bag. Do not keep used marinade as it can be harmful to your health.

How long does leftover marinade last?

When properly stored, leftovers are good for up to 7 days refrigerated and up to 6 months when frozen.

Jerk seasoning vs. marinade – are they the same?

There is a subtle difference in jerk seasoning vs. marinade, and it is in the consistency. The marinade is thinner than the seasoning, which is like a thick paste that you rub on the dish and let it stay for a day before cooking.

More Recipes

Homemade Jerk Marinade in mason jar

Jerk Marinade

Author: Meiko Temple
This Jamaican classic that goes great on just about anything beef, poultry, pork, seafood, and veggies!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Marinade, Sauce
Cuisine Jamaican
Servings 2 cups
Calories 456 kcal


  • Blender


  • 4 scallions, ½ cup, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-4 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, seeded & chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup orange juice or pineapple juice
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil


  • Make marinade by combining all its ingredients in a blender and blitzing to your desired consistency (normally smooth puree).


Calories: 456kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 8gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 22gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 6523mgPotassium: 535mgFiber: 4gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 809IUVitamin C: 66mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Jerk Marinade
did you make this recipe???Tell me all about it! And tag @meikoandthedish with hashtag on Instagram – I’d love to see what you make!

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  1. WOW! You really outdid yourself with this post. It is truly impressive! I love jerk chicken but never thought to make it in a slow cooker. It’s the perfect family meal, everyone can have it the way they like it!

  2. This is absolutely amazing! I too love using the slow cooker in the Fall and Winter season and now I have some awesome new recipes to add.

  3. I’m loving the ramen bowl idea too. My husband does not like slow cooker jerk chicken, he says. It not authentic but yet I don’t see him not eating it when it’s done.

    P.S. It’s “Ratchet”

    1. Bwaahahaha @ Idon’t se him not eating it. I mean he has a point but unless he plans on doing the work … you can fill in the rest.

      Thanks for the clarification on “Ratchet” … these are things we need to know.

  4. 5 stars
    Fantastic job. Would love to see you cooking with Jerk Centre’s, Jerk Sauce. It’s amazing to say the least.

5 from 1 vote

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