Allison Johnston | 14 July, 2015

This traditional Jamaican recipe evolved from different cultures over centuries. Mostly, jerk was cooked over fire pits, which created a smoky, spicy delicious dish. Although different spices can be found in jerk marinades and rubs, they always contain allspice and a hot chili pepper! The technique of slow cooking after marinating is the way to make an authentic tasting JERK CHICKEN.


 Jerk Chicken

(serves 4)

3 lbs of bone in chicken pieces (drum sticks, thighs and breasts)

½ cup of The Spice Trader’s Jerk Rub

8 scallions, chopped

2 Tbsp Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp lime zest (3 limes)

Lime wedges

1 Tbsp Brown sugar

6 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Tbsp rum

Kosher flake Salt

* Soak some wood chips in water infused with 2 tbsp dried thyme, 2 tbsp dried rosemary and 2 tbsp whole allspice berries.

Mix together the spice rub, soy sauce, lime zest, brown sugar, scallions, crushed garlic and rum. Transfer to a blender and pulse into a paste. Place marinade in a Ziploc bag and add the chicken. Toss to coat the chicken and marinate from 30 minutes to 24 hrs.

Place wood chips and wet spices in an aluminum foil package. Close the packages and poke holes in it. Place your homemade wood chip smoker on the grill and turn the grill to high. Wait until chips start smoking (around 15 minutes). Place marinated chicken on the grill skin side up, but on indirect heat. Cook, covered for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken to skin side down and place chicken on direct heat and wait until browned. Flip chicken again and cook until done. Let rest for 5 minutes and then serve with lime wedges.


Allspice is native to Jamaica. It is also called pimento and Jamaican pepper.