Homemade Jamaican Jerk Seasoning blend is an aromatic spice mix that is filled with so many flavors. Making it at home saves you so much money and its always good to have spice mix like this at home handy.
- What is Jamaican Jerk seasoning?
- "Jerk" What does that Mean?
- Homemade Jerk Seasoning Vs Store Bought
- What do you need to make Jerk Seasoning - The Ingredients!
- Just Mix it & You are Done!
- Possible Variations
- How Long Can I Store Jerk Seasoning?
- What is Jerk Seasoning made of?
- What are the 3 main ingredients of Jerk?
- How to Substitute Jerk Seasoning?
- More Seasoning
- Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Recipe
What is Jamaican Jerk seasoning?
Jamaican Jerk seasoning originated from Jamaica, where it is a national treasure and cultural pride. It is also a very common way to cook chicken there, but safe to say, it is now taking over the world with how delicious it is!
Jerk is basically a cooking method where you give the chicken a dry rub of spices, or alternatively marinate it in selected spices and herbs. These spices and herbs are collectively called jerk chicken spices.
"Jerk" What does that Mean?
One of the Most popular questions is Why is Jerk Seasoning called Jerk?
The word 'jerk' comes from the way chicken is prepared. Traditionally the Jamaicans would poke their chicken in different places before rubbing it with the seasoning mix. This ensures that the seasoning goes through the skin, which makes it flavourful beyond the skin of the chicken. And this is what makes jerk chicken so much more delicious then even fried chicken!
To cap this jerking method off, these rubbed/marinated chicken are cooked over charcoal or burning wood to give it a distinct smoky flavour that we all love in our jerk chicken. If you are not making your jerk chicken over a open flame, then we are afraid you're doing it wrong!
Homemade Jerk Seasoning Vs Store Bought
The biggest advantage you get with making your own jerk seasoning is that you'll get to control the ingredients and how much you put it in the mix. Do you want a more spicy jerk seasoning? Then put in some more peppers! Do you want to have minimal cloves in your jerk seasoning? Then you can do that as well!
With market bought jerk seasoning you don't get any independence to adjust the taste to your preferences. Not to mention, most store-bought jerk seasonings fall low on the spice level and are not as authentic as the traditional jerk seasoning.
There are also so many unwanted preservatives and additives present in the jerk seasoning you buy from stores. If you want the real deal stuff that sets your mouth on fire, then you have to make it by yourself!
What do you need to make Jerk Seasoning - The Ingredients!
Jamaican Jerk seasoning- recipe and usage
It goes without saying that you will be needing a lot of spices to make a proper jerk seasoning! But don't worry because we will list all the must have spices that you'll need! Feel free to use any measurements you want as per your taste preferences. If you want to turn up the heat then totally go for it!
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grounded all spice
- Smoked Paprika
- Red pepper flakes
- Thyme (either dried or freshly ground)
- Parsley (dried or freshly ground)
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Nutmeg
- Ground Clove
- Ground Cumin
- Brown sugar
See recipe card for quantities.
Just Mix it & You are Done!
Making a spice mix is so easy. All the time that you need is to prepare the ingredients. So, if you are wondering how to make Jamaican jerk seasoning, just mix these ingredients and you are done.
You have your very own Jamaican Jerk Seasoning.
Hint: Feel free to balance the heat and suit it according to your taste palate.
- Scotch Bonnet Pepper - Traditional Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper is the real "secret" behind the "Jamaican Heat". It's super-spicy and something that you MUST have in your kitchen if you love Caribbean Food.
- Ghost Pepper - Ghost Pepper Powder is really spicy and you are free to add it into your recipe.
- Onion Powder - If you don't want to add Brown Sugar but still want it to be lightly sweet, then you can dial up the onion powder.
How Long Can I Store Jerk Seasoning?
Jerk Seasoning can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 to 2 years.
What is Jerk Seasoning made of?
Jerk Seasoning is made of aromatics like Onion and Garlic Powder, Spices like cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and smoked paprika. But, it gets that typical Caribbean heat from cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. I also like to add some brown sugar just to balance the heat and add more depth of flavor. And, finally, you have your seasoning - salt and pepper along with dried herbs like parsley and thyme.
What are the 3 main ingredients of Jerk?
Although there is a LONG list of spices, herbs, and aromatics that goes into making jerk. But, I personally feel that these three ingredients are the pillars of Jerk seasoning.
- Cayenne Pepper
- Spices - (cumin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg)
- Brown Sugar
How to Substitute Jerk Seasoning?
Don't have Jerk Seasoning at hand. Not a problem. Just combine these ingredients and make your own Jerk Seasoning or something that is close enough.
- Garlic Powder & Onion Powder
- ground all spice
- ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground cloves
- cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- sweet paprika or brown sugar (whatever you prefer)
- Best Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe
- Lemon Pepper Wings (with homemade Lemon Pepper Seasoning)
- Fajita Seasoning
- Cajun Seasoning
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning Recipe
- 2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground all spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar can be replaced with sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- Combine everything in a bowl. You will have about ½ cup of spice mix that you can store in the jar for about 1 to 2 years.
- You can add traditional scotch bonnet Pepper Powder if you want.
- Instead of Brown Sugar you can use Sweet paprika.
- This shall stay fresh for up to 2 years.
- To know if your spices are fresh, just look at their color. If they look bright and vivid then they are fresh. If they look dull and pale then they have probably gone bad.
- Also you can take a pinch of seasoning in your hand and check. If it feels damp and moist to you then they have gone bad. If they are dry then you are good to go.