Using pimento wood chips adds an authentic smoke flavor

Using pimento wood chips adds an authentic smoke flavor

Authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Jerk is a cooking technique combined with a seasoning mixture that originates from the island of Jamaica. The traditional cooking style involves marinading meat with a spicy paste containing pimento, hot peppers, onions, garlic, and cinnamon along with other custom ingredients. Once marinaded, the meat is cooked slowly over low heat using pimento wood charcoal and sometimes atop pimento leaves. In Jamaica, Jerk is available everywhere as a common street food served from Jerk “huts” — it’s likely your Jerk will be cooked in an old oil drum that has been cut in half and customized into a makeshift BBQ. This is by far the most flavorful and authentic way to enjoy Jerk!

Although my recipe isn’t quite as demanding as the traditional Jerk recipes that involve hand mixed marinades and steel drums, I find it is still very authentic tasting. I prefer to use Grace Hot Jerk Seasoning as it’s quite close to the most traditional marinades available and easily obtained at most Canadian supermarkets in their International isle.


  • 6-8 pieces of bone-in skinless chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs, half-breasts)
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 8 tsp. Grace Hot Jerk Seasoning
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. water


  1. Score the flesh of the chicken several times down to the bone using a sharp knife and then place into a shallow glass dish.
  2. Combine all of the remaining ingredients, mixing well, and pour over the chicken ensuring the meat is evenly coated.
  3. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours but ideally overnight – turning and re-coating as required.
  4. Setup your grill for indirect heating (heat on one side, one side cool) at about 325 degrees.
  5. Place the chicken on the cool side of the grill grill for 60-75 minutes, turning frequently until chicken is cooked through to a safe internal temperature.
  6. Move chicken over to the hot side of the grill for 2-3 minutes, turning often, to ensure that the outside of the chicken turns dark and crispy.
  7. Alternatively, you may bake in 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, turning once until cooked through.
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

For a more authentic taste, try these additional suggestions:

– Use pimento wood chips with a smoker box or tin foil to add a smokey traditional flavor to the meat.

– Add red stripe beer to a clean cooking grade spray bottle and mist the meat every 15 minutes during cooking process.


Leave a Reply

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