How To Make Jamaican Jerk: A Step-By-Step Guide

Few Jamaican dishes match the hype and taste of the Jamaican jerk. You may choose to make Jamaican jerk with pork parts, fish, or bone-in chicken. Read on to understand more about Jamaican jerk and how to prepare the meal.

Select the Ideal Preparation Method 

You can choose to grill or cook in the oven. The ideal option depends on the available resources and the kind of flavor you want to achieve.

On the Grill

Jerk on the grill is the most recommendable option, especially if you love your meat dry with crusty edges. Also, with the grill method, you don't need to go overboard with spices. As you grill your meat, you can layer strips of hardwood or aromatic leaves over the grill grates before you place your marinated meat on top. The smoke from the wood and leaves seeps into the meat to add a layer of Jamaican savory.

Bake in the Oven

If you don't have a grill or adequate outdoor space, you may bake your jerk in the oven. But since you won't have any smoke, you should toast all your spices in a skillet to make them fragrant before you add them to the meat. The step makes the spices more complex and easier to seep into the chicken or pork.

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Whether you wish to grill or bake your jerk, you cannot miss this step. Your jerk is not authentic without spices. Take your time to shop for natural herbs like ginger, onion, thyme, and scallion. You also need allspice and scotch bonnet pepper to add to the flavor.

Make sure to source your spices from a reliable vendor. Otherwise, you may end up with inauthentic herbs branded as Jamaican flavors. To make this step easy, try one of our many quick and easy Jamaican Jerk seasoning marinades.

Marinate the Meat

After you cover your chicken or pork with spices of your choice, and if you're not using one of our instant wet marinades, you'll want to allow the meat to sit for around 30 minutes. The period allows the spices to penetrate the meat and give it a natural flavor of herbs. If you are not into strong spices, you should marinate the jerk at room temperature. On the other hand, if you want the flavor to get to the bone, let the meat sit overnight in the refrigerator.

The best part about marinade is that you don't have to throw the sauce out after use. You may use the marinade sauce to enhance the flavor of your side meals.

Soak the Meat in Bay Leaves

Jamaican jerk is not authentic without bay leaves. Ensure to get pimento tree leaves, which are a Jamaican native. The tree's bay-like leaves and wrinkled berries are an essential element in the Jamaican jerk history that adds a strong layer of Jamaican flavors to make it more authentic, so you can't leave them out.

Soak the bay leaves in water for a few minutes. Then lay them on the grill while still wet. The leaves create a barrier between the pork or chicken and the fire such that when the leaves burn, they release smoke and transfer it to the meat. And since the leaves are wet, they keep the meat moist to give it a better texture.

Put the Meat to Heat

At this point, you can put your meat on the grill or oven to cook. Cook until it's tender or ready to eat based on how you prefer your meat.

Jamaican jerk is a tasty yet easy-to-prepare meal. But the spices you use will determine the authenticity of your jerk. Reggae Spice Company is your best provider for all Jamaican spices. Contact us today to shop or ask us any questions about the best spices for Jamaican jerk.