jamaica jerk chicken montego bay beach

I was interested in eating it many times whilst in Jamaica. I’ve heard so much about Jamaica chicken jerk seasoning too, and I wanted to taste it on home soil.

I was curious to discover local knowledge on the best Jamaica Jerk chicken recipe, I was keen to chat to the locals about that.

What is Jamaican Jerk Chicken?

Jerk chicken is a wonderfully spicy, smoky, zesty, and fragrant grilled meat dish. It is usually associated with Jamaica, yet, this dish is loved and eaten throughout the Caribbean.

If you get to do some island hopping in the Caribbean, you may be able to see if the Jamaica jerk chicken recipe tastes better here or on one of the other islands.

The secret to a tasty Jamaica chicken jerk-style experience is in jerk seasoning itself. Jerk seasoning has three main ingredients; thyme, allspice and super hot scotch bonnet chillies. 

You will soon discover that those fiery scotch bonnet chillies are in many of Jamaica’s most popular dishes and foods to try.

What Is Allspice?

Allspice is a single spice made from dried berries of the allspice tree, also native to Jamaica. It’s sometimes referred to as Jamaican pepper, perhaps because allspice looks like peppercorns. Allspice combines the flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper. 

In addition to these key ingredients, a good Jamaica Jerk chicken recipe isn’t complete. It usually has onions, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger.

For best results, blend the ingredients into a sticky marinade sauce, massage into the chicken and leave to marinate overnight.

Once grilled, this will produce the most flavourful, tender Jamaica jerk chicken dish ever.

What Does Jerk Chicken Taste Like? 

It’s one of the best explosions of flavour you can experience. Sweet, salty, spicy and punchy! If possible, a Jamaica chicken jerk-style recipe will recommend that you slow cook it over a fire or grill.

This allows the smoky flavours to penetrate the meat, which results in a delicious meal! 

jamaica jerk chicken recipe marty eat
Our road trip in Jamaica. Jerk chicken was eaten at many different stops along the way.

What To Serve With Jamaica Jerk Chicken

This one is open to discussion as Jamaica jerk chicken tastes good with anything, or just on its own. 

Typically, it’s served alongside rice and beans and usually salad too. Other popular sides include mashed potato, coleslaw, grilled corn and fried plantains.

There is usually a homemade spicy salsa made from mango, pineapples or other tropical fruits to spoon over the top too. If it’s offered to you, go for it! Another flavour bomb to enjoy.

jamaica jerk chicken dish
All over Jamaica, jerk chicken meals that we enjoyed were typically served with rice and beans, and salad. However, Jamaica jerk chicken recipes can be served with many other sides too.

Where To Find The Best Jerk Chicken In Jamaica

I’ve listed three places to eat the best jerk chicken in Kingston, Jamaica. The capital city is where it’s at for getting the full experience of this tasty Jamaican dish.


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JoJo’s Jerk Pit

JoJo’s slings out jerk chicken, pork, lamb, and other Jamaican dishes to enjoy tasty Caribbean cooking at its best.

Come here for chilled vibes, good food and even live music every Saturday night from 7.00 pm.

Address: 12 Waterloo Rd, Kingston

Ocho Rios Jerk Centre – Kingston

Enjoy traditional food of Jamaica, including jerk chicken right here. The restaurant serves barbequed jerk chicken, pork, fish, and conch. This eatery is open-aired to take in those tropical breezes. We highly recommend this spot.

Address: 14 DaCosta Dr, Ocho Rios

Chateau 7 Jerk Centre

This place lives up to the hype! I ate there, I can tell you that the jerk chicken here is spot on. The spice is just right, and the smoky flavours will leave you wanting another plate of jerk chicken. 

Address: Hermitage Dam Road Red Gal Ring, Stony Hill, Kingston

jamaica jerk chicken guy with coconut

The Best Jamaica Jerk Chicken Recipe

If you cannot get to Jamaica to enjoy this dish on home soil, then this Jerk Chicken recipe by SBS Food is the best jerk chicken recipe to cook in the comfort of your own home.

Popular Things to Do in Jamaica

Travel Tips for the Caribbean

You probably know about the language they speak in Jamaica, but if you don’t, this post explaining Jamaica’s languages is interesting.

And it goes without saying that aside from Jamaican Jerk chicken, you need to taste these 15 delicious foods in Jamaica while you’re there.

You may also enjoy reading our interesting post about Haiti and the Dominican Republic share an island – yet why are they so different?

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to know about these 11 Caribbean Islands’ best beaches to visit. If you stop by Grenada, we highly recommend you join a food tour in Grenada.

In fact, you shouldn’t miss these 7 awesome things to do in Grenada.

Want to visit Barbados on a Budget? Here are our top tips to keep costs down.

We visited many Caribbean Island nations on our journey to visit every country. Our recap of the Caribbean islands and countries visited in 2019 may offer some good tips to help you plan your visit too.

However, logistically planning an Island Hopping Trip in the Caribbean (all 13 nations) is full of challenges. Are you up for it?

Along the way, many Caribbean island cuisines impressed us! Be sure to try these 10 popular foods in the Bahamas, and our top 10 delicious dishes in Haiti that you must try!

For future travels, don’t miss our top 6 Travel Hacks to save you money and our Ultimate Packing List for Travellers. And you may learn a few great tips after reading our best ever-travel tips after 15 years of travel.

Find all of our best travel tips, advice, travel gear, and sites we recommend to travel the world on our Travel Resources Page.