Jamaican Jerk Seasoning - Capturing the
Unique Taste of Caribbean Cooking

Making your own Jamaican jerk seasoning will allow you to enjoy the unique flavours of the Caribbean. With the addition of tasty ingredients like annatto, allspice berries, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, this easy-to-make blend gives you a small taste of Jamaica at home. (See the bottom of the page for other recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes about 10 tablespoons)

Note: If you can't get hold of whole dried peppers just use 2 tablespoons of chili powder

5-6 Scotch Bonnet peppers (or other peppers)
3 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp allspice berries
2 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp garlic powder
4 tsp black peppercorns
4 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp annatto seeds (optional)
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp sea salt
3 inch piece cinnamon

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Chop the dried peppers
  • Break up the cinnamon
  • Grind the cinnamon and pepper pieces along with the sugar, salt, cumin, peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries and if using, the annatto seeds
  • Sieve into a bowl
  • Stir in the garlic, ginger and nutmeg powders
  • Finally, crumble in the dried thyme and oregano and combine thoroughly

Store your Jamaican jerk spice in a sealed jar out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months.

Note: Dry toasting the whole ingredients before grinding will add even more flavours and only takes minutes to do. Click here for further info on this. (Link opens in new window)

Note: I use quite a few whole spices for this Jamaican jerk as I always have them available. If you don't, simply use pre-ground powders instead and reduce the quantities by about half. So in place of 4 tablespoons coriander seeds you would use 2 tablespoons pre-ground coriander. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well.

Annatto Information

Picture of annatto seedsAnnatto Seeds

You'll note I used optional annatto seeds in this recipe (see image), and, whilst not a Jamaican spice, they are often used in Caribbean cooking and blends.

Their sweet, peppery flavour fits perfectly in with mixes from this region.

They are native to sub-tropical regions and are harvested from the achiote tree which is sometimes called the "lipstick tree".

They are used for flavouring and, due to their vivid colour, for their colouring properties.

After Making Your Jamaican Jerk Seasoning You May Enjoy...

Jerk Rub - An All-purpose
Blend of Spices For All
Your Caribbean Cooking

Jerk Spice - Enjoy the
Authentic Flavours of
the Caribbean Islands

A Collection of Cooking
Blends For Fab Tasting
Home Cooking

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