Jerk Rub - Add the Unique Taste of the
Caribbean Islands to Your Home Cooking

Traditionally used to tenderise tough goat meat, this Jamaican jerk rub is the perfect all-purpose blend for all your favourite cuts of meat. Often you'll find it made with fiery Scotch bonnet peppers, but for this recipe I have used hot chili powder, (the hotter the better!) as not everyone will have peppers available. It'll still add fabulous, fiery Caribbean flavours to your dishes! (See the bottom of the page for links to more of my recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes about 12 tablespoons)

3 tbsp allspice berries
2 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp hot chili powder (or more!)
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp annatto seeds (optional)
4 tsp dried chives
4 tsp black peppercorns
4 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp salt (see note 2 below)
2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp nutmeg powder
8-10 dried bay leaves
3 inch piece cinnamon stick

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Break up the cinnamon stick and crumble the bay leaves
  • Grind the cinnamon and bay pieces along with the salt, annatto (if using), cumin seeds, allspice berries and peppercorns
  • Once ground add to a bowl 
  • Add the ginger, garlic, nutmeg and chili powders to the bowl and combine
  • Finally, crumble in the dried thyme and chives. Combine again

Store your Jamaican jerk mix in an airtight jar, in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. Use within 3 months before making a fresh amount.

Note: For even more flavours and aromas you could dry toast the coriander and cumin seeds, allspice berries and peppercorns prior to cooling, grinding and combining with the other ingredients. Click here for detailed info on this process. (Link opens in new window)

Note 2: You could use any type of salt for this recipe, however, I recommend using a good quality salt: sea/rock/kosher/flakes etc as these are less processed and I think add better flavour to your homemade mixes and blends. If however, you only have table salt to hand, just use that (I sometimes do) and you'll still get a great tasting rub.

Ingredient Note: This recipe uses a few whole spices as these add the best flavours. If you only have pre-ground powders to hand, simply reduce the quantities the recipe requires by half. For example, for 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds you would use 1 tablespoon of pre-ground cumin. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with any other powders when making.

A Step-by-Step Instructional Video

Here's a video of how I made a version of the above jerk rub recipe. The ingredients may be slightly different but the process is exactly the same. If you enjoyed it and have a Youtube account, you can click the SUBSCRIBE button in the bottom right corner in the video, OR click the SUBSCRIBE link below the video...

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Jerk rubHomemade Jamaican Jerk Rub

After Making This Homemade Jerk Rub You Can Try...

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All Your Fav Fillings

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