Authentic Jerk Chicken Rub | Barbecue Tricks

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Authentic Jerk Chicken Rub

jerk1Authentic Jamaican Jerk chicken  – how can you make it easy?
I visited at one of the south’s most authentic jerk festivals to try to get some tricks on spices that will unlock authentic Jamaican Jerk flavor.  I learned some basics:
Most often you’ll get leg quarters… With the skin scored… Jerk spice rub is typically a fiery blend of allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers and sometimes scallion, thyme,  ginger, even rum. The folks i talked to in the video were big into escovitch (pickled vegetables).
The habanero is the standard scotch bonnet substitute- they are different, but the same species. When ripe, the Scotch bonnet looks sort of like a little squashed reddish orange paper lantern.
flickr-Jason Smith

flickr-Jason Smith

After some research (tasty research) I adapted this rub and here’s how to make it at home…

Good news is the leg quarters are really affordable.. Start with that. I used half Chickens here but the breast is less forgiving than the dark meat – that’s why competition BBQ teams use thighs exclusively… I also used the remaining sauce in the small blender after coating chicken and added 4 tablespoons of cane syrup and 4 tablespoons of texas peat plus another habanero and blended to create a VERY hot but wonderful hot sauce.  Great flavor.
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Authentic Jerk Chicken
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This blend of spices makes a delicious and sticky coating for chicken. The flavors of the island come from the allspice and peppers.




Allspice 2 tsp
4 tablespoons Cane syrup
Cumin 1/2 tsp
Cloves 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon 1/4 tsp
Salt one tsp
Black Pepper 1/2 tsp
Cayenne 1/2 tsp


5 min
45 at 250
Ready In
60 min

  1. Roast all dry spices in dry pan to toast or release oils (optional). Grind all ingredients into a paste. Rub on chicken thighs 4 thighs or one whole chicken (halved or quartered). Smoke (using allspice berries along with oak or hickory in a smoker pouch in lieu of piemento wood).

About Bill West

Bill West a BBQ enthusiast, Author, and Country Music aficionado in Charleston, SC. Get his BBQ Blueprint Book on Amazon: Follow him:

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