Blog Archives The Best Jamaican Jerk Sauce


Photo by: Zach Stovall

Jamaicans almost never share their family jerk secrets, but this recipe was given to me years ago (albeit reluctantly) by my Jamaican sous-chef, Chris, and I’ve tweaked it myself through the years. TIP: Wear gloves when handling hot peppers!


¼ cup peanut or canola oil
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1-inch-thick piece fresh ginger, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Scotch bonnet peppers
8 allspice berries, smashed
1 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tbsp. nutmeg, ground
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. ketchup
¼ cup dark brown sugar
The juice of 2 limes


1. Puree the ingredients listed below in a food processor or blender until smooth.

2. Rub the sauce on chicken, pork, fish, tofu, shrimp or red meat, and marinate the protein overnight; any leftover sauce will keep for weeks in the refrigerator.

This recipe first appeared as part of Steven Petusevsky’s article Eating Negril in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Caribbean Travel + Life.


Author: Steven Petusevsky