Jerk Chicken Rubs: Reviews And Recommendations

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By Christopher Spiker

Hey there! If you’re a fan of bold, spicy flavors that pack a punch, you’re in the right place. Welcome to “Jerk Chicken Rubs: Reviews and Recommendations,” where you’ll discover a variety of mouthwatering jerk chicken rubs that promise to elevate your grilling game. We’ve scoured the market to bring you the very best options, reviewing each one’s unique blend of spices and offering recommendations to suit every palate. Your taste buds are in for a real treat! Have you ever wondered what makes jerk chicken taste so amazing? It’s all in the rub! Jerk chicken rubs are the secret to achieving that irresistible mix of spices and flavors that takes your chicken from ordinary to extraordinary. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Dive into this friendly guide, where we’ve reviewed and recommended some of the best jerk chicken rubs available. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious newbie, this guide will help you make the perfect choice.

Jerk Chicken Rubs: Reviews And Recommendations

What is Jerk Chicken Rub?

Jerk chicken rub is a blend of spices, herbs, and seasonings that originated from Jamaica. Traditionally, jerk seasoning includes ingredients like allspice, thyme, Scotch bonnet peppers, and more. When applied to chicken, these spices imbue the meat with a unique, flavorful heat that is both aromatic and delicious.

Ingredients of a Jerk Chicken Rub

Every jerk chicken rub has its own twist, but many include a core set of ingredients that are essential for capturing that authentic flavor.

  • Allspice: Often called pimento in Jamaica, this is the cornerstone of jerk seasoning.
  • Thyme: A fragrant herb that adds an earthy quality.
  • Scotch Bonnet Peppers: These peppers bring the heat that is synonymous with jerk seasoning.
  • Garlic: Adds depth and pungency.
  • Onion: Often used in powdered form, it helps round out the flavors.
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves: These spices add warmth and complexity.
  • Sugar: Provides a slight sweetness to balance out the heat.

Why Use a Jerk Chicken Rub?

Jerk seasoning isn’t just for flavor; it also helps to tenderize the meat. When rubbed onto chicken and allowed to marinate, the spices penetrate deeply, making each bite flavorful and juicy. Plus, using a rub is incredibly convenient—you achieve complex flavors without needing to measure out individual spices.

How to Apply Jerk Chicken Rub

Applying jerk chicken rub is straightforward. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Make sure your chicken is clean and dry.
  2. Apply the Rub: Generously apply the rub all over the chicken, including under the skin if possible.
  3. Marinate: Let the chicken sit for at least an hour, but preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to seep in.
  4. Cook: You can grill, bake, or pan-fry your jerk chicken. Grilling is the most traditional method.

Best Jerk Chicken Rubs: Reviews and Recommendations

1. Walkerswood Traditional Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Origin: Jamaica

Ingredients: Scallions, scotch bonnet peppers, salt, black pepper, pimento, nutmeg, and more.

Review: Walkerswood is a classic Jamaican brand, and their jerk seasoning is often seen as the gold standard. It’s hot, flavorful, and true to its roots.


  • Authentic flavor
  • Well-balanced heat


  • Can be a bit too spicy for some

Recommendation: Ideal for those seeking a genuine Jamaican experience.

2. Blue Mountain Country Jerk Seasoning

Origin: Jamaica

Ingredients: Allspice, thyme, garlic, vinegar, and more.

Review: Blue Mountain Country’s seasoning is robust and less spicy than Walkerswood, making it perfect for those who prefer a milder rub.


  • Milder heat
  • Rich flavor profile


  • Might need additional seasoning for some palates

Recommendation: Great for those who want a flavorful but less spicy experience.

Rub Name Origin Heat Level Best For
Walkerswood Jamaica High Authentic experience
Blue Mountain Country Jamaica Medium Mild flavor lovers

3. McCormick Gourmet Jerk Seasoning

Origin: USA

Ingredients: Allspice, onion, thyme, black pepper, and more.

Review: McCormick’s version is more accessible, available in most grocery stores. It balances spiciness and flavor effectively.


  • Widely available
  • Balanced heat


  • Less authentic compared to Jamaican brands

Recommendation: Perfect for those who want a convenient option with a reliable taste.

4. Grace Jerk Seasoning

Origin: Jamaica

Ingredients: Scallions, hot peppers, salt, pimento, and more.

Review: Grace offers a jerk seasoning that is both spicy and aromatic. It’s versatile and can be used for more than just chicken.


  • Versatile
  • Rich and spicy


  • Might be too spicy for some

Recommendation: Ideal for adventurous cooks who want a multi-purpose seasoning.

5. Island Spice Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Origin: Jamaica

Ingredients: Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, cinnamon, and more.

Review: Island Spice brings a well-rounded jerk seasoning with a complex flavor profile. It’s less common but worth the search.


  • Complex flavor
  • Balanced spices


  • Not as widely available

Recommendation: Excellent for those who love gourmet options and don’t mind hunting for the perfect seasoning.

Jerk Chicken Rubs: Reviews And Recommendations

DIY Jerk Chicken Rub Recipe

If you’re up for some kitchen experimenting, why not make your own jerk chicken rub? Here’s a simple recipe to try.


  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. Combine Ingredients: Mix all the spices and seasonings together in a bowl.
  2. Store: Store the mixture in an airtight container.
  3. Use: Apply the rub generously to your chicken and follow the application and cooking steps mentioned earlier.

Tips for Cooking Jerk Chicken


Grilling jerk chicken is the most traditional method. The smoky flavor from the grill complements the spices well.

  1. Preheat Your Grill: Make sure your grill is nice and hot.
  2. Cook Evenly: Cook the chicken over medium heat, turning occasionally until fully cooked.
  3. Char It: Allow some parts of the chicken to char slightly. The caramelization adds to the flavor.


If you don’t have a grill, baking is a great alternative.

  1. Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Bake: Place the rubbed chicken on a baking sheet and cook for 35-45 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces.

Slow Cooking

For super tender jerk chicken, consider using a slow cooker.

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Apply the rub as usual.
  2. Cook: Place the seasoned chicken in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Jerk Chicken Rubs: Reviews And Recommendations

Pairing Ideas with Jerk Chicken

Jerk chicken pairs wonderfully with a variety of sides. Here are some ideas to complete your meal:

Rice and Peas

A traditional Jamaican side dish that balances the spiciness of the jerk chicken.

Fried Plantains

The sweetness of fried plantains offers a delightful contrast to the heat.


A light, refreshing salad with citrus-based dressing can complement the robust flavors of jerk chicken.

Tropical Fruit Salsa

Pineapple or mango salsa adds a sweet and tangy element to your meal.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Even the best rubs can fall flat if not used properly. Here are some pitfalls to watch out for:

Skipping the Marination

Don’t skip marination time. The longer you let the chicken marinate, the more flavorful it will be.

Not Using Enough Rub

Be generous with your rub. It’s better to have too much flavor than too little.


Keep a close eye on your chicken to avoid drying it out.

Jerk Chicken Rubs: Reviews And Recommendations


Choosing the right jerk chicken rub can elevate your cooking to new heights. Whether you prefer an authentic Jamaican brand like Walkerswood or a convenient option like McCormick, there’s something out there for everyone. Don’t forget to pair your delicious jerk chicken with complementary sides and follow the tips for the best cooking results. So, go ahead, pick your favorite rub, and get ready to enjoy some mouth-watering jerk chicken!