Authentic Jerk Pork Recipe


Jerk pork is a celebrated dish in Caribbean cuisine, renowned for its bold, spicy flavors and tender, juicy meat. This traditional Jamaican dish has roots that trace back to the island’s Maroon communities, who developed the unique cooking method known as “jerk.” The term “jerk” refers to a style of cooking in which meat is marinated with a fiery spice blend and then slow-cooked over a fire or grill. The result is a dish that is both smoky and spicy, bursting with flavor in every bite. Whether you’re new to Caribbean cooking or a seasoned pro, making authentic jerk pork at home is a culinary adventure that is sure to delight your taste buds.

Jerk Pork Recipe

Jerk pork is a flavorful and aromatic dish hailing from the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica. Known for its spicy, smoky, and slightly sweet flavor profile, jerk pork is a favorite at barbecues and family gatherings. The secret lies in the jerk marinade, a blend of spices and herbs that permeates the meat, creating a symphony of flavors. This guide will take you through the steps to prepare, marinate, and cook jerk pork to perfection.

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Jerk Pork Recipe

Jamaican jerk pork is a flavorful and spicy dish that’s sure to impress. This recipe captures the authentic taste of jerk seasoning, blending it with tender pork for a mouthwatering experience.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 45 minutes
Course barbecues
Cuisine jamaica
Servings 4 4


  • 1.5 kg pork shoulder
  • 5 chopped green onions
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chopped Scotch bonnet peppers
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preparing the Marinade
    In a blender or food processor, combine the green onions, onion, garlic, Scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
    Blend until you have a smooth paste.
  • Marinating the Pork
    Place the pork chunks in a large bowl or a resealable plastic bag.
    Pour the marinade over the pork, making sure each piece is well-coated.
    Cover the bowl or seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.
  • Grilling the Pork
    Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
    Remove the pork from the marinade, letting any excess drip off.
    Grill the pork pieces, turning occasionally, until they are charred on the outside and cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. The internal temperature should reach 70°C (160°F).
  • Serving
    Remove the pork from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes.
    Serve with traditional sides like rice and peas, fried plantains, or a fresh salad.


By carefully selecting the right cut of pork, marinating it with a blend of traditional spices and ingredients, and choosing the appropriate cooking method, you can create a dish that is juicy, flavorful, and authentically spiced. Whether you grill, roast, or slow-cook the pork, the key to success lies in allowing the marinade to deeply infuse the meat and cooking it to tender perfection. Serve your jerk pork with complementary sides, and enjoy the rich, spicy, and aromatic experience that this beloved dish offers. Happy cooking and savor the delicious results!
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Tips for Jerk Pork Recipe

  1. Achieving the Perfect Marinade

    Ensure all spices are fresh and ground properly. The marinade should be a smooth paste that adheres well to the pork.

  2. Cooking Techniques

For the best flavor, cook the pork over a charcoal grill. This adds a smoky depth that complements the spices in the marinade.

3. Resting the Meat

Allow the cooked pork to rest before slicing. This helps retain juices and ensures a tender, flavorful result.

4. Moderation and Balance

While jerk pork is delicious, it’s also important to enjoy it in moderation due to its rich and spicy nature. Balance it with plenty of vegetables and healthy sides.

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FAQs for Authentic Jerk Pork Recipe

  • What cut of pork is best for jerk pork?

    Pork shoulder or pork loin are the best cuts for jerk pork due to their balance of fat and meat, which results in a tender and flavorful dish.

  • Can I make jerk pork without a grill?

    Yes, you can make jerk pork in the oven. While a grill adds a smoky flavor, oven-roasted jerk pork is also delicious and flavorful.

  • How spicy is jerk pork?

    Jerk pork is quite spicy due to the Scotch bonnet peppers. You can adjust the heat level by using fewer peppers or removing the seeds.

  • Can I freeze marinated jerk pork?

    Yes, you can freeze the marinated pork. Place it in a resealable bag, ensuring all air is removed, and freeze for up to three months.

  • What other meats can I use with jerk marinade?

    The jerk marinade works well with chicken, beef, and even seafood. Adjust the cooking times accordingly for different meats.


Jerk pork is a vibrant and flavorful dish that brings the taste of the Caribbean to your kitchen. With its rich history and complex flavor profile, it’s a dish that’s sure to impress. Follow these steps to create an authentic jerk pork that’s perfect for any occasion. Enjoy experimenting with the spices and flavors, and bring a taste of Jamaica to your table.


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