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Jamaican Jerk Chicken (Air Fryer, Oven, or Grill)

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Add some flavor to your dinner with this delicious Jamaican jerk chicken recipe. It takes minutes to prep and can be cooked in the air fryer, oven, or grill for a delicious bite to suit any occasion.

Close up of a lime wedge with pieces of marinated chicken.

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Whenever I think of Jamaica, jerk chicken and jerk pork come to mind. It’s that dish that always brings me back to the island. Jerk refers to the method of how the food is cooked, over pimento wood and slow-cooked over a fire, which results in a nice smokey flavor.

The spice that jerk is usually known for comes from the wet paste that marinates the food before smoking or grilling.

With a really good wet rub and some time marinating, you can make some delicious jerk chicken in the air fryer, oven, or grill.

If you love this recipe, be sure to try my jerk chicken wings and jerk chicken soup.

How to make Jamaican jerk chicken

  • Rub chicken pieces with jerk wet paste, making sure to rub under the skin too.
  • Marinate for 4 hrs up or up to overnight. Overnight is best.
Two step by step photos to show how to marinate the chicken.
  • Cook according to instructions:

Air Fryer

  • Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees Farhenheit. Place chicken pieces in the air fryer basket, skin side down, and cook for for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway.
The marinated chicken in an air fryer basket.
The cooked Jamaican jerk chicken in the air fryer basket.

Conventional Oven

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken pieces on baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes.

Grill

  • Place chicken pieces on a grill that has been heated to medium using indirect heat and cook until internal temp reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This can take up to an hour on a grill.
Jamaican jerk chicken on a white plate.
  • When the chicken is done cooking, use a sharp knife to further chop the chicken.

How long should you marinate the chicken?

Because there is very little acidity in the marinade, that can break down the meat, this chicken can be marinated for a long time. In fact, the longer the better. Marinate it for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to develop, and you can leave it overnight. Overnight is best.

How long does it keep?

This Jamaican jerk chicken will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days.

It can be reheated in the oven, covered with foil at 325F for around 20 minutes until heated through. It can be reheated in the air fryer at 400F for 4 to 5 minutes.

What do you serve it with?

This easy jerk chicken is great to serve with rice, veggies, salads and potatoes. Even use it to make a tasty sandwich if you like! Try it with any of these delicious recipes:

Jamaican jerk chicken cut up on a plate ready to eat.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • I like to use the Jamaican jerk wet paste from Walkerswood. This wet marinade tastes just like the jerk I would get in Jamaica. You can also use a homemade jerk wet rub.
  • Jerk is usually served dry without a sauce but feel free to baste the chicken while cooking with jerk bbq sauce if you want a more saucy chicken. You can also serve the bbq sauce as a dipping sauce on the side. That’s what I do.

More Chicken Recipes

Jamaican jerk chicken on a white plate.
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5 from 5 votes

Jamaican Jerk Chicken (Air Fryer, Oven, or Grill)

Add some flavor to your dinner with this delicious Jamaican jerk chicken recipe. It takes minutes to prep and can be cooked in the air fryer, oven or grill for a delicious bite to suit any occasion.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Keyword air fryer jerk chicken, easy jerk chicken recipe, how to make jerk chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating time 4 hours
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 299kcal
Author Tanya

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Rub chicken pieces with paste, making sure to rub under the skin too.
  • Marinate for 4 hrs up or up to overnight.
  • Cook according to instructions:

Air Fryer

  • Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees Farhenheit. Place chicken pieces in the air fryer basket, cook for for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway.

Conventional Oven

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken pieces on baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, flipping halfway.

Grill

  • Place chicken pieces on a grill that has been heated to medium using indirect heat and cook until internal temp reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This can take up to an hour on a grill.
  • Once chicken is done cooking, use a sharp knife to further chop the chicken,

Notes

  • I like to use the Jamaican jerk wet paste from Walkerswood. This wet marinade tastes just like the jerk you would get in Jamaica. You can also use a homemade jerk wet rub.
  • Jerk is usually served dry without a sauce but feel free to baste the chicken while cooking with jerk bbq sauce if you want a more saucy chicken. You can also serve the bbq sauce as a dipping sauce on the side.

Nutrition

Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 126mg | Sodium: 99mg | Potassium: 263mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2463IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




Dolores

Sunday 25th of September 2022

This recipe looks delicious, so I just put the chicken in a deep bowl with Jerk Sauce to marinate overnight and I'll fry it up in my Cosori in the morning after church.

Can't wait... 😋

Ann

Saturday 6th of August 2022

OMG! Amazing!! Thank you. :)

Tanya

Monday 8th of August 2022

So glad you liked it :)

NELLA

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

What do you suggest to cook with the jerk chicken to make a complete meal

Tanya

Sunday 24th of April 2022

Hi Nella, you can make rice and peas, coleslaw, or steamed cabbage.

TN

Saturday 19th of March 2022

I commented earlier, before I cooked and ate. I’m disappointed when people do that because it’s not really helping me determine if the dish is worth my money, time, and calories! So I am following up. I have one word, 😍FANTASTIC! I do recommend that you know your cooking device and govern yourself accordingly. My Ninja did very well following the recommended air-fry instructions. I do also recommend, if you go for a brief 1 hour marinade like I did, pre-season your bird a bit before adding the jerk. Beyond that, I totally enjoyed the spice, heat, flavor, tenderness, and texture of my wings. The color was fantastic, very dark in spots and golden brown in others. Thanks Walkerwood and myforkinglife!

Tanya

Saturday 19th of March 2022

Thanks TN! Thank you for the feedback! It's all very helpful. and yes, Walkerswood is still my all-time favorite jerk paste. We also had it on wings today lol.

TN

Saturday 19th of March 2022

I bought Walkerwood Mild, after looking at a few different brands that were available in the store. I got home and started the chicken marinade. While letting time pass, I was looking online for cook times and temps, when I came across your recipe. I’m so exited to try the air-fry method in my Ninja (flip-up model)! The Walkerwood has a good flavor, right out of the jar. But I’m only cooking wing pieces and I’m short on time. So I’m going with a little extra seasoning and a 1 hour marinade time. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out! Thanks for the air-fry recommendation!