Jamaican Jerk Pork recipe

One of the most famous and popular flavors of Jamaican food is pork or chicken that's been rubbed and marinated with a special Jerk seasoning paste and then slow cooked over an open BBQ.

The Jerk paste or marinade is usually quite fiery since it typically contains Scotch Bonnet chilies, however for this recipe I've made it more accessible (and slightly milder) by using crushed red pepper flakes.

But if you like it hotter, feel free to use the real chilies instead.

For best results the meat needs to be poked full of holes to let the jerk marinade penetrate as deeply as possible.

Traditionally, the meat is slow-cooked over an open fire of pimento wood, but again, this recipe needs to be accessible to all of us so we're using a gas grill or charcoal BBQ with fantastic results.

Once the Jerk Pork comes off the grill let it sit covered a few minutes before carving.

Consider serving with a spicy Jambalaya rice side dish.

› Jamaican Jerk Pork

Serves: 6 - 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Direct Heat: 350F - 375F

What you'll need:

  • 4 - 6 lb pork loin roast

For the Jerk marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dark Rum
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup cilantro chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 limes (juice and zest)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • optional smoking chips or pellets

how to make jerk pork marinade

Step 1:
Combine all of the Jerk marinade ingredients in a glass bowl, cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour to let the flavors blend.

pork roast for jamaican jerk recipe

Step 2:
Lay the pork roast on its side and carefully butterfly it by slicing it sideways through the middle across it's width.

butterfly pork roast

Open up the butterflied roast like a book and poke it full of holes on all sides with a fork.

The more holes the better to let the marinade penetrate.

jerk marinade

Pour some of the marinade into a glass dish and place the pork on top.

Pour the rest of the marinade over the meat and spread well to completely cover.

Cover and refrigerate overnight, flipping the meat over once if possible.

how to grill jerk pork

Step 3:
Setup the grill or BBQ for direct cooking and heat to medium or 350F - 375F.

If using smoking chips or pellets put them in a smoker box or aluminum foil pouches.  When they begin to smoke reduce the heat to 350F - 375F. 

Once the grill has reached cooking temperature place the pork skin side down on the cooking grates and close the lids.

cooking jerk pork

After 15 - 20 minutes flip the roast over and close the lid.

We're cooking the pork to well done or internal temperature of 190F so after another 15 - 20 minutes check the temperature.

If the pork is well done then remove it, cover it with aluminum foil and let rest 5 minutes.

Cut the meat into 1/4" - 1/2" slices and serve.


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› Jamaican Jerk Pork

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