Jamaican Drum Pan Jerk Spice


1/4 cup whole allspice
3 scotch bonnet peppers seeds and all
10 scallions white and green parts coarsely chopped
1/2 red onion coarsely chopped
4 bay leaves crumbled
1 sprig rosemary chopped fine
3 heaping tbs fresh ginger root
1 leek white and light green parts
One cup fresh thyme leaves minced
1 tbs fresh cracked black pepper
1 tbs fresh ground nutmeg
1 tbs fresh ground cinnamon
1 tbs kosher or sea salt (do not use table salt)
Juice from 3 limes
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil

In the past few years we have spent a lot of time kicking around in the Caribbean , the Bahamas, St Kitt’s, St. Lucia, Dominica, Barbados,  Puerto Rico and Jamaica.

Each island has their own special  spice mixture and flavors, however there was an obvious continuity that wove all the flavors of the Caribbean together. We spent several months in Jamaica with friends who are native Jamaicans.  They really helped us to understand the flavors of the Caribbean.
We spent most of  our time in Kingston as well as the inner island.

The hub and life force of Jamaica is Kingston and the Coronation Market. It’s a city and farmers market   If you go to Jamaica, do yourself a favor and visit Kingston. On Friday nights the streets would be lined with grills with the most incredible smells wafting into the air.  In many cases they were making “drum pan jerk”.  It works equally well on chicken, pork or beef.


  • In a skillet over medium heat, toast the allspice until fragrant, about two minutes.Then crush or process in a spice grinder.
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse stirring as  necessary, Process until paste forms.
  • Now you have the basis of “Jamaican Drum Pan Jerk Seasoning”.
  • This seasoning mix has no relationship to anything you can buy in a bottle!


  • Drum pan is the type of grill that is typically used. It is basically a 50 gallon oil  drum cut in half and made into a grill.
  • This mixture is traditionally rubbed on the meat and marinated for several hours. Then the meat is grilled over wood and charcoal.
  • In a pinch you can also use a regular oven.( But if you are going to do it. Do it right!)
  • The key is to marinate the meat and rub in well. Show the meat some love!
  •  Cook over gray embers watching the meat carefully. Cook meat until desired doneness is reached  Remove meat from grill and let the meat rest.


20 min



  • Avatar
    Collin 5 years ago

    Its good that you’ve traveled all these islands to see their variations of Jerk. However, the birth place is Jamaica and no where else. Anything from the original wouldn’t be considered Jerk, including flavor and technique. Hence, you’ve suggested leek and rosmary, traditional authentic Jerk does not have these ingredients in it. Also, Jamaicans don’t Jerk beef its just chicken and pork. Have a good one bredrin.

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