Jerk Chicken from the Slow Cooker

By Mieke

One of the first foods I tried when I moved to London was jerk chicken. I was studying in New Cross and my friend took me to this shack called Cummin Up (who still exist! and do delivery!) which served jerk chicken on a coco bread bun with lots of mayo.

I was sold as soon as I bit into it. Jerk chicken is just so fragrant, complex and delicious.

Brixton, STAND UP!

Once I graduated and moved away from New Cross and Cummin Up, I was lucky enough to live across the road from Negril in my beloved Brixton. But then I moved away and discovered you’ll be hard pressed to find jerk chicken in the Netherlands.

It took me a while, and I suck at barbecue, but mixing various recipes (see recipe notes) I finally cracked the code on a slow cooker jerk chicken that comes close to the jerk chicken I had in New Cross and Brixton.

What do you have with jerk chicken?

I like to have mine with rice and beans and some cucumber or stick it on a sweet potato bun with a good helping of mayo to relive my days in New Cross.

Slow cooker jerk chicken

Dorothy Porker
Succulent and spicy jerk chicken from the slow cooker.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Overnight marinade 8 hours
Course Barbecue, Dinner, Main course
Cuisine Caribbean, Jamaican
Servings 4


  • Food processor
  • Large container
  • Slow cooker
  • Oven


  • 1 bunch spring onions roughly chopped
  • 2" - 5 cm piece of ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small onion roughly chopped
  • 3-4 chilies seeds and pith removed if you prefer less heat
  • 1 T - 15 gr fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 T - 30 ml soy sauce
  • 2 T - 30 ml neutral oil I use sunflower
  • 3 T - 45 gr brown sugar
  • 1 T - 15 gr allspice
  • 8 pieces chicken SERIOUSLY: bone in, skin on - I'm a thigh girl myself


The evening before

  • Place all the ingredients, except the chicken in a food processor and blend to a rough paste. If you want less heat be sure to deseed the chilies and remove any pith beforehand.
  • Slash the skin of 8 pieces of chicken with a few quick strokes of a sharp knife, and mix them with the marinade in a large sealable container that will hold all of the chicken.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight (8 hours).

Slowcook the jerk chicken

  • The next morning place the marinade and the chicken, skin side up, in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. No peaking, if you do you'll run the risk if drying out the chicken.

To finish

  • You could eat the chicken like this, but traditionally jerk chicken is barbecued and it's much nicer if you get some char and caramelization going on on your chicken.
  • Preheat your oven grill or broiler to 200° C/ 400° F.
  • Place the chicken skin side up on a rack as close as possible to the grill. You just want the skin to crisp up without drying out the chicken or burning the sugars from the marinade so stay close and check regularly. I'd say shoot for 15 minutes max.


The marinade holds up well for up to 12 chicken thighs, I tend to make extra and freeze whatever I'm not using. It will keep for 6 months max in an airtight container in the freezer. 
I have tried slow cooking the chicken, then saving it for a couple of days before finishing it off in the oven and this doesn't work as well as the chicken dries out as it cools off, so I don't recommend doing this.

On the BBQ

Obviously you can also finish the marinated chicken off on a barbecue. 


I try to cite sources as much as I can with the recipes I share, both because I think it's the right thing to do, credit wise, and give readers an idea of how I create recipes to inspire them to create their own. Unfortunately, I didn't write my sources down when I first came to this recipe so I am unsure what the sources are, but I know it's a combination of recipes from BBC Good Food and one or two independent food bloggers. Unfortunately that's all she wrote.
Keyword chicken, chicken recipe, jamaican food, jamaican recipe, jerk chicken, slow cooked, slow cooker

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