Aug 24, 2021

Suggested wood: oak, hickory or apple

Authentic jerk chicken means a whole chicken, cut up and on the bone. Since it’s a slow-smoked dish, the dark meat of the thighs and drumsticks is moister and more flavorful than the white meat, so pull the white meat off the smoker first to avoid overcooking it.


1. Prepare the marinade. In a food processor, combine onions, chile pepper, soy sauce, oil, vinegar, sugar, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and hot pepper flakes; pulse until smooth. Add thyme sprigs.

2. Rinse chicken under cold running water and pat dry. Place in a large dish and pour in half the marinade, turning chicken to coat each piece. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 6 hours, turning occasionally. Transfer the remaining marinade to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.

3. Meanwhile, prepare an indirect fire for smoking in your grill or smoker.

4. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade, and place skin side down on the indirect side of the grill. Close the lid and smoke for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, turning and basting with the reserved marinade every 10 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165°F (74°C).

Written by Ginger Cook