Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings

Fire up the grill and bring a taste of the tropics with these crispy, juicy, aromatic Jamaican Jerk Chicken wings kissed with warm spices and fire. The easy jerk sauce comes together with just a few pulses of the food processor and delivers complex and bold flavor everyone will love.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are my absolute favorite food group. I am the person who set off a fire alarm on vacation grilling up these Caribbean jerk chicken wings, but really who puts a fire alarm over the grill?

I love them in all forms from Teriyaki Buffalo Wings to this island favorite that balances fruity heat with layers of herbs, warm spices, and a little sweetness. Jamaican jerk stole my heart the first time I tried it and while I adore it in all forms, wings will always be my favorite. There’s something magic that happens between the process of marinating and them hitting the grill. These are guaranteed to disappear quick!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Smoked Jerk Chicken Wings
  • Easy Process – Let the food processor do all of the work. Just give the ingredients for the Jamaican jerk paste a rough chop and then blitz until smooth. The grilling process is also easy and perfect for any level of griller. Pop open a Red Stripe and have fun cooking.
  • Simple Ingredients – Homemade jerk marinades might read like a bit of a long list, but there’s absolutely nothing complicated about them. You probably even have the pantry staples like soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar.
  • Texture – Wings are as much about texture as they are flavor. The ingredients in the marinade ensure the meat is juicy and fall off the bone tender while grilling these gives you that crave worthy crispy skin. It’s the best of both worlds.


This list of ingredients for these smoked jerk chicken wings is a little shorter than my traditional Jamaican jerk chicken, and also geared specifically towards chicken wings. They’re a little sweeter and the warm spices really carry through.

Jamaican Jerk Marinade
  • Spices – Allspice plays a predominate role in this Jamaican jerk chicken wings recipe. Allspice isn’t just a core component of jerk seasoning, but the tree that the allspice berry comes from, the pimento tree, is also the preferred wood to cook jerk chicken over. Cinnamon joins the party adding a sweet, spicy, and woodsy accent.
  • Aromatics – Scallions, fresh thyme, fresh ginger, and fresh garlic make the base of the aromatics that deliver savory flavor. A shallot adds a little sweetness and while not common in many jerk recipes, cilantro gives citrusy freshness.
  • Sweet and Salty – Dark brown sugar not only adds a little sweetness to the marinade but also helps to caramelize the skin. Soy sauce adds salt and umami.
  • Acid – Rice wine vinegar gives a layer of mellow and mildly sweet acid while lime juice gives tang to balance the sweet and heat.
  • Heat – Scotch bonnet peppers are the traditional choice for jerk. They pack a kick but also have a fruity flavor. If you don’t have access to scotch bonnets you can substitute them with habanero peppers. They have a similar heat and fruit profile. You can totally control the heat by just adding one and removing the seeds, but the other ingredients balance out the kick.

How to Make Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings

  • Make your Jamaican jerk marinade. Roughly chop your ingredients and place them into a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  • Marinate your jerk chicken wings. Place the chicken wings into a plastic zip top bag. Pour in the marinade and seal it up, allowing the air to escape. Give them a massage to make sure they’re fully coated. Place the bag flat on a baking sheet and allow them to refrigerate for at least eight hours up to overnight, flipping them over once or twice.
  • Season the chicken wings. Remove the chicken wings from the marinade and place on a wire rack fit into a baking sheet. Don’t pat off the marinade. Generously season both sides of the wings with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Prepare your grill for indirect grilling. If using a kettle grill pile your charcoal in the center of the grill leaving the outside as the cool zone. For other types of grills bank the charcoal to one side and leave the other side cooler. Add wood chips to the charcoal if desired. Make sure your grates are clean. You want your grill heated to around 400 degrees.
  • Let the first side of your wings grill. Place the wings on the cooler zone of the grill and close it up. Allow them to grill for 20-25 minutes undisturbed.
  • Give the wings a flip. Check to see if they easily release from the grill. If they don’t give them another five minutes. Once you flip them close up the grill and give them another 20 minutes.
  • Give them a final crisp. When the wings are around 175 degrees internal place them over direct heat to crisp up the skin even more. Pull them off the grill when their internal temperature is around 180. Serve them with lime wedges and charred scallions.


Jerk Chicken Wings
  • Charcoal grill – Just like wings are my favorite food, the Weber kettle is my favorite for grilling wings. It has the perfect even heat distribution while still allowing you to cook indirect. You don’t have to worry about constantly rotating the wings.
  • Instant read thermometer – Unlike other cuts of chicken you want to cook your wings to a higher temp to ensure you get that crispy skin. Using an instant read thermometer makes this easy.
  • Wood chips – Part of what makes Jamaican jerk so irresistible is that mysterious layer of smoke. You can easily replicate this by adding wood chips over your charcoal. Use a mild flavor such as pecan, applewood, hickory, and cherry are all great options.

Tips From the Beach

Caribbean Jerk Chicken Wings
  • Don’t be afraid of the scotch bonnet peppers in this recipe. Even if you don’t like things spicy add at least one, just take the seeds out. It adds fruitiness pairs well with the spices.
  • If you can’t find scotch bonnet peppers use habaneros instead.
  • There’s no need to peel the ginger. Just rough chop it and toss it into the food processor with everything else.
  • Pimento wood can be hard to source, and also expensive. Try adding whole allspice berries to your charcoal for a similar flavor.
  • If you like a saucier wing, reserve 1/3 cup of the marinade before adding to the chicken. Brush it on the chicken wings when flipping.

Looking for the perfect side to serve up with your grilled wings? Make sure to check out Dill Pickle Potato Salad.

Can I make Jamaican jerk chicken wings on a gas grill?

Yes. Preheat the grill to 400 degrees, but don’t light all of the burners. Start your chicken wings over indirect heat and then crisp them up over direct heat at the end. You will need to flip them and rotate them more often.

Can I bake Jamaican jerk chicken wings?

Yes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the wings on the baking sheet and allow them to cook for 30-40 minutes, flipping halfway though. You can brush them with reserved marinade after flipping. Cook them to around 180 degrees.


Jamaican Jerk Chicken Wings

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Fire up the grill and bring a taste of the tropics with these crispy, juicy, aromatic Jamaican Jerk Chicken wings kissed with warm spices and fire.

  • Author: Nicole Stover
  • Prep Time: 480
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: Caribbean


Units Scale
  • 23 pounds chicken wings, split, tips removed
  • 1 bunch scallions, roots trimmed, roughly chopped
  • 1 large shallot roughly chopped
  • 2” ginger roughly chopped
  • 12 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, halved, remove seeds for less heat if desired
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons allspice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper


  1. Add all of the ingredients except for the chicken, salt, and pepper to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. Place the chicken in a zip top plastic bag. Pour the jerk marinade over the chicken and close the bag letting the air out. Allow it to refrigerate flat, massaging a couple of times, for at least 8 hours up to 24. 
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade but don’t pat the wings dry. Place the wings on a rack fit into a baking sheet and season both sides with salt and pepper.
  4. Prepare your grill for indirect grilling. If using a kettle grill pile the charcoal in the middle leaving the outer circumference as the cooler zone. Any other type of charcoal grill bank the charcoal to one side. Sprinkle on wood chips if using. Make sure your grates are clean and allow the grill to heat to around 400 degrees.
  5. Place the wings on the cooler side of the grill and close the lid. Allow them to grill for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Flip the wings. If they resist give them another 5 minutes and then flip.
  7. Allow the wings to grill for about another 20 minutes. Depending on the style of your grill you may need to flip and rotate a couple of times.
  8. When your wings are around 175 degrees place them over direct heat to crisp them up. Pull them when they’re between 180-185 degrees.
  9. Serve the wings with lime wedges and charred scallions if desired.

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