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Jerk Marinade

Pack a punch with this marinade.

From “The Apple Cider Vinegar Companion”
December 2017

  • This marinade tastes great on all kinds of meat – including chicken.
    Photo from
  • “The Apple Cider Vinegar Companion” by Suzy Scherr explores the many uses of apple cider vinegar.
    Cover courtesy The Countryman Press

Total Hands-On Time: 6 hr

Yield: 3 cups marinade

The Apple Cider Vinegar Companionapple cider vinegar, by Suzy Scherr (The Countryman Press, 2016), explores simple ways to use one of nature’s most versatile ingredients. From cleaning, to cooking, to keeping your hair shiny, apple cider vinegar is a cupboard staple. This marinade adds an island flavor to your meat.

My husband and I went to Jamaica a few years ago and I have no shame in admitting that some days we ate jerk chicken at more than one meal. We honestly couldn’t get enough. Fiery, smoky, and tender, that traditional style of BBQ chicken is irresistible. Part of the allure is the way it’s cooked (on long grills with fragrant smoke from both wood and charcoal), but it’s the more-flavor-than-you-can-shake-a-stick-at marinade that visits me in my dreams, full of hot chiles and warm spices. I now use it as an all-purpose marinade for meat, fish, and vegetables as well as chicken. Someday I’ll get back to Jamaica and eat jerk chicken for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Until then, I’ll keep making my pretty-darn-close homemade marinade. 


• 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
• 3/4 cup sliced scallions
• 1/2 cup canola oil or other neutral oil
• 1/2 cup ground allspice
• 1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon dried thyme
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 8 garlic cloves, minced
• 3 Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed and minced
• Kosher salt, to taste


1. In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients and blend until well combined. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

2. When ready to use, toss to coat whatever you’re grilling in the jerk marinade. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

Safety Note: Because it’s not safe to consume marinades used on raw fish or meat, make extra or reserve a bit and set aside before marinating if you plan to baste during cooking or serve extra marinade as a sauce.

More From The Apple Cider Vinegar Companion:

Homemade Cough and Cold Syrup
• Tummy Tamer
• Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts

Reprinted with permission from The Apple Cider Vinegar Companion, copyright 2016 by Suzy Scherr. Published by The Countryman Press.

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