Jamaican Jerk Spatchcock Chicken

Spice up your chicken with a homemade Jamaican jerk marinade. Whether it’s cooked al fresco on a Big Green Egg (or similar), or inside using an oven, this will undoubtedly delight and impress your dinner guests.

Jamaican Jerk Spatchcock Chicken

20 mins prep
60-90 mins cook
2-4 servings
Roasted or steamed vegetables
Mas des Amours Coteaux de Languedoc


For Big Green Egg (BGE) users, a small/medium chicken fits on a Minimax.

  • Two metal skewers (optional, see below)
  • Poultry scissors (or a very sharp pair of scissors)
  • Roasting tin and rack (if using oven)
  • Hand held blender
  • Kitchen thermometer or equivalent (recommended)

Using a Kitchen Thermometer, thermapen or similar device lets you know precisely when the chicken is ready, much more accurate than a specific cooking time. Our kitchen thermometer is one of those “where have you been all my life” utensils.

Update: In this blog post you’ll see that I used two metal skewers in the chicken. This allowed me to turn the chicken over easily at the end to crisp up the skin. Since writing the post, I’ve learned that this can also cause the chicken breast to cook too quickly with heat transference through the metal skewer. I’ve since stop using them, and turn the chicken using a big spatula. Also, cooking chicken raised into the dome crisps the skin up nicely without the need to turn it over.
Spatchcock chicken cooking on a Minimax


  • 1 whole chicken (3-4lbs)
  • Pimento or apple wood chips (if using Big Green Egg)
  • Jamaican Jerk marinade

Jamaican Jerk Marinade

For the marinade, take all of the ingredients below, throw them into a blender and blitz. The scotch bonnet adds a kick, vary the amount of it depending on personal taste. This makes enough for two 4lb chickens.

  • 20ml malt vinegar
  • 20ml light soy sauce
  • 20ml olive oil
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 tsp dark rum
  • 1 tbsp allspice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3-4 smoked garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 small scotch bonnet, finely chopped

Left-over marinade can be stored in a refrigerator for up to a week.


The method is the same to begin with, then differs depending on whether you use a BGE (or similar) or a conventional oven. Cooking time depends on weight of the chicken,  always check the juices run clear before serving.

  1. With great care, spatchcock the chicken. This BBC Good Food video explains the spatchcocking process.
  2. Skewer the bird across the middle with a couple of metal skewers. Makes lifting it easier.
  3. Coat the top (breast-side) with Jamaican jerk marinade.
Skewers make it easy to move the chicken

Big Green Egg

  1. Soak the wood chips an hour before cooking
  2. Set up the egg for direct cooking. If using a minimax, limit the amount of charcoal in the base so there will be a good air gap between the charcoal and the grid.
  3. Light the charcoal, add in the grid, get the egg to 190°C/375°F.
  4. Toss the wood chips onto the glowing charcoal.
  5. Place the spatchcocked chicken breast side up on the grid.
  6. Close the lid, cook for 60-75  minutes, or until the breast meat is at 74°C/165°F.
    • For a crisp skin, flip the chicken over and cook skin side down for 4-5 minutes.
  7. Remove from the egg. Cut into portions, serve with roasted or steamed vegetables.
Flip the chicken for two minutes to crisp the skin

Conventional Oven

  1. Pre-heat oven at 200°C/390°F (180°C/355°F for fan ovens).
  2. Place the spatchcocked chicken breast side up in a roasting tin raised up on a roasting rack.
  3. Cook for 75-90 mins, or until the breast meat is at 74°C/165°F.
  4. Remove from the oven. Cut into portions, serve with roasted or steamed vegetables.
Jamaican Jerk Spatchcock Chicken

2 thoughts on “Jamaican Jerk Spatchcock Chicken

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