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Recipe

Jamaican Jerk Pork

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Scott Phillips

Servings: 6 to 8

This juicy, flavorful pork takes time—a few hours to brine, overnight to marinate, and 7 or 8 hours to smoke. It’s mostly hands off, and well worth it. In Jamaica, this is street food that’s eaten with rice and peas, grilled corn, or fried cornbread called festival.

Ingredients

  • 1 4- to 5-lb. bone-in pork butt or shoulder

For the brine

  • 1/2 cup Jamaican dark rum, such as Appleton
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 oz. kosher salt (3 Tbs. if using Diamond Crystal; 2 Tbs. if using Morton)
  • 3 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. robust unsulfured molasses
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the jerk marinade

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 whole Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles, stemmed, seeds left intact
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (from about 2 oranges)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 Tbs. whole dried allspice berries or 2 Tbs. ground allspice
  • 2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 5/8 oz. kosher salt (2 Tbs. if using Diamond Crystal; 4 tsp. if using Morton)
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs. Jamaican dark rum, such as Appleton
  • 2 tsp. robust unsulfured molasses

For smoking

  • 2 cups pimento or applewood chips

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 360
      Fat Calories (kcal): 150
      Fat (g): 17
      Saturated Fat (g): 4.5
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
      Cholesterol (mg): 110
      Sodium (mg): 1850
      Carbohydrates (g): 12
      Fiber (g): 2
      Sugar (g): 8
      Protein (g): 37

Preparation

Brine the pork

  • Place the pork in a large bowl or in a zip-top bag set inside the bowl.

    In a large measuring cup, combine all the brine ingredients with 3-1/2 cups water. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.

    Pour the brine into the bag with the pork, squeeze out any air, and seal, or cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 6 hours.

Marinate the pork

  • In a blender, purée the garlic, chiles, onion, orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, allspice, thyme, salt, lime juice, brown sugar, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

    Stir the rum and molasses into 1 cup of the mixture and reserve for basting.

    Remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Discard the brine.

    Use a fork or the tip of a sharp knife to poke holes all over the pork. Return to the bag or bowl. Pour the remaining marinade over the pork, squeeze out any air, and seal, or cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 8 and up to 24 hours.

Cook the pork

  • Prepare a grill for indirect cooking over medium-low heat (300°F to 325°F) following the directions below.

    Remove the pork from the marinade and place on the cool side of the grill, fat side up. Cover the grill and cook for 2 hours.

     

    Using a silicone brush, baste the pork with the reserved basting liquid every 30 minutes until it’s used up. Continue cooking until tender when pierced with a fork and an instant-read thermometer registers 190°F in the center, another 5 to 6 hours, checking the temperature on the grill.

    Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Let it rest until cool enough to handle. Remove teh pork from teh bone, cut into 2-inch chunks, and serve.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • Pepelepew | 03/13/2017

    About the worst Jerk Pork I have tried. Against my better judgement, I followed the recipe and brined the pork overnight (a major mistake). The result was so salty as to be almost inedible. Pork shoulder is probably not the best cut for this. Without the brine it probably would have been OK. The marinade was standard for Jerk.

  • hak | 05/23/2016

    Excellent recipe. This came out perfect: smokey, spicy and oh so tender. This rivaled my best Carolina bbq pork shoulder. The Jamaican Peas and Rice were a perfect accompaniment.

  • BoatCook | 05/21/2016

    Made it for the first time last night after seeing it in this month's magazine. Very good on our Big Green Egg. Took at little longer than the recipe called for but we did have a bigger shoulder than the recipe calls for. Definite keeper. Also great for leftovers.

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