Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

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Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is a quick recipe with fantastic authentic Jamaican flavors of peppers, onions, allspice and cloves and with no mess to clean up.

Jerk Chicken in the slow cooker

Jerk Chicken in the Slow Cooker is Easy

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is an easier way to make a delicious authentic Jamaican meal than firing up the grill and you’ll have no worries about the smoke you’ll be making on the indoor grill or the peppers burning your eyes standing above the outdoor grill.

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is actually a take on my classic Jerk Chicken recipe that I used to roast for clients (I would spatchcock the chicken and rub the mixture into it and roast it in a cast iron skillet for basically the best roast chicken ever!) but adjusted for the fact that I never have time or patience to keep my eye on the oven now that life is basically a circus.Jerk Chicken served over rice with sliced jalepenos

Jerk Chicken Spice

The herbs and onions in the marinade for this Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is about as delicious and authentic as I’ve had. I de-seed and de-vein the jalapeno before using it but when I know I don’t have to share with a spice-wimp I double the jalapeno and leave the ribs in. Jamaican jerk chicken recipe made in the slow cookerThe added heat makes it an even more authentic version with the extra spicy kick. Plus since you’re using the slow cooker all that delicious heat mellows out a bit and melts into the chicken thighs which are going to be super moist and perfect for enjoying over a bowl of steamed rice or fried plaintains and a delicious Red Stripe beer.

Looking for more slow cooker chicken recipes? They’re a favorite around here:

How to make Jerk Chicken in the slow cooker

Tools used in the making of this Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken Recipe:
Slow Cooker: Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is, it has been a workhorse for me… until…
My New Slow Cooker: This recipe was made in this slow cooker. I browned the chicken in the cast aluminum insert before cooking the chicken on low, so I didn’t have a second pan to clean. For larger roasts I also brown the meat in the insert and not lose a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.
AllSpice Spice Rack: I use this spice rack and fill up the bottles with freshly purchased spices. It’s basically one of the most beautiful things in my kitchen and when you’re working with a large quantity of spices, not having to hunt and peck through your cupboards makes everything go at warp speed.

Recipe

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Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

5
  • Yield: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Jamaican

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is a quick recipe with fantastic authentic Jamaican flavors of peppers, onions, allspice and cloves and with no mess to clean up.

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs bone and skin on
  • 3 green onions from tip to tail with root trimmed
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper de-seeded and de-veined
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Add the chicken thighs to a large skillet and brown them on medium high heat on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
  2. In a food processor add the green onions, onion, jalapeno, soy sauce, vinegar, vegetable oil, brown sugar, thyme, cloves, nutmeg and allspice and puree until smooth.
  3. Add the chicken to the slow cooker skin side up and pour the sauce over the chicken.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 , Amount per serving: calories

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert, Inc.

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Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken with white rice on plate

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is a quick recipe with fantastic authentic Jamaican flavors of peppers, onions, allspice and cloves and with no mess to clean up.
Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is a quick recipe with fantastic authentic Jamaican flavors of peppers, onions, allspice and cloves and with no mess to clean up.
Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is a quick recipe with fantastic authentic Jamaican flavors of peppers, onions, allspice and cloves and with no mess to clean up.
Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is a quick recipe with fantastic authentic Jamaican flavors of peppers, onions, allspice and cloves and with no mess to clean up.
Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken is a quick recipe with fantastic authentic Jamaican flavors of peppers, onions, allspice and cloves and with no mess to clean up.

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Comments

      1. Hi! I don’t have a slow cooker, but I do have oven bags. How long would you cook the chicken in an oven bag? And at what temperature?

      2. Recipe for jerk chicken is on point! I have a small slow cooker for 2. Made only 4 thighs. Only thing I did slightly differently was after I browned the chicken in the pan, I poured the chicken fat into the crock pot with the sauce. I also added about a 1/4 cup of vege broth +1 teaspoon of walkerswood jerk seasoning in lieu of jalapenos.

    1. Hi I’m looking to make this tomorrow. Does the chicken crisp in a slow cooker? I always find the slow cooker produces to much liquid

      1. If you brown the chicken before hand and use minimal liquids, it will have a slightly crispy texture. Since the marinade is liquid this will not be fully crispy. I’d cook in an oven at 375 for 35-40 minutes for crispy! 🙂

          1. You’ll want to make the sauce the same but don’t add any additional liquid before putting it into the oven. I hope you enjoy it!

  1. I’ve never attempted making jerk chicken before. However, I’ve had it at a restaurant once and loved the blend of spices and herbs. Delicious. I have no doubt this would taste similar.

  2. I’m a little confused. On the top of the recipe it says that the cook time will be 10 h and 50 m but when I read the instructions, the chicken shouldn’t be cooked for 8 hours… help! I dont want to mess it up. My husband loves jerk chicken

    1. Yes, sorry about that! The recipe widget is super glitchy at the moment and is adding up numbers incorrectly for cook times. 8 hours on low will do it 🙂

    1. I don’t recommend using boneless skinless breasts in the slow cooker as they will dry out. The extra fat from the thighs is what keeps the meat moist. You could definitely try it though.

      1. What do you think about using boneless chicken thighs? Has anyone tried it? I purchased the wrong type of chicken (boneless, meant to get bone in). Thanks!

        1. I don’t recommend using boneless skinless breasts in the slow cooker as they will dry out. The extra fat from the thighs is what keeps the meat moist. You could definitely try it though. I know a few commenters above stated they used it and theirs came out tender. Good luck!

    1. I also like the idea of grilled pineapple. Here’s mine //dinnerthendessert.com/brown-sugar-grilled-pineapple/ and I’d suggest the coconut and lime marinade. It’d be a great flavor combination to go with the spice of the chicken. Enjoy!

    1. The legs may dry out a bit because they won’t have enough skin to protect them in the slow cooker? So I think if you’re going in with that expectation but wanting to use up an ingredient you have at home it will still be delicious.

    1. Do you have a blender? If not try to mince as finely as you can, but for this recipe I really do recommend some method of blending/processing because the mixture stays on the chicken for grilling.

  3. I’m a little confused with an answer you gave to someone else about pureeing the ingredients: “really do recommend some method of blending/processing because the mixture stays on the chicken for grilling”. It’s the word “grilling”. Do you grill the chicken after cooking in slow cooker?

    Also – do you have to/need to use vegetable oil or can you use canola? Thank you

    1. My apologies, I have the recipe as both a slow cooker one and a grilled version! I accidentally replied as though it was the grilling post. You can absolutely use canola, and no, no grilling is needed for this version.

  4. Delicious, adding this to my favorite meal rotation! I have tried several Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken recipes and this is the best. I subbed molasses for brown sugar, added extra jalepeno and more onion because I did not have green onions. I used chicken breast with skin, it was done and falling off the bones in 3 hours and it was not too dry. I tasted the sauce before cooking and it was not great, but after cooking it is perfect with incredible depths of flavor.

    1. I would hesitate to say yes because breasts tend to get dried out in the slow cooker. I do have a grilled version using breasts. //dinnerthendessert.com/easy-grilled-jerk-chicken/

  5. I want to try this for an upcoming dinner, but was wondering, would it come out ok if I marinate it in the blended mixture overnight before slow cooking it for 8 hours? I plan to brown it before starting the slowcooker.

    1. There’s no additional salt in this recipe. If you’re looking to limit the sodium, you could always try a low sodium soy sauce.

  6. Can Brown sugar be substituted with coconut sugar? Don’t eat much refined sugar, don’t really want to buy a box that will just take up space in my pantry for a tsp.?

    1. I’ve never substituted with it before but from what I can find from my research, it seems to be a great substitute for it. I’d say go for it and let me know what you think.

  7. Made this today, exactly as written. It was great, and I’d make it again. Next time I will not remove the seeds and veins from the jalapenos, and will probably add extra onion, and extra jalapenos and maybe some paprika and garlic. I served it with rice cooked in chicken broth. I’ll probably serve a steamed vegetable next time as well like broccoli. Or maybe some mushrooms or beans.

    Rating: 4
  8. HELP!!!  I was so looking forward to having this tonight but my slow cooker has decided to die on me this morning as I am prepping this….how would you recommend cooking it on the stove top? (in a dutch oven on low?, about how long would you suggest?)

    1. Oh no! So sorry I’m just now seeing this. I do have a grilled version of this recipe too. //dinnerthendessert.com/easy-grilled-jerk-chicken/

  9. So I tried this recipe last night and still haven’t had the chance to taste it yet (will do for dinner). But my chicken is not looking anything close to the picture you posted. 

    The sauce mixture produced a lot and I thought pouring it over the chicken was too much? 

  10. I never post feedback, but just had to take the time to do it this time. Soooo good, One of my favorites and will keep making. Served it with brown rices and veggies. Really is a keeper! Thank you!

    Rating: 5
  11. I’m trying to do this recipe, but I only have dried thyme. Is it okay to use it dried or does it need to be fresh

  12. I’m trying this tonight. I’m always use to recipes saying you have to marinade it over night. So I can’t wait to see how this comes out without doing that. I will let you know later. ??

  13. Oh my goodness. I have my delicious food on now. Just smelling it, I know it’s going to be good. Love trying different recipes

    1. I don’t recommend layering it because the chicken doesn’t cook as well and doesn’t achieve a crisp when layered. My suggestion would be to use 2 slow cookers to be able to double it or I have a grilled version you could make as well.

  14. Sabrina! I was nervous, but you were NOT kidding! This recipe is everything! It turned out to perfectly! I have ruined so much chicken trying to get the results that your recipe gave me in a snap! This one is a keeper. I made it last night and my husband wants me to make more tonight!

    Rating: 5
    1. I’d say this one’s a winner then! Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and let me know how much you all enjoyed it!

    1. Unfortunately the chicken needs room in the slow cooker to cook and adding the veggies would crowd it and causing too much liquid to not allow the chicken to crisp up. I would suggest just roasting your veggies in the oven instead. Sorry.

  15. This was great! If your looking for heat you’ll need more peppers … for my family it was perfect!!! I served it with a coconut jasmine rice with a mango salsa!! Thank you!

  16. Oh for those who are interested I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs and they turned out tender !!! Did I say perfect ****YUM

    Rating: 5
  17. Trying this today. Would appreciate a picture of the jerk chicken at start and finish. Its a green sauce at start and its hard to believe it will finish up looking like the pictures you posted. Are your posted pictures from the crockpot version or your grilled version. Your chicken looks like an orangy sauce with lots of caramel. I dont think there is enough brown sugar in the recipe to produce that type of caramel texture, unless maybe you broiled it at the completion however the appearance would still remain green I think

    1. It might just be the lighting but this chicken is directly from the slow cooker and wasn’t broiled at the end. I hope you enjoyed it!

  18. I made this the other night for dinner and it was amazing! This was the first dish made in my new slow cooker and needless to say, it is definitely a top contender in family favorites now!

    Rating: 5
  19. This was amazing!! My husband (who is an extremely picky eater) stated that this was the best chicken dish that he has ever had, and I can’t agree more! We like our food spicy, so do you have any recommendations for making this a little spicer for the next time I make it?

  20. Hi!

    Do you know approximately how much the 5 chicken thighs weighed? The ones I have look a bit smaller than the ones in your pictures.

    Thanks!

  21. This was a good recipe (especially since I got to use my slow cooker), but it wasn’t nearly spicy enough. I added a whole jalapeno instead of half of one and then I had to add quite a bit of cayenne, as it still wasn’t very spicy. I also made a few substitutions. For health benefits, I used organic olive oil in place of the vegetable oil, coconut aminos in place of soy sauce, and coconut vinegar in place of white, distilled. It could not have come out better. My whole family was incredibly pleased with it and I couldn’t believe how fast everyone ate, lol. Thank you so much for posting this yummy recipe 

    1. I’m glad you were able to adjust it to your liking. 🙂 Thanks for coming back to let me know how much you all enjoyed it!

  22. Made this is the oven the other night for dinner. I thought it was delicious!!! My husband and son, not so much. :(If you like jerk chicken this recipe is pretty good and easy to make. I definitely recommend it!

  23. Very flavorful! I used a whole jalepeno, seeds and all, perfect heat. Paired nicely with Caribbean Rice.

    Rating: 5
  24. I made this this eve, however when I wen5 to it after 5 hrs, the base had become dry and I could smell a bit of a burn smell. I have added water and the marinade mixed in with the water and looks quite thick. I love the smell and can’t wait to try it but have I maybe made a mistake in cooking? 

    1. Oh no! sounds like you slow cooker might run a bit hotter than mine. Glad you were able to save it though.

  25. Made this and hubby loved it. I did place in oven at end to help crisp the top. Well be making it again, might try wings too!

  26. I made this last week cook it on high for 4 hours couldn’t wait to eat it. Have left over next day. The left over were much better the flower all soak Into the chicken already. Making it again today start early today so I will have flavorfull jerk chicken tonight. The meal was a hit in our family.

    1. I don’t recommend using breasts in the slow cooker becuase they don’t have the same fat content to render down and keep the chicken moist. I know someone commented above saying that their breasts turned out tender so you could definitley try it.

  27. I’ve made this recipe 3 times for different family members and everyone LOVES it. Chicken is tender and falls off the bone and the flavours are perfect! I’ve made it on high in the slow cooker for 4.5 hrs and on low for 8 hrs. Turned out great both times. Thank you!

    1. I usually don’t recommend putting breasts in the slow cooker for fear that they’ll dry out during the cooking process.

  28. First I like to say thank you for sharing this wonderful. I have made this recipe twice in my crockpot. I would have to say the second time around was the best because after cooking I allowed the chicken to marinade inside the juices within the crockpot. I served with basmati rice and avocados. AMAZING!

    Rating: 5
  29. I’m curious, what is the consistency of your puréed ingredients? Mine comes out watery and grainy (probably cause of the onions, jalapeño). It cooks up fine, but just wondering if maybe my food processor isn’t that great. I process for a long time, too. It just doesn’t come together as a thick sauce.

    Rating: 5
  30. Do you brown the thighs 3-5 mins per side or 3-5 mins total before slow cooking? Don’t want to overcook, but also want to get some crsipiness.

  31. Hi, we are a white meat/dark meat family. Is there a way that I can make this using both thighs and breasts without drying out the breasts? Also, I feel like I should be adding fresh garlic, or would that be too much.

    1. I would suggest wrapping the breasts in bacon to help keep them moist during the cooking process. As far as adding garlic, I say go for it. I hope you enjoy it!

  32. We made this with bone-in skin on thighs the first time and they turned out great! However, my husband is trying to convince me to use boneless skinless and I’m worried it won’t be the same! Should I adjust cooking time?

    Rating: 5
    1. I wouldn’t recommend using it because bone in skin on thighs have a higher fat content and skin to protect it from drying out where boneless skinless do not. If you decide to try, you might need to cut timing back by an hour depending on how hot your slow cooker runs. P.S. Try and talk him out of it, lol!

  33. Do you have an Instant Pot version of the Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken? Or can you suggest how to convert recipes from “Slow Cooker” to “Instant Pot” ?

    Thanks!

    1. I’m sorry but I know nothing about the Instant Pot. I’m sure you might be able to find a recipe online with similar ingredients to follow.

    1. It’ll have a more liquid from thawing so it might not be as crisp in the slow cooker. If you have that issue, just place them under the broiler in your oven for a bit at the end. I’d love to know how it turns out for you.

  34. I had an issue with this. The flavor in this was great! I noticed this create A LOT of liquid, and I believe I read somewhere that this had to have minimal liquid? How can I avoid this?

    1. Be sure that your chicken is fully thawed before placing them in the slow cooker. You might even want to pat them down with a paper towel to ensure all liquid is removed. This should help with the liquid issue for next time.

  35. Made this with my Fiancee last week and we LOVED it. I’ve never had Jamaican jerk chicken before and now it shot up to the top of our slow cooker recipes. I am planning on going over my parents tonight and cooking it for them overnight in the cooker. I was wondering if I wanted to reduce the sodium a bit but still retain the flavor…should I reduce the soy sauce or just get reduced sodium soy sauce? Otherwise wouldn’t change a thing.Thank you!!

    Rating: 5