Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes

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.

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Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

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.
Yield 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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


  • Add the chicken thighs to a large skillet and brown them on medium high heat on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Add the chicken to the slow cooker skin side up and pour the sauce over the chicken.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.


Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 809mg | Potassium: 288mg | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1.3mg

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.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I tried this recipe today, and it wasn’t anything like jerk chicken. I added garlic, and doubled up on the spices. Probably it would be better to barbecue but not in slow cooker as it was mushy and nothing like the picture shown. Was a bit disappointed

  2. Good chicken, but definitely not JERK chicken. The chicken was more stewed than I expected. So I removed the chicken from the slow cooker after it was done and placed it i a clean baking dish with almost none of the juice from the slow cooker and threw it in the oven at 400 for about 15mins. This made it a tiny bit crispier on top. I also found it wasn’t spicy at all. Even though I doubled up on the jalapeños.
    Overall, it was a decent meal, but nothing like the expected jerk chicken you find in the islands or restaurants.
    Perhaps with some minor tweaks it can be perfected, but definitely not in the slow cooker.

    1. No, you want them in a single layer. You can prop them up on the side if you have more but you don’t want to overcrowd the slow cooker either. Good luck!

  3. Okay, despite my hesitations, as expressed below in a previous comment, I tried this recipe. Well, sort of. I really needed a slow cooker version of Jerk Chicken, so I already knew going in that, as TS said below, this was going to be, at best, a sort of a stew. TS was 100% right about that, by the way. The chicken came out very good, but honestly, other than the “flavor” there is no way I can call this Jerk Chicken. It really was like stewed chicken far more than Jerk. Here’s where the “sort of” comes in. After eyeballing the recipe, however, I knew there was simply no way in hell that I could make this with the ingredients listed. Whoever wrote this recipe, you should really consider changing the name to like “Spicy Slow Cooked Chicken” or something, because I have eaten Jerk Chicken many times and had I not made a lot of changes, this would have been even less “Jamaican Jerk” than just being the wrong consistency.

    In your defense, Sabrina, I stuck to the basic core ingredient-set you listed, adding only a few things, but dramatically changing the quantities.

    In the first place, I added about 9 cloves of crushed garlic. I also added a generous amount of fresh ground black pepper. Thank God! There was no way this would have been spicy enough to even remotely resembling Jerk-anything otherwise. As to your ingredients, I could eyeball them and know you were off, at least insofar as quantities. I think you’re right on the money with the ingredients themselves. But I had to quadruple the ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and ground allspice. I turned all of them into a full teaspoon. I also doubled the brown sugar. For the peppers, you are waaaaay off, though. That’s the biggest flaw in this recipe as far as true Jerk Chicken flavor is concerned. Because in addition to the above changes, I also used a full Jalapeno pepper, which to your credit you mentioned in the caption. But, I knew that wouldn’t be enough either, so I added in four Scotch Bonnet peppers. For all 5 peppers, I left all the spines and seeds in when I put the sauce mix into my food processor. I tasted the sauce with a finger and realized even with the fresh cracked pepper, (and I used a lot!) plus a full jalapeno and 3 Scotch Bonnets, it was barely spicy enough. So I added in one more Scotch Bonnet.

    With those changes, I will say that it was nice and spicy, AND thanks to the flavors of all the peppers and the black pepper, I would really taste the ingredients. Even with all that, it was not overpowering.

    I would seriously suggest that the next time you’re in NY City that you find some Mom & Pop Jamaican restaurant in Brooklyn or Queens and taste what real Jerk Chicken is supposed to taste like. Your recipe is fine, and with the changes I made to it, I will try it again, only on a BBQ grill, not in the slow cooker.

  4. Thinking of making this tomorrow, but it doesn’t seem like it will make enough liquid to cover the chicken thighs. Are they meant to be fully covered? Thanks!

  5. Hi Sabrina,

    Can I use regular white vinegar? or does it have to be “distilled”? if so, what’s the substitute?

    Thank ya! cant wait to try this tomorrow!!!

    1. Sorry, you’re comment got stuck in my spam filter. You’ll be ok using white vinegar. Hope you enjoyed it!

  6. I know my daughter would love this recipe but she does not like bone in chicken can the recipe be made with skin on boneless chicken?

    1. Yes, but you may need to watch the chicken so it doesn’t dry out. Maybe cut the cook time by about 30 minutes less.

  7. Hello I just came across this post this morning it was a last minute decision and had it on for about 3hrs is there anyway I can cut time in half

    1. You can cook it on high for less time. The important thing is that want to make sure the chicken reaches the proper internal temperature. Hope this helps.

  8. Hi! I’ve been looking for a great sounding jerk chicken recipe for the slow cooker for a while and finally found yours so can’t wait to try it. Just curious though: I found this info on another site: ‘The allspice berry, also known as “Jamaica pepper,” is native to the island and has a rich, spicy flavor reminiscent of a mingling of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.’ So….I’m just wondering why you mentioned all of them in your ingredients list except cinnamon? Is it because adding extra cinnamon would be too overpowering? Just wondering! Thanks so much!!

    1. I just found for my taste, the extra cinnamon flavor wasn’t necessary. But feel free to play with the spices and add some in if that’s what your taste buds like 🙂 My recipe is a bit milder so if you like heat, you can play with those pepper spices too.

      1. Thanks sooo much! For some reason it’s hard to find ground cloves…I’ve already checked 3 grocery stores and no luck. So maybe instead of adding ground cloves I might just add a bit more allspice. (Also, while I was typing my original question to you, I forgot to say that I actually had your Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken cooking in my crockpot. And it turned out amazing…just enough sauce to spoon over the chicken and some quinoa, a perfect amount of liquid…thanks for this simple and delicious recipe, it’s a keeper!!)

        1. Allspice would be the best bet for a substitute, just do a 1:1 swap. I’ve had luck finding ground cloves in an international market store (Asian Markets especially), but I agree not easy in regular stores. Glad the Honey Garlic Chicken turned out so well for you!

          1. Thanks! By the way, I’ve now also made this slow cooker jerk chicken recipe and it tasted sooo good!! I ended up adding cinnamon instead of the ground cloves and used boneless skinless chicken thighs…it turned out great—deliciously tender flavourful chicken and the kitchen smelled amazing too. It’s definitely one of my favourite chicken recipes but I’ll probably double the jalapeños next time since I love it spicier! Thanks again. ??

          2. So glad it turned out great for you and you like it! You’re welcome and anytime you want to trouble shoot a recipe or have questions, I love to help!

  9. I was wanting to make this but with only 4 thighs because we are a small family would the cook time still be the same?

      1. Yes, absolutely. Just know the breast meat might not be as tender because white meat doesn’t tend to perform that well in the slow cooker.

  10. I’m not a fan of chicken thighs. Would it work with breasts? What modifications would I need to make

  11. I want to make this for my family, but my kids don’t like spicy food. Does the jalapeño make the dish too spicy?

  12. Because i want to start this early in the morning, can i pre process/blend the ingredients the night before ?? So i dont wake anyone at 5 am in the morning.

  13. Although this did taste good, this definitely was not authentic Jamaican jerk chicken. It tasted more like a stewed chicken. This recipe is also lacking in regards to spiciness. I’m someone that can’t handle spicy food that much, but I didn’t get any hint of spice in this recipe.

    1. If you mix in about a tablespoon of jerk seasoning (not the power form) it will give it a more authentic taste and maybe switch out the jalapeños for scotch bonnet pepper.

      You may also want to try adding your own style to it, for example I don’t add the cloves because it’s not how I would do jerk chicken. The first time you cook it you kinda have to give yourself constructive criticism and figure out what’s missing or what needs to go.

      My parents are from Jamaica and this is how they’ve told me to do it.

      1. This looks like a great recipe, but I’m forced to agree with the poster above, that it seems perhaps more like a stew, and not entirely authentic. I intend to try some variation of this recipe, but I was wondering if you could maybe give me a couple of hints on a few things. First off, I’m not a big fan of using store-bought mixes like jerk chicken seasonings in a bottle or something. Can you suggest a recipe to make this? I totally agree with you about substituting the scotch bonnet peppers for the jalapeños. But I think jalapeños might be pretty good too.

        As far as allspice, versus cloves, versus cinnamon, I love all of those spices. Actually I think five spice might go well on this too. LOL but like you said, you can add your own style once you get familiar with the recipe. I look forward to trying this, but I prefer to make my own jerk seasonings if possible.

  14. I live in a nyc apartment.
    I don’t have a grille, illegal, or slow cooker – limited space.
    Can i use the cast iron pan & lid or dutch oven?
    If so, on the stove or oven?
    Dying to try this!!

    1. You can use the Easy Grilled Jerk Chicken recipe with a cast iron pan inside of your apartment with no issue. Enjoy!

  15. Sooooo excited about this recipe!! It’s cooking now and smelling so good in the house!!! Quick question – I have never had jerk chicken that wasn’t spicy. Is this recipe supposed to be a more mild version? It hit me (when I sampled lol) that it’s not really as spicy as I thought it might be. Just asking so maybe I can adjust heat next time!! Thank you for a great recipe – I’m taking this to a cultural event this afternoon!!

    1. This is a more middle of the road version because I’m tring to make it to please as many as possible but feel free to adjust the seasoning to make it spicier. So glad you love the recipe!

  16. Great flavor! I didn’t have allspice so I added a pinch more of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. I also added some fresh pineapple to the sauce before I blended the ingredients. I removed the chicken quarters out of the crockpot after 8 hours and they were fall off the bone tender. I wanted the ski crisp so I put them under the broiler in my cast iron skillet for a few minutes to make the skin extra crispy, yum! I also sautéed spinach, onions and pineapple together to add on top. A great recipe that doesn’t need exact precision to be an amazing meal!

  17. I have made this recipe 4 times so far & it’s one of my favorites. I make it with chicken thighs without skin or bone. I have an old time crock pot which means the chicken doesn’t get crispy, instead it falls off the bone tender which I serve over rice. Love the flavor of this recipe.

  18. 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!!

  19. 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.

    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.

  20. 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” ?


    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.

  21. 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?

    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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

    1. That sounds right. It’s not going to be a cohesive sauce but just make sure it’s all mixed up. Glad you’re enjoying it!

  25. 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!

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

  26. 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 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 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. how many thighs did you use?
      I’m hoping to put it on for 4 hours on high, as I don’t realistically have 8hours when I finish work.
      it’s my first ever time using my slow cooker and I’m abit apprehensive ?

  28. 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!

  29. 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.

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

  31. 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!

  32. 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!

        1. You don’t want to overcrowd your slow cooker. Make sure that there’s enough room for them and they’re not on top of each other.