I have fallen in love with the flavor of Caribbean Jerk wings. The marinade and sauce that coat the wings have the perfect balance of being slightly sweet with a little bit of spicy heat.
Although Buffalo wings hold the number one spot of being the most often ordered wings, I love to branch out and try new sauces whenever I can. And when I find one that I love, I try to recreate the taste at home.
Over the years I have made homemade Garlic Parmesan, Sweet Chile, Honey Barbecue and even Maple Bacon wrapped wings. All of them have unique flavors and are a favorite among both my family and friends.
However, most of the wings that I have made in the past have somewhat of a sweet taste to them. Although they are delicious, there are times when I crave wings with a touch of heat as well.
But instead of just adding more hot sauce to my Buffalo wings, I wanted a different type of heat. I wanted to eat chicken wings that had great flavor but with a little heat dispersed throughout.
And that is when I decided to make my own sauce that replicates the flavor of Jerk dry rub. Although I could have just gone out and purchase a jar of sauce, I decided to make my own so I could adjust the flavors to my liking.
What Is Caribbean Jerk Wing Seasoning?
However, first I had to research a little more about Jerk seasoning. The term jerk is not only referred to as a blend of wet or dry spices, it is also the name given to the food preparation style of rubbing the spice blend and dehydrating the meat.
Although the term jerk was derived from a Spanish interpretation of ‘dried meat’, the seasoning added to the meat is what gives the meat all of the flavor.
Originating from Jamaica, the jerk seasoning blend consists of a variety of spices blended together. First it includes typical dry rub spices of garlic, onion, paprika, salt and pepper.
However, it also adds a few other, non-traditional ingredients as well. These would include: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and all-spice.
The Signature Hot Pepper of Caribbean Jerk Wing Sauce Seasoning
But the signature ingredient in Jerk seasoning is dried Scotch Bonnet peppers. This is the hot pepper of choice in the Caribbean.
Unfortunately, these type of red hot peppers are not easily found in non-tropical areas. Therefore, other types of hot peppers are often substituted for the Scotch Bonnet.
The first pepper of choice would be habanero. However, I have also used a combination of serrano or jalapeno peppers and mixed in a little cayenne pepper instead and it turns out delicious every time.
Although you may be tempted to just go out and purchase of a bottle of wing sauce, the homemade version really does taste the best. In addition, you can make extra and keep it around for a marinade for other chicken or pork recipes.
However, I am not here to judge. When you are making Air Fryer Chicken Wings, it is much easier to have a variety of bottled wing sauces on hand to please everyone. But whenever you get the chance to make your own, you will be shocked at the difference in flavor.
Caribbean Jerk Wings Recipe
*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.
Chicken Wings and/or Drumettes
Homemade Caribbean Jerk Sauce
- Garlic cloves, minced
- White onion, chopped
- Grated fresh ginger
- Scotch Bonnet pepper, seeded and diced*
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Lime juice
- Orange juice
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Smoked paprika
- Ground allspice
- Dried thyme
- Ground nutmeg
- Ground cinnamon
- Cayenne pepper
- Bay leaves
- Olive oil
- Place thawed chicken wings and/or drumettes into a large resealable plastic bag. Depending on how many wings that you are making, you may need to use a couple of bags.
- Set the wings aside and add the Caribbean Jerk sauce ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Stir the contents until they are well combined. Pour the marinade in the bag(s) with the chicken and seal. Squeeze the bag to coat the chicken wings and/or drumettes with the marinade.
- Place the bag(s) in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight to allow enough time for the marinade to penetrate and tenderize the meat.
Oven Cooking Instructions
- If you plan on cooking the wings in the oven, preheat to 400°F (200°C). Then line a large baking sheet pan with foil and place an oven safe cooking rack on top of the foil if you have one. Then coat the rack with non-stick cooking spray.
- Remove the wings from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Place the chicken wings in a single layer on the rack or on the foil lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until the wings are crispy and golden brown. To make sure the wings are cooked through, the chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165˚F (74°C) in the thickest part when checked by an Instant Read Digital Food Thermometer.
- Preheat grill to 400˚F (200°C).
- Remove wings from marinade and discard the excess liquid. Place the chicken on the hot grill and cook on one side for 10 minutes or until the chicken releases easily from the cooking grate.
- Flip and continue to cook for 10-20 minutes or until skin is crispy or until chicken registers 165˚F (74°C) in the thickest part when checked by an instant read digital food thermometer.
Although it is safe to eat the Caribbean Jerk Wings when the internal temperature reaches 165°F(200°C), I prefer to let them cook until they reach 180°F (82°C). This will ensure that the chicken meat is fall off the bone tender.
What To Serve With Wings?
Now that you have the recipe to make the wings, you may be wondering what you can serve alongside the wings. If you are making wings for the big game, I highly suggest keeping things simple and serve other Super Bowl Party Food items.
However, if you are making the wings for dinner, here are some classic side dishes that pair perfectly with wings:
- Amish Potato Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- Pasta Salad
- Light and Creamy Coleslaw
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Air Fryer Tater Tots
- Loaded French Fries
- Air Fryer Onion Rings
- Baked Mac and Cheese
- Mini Mac and Cheese Bites
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- 4 lbs chicken wings, drumettes and flats
Homemade Caribbean Wing Marinade
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (about one ½-inch knob)
- 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Juice of 3 limes (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Add chicken to a large resealable plastic bag.
- Add the remaining marinade ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Stir to combine. Pour the marinade in the bag and seal. Squeeze the bag to coat the chicken wings with the marinade.
- Place the bag in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a sheet pan with foil and place an oven safe rack on top of the foil. Coat the rack with cooking spray.
Arrange the chicken wings in a single layer on the rack.
Bake for 45 minutes or until crispy and golden brown or until chicken registers 165˚F (74°C) in the thickest part when checked by an instant read digital food thermometer.
- Preheat grill to 400˚F (200°C).
- Remove wings from marinade and discard the excess liquid. Transfer chicken to the hot grill and cook on one side for 10 minutes or until the chicken releases easily from the cooking grate. Continue to cook for 10-20 minutes or until skin is crispy or until chicken registers 165˚F (74°C) in the thickest part when checked by an instant read digital food thermometer.
For fall apart tender chicken wings, cook to an internal temperature of 180°F (82°C).
Recipe provided by Make Your Meals
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 744Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 1293mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 32g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.