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The 5 Best Substitutes for Jerk Seasoning

Have you ever wondered what gives jerk seasoning its signature flavor? If you’ve ever tried making it at home, you know that it can be difficult to replicate.

The critical ingredient in jerk seasoning is allspice berries, which are difficult to find outside Jamaica.

However, a few substitutes can give your dish a similar flavor.

Here are the five best substitutes for jerk seasoning.

What is Jerk Seasoning?

what is jerk seasoning

Jerk seasoning is a spice blend that originates from Jamaica.

It typically includes allspice, cloves, ginger, Scotch bonnet peppers, and thyme.

Jerk seasoning can be used on chicken, pork, beef, and fish.

The name “jerk” comes from the method of cooking in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet-marinated with the spice blend, then slowly cooked over a fire.

This method of cooking dates back to the 1600s when enslaved Jamaicans would cook their meat in this way to preserve it.

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Jerk seasoning has a unique flavor that is both sweet and spicy.

The allspice gives it a warm, almost peppery flavor, while the cloves add a touch of sweetness.

The ginger and thyme provide a bit of earthiness, and the Scotch bonnet peppers give it a nice kick of heat.

If you’re looking for something new to try on the grill this summer, jerk seasoning is a great option.

It’s sure to add some excitement to your next cookout.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Jerk Seasoning

Several substitutes will give your dish a similar flavor if you don’t have jerk seasoning on hand.

Here are the five best substitutes for jerk seasoning:

1 – Ground Cumin

ground cumin

You’re in luck if you’re out of jerk seasoning and need a ground cumin substitute.

Ground cumin can be used to replace jerk seasoning in many dishes.

While the flavors are not the same, ground cumin will add a similar depth of flavor to your dish.

Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting ground cumin for jerk seasoning.

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So, if your recipe calls for one tablespoon of jerk seasoning, use one tablespoon of ground cumin instead.

Remember that ground cumin is more aromatic than jerk seasoning, so you may want to use less than the recipe.

2 – Make Your Jerk Seasoning

make your jerk seasoning

Jamaican jerk seasoning is a fiery blend of spices often used to flavor chicken or pork.

While it can be purchased pre-made, it is also easy to create your jerk seasoning at home.

The key ingredients in jerk seasoning are allspice, thyme, and chili peppers.

Simply combine these ingredients in a bowl and mix well to make your seasoning.

Then, transfer the mixture to a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid and store it in a cool, dry place.

When ready to use the seasoning, simply sprinkle it over your food before cooking.

Jerk seasoning adds a bold flavor to any dish, so use it sparingly at first until you find the perfect balance for your taste buds.

3 – Ras el Hanout

ras el hanout

Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that includes various spices, such as cumin, paprika, and chili powder.

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While it can be used to flavor many different dishes, it is particularly well-suited for grilled meats.

If you are looking for a substitute for jerk seasoning, ras el hanout is a great option.

The key to using ras el hanout as a substitute for jerk seasoning is to use it in moderation.

Because it is already quite flavorful, you don’t need to use as much as you would with other spice blends.

Simply sprinkle it on your meat before grilling, or add it to your marinade for an extra boost of flavor.

4 – Rogan Josh Seasoning

rogan josh seasoning

Rogan Josh is a traditional Indian dish typically made with lamb or chicken.

The key ingredients in Rogan Josh seasoning are cumin, coriander, paprika, and cardamom.

These spices give Rogan Josh its characteristic flavor profile, earthy and slightly sweet with a hint of heat.

When substituting Rogan Josh seasoning for jerk seasoning, use it in the same proportion as you would jerk seasoning.

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You may also want to add a bit of extra cumin and coriander to boost the earthy flavor.

5 – Baharat


A staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, Baharat is a blend of spices that can be used to add depth and complexity to any dish.

While the exact ingredients vary from region to region, most Baharat blends contain some combination of black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, and paprika.

The result is a fragrant and slightly spicy seasoning that can be used on grilled meats to roasted vegetables.


In conclusion, there are many substitutes for jerk seasoning.

Each of these spices can provide the same flavor as jerk seasoning without peppers.

When using these spices, be sure to experiment with different proportions to find the perfect flavor for your dish.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Jerk Seasoning

The 5 Best Substitutes for Jerk Seasoning
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Ground Cumin
  • Make Your Jerk Seasoning
  • Ras el Hanout
  • Rogan Josh Seasoning
  • Baharat


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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