Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

I’m back to crazy, so please join me as I make my way through posting five days a week. To celebrate, I’m bringing America’s Test Kitchen’s slow cooker recipe for Caribbean jerk chicken. This is definitely the simpler way to make this dish since you can trade in hours of marinating and grilling time for the simple slow cooking method of dumping it all in a pot and letting the chicken cook in the spice marinade, then give it a quick charring and crisping in the broiler and — done!

Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

Imagine all the random awesomeness we can share with one another over ten minutes a day, for five days a week. See, I’m not even greedy with your time—drop in, grab some food and stay awhile or not. Let’s just make sure we connect because damn you guys are fun to bake and cook for and even better to converse with.

Seriously, my coffee-meeting friends just don’t get this whole blogging thing or hanging out online, chatting it up with people I’ve never met. Despite the many ways I’ve explained social media, they’ve reduced Facebook to a place where people solicit advice and pats on the back. Twitter as a playground for stating the obvious or the minutiae in life. Instagram as an app for triple filtered #selfies (self-portraits).  And now Vine, a place of unbearable 6 second clips of people making coffee, walking and videos of their kids and pets.


That’s why this cozy corner is so dear to me. We’re like minded people. Although I’m willing to admit there may be a few objections to that last sentence. O-kay, I get that not everyone enjoys being a talker of randomness, a social media geek and a dessert-before-dinner type of person like me. . . well, if nothing else, we bond over food and if that’s the only thing—I’ll take it.

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Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken

Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 8 scallions, chopped coarse
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 habanero chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 (1-inch) fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (split breasts, thighs)
  • lime wedges for serving


  1. Place scallion, oil, habaneros, ginger, molasses, garlic, thyme, all spice, cardamom, and salt in a food processor or blender and puree. Transfer 1/2 cup mixture to slow cooker; reserve remaining mixture.
  2. Add chicken to slow cooker and coat evenly with scallion mixture. cover and cook until chick is tender, about 4- 6 hours on low.
  3. Position oven rack 10 inches from broiler element and start broiler. Place a wire rack in a foil lined bake sheet and coat with vegetable spray. Transfer chicken, skin side down onto rack. Brush chicken with half of reserved scallion mixture and broil until lightly charred and and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Flip chicken over, brush with remaining scallion mixture and continue to broil until lightly charred and crisp on second side, about 5-10 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.

A few notes:

  • If you aren't into spicy, omit the habanero peppers. 
  • If you accidentally over spice your sauce, add a few dashes of lime to neutralize some of the heat or add in pureed cucumbers to cool down the heat. 
  • I recommend doubling the marinating sauce  so you have plenty to brush on the chicken for broiling step.
  • Tweaks I made: I added cardamom and used fresh thyme over dried thyme.

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen

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78 Responses to “Slow Cooker Jerk Chicken”

  1. #
    Renee — August 15, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

    I just had this for dinner. So delicious! I was intimidated by the habeneros, but it was the perfect amount of spice. The last step of broiling the chicken makes the skins cripsy and delicious, as it gets very soupy in the slow cooker. I almost skipped the broiling, but I’m so glad I didn’t. And that squeeze of lime right before serving is amazing!! I’m constantly trying new recipes, and this is the best chicken recipe I’ve made in a while, hands down. Thanks for sharing.


    • Jana replied: — August 20th, 2013 @ 8:15 am

      Thanks for letting us know! I’m excited to try tonight for dinner.


  2. #
    OLG — January 29, 2014 @ 8:23 am

    I’ve never had slow cooked Jerk Chicken before, I’ve always had it on the grill. I had this with a side of sweet potato fries. YUM YUM


  3. #
    Teri Tipton — April 5, 2014 @ 3:11 pm

    So… Made this for dinner. It looked delicious couldn’t wait. Sadly disappointed. Couple of things should be noted.

    Following the recipe, we slow cooked the chicken for 4 hours. This was too long. The chicken fell apart as we tried to move it to the broiler pan. Adjust this setting to your own slow cooker. Remember you are going to continue to cook the chicken at a minimum 20 minutes more to “crisp” the skin. Our chicken was too dry.

    The seasoning is off. The habanero’s overpower the cardamom, allspice, garlic,etc. We love heat, so that’s not the issue. We like heat with flavor/season. Maybe double up the seasoning, or perhaps reduce to one habanero?

    I love jerk chicken, but this recipe failed.


  4. #
    Elizebeth — May 5, 2014 @ 8:09 am

    Love, Love, Love it! Made it for my family and thoroughly enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing.


  5. #
    Kathy — July 23, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

    Let me tell you ~~ this was just amazing. always have cooked this on the BBQ but not in a crock pot before. it was wonderful. keeping this one :O)


  6. #
    Meg — August 21, 2014 @ 2:56 pm

    Recipe sounds delicious … and easy. Can’t wait to try it. But what I really wanted to say was that you’re a very good writer; be sure to keep it up! I’ve been a professional journalist and editor for decades, and I appreciate crisp, informative and honest writing.


  7. #
    denise — October 6, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

    I made this today and loved the taste, but would adjust a few things. I did double the recipe for the sauce. I would cook for maybe 3-4 hours in the crock next time as it was totally falling apart when taken out. Maybe let the chicken cool/rest for a while to set back up before broiling? The flavor was amazing though~thanks for the recipe! I will make it again!!


  8. #
    Patti — December 3, 2014 @ 8:35 am

    No crockpot and no budget to buy this time of year. Any other suggestions to cook this?


  9. #
    Ginger Osann — December 10, 2014 @ 8:01 am

    Please tell me the number of grams of carbs and fiber per serving for service of 4. Where can I find nutritional values?


  10. #
    Shannon Dean — January 2, 2015 @ 6:24 am

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it for our New Year’s Eve get-together for about 8 people (doubling the chicken and tripling the sauce, and using only thighs and legs). The sauce was so flavorful and I love the technique that keeps you out of the kitchen while the crockpot does the work. However, the broiling step is key… don’t try to skip this step. Love the crispy skin with the sauce. Will definitely be making again!


  11. #
    Susan — January 5, 2015 @ 4:35 am

    this recipe came up under a low carb search. Molasses are not low carb


  12. #
    Alexx — January 6, 2015 @ 12:59 pm

    If I am going to make this for my dinner for the week. Could I just broil what I am going to eat and save the mixture and other chicken fridge and then only take out and broil what I am going to eat for that day? Do you think that could work out?


  13. #
    Tara — February 15, 2015 @ 7:52 pm

    Never thought about cooking Jerk BBQ Chicken with crock pot before.


  14. #
    Betty — May 18, 2015 @ 3:55 pm

    Tasty! But don’t over cook. I had to leave in crock pot longer than recipe called for – about 9 hours. So chicken was really tender and falling off the bone. Normally not a problem, but there was no way to keep meat, skin & bone together to get in a pan to do the crisping under the broiler. My own fault, I should have known better.
    I’m still really enjoying the flavor and just adding some marinade on top when serving. (Chicken is juicy and tender!)


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