I’ve had a love affair with jerk seasonings/rubs/marinades for quite a while. So much so that if the Jerk flavor profile were to break it off with me, I would be that guy that leaves 20 messages a day for Jerk. I would leave a rose from time to time under Jerk’s windshield wiper. I might even follow Jerk to work or show up randomly at places Jerk liked to go to just hoping to run into Jerk. In the end, Jerk would have to file a restraining order against me. I literally can’t live without Jerk.

All kidding aside, when it finally starts warming up in late March/early April every year, I get this overwhelming urge to make jerk ribs. I generally make a couple slabs for just myself so I can eat a half a slab for dinner and have 3-4 lunches the rest of the week.

My preferred brand was probably the industry leader until I got a message from Jerk Central a few weeks ago:

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Serious Flavor

The owner had seen my annual spring cook of jerk ribs on Instagram and Twitter and shot me a message requesting a review. I said the same thing I tell all my clients, “Send me a check and the product. If I don’t like your stuff, I’ll tear up the check and not write a thing. If I like it, I will cash the check and do the review.” I cashed the check, but (without going into my rates for reviews) I will eventually give every nickel back in purchases because I will be a lifelong costumer. The marinade and the dry rub are outstanding. Whether used independently or concurrently, these two items are fantastic:

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Rubs and Marinades

Jerk Central also makes a BBQ rub that I have yet to try as of the writing of this review, but hopefully I can rectify that soon:

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The BBQ Rub

As good as the jerk rub and marinade are, I can’t imagine the Rhi-Rhi Rub being anything but outstanding. I’ll report back in here as soon as I get a chance to sample this rub.

My first foray into the wonderful world of Jerk Central involved me dusting a nice little steak with the rub:

Jerk Central Rubs and Marinades - 18
The Jerk Store called. They’re all out of Steak!

All I added was the rub and a little salt and then put on a perfect cross hatch:

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That steak was etherial in its deliciousness. The flavor starts off sweet with hints of brown sugar, ground all spice and nutmeg. A few seconds later, the heat kicks in. That is a well made rub. Anyone can make a rub that punches you in the taste buds the moment it hits the tongue. To give it a delay like this shows it’s not only well made but done so in small batches. It’s hard to be that nuanced if it’s made in 1,000 gallon vats.

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Plated and Sliced
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Mmmmm Good!

I enjoyed that grilled steak so much, I made it again in less than a week with this monster rib eye:

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Oh, what a rib eye!

Then I decided to combine the marinade and the rub on some chicken. I soaked the chicken in the marinade overnight and then hit them with the rub and some salt the next day:

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Dusting with the Jerk Central Rub

I reverse seared them and decided it was so good that I would do a post on it:

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Smoked jerk chicken just before the sear

Check out my Reverse Seared Jerk Chicken post in that link and the final product in this picture:

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Reverse seared jerk chicken just after the sear

The marinated and rubbed jerk chicken had more heat to start, but then did the inverse of what the rub did. It hit me first with the heat and then the sweetness followed. It was absolutely glorious:

Reverse Seared Jerk Chicken - 09
Plated jerk chicken on a very festive table cloth

Jerk Central is truly outstanding. My review is basically done and I haven’t said anything negative, and I always say something negative. I really had to work for something here. After thinking on it for a couple days I came up with two issues. The prices are a little high when compared to other rubs and marinades at around $10 bucks (at the time of this post) per bottle. I don’t fault Jerk Central for that. To make high quality, small batch stuff, the price has to be higher. We as consumers need to stop looking for the cheapest stuff loaded with salt or high fructose corn syrup and be more willing to pay for artisan rubs and marinades like this. Also, the picture on the label looks great blown up on the website, but I don’t think it works all that well on the small bottles and these bottles aren’t really that small:

Jerk Central Label

It’s an awesome painting. I would hang that on the wall in my house, but I had to look at the label for a moment to figure out what was going on. It sort of reminds me of a Halloween costume that has to be explained. Might be a great idea, but the execution wasn’t so great.

All that being said, the price and what’s on the outside of the jar have no impact on the magic going on inside. I’m now a customer. The stuff at Jerk Central is that good.

Now proceed with the Jerk Store jokes. Feel free to leave them in the comments below. Don’t worry, I can handle them…

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas


https://t.co/lVWgniik3V - #GrillPorn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
I know what you thought when you first saw this pic. "What the hell is that?" What? Don't … https://t.co/TOlPf8Y4lO https://t.co/IHLJuLcMMj - 46 mins ago
Scott Thomas

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Awesome review Scott! I’ve already implemented changes based on your suggestions. Thanks again



Not a problem. You make fantastic stuff…


This rub is making me hungry. Rhoan often wins the family jerk contests.


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