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Air fryer jerk chicken

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I absolutely love to cook up different types of flavoured chicken. When I’ve got a little time I’ll cook up a batch and then put it in the fridge once cooled. It is really simple to make your own dry rubs or even buy a seasoning blend. For this air fryer jerk chicken recipe I’ve bought the Dunns River Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. You could make your own jerk seasoning blend too but I’ve found it a little difficult to source the scotch bonnets.

My air fryer has fast become one of my favourite kitchen gadgets. I’ve got the Ninja Foodi 15-in-1 OL750UK and I absolutely love it. It has far exceeded my expectations and if you’ve got a Ninja Foodi, or Ninja air fryer, then check out my Ninja air fryer recipes.

Cooking air fryer chicken recipes is really convenient for me. It takes just a few minutes to prepare most dishes and then around 20 minutes to cook them. Even when I’m low on time or effort I’m able to prepare something in just a few minutes and then I don’t have to put anymore effort in. Also, my air fryer sits on my worktop so is great when I’m having a higher pain day with my chronic illness.

While you’re reading this recipe, don’t forget to check out my air fryer tips for beginners. Whether you’re a beginner to air frying or simply looking to use your air fryer more, I’ve got a ton of great recipes to help you.

Air fryer jerk chicken thighs with air fryer potato wedges and tomato ketchup.

Ingredients for air fryer jerk chicken:

6 chicken thighs

100ml Jerk marinade

Method for making jerk chicken in the air fryer:

Take your chicken thighs and prep them accordingly. I used skin on chicken thighs and so there was minimal prep, but you can remove this skin if you prefer, or just purchase skinless ones.

Place in a glass bowl with the jerk seasoning. If you’re using a dry jerk rub then you’ll want to add 10ml of olive oil too to form a nice paste. If you’re using a liquid then just use this.

Poke a few holes in your chicken to help it soak up the flavours. Then pop the chicken thighs in the fridge overnight, or for a minimum of 1-2 hours.

Lightly oil the air fryer basket (if desired – I use spray rapeseed oil).

Add the marinated chicken thighs to your air fryer.

Air fry on 200C (400F approx) for 20 minutes, turning 10 minutes in.

If you overload the air fryer basket a little, like me, then you’ll want to give these a shake a couple of times during the 20 minutes.

Check the temperature using a meat thermometer before serving. Chicken should be at least 74C/165F internally before serving. 

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Is jerk chicken good for you?

Jerk marinade is often made with just spices, vegetables and a few extra ingredients such as vinegar, honey, citrus juice or a little brown sugar.

Chicken is a great source of protein and so jerk chicken is a great healthy choice, as part of a well balanced diet.

What is the difference between jerk seasoning and marinade?

Seasoning is a dry spice rub and marinade is a liquid that is ideal for marinating meats in overnight. Dry rubs are used rubbed directly into the meat and you can still leave these in the fridge overnight if you choose. Marinade is simple as you can just buy this already made, and pour it straight on. You can skip the fridge part if you want to rush to get your jerk chicken cooking in a hurry.

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Can you marinate jerk chicken too long?

If you’re leaving it for days then the chicken is going to become tough. Leave it overnight for the best results, or for up to 24 hours max.

Should you poke holes in chicken to marinate?

Absolutely. This helps it absorb more flavour and is well worth the few seconds of effort.

What are the best side dishes for jerk chicken?

An air fryer chicken burger in a brioche bun with tomato ketchup and burger cheese.

What types of chicken can you use for this? 

Just about any chicken you like! Chicken thighs are great, as they bring some extra succulence to this recipe. Chicken tenders or strips will take the same time as the above recipe. You could even use chicken legs or chicken wings if you fancy something a little different. 

Chicken breast would work too, just ensure that you take the time to prep it, poke some holes in and marinade it. Chicken drumsticks are great if you’re feeding a crowd too as they’re quite cheap to purchase and they’re easy for everyone to hold without cutlery too.

Fancy trying something different in your air fryer? Here are my latest air fryer recipes:

A Ninja Foodi OL750UK multi-cooker on a kitchen worktop.

Can you freeze this jerk chicken? 

Yes! I would advise freezing it when you’ve put the sauce or dry rub on, but before you cook it, for the best results. 

Defrost in the fridge for 24 hours then cook as per above method.

If you’re looking to get the most from your air fryer these these are some of my favourite air fryer accessories and cookbooks:

Something to note about air fryer recipes is that all air fryers have different sizes, depths and as such the cooking times can vary. All air fryer recipes on this website are intended as a guide, and not a guarantee that the timings will be perfect. Enjoy!

How to cook jerk chicken in the air fryer:

Air fryer jerk chicken thighs with air fryer potato wedges and tomato ketchup.
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Air fryer jerk chicken

How to cook jerk chicken in the air fryer using a dry rub or marinade

Course Main Course
Cuisine Jamaican
Keyword air fryer, chicken, jerk
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 249 kcal
Author Katykicker

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 100 ml Jerk marinade

Instructions

  1. Take your chicken thighs and prep them accordingly. I used skin on chicken thighs and so there was minimal prep, but you can remove this skin if you prefer, or just purchase skinless ones.
  2. Place in a glass bowl with the jerk seasoning. If you’re using a dry jerk rub then you’ll want to add 10ml of olive oil too to form a nice paste. If you’re using a liquid then just use this.
  3. Poke a few holes in your chicken to help it soak up the flavours. Then pop the chicken thighs in the fridge overnight, or for a minimum of 1-2 hours.
  4. Lightly oil the air fryer basket (if desired – I use spray rapeseed oil).
  5. Add the marinated chicken thighs to your air fryer.
  6. Air fry on 200C (400F approx) for 20 minutes, turning 10 minutes in.

  7. If you overload the air fryer basket a little, like me, then you’ll want to give these a shake a couple of times during the 20 minutes.
  8. Check the temperature before serving. Chicken should be at least 74C/165F internally before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Air fryer jerk chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 249
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Air fryer jerk chicken thighs with air fryer potato wedges and tomato ketchup.
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