Jerk chicken wings with delicious crispy skin and tender and juicy meat inside are easy to make at home. This Jamaican chicken is loaded with flavor with an assortment of spices and can pack on the heat if you want. They are simple to make -- just throw all the ingredients together, let the wings marinate, and cook. Plus, you can bake, grill, or cook them in the air fryer. They are perfect for summer cookouts, on game day, or just when you are craving some tasty chicken wings.
Why You’ll Love Jerk Chicken Wings
- A flavor-packed marinade. Marinated chicken wings arethe best kind, hands down. For this jerk chicken marinade, you’ll need a some ingredients that pack on so much flavor including: onion, garlic, jalapeño, soy sauce, lime juice, salt, pepper, all-spice powder, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper (optional). It might sound like a long list now, but you’ll appreciate them later.
- Flavorful, crispy skin. Since these jerk chicken wings aren’t drenched in sauce before baking, you can achieve wonderful crispy skin. If it doesn’t crunch when you take a bite, it’s not a true jerk chicken wing.
- You can bake, air fry, or grill them. No matter which tools you have for cooking these wings, there is a method here that will work for you. If you are like me and are obsessed with your air fryer, then it’s time to pull it out. These wings turn out extra crispy in the air fryer.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make these delicious jerk chicken wings, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in recipe card below):
- chicken wings
- small onion
- garlic - I recommend fresh garlic for the best flavor. You can get a similar taste by substituting with ¼ teaspoon garlic powder instead.
- vegetable oil
- soy sauce
- lime juice
- brown sugar
- seasoning - salt, all-spice powder, smoked paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper (optional for a spicy kick).
How to Make the Best Jerk Chicken Wings
- Make the marinade. In a blender, add onion, garlic, jalapeño, oil, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, salt, all-spice, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne (if using). Puree on high until smooth, about a minute.
- Marinate the wings. Transfer chicken wings and the marinade into a large zip-loc bag. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Press the marinade around the chicken to coat. Place the bag in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 1 hour (up to overnight) to soak up the flavor. You can also marinate the wings in a large bowl, covered.
- Cook the chicken wings. Cook them in the oven, air fryer, or grill.
- To bake: Preheat oven to 400F. Place the marinated wings on a parchment-lined quarter sheet baking pan, evenly spaced apart. Bake for 25 minutes, turning the wings over halfway through baking. You can turn on the broil function on at the end and broil for 1-2 minutes to achieve more crispy and browned skin.
- To air fry: Place the marinated wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook at 375 F for 22-25 minutes until nicely charred (not burnt). Open and shake the basket halfway through to make sure they cook evenly.
- To grill: Preheat the grill to 350 F over medium heat. Place the chicken wings on the grill and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side until nicely charred and the internal temperature for the chicken reaches 165 F as read on a meat thermometer. Flip occasionally to avoid overcooking.
- Serve. Let the wings rest for 5 minutes. Serve with lime mayo and garnish with green onions. To make the lime mayo dipping sauce, stir well to combine 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons mayonnaise until smooth.
Storing and Reheating
- How to store: If there are any leftover jerk chicken wings, let them cool completely to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Letting the wings cool will ensure that condensation doesn’t build and your wings stay crispy.
- How to reheat chicken wings: Reheat wings in a 350F preheated oven or air fryer for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. You can also reheat them in the microwave, but they won't be as crispy.
- How to freeze: Once the wings are marinated, you can freeze them in an airtight container or freezer bag and for up to 6 months. To cook, allow them to thaw completely and cook within one day.
More Chicken Wing Recipes
- Honey Mustard Chicken Wings
- Miso Garlic Chicken Wings
- Baked BBQ Chicken Wings
- Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
- Game Day Buffalo Hot Wings
- Air Fryer Breaded Fried Chicken Wings
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