Grilled & Shredded Jerk Chicken Sandwich with Pineapple-Kiwifruit Salsa

Fragrant, smoky and blazing hot – Grilled and Shredded Jerk Chicken with Pineapple-Kiwifruit Salsa is a favourite outdoor-inspired recipe. Although most people associate jerk chicken with the Caribbean, its influences are traced back hundreds of years to west Africa, where people applied techniques to sauce and pork preparation. But, Jerk Chicken unofficially belonged to Jamaica for the last 300-400 years!

Traditionally, jerk chicken is prepared over a pit fire or inside outdoor wood-fired ovens. More recently it’s become commonplace for “traditional jerk chicken” to be prepared in half barrels filled with charcoal and large chunks of wood. These methods of high heat and smoke-infusion perfectly carbonise and elevate the flavour of the spices, which are dry-rubbed on the chicken. This recipe enables you to choose your favourite pre-made jerk spice blend. If you’d like to prepare your own, though, you can do so with a combination of allspice and ground scotch bonnet peppers, cloves, cinnamon, spring onions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and finely-ground sea salt.

This recipe leverages Char-Broil’s® TRU-Infrared™ technology and its capacity for high, intense and even heat, along with the ability to establish and control a multi-zone cooking surface to prepare juicy shredded chicken every time. Also, this recipe pairs the jerk chicken with a fresh, sweet and tangy pineapple-kiwifruit salsa that cuts through the spicy seasoning brilliantly. All loaded atop a toasted poppy seed bun, this grilled and shredded jerk chicken sandwich is the perfect centrepiece for your next backyard barbecue or tailgate party.


4-6 chicken breasts, trimmed
Canola oil
Jerk chicken seasoning, pre-made or store bought
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste

Pineapple-Kiwifruit Salsa

Poppy seed hamburger buns, toasted
1 25-30cm sheet of tin foil
2 cups of peach wood chips, soaked in water for 1 hour
½ whole pineapple, trimmed and petite dice
4 kiwifruit, peeled and petite dice
1 small red onion, petite dice
1-2 jalapeños, seeds removed and minced
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup coriander leaves, stems removed, chopped and loosely packed
1 pinch sugar
salt and fresh ground peppercorn, to taste


  1. Prepare all ingredients per instruction above. Toss together in a large bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Drain excess liquid and serve immediately.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium-high using the 2-zone cooking method (See notes). Brush the grates with a cloth doused in canola oil. Wrap woodchips in a sheet of tin foil, then perforate tin foil several times with a fork or knife. Apply wood packet in back corner of the direct heat grilling zone. Once wood packet is billowing with smoke the grill is ready.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken by drizzling with oil and seasoning liberally with the jerk spice blend, minced garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Gently place the chicken breasts atop the direct heat grilling zone and sear with the grill lid open for 5-7 minutes per side. Then transfer to the cooler, indirect heat zone and close the grill lid, basting intermittently with oil until juices run clear and internal temperature reaches 70°C in thickest part of the breast.
  5. Once the chicken is finished, remove and tent with tin foil, resting for 5-10 minutes before shredding with two forks. Season additionally with jerk spice blend, to taste, and toss to coat evenly. Load shredded chicken on toasted onion-poppy seed buns, top with the pineapple-kiwifruit salsa and finish with a squeeze of lime.


Two-Zone Cooking Method

Heat only one side of the grill, creating one hot direct heat zone and one cooler indirect heat zone. Target grill temperature of 230°C. This technique is imperative to the chicken grilling process.


  • 2-burner grill – Turn right side of the grill to high & leave the left side off.
  • 3-burner grill – Turn far right side of the grill to high, the middle to low-medium and the left side off.
  • 4-burner grill – Turn far right side of grill to high, middle right to medium, middle left to low, & leave the far left zone off.

2-Zone Grilling Surface on Charcoal

Ignite the charcoal in a chimney starter. When coals are glowing red, dump coals onto the grill floor. Rake coals, pushing ⅔ to one side of the grill, slanting the remaining coals to the opposite side of the grill, establishing high-piled 1 hot zone & 1 cooler zone. For every hour of cooking, add a half-stack of coals.

Hardwood Smoker Packs

Tear off one 25 cm sheet of tin foil. Pour a handful of your favourite hardwood chips onto the foil in a mound. Wrap the tin foil around the chips creating a package-of-sorts. With a knife or fork, perforate the top of the packet allowing smoke to billow from the package when the chips are heated.