Homemade BBQ Coffee Rub

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So you’ve been using the same old rubs over and again and you’re ready for a change. Something to stimulate your senses and make you enthused about the tastes you’re developing.

I began including coffee into my beef rubs a few years ago. It had been used for many years, I had read somewhere. Then why hadn’t I heard of it? Was it a trade secret, or was it so horrible that no one used it? Neither of these statements is correct; it is still frequently used, and it complements beef so beautifully that I believe it is virtually required.

That is a really strong thing to make, I know. Why does it go so well with beef? Simply said, it improves the rich meaty flavor of fine beef. Because coffee is extremely acidic, it also helps tenderize the meat.

Homemade coffee dry rub

Homemade BBQ Coffee Rub

Are we making an espresso or a rub for meat?

When I first heard about using coffee in a massage, they were the first things that sprang to mind.

Let’s get one thing straight: your meat will not taste like coffee.

Not at all.

You won’t be able to detect a distinct coffee flavor unless you have very sensitive taste receptors. It is most often used to tenderize the meat, improve the delicious aromas, and when smoking your meat at low temperatures for an extended period of time, it will assist you in creating that highly sought after bark or crust on the outside of your meat.

Does the kind of coffee bean have an impact on the rubs? I tried many and couldn’t discern any difference in taste or intensity, but I did notice that freshly ground coffee had more acidity and so helped tenderize the meat a lot more than coffee that wasn’t freshly ground.

Don’t be scared to use coffee in your massages; in fact, start experimenting right now. Keeping in mind that it will only improve whatever sweet or savory tastes you already have, it is essentially a flavor enhancer.

Use this rub to excellent advantage in our recipes for pulled bbq beef, smoked prime rib, and coffee rubbed ribeye.

Can you use coffee rub on steak?

This rub works well on steak, however I think it works best when reverse searing bigger steaks so that the rub has time to enter the flesh before hitting the coffee with high heat.

Our reverse-seared coffee rubbed ribeye steak recipe incorporates our coffee rub.

At the absolute least, apply the rub a couple of hours ahead of time and then refrigerate the steak. The longer it can remain on the surface, the more acidity it may permeate into the flesh.

Is coffee only for beef though? 

Many coffee rubs recommend just using them on meat.

While I like it on beef, I’ve also used it well on pork and poultry.It just has a superb combination of sweet and sour taste that has recently become popular.

We’ve previously discussed what coffee brings to the table in terms of a rub. It only amplifies what is already present.

So, no, you will not taste coffee; instead, it will accentuate any savory and sweet tastes in your rub, and you will finish up with such a rich complex flavor at the conclusion of your cook from the smoke, seasoning, and natural taste of your protein.

My family’s taste was used to fine-tune this coffee rub. Some people enjoy sweet tastes, while others prefer savory ones. Then there are some who dislike heat yet like a little additional kick. As a result, this combination is a happy medium.

You may use coffee rub on brisket, or you can try our brisket rub recipe.

Making the rub

I always suggest weighing out all of your ingredients ahead of time for any rub, spice, or sauce. It’s not that making a rub is difficult; it’s simply a nice habit to develop while cooking.

What youll need is:

  • 1 cup coarsely ground freshly ground coffee (I’ve discovered that the fresher the coffee, the more it acts to help tenderize the meat)
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar (any brown sugar would do)
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper (Feel free to add more or less, but this quantity found to be a nice medium for most people)
  • 2 tbsp paprika (I used regular, but you may use sweet or smoked paprika if you want)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or salt flakes)

To make it simpler to apply, fully combine all of the ingredients in a rub shaker. Apply any seasoning or rub from a height of around 12 inches, since this just helps the various sized particles separate, resulting in a more equal coating and, as a result, every bite from start to finish will taste the same.

You should also store any leftovers in an airtight container or zip lock bag in the fridge to keep them fresher for longer. It should keep in the refrigerator for up to six months. However, because of the coffee, I believe that fresh is ideal.

Want more rub ideas?

  • The 17 Best BBQ Rubs You Can Buy Online for 2021
  • BBQ Dry Rubs You Can Make at Home
  • 7 Delicious Dry Rubs for Pulled Pork and Ribs

Want to try a coffee massage but don’t want to make it yourself? Here are a couple of our favorite coffee dry rubs from the shop.


Why do you put coffee in BBQ rub?

Only the pepper chars in rubs created with only salt and pepper, but adding coffee may give a deeper, more nuanced taste. Herb-based rubs are unable to do this since herbs are more delicate and do not shine when cooked in this manner.

What is coffee rub made of?

Combine ground coffee, brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and powdered coriander in a small bowl. Make sure there are no clumps by mixing with your fingertips. fiery TipPaprika – There are many types of paprika, with flavors ranging from sweet and mild to pungent and fiery.

Can you use coffee grounds as seasoning?

wasted coffee is one of the most robust and fragrant spices a chef could ask for, bringing a lively, flavorful kick to both sweet and savory meals, from cakes and cookies (try my wasted espresso brownies) to rubs and marinades.

Does coffee tenderize meat?

Coffee’s acidity levels mimic tannins in wine, allowing for taste amplification. But it does not end there. A coffee rub on steak may also work as a tenderizer, softening the meat and increasing its moisture content by forming a flavor-sealed crust.

Does coffee rub taste like coffee?

Coffee rubbed steak would have no coffee flavor. Instead, the spice is absorbed into the meat, imparting a somewhat earthy and spicy taste depending on your spice preferences.

Does caffeine cook out of coffee rub?

In truth, the quantity of caffeine that a coffee rub will impart to steak is minuscule. After applying a coffee rub to a steak, allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking.

Why do people use coffee rubs?

Coffee rubs do not make meat taste like coffee; rather, the coffee enhances the meat, giving just the right amount of flavor. A coffee rub, when coupled with additional ingredients and spices, may provide the ideal blend of sweet, savory, and spicy tastes for any kind of meat.

What is the foam they put on coffee?

What exactly is cold foam? Typically, regular foam in coffee beverages is created by foaming milk with heated steam to create small microbubbles. This foam is great for topping hot drinks such as lattes or even foamier cappuccinos.

What is Kona coffee rub?

Da Kine Hawaiian Smoky Kona coffee dry rub is an all-purpose gourmet flavoring with smoked paprika. The coffee imparts a distinct sweet and powerful taste to your meal while also acting as a natural tenderizer. Grilling, sautéing, and baking all meats, seafood, and vegetables.

What should you not use coffee grounds for?

The grinds are usually too acidic to be applied directly on soil, even for acid-loving plants like blueberries, azaleas, and hollies. Some plants, such as geranium, asparagus fern, Chinese mustard, and Italian ryegrass, are inhibited by coffee grounds.

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