My Recipe Box

Rib-Eye Steaks Rubbed with Coffee and Cocoa


Serves 4

To match the steaks’ rich, beefy flavor, they're rubbed with a cocoa-espresso spice mix. It adds depth and a subtle bitter undertone that’s downright addictive.

  • 1 Tbs. finely ground espresso coffee beans
  • 1 Tbs. pure ancho or New Mexico chile powder
  • 1 tsp. natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. turbinado sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground fennel seed
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 boneless rib-eye steaks, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches thick (about 2 lb. total)

In a small bowl, combine the espresso, chile powder, cocoa, garlic, cumin, sugar, fennel, allspice, 4 tsp. kosher salt, and 2 tsp. pepper. Rub 1-1/2 Tbs. of the mixture all over each steak. Cover and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Let the steaks rest before and after grilling—before so the steak isn’t refrigerator-cold when it hits the grill, and after so the juice redistributes for moist, tender steaks.

Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for indirect cooking over medium-high heat (400°F to 450°F).

Grill the steaks over direct heat until grill marks form on one side, about 2 minutes. Flip and grill the other side for 2 minutes more. Move the steaks to indirect heat, cover, and continue to cook until the internal temperature registers 125°F degrees on an instant-read thermometer (for medium rare), 1 to 3 minutes more per side. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes and then cut each steak in half and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a salad, Twice-Baked Potatoes with Crème Fraîche & Chives, and a Peach & Blueberry Crisp with Spiced-Pecan Topping for dessert.


The spice rub recipe here makes enough for 8 steaks; keep the leftover rub in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months. It's also good on pork and chicken.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 360, Fat (kcal): 19, Fat Calories (g): 170, Saturated Fat (g): 8, Protein (g): 43, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8, Carbohydrates (mg): 2, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): .5, Sodium (g): 630, Cholesterol (g): 100, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Love love this rub my go to rub for steaks, everyone that has had it asked for the recipe!!

Great taste. I rarely use salt with much of what I cook and I can honestly share that I don't get what the too salty reviews were about. This rub produces a great tasting steak. I'll definitely do it again. Next time, I will add a hint more cocoa and coffee. The pepper produced such a great complex flavor.

Great rub! Must be a American taste preference not to like salt but sugar. We omit the sugar in Canada. Beef requires salt to compliment it.

Great rub! Must be a American taste preference not to like salt but sugar. We omit the sugar in Canada. Beef requires salt to compliment it.

This recipe was a real disappointment - where's the flavor? Good thing that the Steak was awesome or this would have been a bit of a flop...

Way Too Salty, Cut Salt in half, and you will need to add more espresso 50%. otherwise very nice rubb!!

This is fabulous. I did cut the salt.

Far too salty. Ridiculously salty. Cut the salt in half and you might have something here, because the cocoa and espresso does indeed give a great depth to the flavor of the beef.

I thought this rub overpowered the taste of the beef when used in the amount prescribed. I may try it again but at only a fraction of the amount (maybe a third). I would only advise this as a light rub in any event.


Made this tonight; it was easy and tasty. Definitely worth making for company.

This rub makes the steak taste incredible! It is a flavor circus. Make sure you choose a great quality steak, and my only recommendation, other than "make this now", is that the salt quantity may be a little high for some tastes. Use less-you can always add later. Make sure you let that baby sit for 1 hour before cooking!

Cookbooks, DVDs & More