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Rib-Eye Steaks Rubbed with Coffee and Cocoa

Scott Phillips

Servings: 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)

Nutritional Information

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


  • 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.
  • 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.

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.


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.


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Reviews (13 reviews)

  • LArcher | 04/01/2017

    Love this recipe! This is now my go to BBQ'd steak recipe. I make the rub up in advance so it is on hand to put on the steaks quickly. Always get rave reviews from my guests.

  • tmhorn | 07/09/2014

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

  • mhhamburger | 08/26/2013

    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.

  • cjingram | 09/17/2011

    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.

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