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WHAT'S THE RUB? A Robust Combination of Coffee and Chili That Will Make Your Grill Steaks Sizzle With Flavor.

Updated on August 19, 2012
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Graham is a former chef and food stylist with a passion for all things food-related. She has also never been known to decline dessert.

Cast your vote for ESPRESSO BBQ STEAK RUB

Dry marinades cling better to the surface of meats and help brown them creating a seared coat. A crust is formed and seals the juices inside. Applying a dry blend of herbs and spices onto meats imparts a significant amount of flavor.



  • 2 Tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 cup ground espresso powder, (finely ground coffee works well, also)
  • 2 (heaping)Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • steaks
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all the dried ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Preheat grill to 500 degrees.
  3. Brush steaks with olive oil and then season them with salt and pepper.
  4. Season steaks with the rub -liberally. Be sure that you season the edges of the steaks, as well.

If your grill is able, crank it up to a scorching 500 degrees. When it has reached temperature, place steaks on and close the lid. Within a few minutes, your steaks should sear nicely and a dark crust will have formed on the outside. Gently flip steaks and allow the other side to sear.

When your grill is set at such a high temperature, the crust that is formed locks in the steaks juices. If you prefer medium to well done steaks, I recommend that you create the crust and then turn your grill heat down so as not to burn the steaks.

When your steaks are done, allow them to rest on a plate before cutting them. If you cut into them without the needed time to rest, the juices will not have redistributed and they ill flow out onto your cutting board.

GrillPro 11391 Stainless Steel Thermometer with Bezel
GrillPro 11391 Stainless Steel Thermometer with Bezel
Nothing fancy, but a thermometer is a good tool to have handy.


  • 4 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste

One last suggestion: I have also simply seasoned my steaks with salt, pepper and crushed coffee. I put the coffee beans in my spice grinder and then rub onto the steaks just as I would for any of the other rubs. Give it a try. I think you'll be surprised at how good it is.


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