Recipe: Coffee Rub Steak

March 24, 2020

Coffee rub steak montage

Coffee Rub Steak 

This isn’t the first time I have made a coffee rub steak on the grill. But in the age of the Coronapocalypse, my grilling has kicked into overdrive. The age of #selfquarantine has also got me looking at a big fat shelf of cookbooks I have collected over the years that I just don’t crack open often enough. Well that is all about to change. I’m starting a new chapter of Bang for your Burger Buck: Cook the Book, where I test drive recipes and share the results.

And with that, let’s get down with Cool Smoke’s Coffee Rub Steak . . . .

So here is what you will need . . .


    • Bone in Ribeye steak cut 1.5″ – 2.5″
    • coffee rub
      • 1/4 cup kosher salt
      • 2 tablespoons fresh cracked black pepper
      • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
      • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
      • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder

essential equipment

    • a screaming hot pan or raging grill(I like hardwood charcoal)
    • a thermapen

Cool Smoke Book cover

I got a copy of Cool Smoke as a Christmas gift last year and this the first time I cracked into its pages. Author Tuffy Stone is a veteran of the competition BBQ circuit and the world of fine dining. Just google search Coffee Rub steak and loads of recipes pop up. Why use this guy’s when I have the likes of Bobby Flay and Bon Appétit? Cool Smoke keeps it relatively simple.

Seven spices are all you need and three of them are salt, pepper and ground coffee. I’m gonna be straight up here, it is Coronapocalypse and I’m not shopping beyond one grocery store a single outing. So when my Hispanic grocery store came up empty with ground chipotle powder, I subbed with cayenne. And even though I have cumin seeds and a dedicated spice grinder, I still opted for ground cumin. Yes, I am human.

Seven spices still makes for an exotic bouquet of flavors and save for a carne asada rub, I have never put cumin in steak rub. Apparently I have been missing out. This rub is amazing.

Coffee Rub steak seasoned

I ended up making half of the amount listed in the book, so I didn’t get crazy with the amount of rub I seasoned the steaks with. One thing I have been watchful for is sugars in anything that hits an open flame because it can burn easily and my 8 year old is picky about a heavy char. Still, when these bone in ribeyes hit the grill, I got a great sear going.

Coffee rub steak grilling

After one flip I got some darn good color. In the recipe I listed steaks that were an inch and half to 2.5″ thick. These were closer to an inch and a quarter. I got these at a Hispanic grocery for about $7 a pound. A damn good price but that also means you don’t get the thickest cut steaks. If you can get a thicker cut you will be rewarded with a charred exterior and an internal temperature to your liking.

Coffee rub steak resting

Coffee Rub steak sliced

I was very happy with the char I got on these steaks. As far as internal temp goes, my Thermapen hit the mid 130s before I pulled them off. Had this been a thicker cut and a higher quality cut, I would have pulled around 123-125 degrees. As always I let the meat rest and the temp rises a bit after the steak comes off the grill. Since I was making these for tacos and the grade on this must have been USDA Select(although visually had a respectable marbling) these steaks worked.

The rub was to die for and as I finish this post I am already thinking of getting a Tri Tip for the rest of the Coffee Steak Rub or making some special edition sliders. Many more recipes to go but as far as I am concerned, I would give Cool Smoke a hard look when you are shopping on Amazon.

Which is probably like right now . . . for toilet paper.

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