If you want to be king of the grill, you need to add this easy BBQ Coffee Dry Rub Recipe to your spice box. It’s a quick make-ahead savory flavor rub that infuses a nutty and slightly chili-like flavor to all your grilled meats and vegetables.

bbq coffee dry rub in a wood bowl with some on a spoon

You will want to make a batch of this coffee rub recipe to keep on hand because it’s great on steaks and can be used in sauces such as Spicy Orange and Coffee BBQ Sauce. It is also great on grilled veggies like my Grilled Corn In The Husk. 

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😊 Why this recipe works

  • Adding coffee to your dry rub creates a savory, nutty flavor to your dry rub that forms a great crusty char on your grilled meats.
  • It’s easy to make and keep on hand in a jar or other airtight container.
  • It’s the perfect rub for veggies on the grill, such as thick slices of zucchini, squash, eggplant, and corn on the cob. The earthy flavor complements grilled vegetables.
  • This rub makes a fun, unique gift to give someone who enjoys grilling as a hobby.
  • You can also use the coffee spice rub to kick up your bbq sauces. Just add a tablespoon per cup of sauce.
  • Make your coffee dry, rub spicy or not. It’s easy to accommodate your personal heat preference when mixing your own.

🛒 Ingredient notes

bbq coffee dry rub in a wood bowl

Coffee: I like to use whole bean coffee that I have ground in my coffee grinder to a fine grind like course cracked pepper. It’s best to use medium roast to dark roast coffee beans that do not have added flavors to them. You can use instant ground coffee if you prefer, but I have found the flavor is not as robust, and the instant coffee granules will dissolve with the juice from your meat.

Brown sugar: If you feel adventurous, you could also use maple sugar to give your grilled favorites a slightly sweet hint of flavor.

Chili powder: Some chili powders are spicier than others. I chose a mild chili powder for this recipe to not overpower my red meats or veggies.

Black pepper: I like to use coarse ground grind for this all-purpose coffee rub.

Cocoa powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder has diverse flavors that are slightly fruity, floral, with wonderful bitterness. When combined with other spices, it gives your meats more unique, bold flavors.

Cayenne pepper: If you like a spicy flavor when it comes to grilling, you will want to add more to your spice rub mixture.

See the recipe card for a complete list and quantities.

Step by step instructions

  1. Grind your coffee beans.
  2. Add the coffee and the rest of the spices into a large bowl. Stir well to combine all the ingredients tother.
  3. Pour into an airtigh and store in a dark cool pantry.

How to use dry rubs

  1. Dry: Rub your favorite dry rub on your meats, such as beef, chicken, or pork. The rub will form a nice crust on your meats when you cook them, and the brown sugar will carmelize and form a sweet crust.
  2. Add oil: In a small bowl, add enough high heat cooking oil to the rub mixture to form a paste. Spread this evenly onto your meats. You will not have a crusty top like the dry application, but the flavor is just as good.

How to cook with a dry rub

A dry rub is a seasoning that is versatile for many different cooking methods.

Grilling: Use as a dry rub

Slow cooker/ Crockpot: Use equal amounts of oil to spice rub mixture to make a paste. Coat your meat thoroughly and then place in the slow cooker.

Oven: Use as a dry rub

Instant Pot: Use equal amounts of oil to spice rub mixture to make a paste. Coat your meat thoroughly and then place in your Instant Pot.

🎁 This recipe makes a great gift

If you need special gifts for friends that love to grill this is it. Make up a big batch and fill spice jars.

30 Pack 4oz Glass Spice Jars Bottles

Download your free printable BBQ Coffee Dry Rub tags. After you download the template, print it on white cardstock paper. Poke a small hole, thread some twine, and tie it to your jars. You have a perfect gift to give year-round.

bbq coffee dry rub in a bowl and jar

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bbq coffee dry rub in a wood bowl with some on a spoon
5 from 3 ratings

BBQ Coffee Dry Rub Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 tablespoons
Easy BBQ Coffee Dry Rub Recipe for Ribs, Steak, Pork & Brisket is the perfect rub for kicking up your vegetables and meats when grilling.  It infuses your taste buds with a sweet slightly nutty flavor and can be kicked up with some heat if you double up on the cayenne pepper.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

  • 1/4 cup coffee, finely ground
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cayenne , ~ or more

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together until well blended.
  • Rub 1 tablespoon per pound on your meat. Allow to set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Pour any remaining rub into an air tight jar. It will remain fresh about 6 months.

Notes

How to use dry rubs

  1. Dry: Rub your favorite dry rub on your meats, such as beef, chicken, or pork. The rub will form a nice crust on your meats when you cook them, and the brown sugar will carmelize and form a sweet crust.
  2. Add oil: In a small bowl, add enough high heat cooking oil to the rub mixture to form a paste. Spread this evenly onto your meats. You will not have a crusty top like the dry application, but the flavor is just as good.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 22kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 891mg, Potassium: 55mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 579IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Seasoning
Author: Gina Dickson

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