Coffee Rub for Ribs: Test Kitchen Tuesday

Grilling for more than 20 years with a serious love for coffee that spans the same time, I’m not sure why it has taken so long to try a coffee rub to season ribs.  After reviewing a number of options for Test Kitchen Tuesday, I landed on this recipe from Recipes Planet, persuaded by the author’s description. He doesn’t include a recipe for cooking the ribs, so my plan is to use my own Missouri-Style Ribs recipe, using this coffee rub on beef back ribs.

I hope you join me in this delicious adventure!

In the next week or so:

1.  Make the recipe (posted below)
2.  Leave a comment describing your experience, adjustments, or suggestions.
3.  Subscribe to comments so you can see what others have done.
4.  If you are especially proud of your creation, snap a photo and send it to me at so it can be included in this post or include a link to your site with your comment.

Coffee Rub for Ribs

Source: Recipes Planet
Serves: 4
2      tablespoons  freshly ground coffee
2      tablespoon  kosher salt
2      tablespoons  paprika
1       tablespoon  ancho chile powder
1       tablespoon  dark brown sugar
1       teaspoon  oregano
1       teaspoon  garlic powder
1       teaspoon  onion powder
1       teaspoon  ground black pepper
1/2     teaspoon  cocoa powder
1/2     teaspoon  coriander

Note from Recipes Planet author: Not a coffee drinker myself, I wasn’t sure how this would go over, but I ended up loving it-the way the coffee plays with the other spices, smoke, and meat. And the coffee-ness didn’t dominate. Rather, the ground beans added an earthy quality to an already complex mix of flavors. The ribs eaten dry were fantastic, but even better with a coating of stout barbecue sauce.


4 responses to “Coffee Rub for Ribs: Test Kitchen Tuesday

  1. Coffee does some pretty incredible things when it comes to flavor- even to most people who don’t like coffee. I love using coffee or espresso in baking (especially when paired with chocolate!) I had never thought to use it in an application like this! Definitely something I would like to try.

    • I agree, coffee gives chocolate that extra depth of flavor in baked goods that is unmatched — interesting that cocoa is in this recipe too. Hope it can work its magic on my ribs tonight 🙂

  2. I’ve used coffee rubs on beef and been really pleased with the results. Your rub sounds wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  3. I liked the flavor of this combination of spices, though I couldn’t distinguish a coffee flavor. I would describe the flavors as very beefy with an ancho chili finish. Just like coffee gives chocolate a deeper chocolate flavor, I believe it did the same for these beef ribs, hence, more beefy flavor. I’ll need to try it on a steak to know for sure when the spices aren’t covered by a barbeque sauce.

    Additional Notes:
    1. Be sure to grind the coffee fine or use a mortar & pestle to combine the spices into a fine rub. We drink a coarse grind for French press and I didn’t check the setting when I ground the coffee–the was a little distracting.
    2. Use a light application of sauce, or none at all to really appreciate the flavors in the rub.

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