Grilling With Coffee? Yeah We Thought it Was Weird Too

Coffee Rubs | Wayward Gourmet

Not Your Morning Cup of Joe

Coffee rubs: Either you've heard of it and love it, or are completely perplexed with the idea of rubbing coffee on your meat.  Either way, you're right in your assessment. I was a bit apprehensive when I first saw a "Coffee Rubbed Ribeye" at Grill 23 in Boston about 10 years ago. I tried it and have been in love with coffee rubs ever since. It was their recipe that inspired me to create our own High Octane Coffee Rub.

So why does coffee work so well on meat? I did some digging to find out what makes it such an amazing ingredient.  Here's what I found:

  1. Coffee grounds are acidic in nature and pair well with the savory notes of meat similar to why wine goes so well with meat.
  2. When cooked, the coffee caramelizes resulting in a savory crust on the outside of the meat that isn't at all bitter.
  3. Coffee is a natural tenderizer. Enzymes in coffee actually break down meat on a cellular level resulting in more tender texture.
  4. The coffee in a rub acts as a spice, providing it's own unique flavor.
  5. The accenting herbs and spices within a coffee rub play important roles supporting the coffee, rounding out the flavor.

So I'm still not entirely sure who decided to throw some coffee in with their spice rub, but I'm sure glad they did.  Check out our recipe for High Octane Rubbed Rib Roast to get in on making your own coffee rubbed meat. You're not going to want to miss out on the flavor.

Check out our own fanny-kicking coffee rub, High Octane here.

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