This is a cowboy steak rub recipe mix that you will not believe. It's a delicious steak rub that combines sweet, smoky, and spicy flavors with a hint of coffee - yep, it totally has coffee in it! And, it's so tasty!
Incredibly versatile Cowboy Steak Rub Recipe that can be used on almost anything.
Mr. Juggling Act and the kids love a good grilled steak! And who can blame them? I created a dry rub that they all agree make the steaks taste bold, sweet and smoky.
Some steak rubs use cocoa powder as a secret ingredient but this recipe uses ground coffee. There is just enough acid from the coffee to break down the steak and help it be a bit more tender.
I make a lot of my own spice blends, like this Montreal Seasoning Mix. I created this Cowboy Steak Rub Recipe one day when I was putting together all my favorite spices. The Paprika and Cumin add a smoky undertone, the cayenne pepper and chili powder add the kick. Then added some brown sugar because when it cooks on the steak it caramelizes.
You can add less sugar if you are trying to cut down. Then I discovered that the coriander and mustard round out the rub with brighter flavors. The only spice I didn't add that I thought about adding later, is garlic. But with all the other spices I didn't think it needed it. You can try putting some garlic powder in and see what you think.
Why is Coffee Good on Steak?
Some people have been known to soak their steak in coffee before grilling it. This makes the steak more tender and gives it a deeper flavor profile. The coffee grounds in my rub are another option if you don't want to soak your steak. Coffee is acidic. It is those acidic tones that pair well with the savory notes of red meat.
Remember to use REGULAR coffee, not flavored.
For this rub recipe, you'll need just a handful of spices. And I bet you have most of them on hand already.
- Chili Powder
- Ground Coffee
- Brown Sugar
- Kosher Salt
- Dry Mustard
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
Note: If you do not have a bag of ground coffee on hand, you can use two K-cups of ground coffee instead.
For a list of some of my favorite items to use when cooking, and why I chose them, please visit my Kitchen Resource page.
DIY Spice Mix Gifts
I make the Cowboy Steak Rub in big batches and package it in small jars for friends and family during the holidays especially. Last month when I was out in CA to visit my sister for her bridal shower, she told me how my she and my now brother-in-law were enjoying this mixture. But it was almost gone and she needed the recipe ASAP to make more!
How To Use The Cowboy Steak Rub Recipe
Just because it is steak rub doesn't mean you have to only use it on steak. This rub tastes incredible on grilled chicken breasts, chicken wings, and pork chops.
Try rubbing pork loin with the homemade rub and add a little bit of water to a slow cooker for the most amazing dinner. Give this Petite Sirloin a try - it's truly so good!
Other Ideas For the Spice Mix
Beyond using this rub on meats, you can also use this spice mix with some lemon juice and olive oil for a flavorful marinade or salad dressing. You can also choose to remove the brown sugar for a keto-friendly rub!
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- Large Mixing Bowl
- Dry Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons and Whisk
- Canning Jar Funnel - optional but makes transferring the spice mix to jars super easy
- Mason Jar with Lid (for storing)
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Tasty Rubs & Marinades
Here are more homemade rubs and marinades for your next meal.
- Montreal Chicken Seasoning Mix
- Basil Salt
- Homemade Italian Seasoning
- Mild Taco Seasoning
- Homemade Lemon Pepper
Cowboy Steak Rub Recipe FAQ
30 minutes is enough time for the seasonings and spices to start flavoring the steak. However, you can leave it on overnight for best results.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over 1 pound of steak. Rub in ¼ cup of the spice mixture and marinate at least 30 minutes, up to overnight. Grill to desired doneness.
Good quality beef makes a big difference. Here are some cuts that are particularly good on the grill:
* Top sirloin
* Filet mignon (or petite sirloin for a less expensive option)
* New York strip steak
Personally, I love sirloin rump tips and petite sirloin on the grill.
Beef should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 145-degrees F according to FoodSafety.gov. Remember you always want to allow your beef to rest for three minutes.
Cowboy Steak Rub
This definitely makes enough to give as gifts. Once your friends and family taste this rub they will want some for their own pantry! This recipe makes approximately 2 cups.
If you give this a try and love it, please give it 5 stars!
Cowboy Spice Mix
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- Mason Jar with Lid (for storing)
- ¾ cup chili powder
- ¼ cup ground coffee (or about 2 k-cups)
- ¼ cup paprika
- ¼ cup ground cumin
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and whisk gently to combine.¾ cup chili powder, ¼ cup ground coffee, ¼ cup paprika, ¼ cup ground cumin, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons dry mustard, 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Package the mixture in an airtight container until ready to use.
To Use the Steak Rub
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over 1 pound of steak.
- Rub in ¼ cup of the spice mixture and marinate at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
- Grill to desired doneness.
Yield: Approx 2 cupsHow long do you leave dry rub on a steak? 30 minutes is enough time for the seasonings and spices to start flavoring the steak. However, you can leave it on overnight for best results. Be sure to season steak on both sides. What are the best cuts of steak to grill? Good quality beef makes a big difference. Here are some cuts that are particularly good on the grill:
- Top sirloin
- Filet mignon (or petite sirloin for a less expensive option)
- New York strip steak
- Rib eye
For best results, be sure to check our Tips and FAQs above with important tips and questions that can help your delicious recipe come out perfectly.