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Barbecue University™

4 Ways to Use Coffee To Up Your Barbecue Game


O Coffee how we love thee! Strong coffee and espresso have helped us survive long overnight smoke sessions and clear early morning mental fog enough to prep a brisket for an all-day cook. Perhaps it is the reliance on caffeine that inspired the first barbecuers to use coffee in their recipes. Whatever the reason that introduced coffee to the barbecue scene, it has been a happy marriage between the two.

Have YOU tried coffee in your barbecue routine? There are several ways you can incorporate it. Pour yourself a cup of java and read below!

1. Flavor-Rich Rubs
Perhaps the most common use of coffee with barbecue — coffee makes an excellent ingredient when rubbed onto meat. The bitter contrast to sweeter barbecue flavors has become a staple all over Planet Barbecue. You can use dark roast or espresso for Steven’s Espresso Rub, or follow this to-die-for recipe for Coffee-Crusted Spit-Roasted Pork Loin Roast. (And don’t neglect coffee as a rub for brisket!)

Don’t have time to make your own rub? You can purchase Steven’s Santa Fe Coffee Rub here.

2. Barbecue Hack: Coffee Filters
Barbecuers who drink coffee have a secret weapon in their kitchen! Coffee filters can be used in a variety of meat prep situations, but will come in especially handy when trying to strain any solids out of a mixture. For example, when straining meat juices to make gravy or prepping a solution to inject into meat (with a small syringe), you can run it through a coffee filter to grab any undesirable chunks. It will save you having to purchase a fine mesh strainer, and makes cleanup a breeze!

You can find more tips for how to inject meat on the blog here.

3. Finger-Licking Good Sauce
Making your own barbecue sauce can add an extra layer of flavor to your next cook. And brewed coffee makes an excellent ingredient. We have 3 options on the site, try all three and let us know on the Barbecue Board which you like best!
Mocha Mop Sauce
Redeye Barbecue Sauce
Espresso Barbecue Sauce

4. Take It to the Next Level with Red-Eye Gravy and Bacon Jam
From time to time, we like to challenge ourselves to make something we’ve never tried before. This fall it has been all about the gravy and jam. Coffee is a key ingredient in both delicious toppings:

After cooking your pork, what to do with the fat drippings? Gravy, of course. And for a kick (which gives it its “Red Eye” name), add strong coffee.

When making jam for the first time, why not make a barbecue-inspired version? Enter Bacon Jam. Stuff Bacon Jam into a pork chop (cut a pocket in the side) or spoon it over grilled burgers or salmon steaks. It revolutionizes a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s even pretty awesome eaten straight off the spoon.

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