Hot Smoky Death Wish Coffee Dry Rub

By Death Wish Coffee — / Recipes

Why Coffee Dry Rubs Are Where It’s At


Ground coffee mixed with spices gives meat, seafood, and poultry a smoky flavor that pairs beautifully with the earthen tones of cumin or the spice of cayenne pepper. The result is a dry rub with range, capable of serving just as well in a cast iron pan on a stovetop as on the bars of a grill.

The dark roast of Death Wish Coffee pairs especially well with rich meats like steaks and ribs. We call this coffee rub recipe “Hot Smoky Death” because, as you’ll see, there’s quite a bit of heat in it. If you prefer a less aggressive spice, you can back down the cayenne and red pepper flakes. The recipe is delicious on its own, but you can also pair it with bbq sauce or other marinades to create even more tasty combinations.

Get the right grind

The trick with coffee dry rub recipes is to achieve the right consistency with the coffee itself. You want to have flakes that are large enough to provide flavor and stick to the food, but not so large that you feel like you’re eating flakes. Don’t opt for ground coffee, which will be too small and also pack less flavor. Instead, get whole coffee beans and use a medium grind.

Coffee grinder showing options for course, medium, and fine

If you brew with a Chemex, you’ll be familiar with the consistency.

In many of our other Death Wish Coffee recipes, we offer a disclaimer about the caffeine content. (Like this cake, which has been known to get people pretty amped up.) But that’s not as much of a concern with this recipe. The ground coffee — 2 tablespoons total — makes up less than 10 percent of the total content of this dry rub, and you wouldn’t use all of that on a single cut of meat anyway (unless you’re Fred Flinstone or something).

The Death Wish Coffee Dry Rub Recipe


  1. Mason jar or mixing bowl
  2. Measuring spoons
  3. Fork

CUISINE: American, grilling

Death Wish Coffee dry rub ingredients

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