Coffee and Meat: The Perfect Pair

Here in Kansas City, BBQ is a way of life. So why not blend every Midwesterner’s favorite outdoor grilling experience with everyone’s favorite morning beverage? That’s right—we’re talking about a combination of coffee and meat. And trust us—it’s a match made in heaven.

Coffee grounds can be used as a rub for almost any type of meat. Just like red wine, coffee is acidic. It’s those acidic tones of coffee that pair well with the savory tones of meat. When combined, the two make a heck of a flavor explosion.

The reason why coffee is great for BBQ, whether ground or brewed, is because it acts like a spice. Like any spice, coffee works best paired with other spices. Adding coffee to a BBQ rub will accentuate the flavors of the meat and when cooked, the grounds will caramelize making a sweet and savory crust that seals in the moisture of the meat. In BBQ terms, we call that crust the bark.

But coffee does so much more than just enhance the flavor of meat. It also acts as a tenderizer. The best way to use the tenderizing power of coffee is to brew a strong pot, let that chill and then marinade the meat in the coffee for at least 24 hours. The reason coffee tenderizes so well is not because of the acid level in coffee. Instead, it’s the natural enzymes of the coffee that do the tenderizing work.

Still not convinced? Try it yourself! The best way to become a believer in the meat + coffee combination is by tasting it yourself. Here’s the recipe that made all of us instant believers:
In a mixing bowl, combine the following:

• 6 Tbsp. Ground Roasterie Coffee (or try our Super Tuscan Coffee Barbeque Rub!)
• 2 Tbsp. Coarse Salt
• 2 Tbsp. Paprika
• 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
• 2 Tbsp. Coarse Pepper
• 2 tsp. Onion Powder
• 2 tsp. Garlic Powder
• 1 tsp. Coriander

Coat whatever hunk of meat tickles your fancy and let that sit in a zip-top bag in the fridge overnight. The next day, all you need to do is smoke that piece of meat to your tummy’s desire. Try a couple slabs of baby back ribs at 225°F for about 6 hours. Depending on your choice of meat, the cooking time will vary so in case of uncertainty, you can use this chart. Plus, if you’d really like to kick it up a notch, try The Roasterie Super Tuscan Coffee Barbeque Sauce—it will have your taste buds tangoing!

Happy Q-ing!!