Serious Eats: Recipes

Barbecue: Coffee-Rubbed Ribs

[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

At the start of my barbecue career I fumbled through a few rubs before finding Mike Mill's Magic Dust recipe. There's now a mason jar full of it in my cupboard at all times. Keeping a steady rub constant allowed me to focus on how to slow-smoke a piece of meat to perfection, and after seven years, I'm now feeling pretty comfortable with that.

But I'm back to playing around with rubs, and finally tried one I've always found intriguing: a coffee rub.

Not a coffee drinker myself, I wasn't sure how this would go over, but I ended up loving it—the way the coffee plays with the other spices, smoke, and meat. And the coffee-ness didn't dominate. Rather, the ground beans added an earthy quality to an already complex mix of flavors. The ribs eaten dry were fantastic, but even better with a coating of stout barbecue sauce.

About the author: Joshua Bousel blogs about grilling on his blog, The Meatwave, and appears here on Serious Eats each Friday with a recipe for weekend grilling.

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