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Danielle Rose

Coffee-Rubbed Ribs

Posted by Danielle Rose on September 14, 2015
Coffee-Rubbed Ribs

For the average person the word bark would evoke images of forests, trees, nature, and perhaps woodpeckers. For a food-obsessed gal like myself, the word bark has me dreaming of smoke, spice, barbecue, and meat. For those that don’t know, bark in the food world is one of the most coveted results from barbecuing. Often found on the rind of slow cooked or smoked pulled pork, ribs, and brisket, bark is the dark, chewy, and rich crust that forms around the meat that will leave any barbecue lover swooning at the dinner table.

Previously I had thought that without a smoker I would never be able to achieve that wonderful charred-looking bark that I adored so much at smokehouse restaurants. The ribs that I had previously made at home were good, but admittedly were nowhere near the caliber of the ribs that I had eaten at restaurants. With only a couple of Food Hack recipes to go, I was determined to find a hack for replicating bark at home without the help of a smoker. Deep within the depths of an online food forum, I found a tip for achieving bark at home using coffee grinds. The tip stated that the grinds of dark roasted coffee beans, once rubbed on ribs and cooked, adhere together with the help of the fat from the ribs, creating a very similar bark-like texture. I had to give it a try!

Sure enough, the coffee grinds, mixed with complementary spices like chili powder, onion powder, and garlic created that crunchy and deep-flavoured crust that I was so eager to achieve. Although you couldn’t taste the flavour of coffee at all in the ribs, the grinds did add a caramelized complexity to the dish, making everyone at the table ask “what is that great flavour?!”

Get These

  • 4 Tbsp. Maxwell House Dark Roast Coffee
  • 2 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 4 lb. (1.8 kg) pork baby back ribs
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup Bull’s-Eye Chicken & Rib Renegade Barbecue Sauce

Do This

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  2. In a small bowl mix coffee, onion powder, and chili powder.
  3. Remove white membrane from the back of the rack of ribs. Thoroughly rub ribs all over, first with garlic, then with spice rub.
  4. Place in a roasting pan. Cover top with double layer of tin foil. Bake 2-hours.
  5. Heat barbecue to medium-high heat. Transfer ribs from pan to barbecue.
  6. Grill 20-minutes, or until tender, turning and brushing occasionally with barbecue sauce.


Coffee-Rubbed Ribs
  • This recipe serves 10.