In most instances, I admittedly prefer a big beautiful steak grilled to medium-rare seasoned with simply salt and black pepper. However, when I want added flavor, that’s when I turn to dry rubs. The key to a good dry rub is bold flavors. You can’t be afraid to go big.
Fresh ground espresso and ancho chili powder create a robust depth of flavor that can stand up to strong red meats like grass-fed beef. The espresso offers a rich, earthy base and the ancho adds not only earthiness but also undertones of smokiness, heat, and even a touch of sweetness when it browns. If you prefer less spicy heat, you can by all means, reduce the amount of ancho.
For this recipe, we took the smoky flavor a step further by grilling over hickory wood chips. While not necessary for a delicious result, the hickory chips add a traditional BBQ flavor profile that works incredibly well with the rub.
Espresso Ancho Steak Rub
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh ground espresso
- 1/2 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Applewood smoked salt
- 1, 24 oz., 3″ NY strip steak
- 1 disposable Hickory Wood Chips smoker box
- Unwrap the disposable smoker box; soak in water for 30 minutes.
- Mix together the espresso, ancho, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper in the small bowl.
- Coat the all sides of the steak with the rub.
- Heat the grill to 350-400 degrees.
- Drain the smoker box and place on the grill and cover until you see smoke.
- Place the steak on the grill next to the smoker box and cover.
- Cook for 5 minutes and check. If there’s a nice sear (looks crusty with clearly defined grill marks) then flip and continue cooking until desired doneness. For rare, the internal temp should be between 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from grill and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.