Fette Sau Dry Rub

This Fette Sau dry rub, from the eponymous restaurant, is made with brown sugar, espresso, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, and black pepper. Perfect for barbecuing.

Fette Say Dry Rub

At Fette Sau, they use this dry rub recipe on “just about everything that we smoke,” according to guys at the restaurant. Which explains why this dry rub recipe yields such an ample amount. We’re talking lotsa dry rub. As in enough dry rub to see you through the rest of the summer and well into tailgating season. Okay, maybe not quite that long, seeing as you’re going to want to slather this rub all over everything you smoke or grill, whether pork shoulder (aka pork butt), chicken, steak, salmon, oh heck, we’re just going to stop listing items because this will literally go with everything. Go on. Give it a try. And you needn’t follow the recipe exactly. Feel free to improvise on the ingredients and amounts, reducing the sugar for a less-sweet or increasing the cayenne for a spicier one or so on.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Fette Sau Dry Rub

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 5 M
  • 5 M
  • Makes about 2 3/4 cups


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Combine the sugar, salt, espresso beans, pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne in a resealable container, cover tightly, and shake well to combine. Store in a cool, dry place. The rub will keep for up to 2 months, at which point the coffee will began to taste stale.

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    Recipe Testers Reviews

    I love a good dry rub, especially a good coffee dry rub, and this one certainly fits the bill. This dry rub takes just a few minutes to make, and it makes quite a bit. If you smoke poultry and pork often, go ahead and mix the entire batch. You'll be glad you did. I used a medium Guatemalan Antigua bean with a fine expresso grind. When I used this on a whole chicken, I was thrilled with the results. This rub imbues a rich, sweet, and salty flavor and has added depth from the nuttiness of the coffee beans. I was so enamored with this rub that just a couple of days later, I cut a few 2-inch pork loin chops and brined them with a cup of rub in a quart of cold water in a gallon-size resealable plastic baggie for 2 hours.

    This dry rub is definitely a keeper. I used it as a brine on chicken and also as a rub on pork chops. I actually liked it more as a pork chop rub than a chicken brine, but the brine was really flavorful. Smoking slowly over low heat ensures that the cinnamon and coffee don't take on an acrid flavor.

    My husband prepared this rub to use with the smoked chicken recipe and then the following week for grilled bone-in pork chops. I had a hard time deciding which of the two I enjoyed more. He’s prepared other grilled dishes using store-bought coffee-based rubs and nothing, may I repeat, nothing comes close to the savory flavor of this rub. Named after the Brooklyn restaurant, Fette Sau, the German phrase literally translates into English to "Fat Pig," a perfect title because I could not stop devouring it, and yes, I may have even licked a finger or two.

    If you’re smart, double the recipe so you can try with different dishes. Salmon is next up on our list. Enjoy.

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