This coffee crusted grilled pork chops recipe relies on a simple spice rub for its complex and beguiling taste that’s” sooo balanced” according to everyone who’s made it. There’s not an overwhelming coffee presence, just a slight hint of heat and an earthy, almost chocolatey, flavor. Time and again, we’ve heard from folks just how balanced the flavors of savory, sweet, spicy, and smoky, and that if they didn’t know there was coffee in the rub, they may not have even guessed that ingredient since “it lingered only in the background.” What else are they saying about this coffee crusted grilled pork chops recipe? “Wow!” “Off-the-charts good!” “Divine.” “Amazingly juicy and tender.” “A definite keeper.” Sorta makes you want to try them, eh?–Renee Schettler Rossi

Six coffee-crusted grilled pork chops on a speckled platter.

Coffee Crusted Grilled Pork Chops

5 / 2 votes
Coffee crusted grilled pork chops require nothing more than a simple spice rub yet yield mind-numbing complexity in terms of taste. It’s quite possible you won’t even discern coffee as an ingredient. And chances are you already have all the ingredients you need.
David Leite
Servings6 servings
Calories293 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes


  • Instant-read thermometer (helpful but optional)


  • 1 tablespoon ground coffee, preferably finely ground, (decaf is fine)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turbinado sugar, (such as Sugar In The Raw)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 (3/4-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops


  • Prepare a grill to cook directly over medium heat.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the coffee, salt, sugar, cayenne, granulated onion, granulated garlic, and cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with the rub mixture, being certain to really rub it into the pork chops. Use all of the spice rub so there’s none leftover.
  • Place the chops on the grill and let them cook, without nudging or moving or otherwise touching them, until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Flip the pork chops and cook until browned and cooked to an internal temperature of 150°F (65°C), 4 to 5 minutes more. 
  • Transfer the chops to a platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Pork Chop Cookbook

Adapted From

Pork Chop

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 293 kcalCarbohydrates: 1 gProtein: 35 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 5 gMonounsaturated Fat: 6 gTrans Fat: 0.2 gCholesterol: 117 mgSodium: 675 mgFiber: 0.1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 Ray Lampe. Photo © 2013 Jody Horton. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This coffee crusted grilled pork chops recipe was perhaps the best I’ve ever had. The flavor was outstanding. The chops also had a nice crust and were juicy. I would have expected to taste more coffee than I did, but it lingered only in the background, perfectly mixed with a hint of cinnamon and pepper.

I bought organic, bone-in chops about 3/4 inch thick. I rubbed them in the morning and let them sit, covered, in the fridge until evening so the spices really could penetrate. I grilled them over medium-high flames for about 6 minutes on the first side and 5 minutes on the other side, then let them rest for a few minutes. I really loved the flavor and appearance of these pork chops. This recipe is a definite keeper.

Wow! I’m always looking for great spice rubs and this coffee crusted grilled pork chops recipe fits the bill. My family voted this pork chop rub off-the-charts good!

Coffee is not a usual ingredient for spice rubs at our household. Actually, we were skeptical that it would deliver the flavor we were hoping for. When we dipped our finger in the rub to taste it, it tasted horrible. Given that the main ingredient is ground coffee, I secretly wondered how something so coffee-dominant could deliver in overall flavor. Skeptical, we coated 3 pork chops with the coffee rub and the other 3 with a different rub. Guess which pork chops remained on the platter after our meal? You guessed it. The pork chops with the other rub remained while the coffee-crusted pork chops vanished.

This coffee rub was sooo balanced. There wasn’t an overwhelming coffee flavor, just a slight hint of heat from the cayenne. No other spice or flavor stood out. If I didn’t know there was coffee in the rub, I may not have even guessed that coffee was in the rub. The flavors all just worked together, creating an earthy, almost chocolatey, flavor. I can’t wait to have a barbecue and make this recipe for guests. This is a must-try for grilled pork chops! I used decaf Peet’s Coffee, Major Dickenson’s Blend, ground fairly fine.

I was so excited to try this coffee crusted grilled pork chips recipe. I’m often drawn to coffee-rubbed meats when I go to restaurants, but I’d never tried my hand at creating my own version. This was so easy to pull together, yet the results were so good. The mix of spices with the coffee made for a really richly flavored pork chop. I also think that grilling the meat made a difference. I used an indoor grill because spring hasn’t quite sprung enough here for outdoor grilling, but even with the indoor grilling, it tasted very good.

The recipe notes to use all the seasoning and I definitely suggest to not scrimp on the rub. The pork chops can handle it. Because of the sugar in the rub, the meat will brown really nicely. Note: I didn’t have cayenne pepper, so I substituted chipotle pepper powder. However, I’m sure cayenne would be good as well.

You’ll need to manage your heat so that the pork chops don’t get overbrowned, aka burnt; however, I like a little char on my meats when I grill. I loved this rub so much that I made some more for a steak and it was really good on the steak as well. I suggest that the recipe be doubled or tripled so that you will always have some rub on hand.

This rub was delicious. I loved that it contained pantry items every kitchen has—even those of non-foodies. And the pork chops were lovely and simple. (I was only serving 2 pork chops, so I divided the rub into 3 equal parts to ensure I was testing accurately. The amount of rub wasn’t too much; actually, it was just perfect.)

The finished pork chops were beautifully flavored, but my favorite meal was the next night when I took the leftover rub, gently mixed it into ground beef, and grilled hamburgers with some sharp white Cheddar on top. The flavor was amazing. I wanted to make a big batch of the rub to keep in a jar, but I think the key was the just-ground coffee beans.

We absolutely love the coffee rub on these pork chops. It has just enough heat and sweetness, and the smoky, cinnamon-y fragrance is wonderful. Lucky me, I now have two favorite pork chop recipes. (The other one is the Pan-Roasted Pork Chops already on the site.) Our chops were warmed almost to room temperature before going on the grill, and 4 minutes per side was perfect in terms of timing.

This is quite possibly the easiest recipe that I’ve ever made from this site and I’m so glad I did. I view this as more of a dry rub recipe than a pork recipe, because while the rub was terrific on the 1-inch-thick heritage pork chops I grilled, it would also work well on just about any grilled meat. What I found most interesting about the rub was the marriage of the ingredients into a totally unique flavor profile. Try as I might, I couldn’t easily detect the taste of coffee, or cinnamon, or garlic, but rather experienced a whole new flavor that was earthy, sweet, and salty with just a slight kick from the cayenne. It was perfect!

As someone who’s a bit sensitive to caffeine, I chose to use a caffeine-free coffee for the rub. I own a Starbucks Verismo single-serve coffee machine, so I popped open one of the caffeine-free dark roast pods and measured out 1 tablespoon for the rub. The grind in the pods is quite fine, which I found worked well in the rub—it adhered nicely to the chops and didn’t flake off during grilling. At first I was concerned that there wouldn’t be enough rub for 6 thick chops, but in the end it was just right, with each chop receiving a nice, evenly thick coating.

I’ll be keeping a container of this rub in my fridge to reach for frequently throughout this summer grilling season.

What an easy, tasty grilling recipe. The spice rub comes together quickly and uses spices that are fairly common and may already be in your pantry. I used ground espresso for the coffee as it has a robust flavor and is finely ground.

If I were to make this again, I’d double the amount of spice rub because I was only able to lightly coat all 6 chops. I’d prefer a thicker spice coating for a bolder flavor. I grilled the chops over direct heat to sear both sides then moved the chops to indirect heat to finish. Enjoy!

A tasty twist on grilled pork chops! Loved it! The rub recipes I usually make do not include ground coffee or cinnamon but both of these ingredients really complemented the chops nicely.

The chops I found were a good 1 inch thick. When they came to almost room temperature, I smeared on the rub, let them sit for another 5 to 10 minutes, and then threw them on the grill. I didn’t think the amount of rub was too much and it didn’t seem especially thick, so I think the measurements of all the ingredients were spot on. They were good-size chops, though, so I may have had more surface area compared to other pork chops. The grill was around 360°F and the chops cooked for 5 to 6 minutes on each side. It was actually a little too long. The inside temp was 165°F to 170°F when I removed them from the grill. It was dark out so I didn’t pay enough attention to it. I think even with the thicker chop, 4 to 5 minutes would’ve been enough along with a few minutes resting time. Next time I’ll keep an eye on the temperature and reduce the cooking time.

I’ll be making these again!

I was really excited to try this coffee crusted grilled pork chops recipe because I love grilled pork chops and was curious to taste a coffee rub. I wasn’t disappointed at all! I loved the flavor of all the ingredients included in the rub. It’s a very good match with the pork.

I used half a dozen 1-inch-thick, bone-in pork chops (a total of about 4 pounds meat). The amount of rub was just enough to give a nice all-over, not too heavy coating to all the chops. I grilled the meat on my ceramic grill with natural wood charcoal for about 7 minutes, then turned them over and cooked them for another 5 minutes to an internal temperature of 160°F. They were perfectly done and made a great presentation!

All my testers loved the chops, and only one was left for the next day, and it tasted even better then. I served it with Leite’s Twice-Baked Potatoes with Irish Cheddar, which were also a big hit. This was a very quick, easy, and wonderful meal that I’m going to make again. I loved the turbinado sugar for its taste and coarse texture. I’d like to try the rub without the cinnamon, as I find that it has a strong flavor and may overpower the others a bit.

This coffee crusted grilled pork chops recipe is an easy and fast dish to make for last-minute guests or a weeknight dinner. The taste of coffee was barely noticeable, yet it all blended nicely. The chops were amazingly juicy and tender. Must be the first time I ate chops that were not brined and still came out to cooked to perfection.

The rub may seem like a lot, but do not shy away from using it all. Make sure to buy some nice thick pork chops, as this can make the difference between good and amazing!

From the moment I started preparing the chops to us enjoying them at the table, it was literally 15 minutes. The exact same time to have the rice and steamed asparagus ready.

Will be making this recipe more often.

A Testers’ Choice recipe doesn’t have to have numerous ingredients or take hours to make. A rub and a chop—does it get any simpler? I had visions of crunchiness with the ground coffee, but that never happened. The spices blended into the meat and cooked nicely. My tasters liked the little kick the cayenne gave without being overpowering. My only concern was that this didn’t look like enough rub (I come from the “if a little is good, more is better” club). However, there was plenty for both sides of all the chops. I believe a heavier hand with the rub would have made the chops unpalatable.

Yes, please! These were DIVINE! The pork chops were moist, flavorful, nicely textured from the rub crust, and super easy to throw together. This will be a go-to recipe for me in the future!

As the recipe called for 6 chops and we were only 2 for dinner, I halved everything. I didn’t have granulated garlic or sugar, so instead I investigated online how to substitute fresh ingredients and found that the recommendation is to multiply the granulated amounts by 4 when using fresh garlic in place of granulated. Everything else I did as recommended in the recipe, down to the thickness of the pork cuts. One question I had was whether the flavor could be more infused throughout the meat by marinating it in the refrigerator for a few hours before grilling. I didn’t marinate mine for much longer than it took for the grill to get hot. There was a lot of spice rub for the 3 chops, but I think it gave the pork a nice thick crust once it was grilled. I wouldn’t suggest reducing the amount of rub at all.

Our 3 cuts took about 5 minutes on the first side and 5 on the second to come to 150. The continued to heat up while resting, but we couldn’t wait any longer than a few minutes to eat them, so they were still slightly pink in the middle, which was fine by us.

This is a really simple and very flavorful recipe for pork chops. My family loved it. The coffee flavor comes through but isn’t overpowering at all. Instead it works perfectly with the sugar and spices to make a nice “blackened” crust with bitter, sweet, savory, and spicy flavors. (I loved the cinnamon in there.) The coating of spice rub was pretty much near perfect. It wasn’t too thick at all. I made the recipe using 4 thick chops instead of 6 and adjusted the seasoning proportions accordingly.

I would’ve loved a bit more spice here—the cayenne doesn’t really come through as much as I’d like if only a 1/4 teaspoon is used for 6 chops. Seasoning the chops and getting them on the grill right away as the recipe instructs doesn’t give the salt and spice time enough to do their work on them as much as I’d like. I’ll definitely try these again and will spice them up a few hours (or at least an hour) before grilling. I used excellent pork from a local farmer. The chops had a nice fat cap on them and they were about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. That really makes a difference as opposed to using “fat-free” thin pork chops from the supermarket. Use the thick ones as the recipe instructs. I grilled the chops over charcoal. The smoke really works with the robust spice mix on the chops. So, if at all possible, give that a shot. The chops took around 10 minutes total to hit my target temperature (I was going for about 140°F to 145°F), but that really would vary with how hot the grill is.

Either way, you want to at least start these on high direct heat to get a good sear on them, and then maybe move them around to a cooler side to finish cooking. I ground the coffee in my regular coffee grinder as finely as I could and that worked very well.

This is a distinct rub with unique elements. It doesn’t rely too heavily on salt for flavor and is a nice departure from many rubs which often include more classic BBQ flavors like paprika, chili powder, and cayenne. I thought the sugar and cinnamon would add a sweeter flavor, but in fact they weren’t discernible at all. Likewise, the coffee didn’t overpower the meat. Overall, I thought this offered a good balance of flavor. This rub would pair nicely with stronger flavors on your dinner plate.

This spice rub is perfect for pork chops, and the amount as written was the perfect amount to get a nice crust on the pork. I loved the earthy taste the coffee grounds lent the finished dish and how well this flavor balanced the sweetness of the turbinado sugar and the hint of heat from the cayenne. We served ours with some slaw, green beans, baked potatoes, and garlic bread, and the pork went well with each of those. I’d definitely make this again. My chops were a bit thinner than the 3/4 inch thickness called for, so they were done after cooking about 3 minutes on each side.

Combine great flavor with ease of preparation and you have an easy weeknight meal. Everything comes together in a snap. The coffee enhances the taste of the pork. The amount of rub was perfect for the chops and added a touch of texture but did not overwhelm the chop with a gritty feel. The cooking time is pretty close to perfect. We grilled ours for 6 minutes a side and the chops were fully cooked but still very moist.

This is a great weeknight meal. It was inexpensive and came together in no time at all. I’m glad to have chosen this as my inaugural grilling dish of the year! I’ve always loved the combination of coffee and pork (red eye gravy anyone?) and the cinnamon in this rub just upped the ante. Once the chops were grilled, the coffee in the rub melted into the cooking juices and the result was just fantastic.

I only grilled up 2 chops and used about 1/3 to 1/2 of the rub, and the pork didn’t seem overly flavored with that amount. I typically like my pork cooked more towards a medium, and at 5 minutes a side, these came out more medium-well, but after resting they were still juicy and delicious though. Next time I might sprinkle a little black pepper on as well.

Definitely a keeper!

Adult child spends a few days at home. Says, “I’ll make dinner tonight.” This is the recipe he selected. It was great! The dry rub ingredients came together in a flash. Oddly enough, it was hard for our tasters to determine what was in it. The rub added a wonderful flavor to our coffee-crusted grilled pork chops and was so unlike any other dry rub I’ve prepared.

We left the chops sitting with the dry rub for about 15 minutes and that was plenty of time. As it was below zero outside, we made the pork chops on a stove-top cast-iron grill pan. They were perfect. I used bone-in organic rib chops and they were juicy and flavorful. This is a quick-cooking, delicious recipe. Be careful not to overcook the chops!

The only change I would make next time would be to use decaf coffee. As I was tossing and turning during the night, it dawned on me that I basically ate caffeine-laced coffee grinds…for caffeine-sensitive individuals, that might be just enough to keep them up!

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made these tonight for dinner with a broccoli marscapone gratin, and red baby tators mash. They were really delicious. I have my own Java rub but have never paired it with pork, usually beef for a low and slow smoke. These were brilliant, the flavors layered beautifully. Another fabulous recipe. Thank you guys!