Cowboy Steak with Coffee Rub

This cowboy steak is essentially a grilled ribeye that benefits from a truly exceptional spice rub laced with ground coffee. Easily one of our favorite steak recipes.

Cowboy Steak with Coffee Rub

Cowboy steak? Yes, it’s a thing. It’s a glorious thing, actually, especially when rubbed with spices and coffee grounds and cooked to perfection. Imagine how guests will size up your grilling prowess after you slap this baby on the table.

But back to the question of what is a cowboy steak? It’s essentially a rib eye steak with a slight modification. The author explains that “a cowboy-style rib eye is created by cutting between the bones of a rib eye roast. It differs from a standard rib eye because the bone is left on the steak and not trimmed. It’s 1 1/4 inches thick and more often considered steak for two. When it comes to extra-thick steaks, oftentimes the outside of the meat gets perfectly charred while the inside remains underdone. This is why it’s important to build a two-zone fire when cooking steaks. When they are perfect on the outside, shift them away from the coals and shut the grill lid. This little maneuver will protect the exterior while allowing the inside of the meat to cook to perfection.” There you have it. Cowboy steak. Originally published June 21, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi

Special Equipment: Hickory, oak or mesquite wood chips

Cowboy Steak with Coffee Rub

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • Serves 8
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  • Four (16-ounce) bone-in rib eye steaks (preferably 1 1/4 inches or 3 cm thick)
  • Coffee Rub


  • 1. Preheat a charcoal grill to 500°F (260°C). Prepare it for indirect grilling by situating the coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty.
  • 2. Season the steaks liberally with the coffee rub. Place the steaks directly over the heat and grill for 4 1/2 minutes on each side for rare. (For medium-rare, move the steaks over the indirect heat, away from the coals, close the grill lid, and cook for 2 more minutes. For medium, do as you would for medium-rare, but then flip the steak, close the grill lid, and cook for 2 more minutes.)
  • 3. Let the steak rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes prior to serving.

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