Father's Day Barbecue Special: Coffee-Rubbed Grilled Burgers


Break out the grill this weekend for a Father's Day cookout featuring these deliciously savory burgers. The richness of freshly ground coffee (we suggest an Indonesian coffee with beef, but a juicy Guatemalan or a buttery Rwandan coffee would do nicely as well) plays against a blend of spices to elevate this grilled burger to something approaching sublime.

Coffee-Rubbed Burgers

Recipe by: Deb Powers

Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 10-16 minutes Yield: 6 burgers Ingredients for Coffee Rub
  • 36g ground coffee
  • 3g sea salt
  • 6g dried oregano
  • 6g dried parsley
  • 6g dried rosemary
  • 6g ground cardamom
  • 6g garlic powder
  • 3g Old Bay seasoning

  1. Mix the spices, herbs and coffee in a glass jar, cover and shake until they're well-blended. I like to use a Sumatran or other Indonesian coffee with beef and spices. The earthy, spicy flavors seem to go especially well with burgers and short ribs. The rub recipe makes a little more than 1/4 cup. That's just about enough to flavor 2.5 pounds of hamburger, which will make 6 6-oz. burgers. You can easily double or triple the recipe and store any leftovers in a covered glass jar. Just a note: spices lose their flavor just like coffee does. Use freshly ground spices if possible and make the rub up in small batches.
  2. If you're making the coffee rub immediately before making the burgers, substitute fresh parsley, oregano, rosemary and garlic for the dried, doubling the amount.

Ingredients for Coffee-Rubbed Burgers
  • 2.5 lbs. ground beef (85% lean)
  • 1/4 cup coffee rub
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. dark molasses

Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the hamburger, coffee rub, onions, tomato paste and molasses. Knead until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Roll the mixture up into a long roll, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as 8 hours.
  2. Divide the ground beef mixture into six equal portions and pat each into a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick patty.
  3. Using your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow depression in the top of each burger. This little well helps your burger keep its shape as it cooks.
  4. Grill over medium heat for 12-15 minutes, turning each burger every 4 minutes or so. Avoid turning the burgers for the first time until the bottom is completely cooked. If you try to turn them too soon, the meat will stick to the grill and you'll lose a chunk of your meat.
  5. Serve on soft bulkie rolls, garnished with lettuce, tomato and condiments if desired.

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