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Unleashing Bold Flavors: Coffee and Chocolate as the Ultimate Steak Dressing

Here’s Why Coffee and Chocolate Should Be Your Next Steak Dressing

When it comes to cooking steak, the preparation process plays a crucial role in enhancing the flavor, moisture, and tenderness of the meat. An essential step in this process is marinating, which can be done hours or even days before cooking. Marinating works in different ways depending on the ingredients used, and it allows you to experiment with different flavors and combinations.

The Art of Marinating

According to Allrecipes, a general guideline for marinating is to use about ½ to ¾ cup of liquid per pound of meat. The length of time you marinate can vary, but it is recommended that you allow at least an hour or two for the process. While traditional marinades often consist of acidic ingredients that break down protein, there are other alternatives that can add unique and exciting flavors to your steak.

A surprising combination: Coffee and Chocolate

If you’re looking to take your steak to the next level and surprise your taste buds, consider adding coffee and chocolate to your marinade. This unlikely combination may sound unconventional, but it can result in a delicious and savory flavor profile that complements the richness of the meat.

Unlocking bitter flavors

Serious Eats suggests a recipe that combines unsweetened chocolate, strong hot coffee, and brown sugar to create a marinade that imparts a distinctly bitter flavor to the steak. The sugar in the mixture forms a flavorful crust on the meat, while the combination of chocolate and coffee adds a unique depth and complexity.

How to make the marinade

If you’re interested in trying this coffee and chocolate marinade, here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup strong hot coffee
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar


  1. Melt the unsweetened chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the hot coffee and brown sugar until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Add the melted chocolate to the coffee mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Allow the marinade to cool before serving.

Once you have prepared the marinade, you can marinate your steaks for up to 12 hours. This extended marinating time allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in a tender and flavorful steak.

Alternative cooking method

If you prefer a simpler approach, Chicago Steak Company suggests making a rub with finely ground coffee, cocoa powder, and brown sugar. Allow the steaks to sit with the rub at room temperature for about 30 minutes before grilling. This method still captures the unique bitterness of the coffee and chocolate combination while requiring less marinating time.

Prepared Options

If you don’t have the time or ingredients to make your own coffee and chocolate marinade or rub, don’t worry. Walmart offers similar ready-made rubs that can help you achieve the desired flavor profile without the extra effort.

Bottom Line

Experimenting with different marinades is a fantastic way to enhance the flavor of your steak and create a memorable dining experience. The combination of coffee and chocolate may seem unconventional, but it adds a delightful bitterness that enhances the flavors of the meat. Whether you decide to try a homemade marinade or opt for a store-bought rub, incorporating coffee and chocolate into your steak dressing is a unique and flavorful choice that is sure to impress your guests and enhance your culinary skills.


How does marinating with coffee and chocolate enhance the flavor of the steak?

Marinating steak with coffee and chocolate adds a unique and delightful bitterness to the meat, creating a complex flavor profile that complements its richness.

Can I use any type of coffee in the marinade?

It is recommended to use strong, hot coffee in the marinade to ensure that the flavors are robust enough to penetrate the steak. Experiment with different types of coffee to find your preferred flavor profile.

Will the steak taste like coffee or chocolate after marinating?

The coffee and chocolate marinade adds a subtle bitterness and depth of flavor to the steak, but does not overpower the natural flavor of the meat. You can expect a balanced combination of flavors.

How long should I marinate the steak in the Coffee and Chocolate Marinade?

It is recommended to marinate the steak for up to 12 hours to allow the flavors to fully penetrate the meat. However, you can adjust the marinating time based on your preference and desired intensity of flavor.

Can I use the Coffee and Chocolate marinade on other types of meat?

While the Coffee & Chocolate marinade works particularly well with steak, feel free to experiment with marinating other meats such as pork or lamb. Adjust the marinating time accordingly to ensure optimal flavor infusion.

Are there alternatives to making the Coffee & Chocolate Marinade from scratch?

If you prefer a simpler approach, you can purchase pre-made rubs from stores like Walmart that have a similar coffee and chocolate flavor profile. These rubs offer convenience while still providing the desired flavor.

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