Rating: 4 stars
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
  • 8 Ratings

Cocoa powder, espresso powder, kosher salt, and black pepper add a smoky depth to your average grocery-store steak, so the meat tastes practically dry-aged when seared. You wouldn’t expect cocoa powder is the magical ingredient, because there’s no chocolate flavor at all, just a certain "I don't know what". Choose natural unsweetened cocoa powder, which is just pulverized roasted cocoa beans (Dutch process is altered to be mellower, but it’s less versatile) We love this rub on leaner steaks like flank or sirloin. The rub keeps for up to two months in an airtight container. Try it on pork chops or boneless skinless chicken breasts too.

Emily Nabors Hall


Credit: Grace Elkus

Recipe Summary

15 mins
15 mins
6 (serving size: 2 tsp.)


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Stir together cocoa, espresso powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. For each serving, generously coat 1 (12-oz.) steak on all sides with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the cocoa rub. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high. Add steak, and cook each side to desired degree of doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium. Store remaining cocoa rub in an airtight container for up to 2 months.