Coffee crusted ribeye with grilled corn salsa

Coffee crusted ribeye with grilled corn salsa has been a go to recipe of mine for years. Its the perfect spring and summer meal just in time for grilling season.

All photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

I’m always looking for new and exciting flavors to try when grilling steak. Years ago someone told me that coffee and steak worked really well together so I decided to give it a try. Boy were they right! The deep rich notes of coffee combined with a nice ribeye steak really go amazing together. Pair that with a refreshing corn salsa and you have one of my favorite dishes ever. In this recipe I’m going to show you how to make an easy coffee rub, grill the perfect steak and make a grilled corn salsa that is light, refreshing and flavor packed.

Why does coffee work with steak?

Coffee does a few things when paired with steak. First it helps tenderize the meat. Second it will give the steak a nice crust when searing. And third, it will give it earthy and robust notes that will go excellent with the corn salsa.

Choosing the right steak

When I look for a steak at the grocery store, I look for two things. The marbling and thickness. I want to find a steak that has a lot intramuscular fat running through it which is going to provide flavor and moisture. I also like to pick a steak that is at least a 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Thicker steaks are harder to overcook and retain more moisture.

Making the coffee rub

A lot of companies now carry pre-made coffee rubs that are great. So if you want to go for that option, by all means. You can also make a homemade coffee rub pretty easily by combining the following ingredients together. Instant coffee, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic power, and smoked paprika. You can also use finely ground coffee instead of instant if you want.

Making the grilled corn salsa

Shuck two ears of corn, butter them both and season with salt, pepper, and garlic power. Then place them directly over your grill on medium heat. You want to cook the corn until it’s slightly charred and the kernels are soft. It should take about 10-15 minutes depending on how hot your grill is.

Grilled corn on the cob

Once the corn has cooled off, remove the corn from the cob and place into a bowl. Next add fresh basil, cilantro, lime juice, diced jalapeño, diced onion and salt and pepper. Give that all a good mix to combine and set aside to serve with the steak.

roasted corn salsa
This corn salsa is also great on tacos or on a tortilla chip.

Grilling the steak

Before you even season the steak, you should let it sit out and come to room temperature. This will help cook the steak evenly on the grill and also helps to relax the fibers in the meat.

Next season your steak with the coffee rub and get a nice even coating on all sides.

Heat your grill to medium and cook your steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F. The crust should be dark and caramelized and the center nice and pink.

Make sure you rest your steak for at least 10 minutes and slice across the grain.

Serving it all together

Plate up this dish with thinly sliced ribeye topped with the grilled corn salsa. For an extra burst of flavor, finish with a little salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice, then serve immediately.

I really hope you give this one a try. I know the flavors of coffee and beef may sound strange, but I promise it will all come together once you take that first bite!

Love beef? Give these recipes a try.

Ribeye steak with asparagus

Steak sandwich with au poivre sauce

Smoked meatball subs

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Coffee crusted ribeye with grilled corn salsa

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Coffee crusted ribeye with grilled corn salsa is the perfect combination. The ribeye  pairs great with the refreshing corn salsa and you get an explosion of flavor in each bite. 

  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3-4 1x


  • 16 oz ribeye 
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Coffee rub 

  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 

Corn salsa

  • 2 ears of grilled corn (off the cob)
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno 
  • 2 tablespoons diced white onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste 


  1. Shuck two ears of corn. Add butter to each one and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Place corn on the grill and cook for 10-15 minutes until slightly charred and kernels have softened. 
  3. Once the corn has cooled down, remove kernels off the cob and place into a bowl. 
  4. Add the remaining ingredients for the corn salsa and stir together. Place in fridge until the steak is ready. 
  5. Allow your ribeye steak to come to room temperature while you make the coffee rub by combing all of the ingredients for it together. 
  6. Season steak with coffee rub on both sides and grill until an internal temperature of 135°F (For medium rare) 
  7. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes and cut across the grain. Serve with corn salsa on top. 
  8. Finish with a little extra salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. 
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

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