Mocha-Rubbed Sirloin Steaks


If to rub, or not to rub, is the question, rub is your hands down answer.  These Mocha-Rubbed Sirloin Steaks develop a deeply-flavored crust that marinades, while not bad, just can’t achieve. This one combines the smokiness of cumin and paprika with the mocha make-up of cocoa powder and ground coffee.  Double or triple the batch to always have some on hand for a quick and special seasoning.

In addition to the spices just mentioned, kosher salt and pepper co-captain garlic powder and oregano with nutmeg finishing out the line-up. I find myself adding nutmeg to just about everything these days. Its versatile earthy, sweet, nutty flavor enhances dishes well beyond dessert.

Mocha-Rubbed Sirloin Spices


After a quick mix in a small bowl, don’t sprinkle but rub the mixture into the olive-oiled steaks to make an adhering crust. Refrigerate uncovered up to 4 hours, and let sit on the counter 1 hour before cooking to come to room temperature. Since it’s early February and the outdoor grill is hibernating here in the Northeast, I’m suggesting to pan-sear and oven-roast your way to superior steaks. This is a great back-pocket method to remember even in the summer when a storm rolls through just as you go to fire up the grill.

      Mocha-Rubbed Sirloin Searing

Have a good quality meat thermometer handy to cook these Mocha-Rubbed Sirloins to perfection. If you’re like my gang, aim for 120° when taking the steaks out of the oven, or off the grill, so they reach 125-130° for medium rare after resting. I hope this rub becomes a mainstay in your pantry as well!

On a personal note, I have to dedicate this post to my dad. No one enjoyed a great steak more. XO

Mocha-Rubbed Sirloin served with baby potatoes and broccoli

Mocha-Rubbed Sirloin Steak
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
This Mocha-Rubbed Sirloin Steak develops a deeply-flavored crust from the smokiness of cumin and paprika with the mocha make-up of cocoa powder and ground coffee.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Author: Kim Peterson
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon black ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground coffee
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 sirloin steaks, each 1 ¼ - 1 ½ inch thick, 3 lbs total
  1. Combine first nine ingredients in a small bowl. Rub olive oil into steaks on all sides. Then rub spice mixture all over steaks. Use the entire mixture. Place coated steaks on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet (if you don’t have one, don’t sweat it) and chill uncovered up to six hours to help form a crust. Take steaks out of fridge one hour prior to cooking so they come to room temperature. They will cook more evenly, and the grill time below reflects this step.
  2. Prepare grill for medium-high. Grill steaks 6-7 minutes per side for medium rare, 125-130°F. Let steaks rest 5 minutes before serving.

  3. Alternatively, if weather keeps you from grilling outdoors, follow this pan-seared, oven-roasted method. Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oven-proof pan coated with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear steaks 3 minutes per side. Transfer pan to preheated oven and roast for 8-10 for medium rare. As directed above, let steaks rest 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Note: 125-130° for medium rare; 135-140° for medium, 150° and above for well done. Invest in a good-quality meat thermometer to keep guessing to a minimum.


Mocha Rubbed Sirloin - Give it Some Thyme

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