Coffee Rubbed Cheeseburgers with Texas Barbeque Sauce

I feel absolutely no hesitation is saying that this was the best burger I’ve ever made.  I was pretty confident that it was going to be good, every review I saw for this recipe raved about the flavor.  So I wasn’t discouraged by John’s reaction when I announced what the meal would be that night.  He will tell you himself that he has no imagination.  So when he heard “burgers” and “coffee grounds” he made the same face our five year old makes when I try to make her eat broccoli.  I marched on though – I’m used to having to prove him wrong.  Lucky for me he trusts me when I tell him he’s going to love it.  I’m proud to say that he was the one who first proclaimed it “best burger ever”.  He ate two, then asked if there were any more.  

I’ll admit that the rub for the burgers sounds a little unconventional, but it’s so perfect.  I followed the original recipe closely, and I wouldn’t change a thing.  I promise you will never know that all that great taste is coming from coffee grounds.  All you’ll think is that the flavor of this burger is outstanding.  Then if that weren’t enough, there’s the sauce.  I’m in love with it. It’s a wonderful balance between spicy and sweet.  The spiciness comes mostly from the chipotle peppers, so if you don’t like spicy foods you can use half of one pepper and maybe even bump up the amount of brown sugar.  The taste of this sauce is like nothing I’ve ever had out of a bottle.  And so easy to make that I don’t think I’ll ever go back.  I can’t wait to try it with grilled chicken.  (The sauce recipe makes plenty for leftovers so this is on the menu this week.)
The thing about this meal that really endears it to me is that I already had all the basic ingredients, and just needed to pick up some fresh ground beef, a few slices of cheese, and fresh buns.  I was really surprised by how easy it was to make a stand-out meal using the same old ingredients in brand new ways.  It just goes to show you that cooking on a budget doesn’t mean you have to eat the same old boring meals.  
{A note about some of the ingredients:  The chipotle peppers can be found in the Mexican specialty section of most grocery stores.  They come in a small can called Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce.  This recipe uses just one, but the remaining peppers can be frozen, along with a little bit of sauce, in individual bags or containers to be used later.  They’re great to have on hand to add quick flavor to sauces and especially meat for tacos or burritos, like my Easy Pork Tacos.  I got the smoked gouda sliced fresh from the deli at my grocery store – you get exactly the amount you need and don’t have to pay for extra slices you might not use.  Plus it tastes so much better than the pre-packaged choices.  I also used fresh buns from the bakery as well.  The bun can make or break a burger, so I always recommend buying the best you can.}  
Coffee Rubbed Cheeseburgers with Texas Barbeque Sauce
serves 4
For the rub:
1 Tablespoon fresh coffee grounds
2 teaspoons brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the burgers:
1 pound ground beef 
4 slices smoked gouda, or smoked provolone
4 hamburger buns
For the Sauce:
1 Tablespoon butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 chipotle chile (in Adobo)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
To make the rub:
Mix all ingredients (coffee through salt) in a small bowl.  
To make burgers, divide beef into 4 equal pieces.  Shape into patties that are about 4″ diameter x 1/3″ thick.  Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center, almost all the way through the patty.  (This will keep the patty from puffing up during grilling – it really does work.)
Sprinkle one side of each patty with about 1 teaspoon of the rub, pressing down to make it stick.  Set patties aside while you assemble the sauce. 
To make sauce:
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Add garlic, cook 30 seconds.  Stir in ketchup and all remaining ingredients.  Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and thickened, about 15-20 minutes.  
Meanwhile place burgers rub side down on a heated grill.  Cook about 4 minutes on the first side, turn and cook 3 minutes.  Cover each burger with cheese and cook 1 more minute.  
Place each burger on a bun.  Spoon barbeque sauce over each patty.  (I also slathered some sauce onto the cut side of the bun.)  Serve immediately.  
adapted from Epicurious
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  1. wannabb08 says

    First, thank you for all your wonderful recipes! Do you cut up the chipotle pepper or leave it whole?


  2. Our Family Eats says

    Hi Amber, I give it a rough chop before it goes in. It will break down a little as it cooks in the sauce.