Why You Should Incorporate Coffee In Your Next BBQ Sauce

Whether you make it from scratch at home, or buy your favorite brand from the store, you'll find that there's a seemingly endless amount of options when it comes to barbecue sauce. Guy Fieri swears that mixing in tequila makes it taste better; You could even use root beer if you like yours a bit sweeter; And every recipe varies by spice and thickness. If you want a new way to enjoy barbecue sauce, try adding your leftover morning coffee. It may seem strange, but according to Eat This, Not That, coffee naturally intensifies the flavors in barbecue sauce.

You may be used to enjoying coffee's sweeter elements, for example in a coffee cake, as a Frappuccino, or with a donut, but as The Spruce Eats explains, coffee pairs well with savory foods too. In barbecue sauce, it highlights the earthy, smokey components of the other ingredients while also adding a layer of flavor. You wouldn't be able to get the same effect from any other seasoning or spice.

How to add coffee to barbecue sauce

If you're planning to add coffee to your barbecue sauce, it's best to use brewed coffee. The Spruce Eats says strong dark coffee or espresso is ideal, but make sure it's black and not mixed with cream or sugar. Per Hey Grill Hey's instructions, measure out the coffee so it's double the amount of vinegar and equal the amount of tomato paste, then cook it down with all of the other ingredients in your recipe until it reaches your desired barbecue sauce consistency.

If you don't have any strong coffee or espresso on hand but still want to have the coffee flavor come through in your barbecue dish, cooking blog For the Love of Cooking recommends a dry rub that uses coffee grounds. Simply mix an equal amount of finely ground coffee and brown sugar, then add any other seasoning you wish to incorporate. 

Whether you use ground or brewed coffee, your barbecue will be uniquely delicious and packed with flavor.