Coffee,Cocoa and Chili Rubbed Pork Chops

As soon as I saw the title to this recipe, without even taking a second to glance at the photos, I knew I had to make this dish. The idea of cocoa and chili with the spice, sweetness and heat just makes my mouth water. It is one of those combinations you just have to take my word for and one you are likely never to forget ( in a good way of course!).

Best part of all it is easy and you probably already have everything you need on hand. Now this recipe is adapted from Food and Wine and I use the word adapted because I always like to put my own spin on things. Coffee goes great with cocoa and pairs fantastically with the heat from chili so I thought it was a much needed addition plus I actually believe the dish would not have been as good without it. The cocoa and chili together do not bring enough intensity to the pork so the coffee adds a nice strong flavor and helps build an even more amazing crust.

This one is definitely best when prepared on a grill, indoor or outdoor. I must say though if you are busy in the kitchen getting the sides together,etc. then by all means let the MAN be MANLY and do it outside. But don’t do what mine did. He started taking credit for just how delicious the chopswere before I so graciously with my southern charm reminded him who did everything but “flip” the meat. Enough said!


Cocoa and Chili Rubbed Pork Chops
  • 1½ tsp ground espresso coffee
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 1½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP Ancho chile powder ( you can use plain chili powder if necessary)
  1. In a large bowl, combine the water with the red pepper and 1½ teaspoons of salt and stir until the salt dissolves. Add the pork chops and let brine at room temperature for 1 hour.
  2. Light a grill and create a cool zone. (For a charcoal grill, rake the coals to one side; for a gas grill, leave one side unlit.) In a bowl, mix the cocoa, sugar and ancho powder with 1 tablespoon of salt.
  3. Drain the pork chops and pat dry, removing any bits of crushed pepper. Brush generously with olive oil. Roll the pork chops in the cocoa rub and pat to help it adhere.
  4. Grill over moderately high heat for 4 minutes, turning the chops once or twice until lightly browned. Transfer the chops to the cool zone, cover and grill for about 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the chops registers 135° for medium meat. Let the chops rest for 10 minutes before serving.
adapted from Food and Wine



  1. chef_d

    Wow, I have to try this because coffee, cocoa, chili and porkchops (individually) are some of my favorites!! I’m wondering how they will all come together, thanks for sharing!

    1. kbelleicious

      honestly if you like them all separately you will love them collectively! its a winner combo

  2. daphne

    coffee and pork! A winner!!! I am such a big fan of meat and vege dinner so this appeals to me big time with the spices!!

    1. kbelleicious

      Me too Daphne and this pork chop is something I can so see you having on your blog

  3. Eva

    I love it when they take credit for all our hard work! 😉
    The chops look great, and that rub sounds like it would work well on ribs too, perfect for the upcoming long weekend. Thanks Jessica

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      Yes perfect for the long weekend. You always say what I meant to say in my posts! Love ya for that:)

  4. Torrie @ a place to share...

    you had me at COFFEE!!!
    {these look/sound so incredibly tastey}

    1. kbelleicious

      thanks torrie! hope you have a great fourth if I don’t speak to you before then

  5. Jed Gray (sportsglutton)

    Coffee, cocoa, and chili are all ingredients I’m familiar with, but never have I placed them on a chop before. Love it Jessica!

  6. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh what a wonderful flavor combination!!

    1. kbelleicious

      thanks Alicia!

  7. Rhonda

    Another great one. I know what I will be making for dinner this weekend

    1. kbelleicious

      oh rhonda please try it! Let me know how the hubs likes it- i just know it will be a winner with him!

  8. Greg

    Pork is great with the flavor of cocoa and I love the heat from the chili. Perfection

  9. Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian

    Oh wow! This looks and sounds amazing!

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      Thanks Donna. It would go great with your mojito!

  10. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen

    These three ingredients make such an incredible mix of flavors and I find that amazing.

    Happy 4th of July to you and your family.

    1. kbelleicious

      happy fourth to you too Sam and thanks for stopping by!

  11. Velva

    The smokiness of the ingredients are perfect for the grill! Definitely a winner. A fabulous flavor combination.


    1. kbelleicious

      that is the WORD! I left out the word smokiness when describing the flavor combo! your right on the mark with that one

  12. Veronica's Kitchen

    That’s an interesting combination and mouth-watering recipe! I must try it as well!

    1. kbelleicious

      i bough the ingredients to make your pumpkin soup soon- can’t wait to try it!

  13. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    Oh no, I don’t have any pork chops in the freezer! I would love to have tried this recipe tonight on the braai. Sounds fabulous.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. kbelleicious

      that is one thing I always keep in the freezer- chops and chicken!

  14. Lena

    coffee& cocoa in meat interesting! as always, you never fail to impress me with your creations or even adaptations! that piece of meat up there is looking amazing!!

  15. Geni

    Wow, wow and wow! LOVE the coffee and chili combo. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Your chops looks absolutely succulent Jessica. Perfection. Summer is awesome! 🙂

    1. kbelleicious

      thanks Geni! You are so sweet and I love hearing from you! have a great weekend

  16. Jamie

    Love how juicy and yet crispy the skin on thR chops look. Definitely have a winner here

  17. yummychunklet

    Pork and cocoa=awesome. You’ve done well, my friend!

  18. kbelleicious

    you Jed my friend would LOVE LOVE these. great on chicken too

  19. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    How interesting and I’m definitely intrigued to try these pork chops!

  20. Joanne

    Wow what an interesting spice rub! And an awesome way to eat chocolate for dinner. 😛

  21. kitchen flavours

    Wow! A delicious explosion of flavour! Great combination! Love it! Can I come over?

  22. Mary

    Oh Jessica, this is a total winner – bookmarked and drooling!
    Mary x

  23. Stephanie

    My family loves pork chops and the chili in it sounds fantastic!

  24. Hillary

    Fantastic! Glad I stopped in on this one

  25. Charles

    Now, I think I’ve seen pork chops rubbed with cocoa before, and then with coffee separately, but never both together. I never actually tried it myself – it sounds really interesting… something for dinner next week I think. I’m really curious how it will taste!

    1. Kitchen Belleicious

      oh i am curious to see if you like it. I enjoyed the strong intense flavor it brought to the pork! thanks for stopping by

      1. Charles

        Hi KB – wanted to let you know that I made this last night… It was a night of firsts… I had this and fried green tomatoes (Oh my goodness, how have I never had those before???) – I absolutely LOVED the pork. The flavour was incredible… Definitely something I’ll be using again – I actually made a paste of the olive oil and the cocoa/coffee/chilli and then “painted” it on which worked well for me.

        Thanks again 🙂

        1. kbelleicious

          Oh Charles! I am beyond excited that you tried it and loved it. I think making it into a paste before coating the meat is a brilliant idea and I must try it that way next time! Thanks so much for letting me know how it went. I always love to hear how my recipes went! Have a great week

  26. nancy at good food matters

    The coffee aspect to this really grabbed my attention. I love this recipe for how 4 simple elements combine to make such a complex dish. I am anxious to try this one. Thanks Jessica!

  27. beti

    I never thought that cocoa and coffee could go well with soemthing salty ans especially rubbed in pork but it does look good

  28. jackie@marin mama cooks

    I love the look of your new blog. It is so easy to navigate and so clean and fresh. Do you mind me asking who designed it for you? Also, were you on blogger before? For some reason I seem to think you were, but I could be wrong.

    Cocoa and chili, what a great combination. My husband always makes this chocolate chili ice-cream so he would love these chops.

  29. Kristy

    This does look out of this world good! That crusty coating is perfection. My hats off to the chef and the flipper. 😉

  30. SharleneT

    Fantastic combination! You know I’m going to adapt this to the solar oven… can’t wait. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. kbelleicious

      Oh I bet a solar oven version sounds amazing! Can’t wait to hear or read about it! Will be by soon!

  31. Balvinder

    The chops look great with some awesome flavor of cocoa and ancho chillies.

  32. Belly

    This is magic I love it, I have never heard of this and would never have put coffee, coca and chilli together for anything until I read this. I am going to give it a try for my sisters birthday next week!

    Thanks for enlightening me!

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