Coffee Rubbed Pork Roast

$7.20 recipe / $1.20 serving

“Huh-wha? Coffee rubbed pork?”

Yep, that’s what I said. I made a killer seasoning rub out of coffee (ground to a powder), brown sugar, cayenne, and the usual suspects (salt, pepper, garlic). Slow cooked pork is pretty much good anyway you fix it, but this rub adds just a touch of that deep, smokey, aromatic flavor that coffee has… plus a ‘lil sweetness from the brown sugar and a ‘lil kick from the cayenne. There really is just a hint of spicy from the cayenne that I think is necessary to balance the mellow coffee so I wouldn’t suggest skipping it this time.

I liked this so much that I actually made two of them this week. The first roast I bought was small and extra fatty so after I cooked it, there wasn’t much left. So, I went back to the store and bought a huge boston butt (or pork shoulder) and made another. And I’m so glad I did.

Pork shoulder or Boston butt is definitely the way to go for this roast. That cut has a decent amount of meat but still enough fat to keep it tender while it cooks. You can buy and cook it with the bone in if you’d like. My roast came bone in but it was about twice the size that I wanted. So, I cut half off and used it for this recipe and then froze the rest to make BBQ pulled pork on another day. You definitely get a discount if you buy the large roast as opposed to the smaller half size, so go ahead and buy it and freeze half. But please note, pork shoulder bones are a really crazy shape and unless you’re familiar, you might have a difficult time removing it.

Coffee Rubbed Pork Roast

Coffee Rubbed Pork Roast

4.8 from 4 reviews
coffee rubbed pork roast
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $7.20
Cost Per Serving: $1.20
Serves: 6
  • 3.5 lbs. Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder $5.84
  • 1 oz. (approx 3 Tbsp) coffee beans $0.58
  • ½ cup brown sugar $0.16
  • ½ Tbsp cayenne pepper $0.15
  • ½ Tbsp salt $0.10
  • 15-20 cranks cracked black pepper $0.05
  • 1 tsp minced garlic $0.24
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika $0.05
  1. Grind the coffee beans into a powder. If using grinders in a grocery store or coffee house, choose the “espresso grind”. Combine the coffee grounds, brown sugar, cayenne, salt, black pepper, garlic, and smoked paprika in a bowl.
  2. Pat the mixed dry rub on all sides of the pork roast. It is okay if some falls. off. Place the pork roast in a slow cooker. Scoop up any of the rub that fell off and toss it in the slow cooker as well. Secure the lid, turn the heat on to low, and let cook for 8 hours.
  3. After 8 hours, the pork should be tender and should shred easily with a fork. Carefully lift the roast out of the slow cooker and transfer to a serving platter. Enjoy!
f your pork roast is more than a few inches thick, you may want to cut it into two pieces to facilitate heat transfer to the center of the meat.


coffee rubbed pork roast

Step By Step Photos

coffee rub ingredientsFirst make the rub by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl: coffee (ground to a fine powder), brown sugar, cayenne, salt, cracked pepper, garlic, and smoked paprika.

stir coffee rubStir it up until it’s evenly mixed.

pork roastThis is the pork roast that I bought. It was huge so I cut half off for this recipe and then I froze the second half (after removing the bone) for later use. You can cook it with the bone in if you’d like. The meat will be so tender after cooking that it should fall right off of the bone. If you’re leaving the bone in, cook it on high for the first hour to make sure the internal temperature reaches a safe zone quickly.

coat roast with coffee rubPat the coffee rub all over the roast (even the underside). It should stick pretty well from the moisture in the meat. Some will fall off but you can just scoop that up and toss it into the slow cooker.

pork in slow cookerPlace the pork roast in the slow cooker, secure the lid, and cook on low for 8 hours.

slow cooked coffee rubbed porkAnd then you have this. It looks black and scary, I know… but it’s totally delicious. Promise.

coffee rubbed pork roastCarefully lift the roast out of the slow cooker and serve. It will be tender and delicate so lift carefully if you want it in one piece!

coffee rubbed pork roastIt was so tender and delicious….

If you want a higher flavor to meat ratio, you can cut the pork into large chunks before adding the rub. That way, more surface will be in contact with the seasoning. I kept mine in one piece mainly for the photographs.

This recipe can be made in the oven using a covered dish like a dutch oven, but heating an entire oven for 8 hours it much less energy efficient than heating a small slow cooker. The slow cooker is basically like a miniature oven!


  1. Kate says:

    Yum yum yum! Your recipes are hoodwinking my friends and family into believing I’m an excellent cook. I made this with your delicious corn pudding and some wilted silverbeet (collard greens aren’t easy to find in Australia) and am so overwhelmed by how delicious it is. Thank you Beth!

  2. Christine says:

    After having pinned this ages ago (and been re-pinned by everyone else it seems), I finally made this last night. The amount of pork I stuffed into my face was, well, suffice to say it certainly wasn’t ladylike. LOL My husband declared it amazing, and I even brought the whole slow cooker full of shredded pork to the neighbors to share. Now I’m just plotting how long to wait before I make it again.

  3. Sheeny says:

    This recipe looks interesting, and I might try it. But what’s really interesting is that I was just clicking around the internet…someone posted some list article on FB about coffee grounds, and this page was linked there. I clicked on it and thought, woah, I know this girl. That’s Jenni’s friend. She showed me your Budget Bytes blog several years ago. I always thought you did such a great job with it. Small world (wide web)?

    • Definitely! Hi Sheeny! I don’t think I’ve met you in person, but I see your name all the time through Jenni’s posts. :) Maybe at her wedding!

  4. Kathryn says:

    Looks so delicious! Can you do 4 hours on high instead of 8 on low?

  5. Lisa says:

    Hi Beth … I love your BLOG! I’ve made several recipes over the past two weeks (Tandoori Chicken, Naan bread, Quesadilla’s, Oatmeal Banana Bread) .. all rave reviews from the family. Thank you so much! I’m making this pork shoulder tonight for dinner (can’t wait) .. was wondering in the photo what you are serving as side dishes? I always struggle with side dishes.

  6. Fielding says:

    As nearly as I can tell, you slow-cooked this without any added liquid. I’ve never cooked any meat in a slow cooker without added liquid. Am I correct? Or did you add some water to the pot?

    • Correct, no liquid. I’ve always heard that you need liquid as well, but this seemed to work just fine. I can’t guarantee that all slow cookers will work the same, though. I think the reason they advise against cooking without liquid is that it can lead to uneven heating and may crack the porcelain in some poorer quality cookers.

  7. Mike C says:

    I should have figured given the fact that pork needs to cook slowly to remain tender but you might want to change the cook time up top from 8 mins to 8 hours. It might throw some people off when they’re trying to make a quick dinner and get to the bottom and see they need 8 hours in a slow cooker

  8. Aron says:

    Hi Beth!

    I’ve made this a few times and it’s amazing!

    My local stores only seem to have pork shoulder with the skin on and I’ve always removed it. Do you recommend leaving the skin on for any reason?


    • Oh wow, I don’t think I’ve even ever seen it sold with the skin on! It might help keep moisture in for some cooking methods, but for a slow cooker that’s not much of an issue.

  9. Michelle says:

    This was delicious! Thank you.

  10. Russ says:


    If I’m doing a 7 pound butt would you expect the timing too be longer than 8 hours? If so, what would you say the timeframe would be? Also cook on high the first hour with bone in correct?

    • I’ve never cooked one that large, but I would do at least the first hour or two on high to make sure the internal temp rises fast enough. Check it after 8 hours to see if it’s “fall apart” tender, and if not, let it go a couple hours longer.

  11. fuzzilla says:

    I was really excited to make this, but my boyfriend doesn’t like pork. Is there another meat you’d recommend? Beef/a certain cut of beef? Thanks.

    • Hmmm, you could probably do the same thing with a beef roast. I haven’t cooked too many beef roasts, though, so I think I would ask the butcher which is best for the slow cooker (usually it’s a tougher, higher fat cut that is good for slow cooking).

  12. Katie says:

    Can I make this recipe if my pork is frozen or do I need to thaw it first?

  13. Rebecca says:

    OMG! I made this for pulled pork sandwiches, ate it on the super thin burger buns you can get at Superstore (which i’m not sure what it is called in the states, maybe Loblaws?) with some sriracha mayo from your teriyaki salmon recipe and melted cheese, amazing! so freaking good, I’m so glad I found this website :D

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ooops, I somehow forgot the the brown sugar and it’s in the middle of cooking now. I’m sure that will affect the crust; crossing my fingers it still tastes ok.

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