Coffee Rubbed Pork Roast

$7.20 recipe / $1.20 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.62 from 18 votes
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“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 on plate with side dishes

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Coffee Rubbed Pork Roast

4.62 from 18 votes
This coffee rubbed pork roast is cooked in a slow cooker for an extra tender texture and has a dip, rich, flavor thanks to a coffee spice rub.
Servings 6
Prep 10 mins
Cook 8 hrs
Total 8 hrs 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 3.5 lbs. Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder ($5.84)
  • 1 oz. approx 3 Tbsp coffee beans ($0.58)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ($0.16)
  • 1/2 Tbsp cayenne pepper ($0.15)
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt ($0.10)
  • 15-20 cranks cracked black pepper ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic ($0.24)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ($0.05)

Instructions 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!

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Notes

If 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 588.05kcalCarbohydrates: 20.52gProtein: 46.55gFat: 34.35gSodium: 656.23mgFiber: 1.2g
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Close up of coffee rubbed pork roast

Step By Step Photos

coffee rub dry ingredients in mixing bowl
First 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.

Mixed coffee dry rub in mixing bowl with spoon
Stir it up until it’s evenly mixed.

pork roast in package
This 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.

roast coated with dry rub
Pat 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 placed in slow cooker
Place the pork roast in the slow cooker, secure the lid, and cook on low for 8 hours.

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

coffee rubbed pork roast on plate with fork
Carefully 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 roast on plate with side dishes
It 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!

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  1. Just turned on the crock for a few hrs on high then to bed on low overnight. I ad lobbed: roast sitting on a bed of halved red potatoes unpeeled, 1/4 head each of green and red cabbage wedges, 1 thick sliced Granny Smith and same for sweeter Gala; cabbage and apples also dipped in rub; last a 1/3” slab of fat laid on top of roast for addl flavor plus remaining rub generously coved with lady of rub. YUM. If I’d had caraway seed they would have been incorporated also

  2. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! My family loved it. The only alteration was the use of garlic powder instead of fresh garlic. Served it with rice and steamed broccoli. A great busy weeknight meal, and we look forward to leftovers. Might have to try it on slider buns with a little bbq sauce as well. 

  3. I’ve made this three times already, and the last time, I ended up making a double batch ~9 lbs. of pork. I brought it to a friends house for gameday and it was a huge hit. What I do is I buy a whole butt roast, debone it myself, and cut the pork into sandwich sizes. This gets the rub all over every side of the meat, and ensures thorough cooking. Some People in the comments didn’t love the taste, but I think that just a dab of BBQ sauce goes PERFECTLY with the pork. I took my sandwich size pieces, put them on Brioche rolls with some Coleslaw and BBQ sauce and they were loved!

  4. I was so excited to try this, between the photos and the reviews I was expecting a truly fantastic meal. I made it for dinner tonight and the pork came out perfectly tender and juicy. My husband and I enjoyed it but felt there was nothing to rave over. Honestly, I was expecting a lot more flavor from the rub and we found it kind of lackluster, there was nothing wrong with it just nothing all that special either. I will make this again in the future with a few tweaks since it was so easy and the meat really did come out nicely cooked, perhaps with some added heat I can get it to work more for our tastes. A good base recipe. I will be using our leftovers for tacos later in the week as another commenter suggested.

    1. I kinda treat it like BBQ, and pretend the coffee grounds are char. I normally eat it with a dab of BBQ sauce on the plate to give it a bit more flavor, or I’ll make sandwiches with good rolls, coleslaw, and more bbq sauce.

  5. If anyone wants to adapt this for an instant pot, you can put calculate the time as 22 mins/lb. I put my 3lb roast on high pressure for 1h10m with one cup of water and it came out perfectly! Definitely do natural steam release.

    The coffee is so so so good on pork, and after removing the roast I made rice with the leftover juice and it was amazing. <3 Thank you!!

    1. I was so looking for the times on the instant pot so I could do this a bit quicker thank you!!
      I was thinking about adding a little taco seasoning to flavor it up some more 

    1. It probably can be done, but I haven’t done it myself, so unfortunately I can’t offer specific directions. You might try Googling “slow cooker Dutch oven conversion” to see if there are general guidelines for converting slow cooker recipes to a Dutch oven.

  6. This was an easy-to-make hit. Overall we really liked the flavor, but it was a bit too bitter. I’d probably do a little less coffee next time, or maybe try a lighter roast (we used Peet’s French roast which is no joke). The flavor reminded us a lot of a smokey molé, so I‘m going to try making tacos with the leftovers.

  7.  WOW it was very delicious and I’ll definitely be using it in the future!! Thank you Beth!!

  8. Honey… I just finished eating this using a beef roast and… Oh My… this was so good. I was skeptical about it but this must be put in the rotation. I even made a gravy from the broth that was sopped up with mashed potatoes and biscuits. I used a dark roast sumatra coffee.

  9. Is there an advantage to using freshly-ground coffee as opposed to store-bought grounds?

    1. Freshly ground tend to have more oils, whereas store bought are often dried out. The oil provides a great deal of the flavor.

    2. Freshly ground may definitely be better, but it’s still amazing with pre ground coffee.

  10. The smell while cooking was mouth-watering! I altered the recipe only a pinch. I was a little shy on the brown sugar, which was probably fine but decided to rub honey on the roast and then apply the rub. It was delicious! I’m happy we had two meals worth of leftovers (for two). I definitely recommend trying it!

  11. I am an big coffee drinker amd when i seen this my husband and i said ues we have to try this so we made it for dinner tonight and did everything it said and even added potatoes to it as a twist. It smelled great all day my house smelled amazing but it tasetd nasty im not sure what it was but this isnt a recipe we will be doing again. We tried it and did everything right as the recipe said so im not sure what went wrong or if it did but my kids refused to eat it and they love pork roasts fron the crock pot they even said all day mom i cant wait till dinner is done.

    1. “…did everything it said and even added potatoes to it as a twist.” “…did everything right as the recipe said…” may be try it again, but don’t actually alter the recipe and keep the potato out.

  12. I was somewhat skeptical when I read this recipe. Even as it cooked, I could smell the coffee but the end product was delicious.