Cocoa Rub Recipe -
Cocoa Rub Recipe
  • READY IN 5 mins

Cocoa Rub

Recipe by  

"This spicy cocoa rub is excellent for chicken, steaks, thick chops, and spare ribs. You can also add it to chili and hearty, thick soups."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 1 cup Change Servings
  • PREP

    5 mins

    5 mins


  1. Stir the salt, cocoa powder, white sugar, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper in a small bowl until combined. Store in an airtight container.
  2. To use, rub 2 to 3 teaspoons of the spice mixture onto a serving of meat, and let stand at least 10 minutes before cooking.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 21, 2011

I made it this way: 1 tsp. each of salt, cocoa powder & instant espresso powder, 2 TBsps. brown sugar (omitted the regular sugar) and 1 TBsp. of everything else. I felt this kept the flavours in balance, without any of the components being over-powering. We rubbed it on chicken legs and baked on 350F for 45 mins. to 1 hour. I might increase the cocoa and espresso powder a bit next time.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 15, 2012

I've heard a lot of good things about cocoa rubs and was eager to try this. The taste of cumin was so bold it dominated everything else.

Sep 11, 2008

Nice blend of flavors! And it still leaves room to add more heat if you want to. I used about 3 tbsps. to season a batch of vegetarian chili, as I always add cocoa to my chili anyway so it made sense, and worked great! Later I used some as a rub for boneless, skinless chicken thighs and breasts. I browned those and made a chicken, sweet potato, tomato and black bean stew. Oh, I did also use the rub on slices of tofu, but it basically just tasted like dry rub on tofu - won't be repeating that one. Much better suited for meats, stews, chilis, and maybe even some fish. Thanks for sharing!

Jun 04, 2010

Great Flavor! Used on grilled brisket and even on the charred (aka burnt) pieces it still was great! It's a great deep and garlicy flavor with just enough sweetness to taste, but not over-power. I did use only about 3T. of salt, but I don't think using the full 1/4c. would be bad....especially on a cut of meat without the thick layer of fat that the brisket had. Loved it!!****UPDATE: Great on beef ribs and chicken breast! Love it!!

Aug 03, 2009

Holy Cow! This rub is the best thing to pass my taste buds in years! We used it on pork and beef ribs and it tasted different yet WONDERUL on each of them! Thanks for the great recipe!

Oct 26, 2011

This is a GREAT rub ... But has way to much cumin in it ...I will cut way back on it with the next batch I make and will up the brown sugar....I use it for my smoker and the food has been great. I gave it 4 stars just cuz of all the cumin...othere wise YUMMY

May 24, 2012

This is a wonderful reciepe. And the flavors are FANTASTIC. I only gave this 4 stars because as written is far to much salt. So I would suggest decressing the salt. It is also not made for the spice sissy as it has a pretty good kick. I'll be lowering the ground pepper as well. But the flavors are on point. Wonderful and I will try again.

Jun 05, 2015

This was SO good! I used all the ingredients, but didn't have enough cumin and garlic powder, so I upped the onion powder a bit. I also halved the salt because I used this in a shaker bag with chicken legs. Roasted them in the convection oven at 375 and they came out very tasty and juicy. It made enough to thoroughly - perhaps too thoroughly - coat about 14 legs. Probably a little intense for many, but everyone I served it to raved. UPDATE: This time I made it with half the salt and no onion powder (on hand, y'know?)and took it to a pot luck. I watched carefully - only adults took it, but they all finished it. It was too dark, funky looking, and strong smelling for the kids.


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  • Calories
  • 26 kcal
  • 1%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 5.6 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 0.5 g
  • < 1%
  • Fiber
  • 0.9 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 0.8 g
  • 2%
  • Sodium
  • 1333 mg
  • 53%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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