Cocoa Chipotle BBQ Rub

4 reviews

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Cocoa chipotle BBQ rub brings together amazing pantry ingredients for a cocoa powder-based rub that complements rich meat with a warm, savory, and perfectly bitter flavor profile.

Cocoa BBQ rub in a bowl with text overlay - Cocoa Chipotle BBQ Rub.

Cocoa BBQ Rub

As you are probably aware by now, my special skills lie in the world of meat and fire, not in the world of chocolate and sweet desserts. However, my love for unique flavors surpasses all of my reservations about grilling with chocolate and forces me out of my same old comfort zone.

So I tasked myself with finding an awesome way to incorporate chocolate into my grilling and BBQ scene. I’m stoked to say, I think I managed to bring those two worlds together. Everybody who tried this cocoa BBQ rub was so intrigued and excited about the flavors, they couldn’t wait for the post to come out on my site.

This cocoa BBQ rub doesn’t really taste like chocolate, but it adds a level of depth that you can’t really find with any other ingredient. You’ll keep coming for bites trying to work out everything you’re experiencing!

Ingredients for cocoa BBQ rub in a metal bowl.

Ingredients for Cocoa Rub

Most of the ingredients for cocoa rub are ingredients you’ll already have in your pantry, making it a quick rub to whip up whenever.

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder. Make sure you get dark cocoa for this recipe for the best flavor.
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Make sure you use smoked paprika for this rub and not regular paprika. The smoked paprika actually adds flavor (as well as an amazing color) to the mix. Some smoke paprika will also have varying levels of heat that you can choose to your preference.

Cocoa BBQ rub in a bowl.


Cocoa Rub for Steak

I love making my own rubs, and this is one that I come back to for beef over and over again. In this post, I used the cocoa BBQ rub on a gorgeous flank steak, but it would be awesome on any type of steak that is getting a hot and fast sear (think rib-eye, sirloin, skirt steak).

It also fares well on low and slow meats if you feel like adding a flavor twist. I know people often keep it classic salt and pepper on things like beef ribs or brisket, but I truly think this cocoa rub could add so much depth and intensity to smoked meats.

Cocoa BBQ rub being sprinkled on a steak on a wooden cutting board.

How to Make Cocoa BBQ Rub

It’s ridiculously easy to make your own homemade rubs at home. I mean, really, really, ridiculously easy. Once you have all your ingredients pulled out it’ll take you a couple of minutes to measure and mix.

  1. Combine. Combine all ingredients for the cocoa BBQ rub in a small bowl. Use a fork to break up any clumps.
  2. Use or store. This rub is ready to be used immediately, or you can store it for later use. I like to use these glass spice bottles or even a glass mason jar to store my homemade rubs. Whatever you use, make sure you store it in an airtight container to keep everything fresh.

Cocoa chipotle seasoned steak sliced into strips.

More Homemade BBQ Rub Recipes

Your homemade BBQ rub-making adventures don’t need to stop here. Check out a few of our most popular rub recipes from Hey Grill Hey below!

Cocoa BBQ Rub Recipe

How did this cocoa BBQ rub recipe turn out for you? If you were a big fan or you made any changes, let us know in the comment below. We love to hear from our wonderful BBQ community!

Cocoa Chipotle BBQ Rub

By: Susie Bulloch
5 from 4 votes
Cocoa chipotle BBQ rub brings together amazing pantry ingredients for a cocoa powder rub that complements rich meat with a warm, savory, and perfectly bitter flavor profile.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Servings3 Tablespoons
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  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin


  • Combine. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Use or store. Sprinkle liberally on beef before grilling. Store at room temperature in an air tight container.


Calories: 13kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1564mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 862IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

8 Reviews

  1. Jeff says:

    did this on some chicken drums. yum yum gonna throw whats left on pork chops tonight.

  2. Jeff says:

    The taste was bommmb sooo good

  3. Cynthia Guilford says:

    This is very good and particularly good on venison. Ty for sharing

  4. Leslie Mindemann says:

    Making my third batch. This rub is now a family favorite. Our favorite is using on flank or skirt steak. But also great on ribs or grilled pork roast for a different flavor. Thanks Hey Grill !

  5. Shaun Christian says:

    I put this on some tri-tip today and the first thing that came out of my wife’s mouth was wow. It has an incredible depth of flavor and has a nice burn with the chipotle powder. This will be my go to rub with any steak!

  6. Phil Brust says:

    On your Cocoa Chipotle Spice Rub, the Course indicates side dish. I am unsure to what this refers. I also ask which meats are your favorites for this rub ? Thanks !!

    1. Hey Grill says:

      Hey Phil–the recipe card software I use requires me to enter a course for every recipe. Rubs aren’t really a course, but I needed to fill in the card. So it’s listed as a side dish. It doesn’t really mean anything pertinent to the recipe. I’ve used this on flat iron steaks, flank steaks, and even a chicken. I think it best complements beef, however.

  7. Kara (Creations by Kara) says:

    I’ve never tried chocolate in a savory recipe before, but man this looks good!