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Coffee-Marinated Rib Eye Steaks for Our Labor Day BBQ

As I’ve mentioned in the past, we grill out often, but there’s still something special about holiday BBQs.

We always take a little extra time in planning our menu and setting our table to make it extra special. And of course fresh flowers are always a beautiful touch!

Labor Day Tablescape

In honor of Labor Day, Walmart challenged our family to create a BBQ feast for under $100 — no problem! We were able to pick up the ingredients for our menu for well under budget, including beverages for the adults and a sweet after dinner treat for the kids — root beer floats.

We chose Walmart premium steaks as our main dish, along with the ingredients to prepare some grilled caprese tomato kabobs and Creamed Corn Casserole.

This was the first time our family has tried the premium beef from Walmart, and we were really impressed. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised though after reading about their stringent standards. Only 1 in 5 cuts meets the criteria to be labeled as premium beef, and each is USDA certified. With a 100% money back guarantee, you really can’t go wrong!

We marinated our steaks in a delicious coffee marinade that was out of this world. I can almost hear you thinking, “Coffee… as a marinade?!?” Absolutely! Coffee adds a mouth-watering, smokey flavor that you will never be able to pinpoint as coffee.

Even my husband, who would only drink coffee if it was the last beverage available on earth, commented on how good the steak was and asked what I did to it. I wish I could have snapped a picture of the surprised look on his face when I told him it was coffee!

The key to this marinade is to use extra strong coffee. Since there’s no such thing as leftover coffee in our household, I used a Starbucks VIA packet for my coffee marinade.

Coffee-Marinated Rib Eye Steak

Our rib eyes were a thinner cut, so I marinated them for about 90 minutes while preparing the corn casserole. There’s really no sauce needed for these steaks, but I think it would also be delicious to reduce the coffee marinade on the stovetop and drizzle it over them!

Coffee Marinade for Steak

Coffee Marinade for Steak

Yield: 1.5 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 Starbucks VIA packet
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  1. Dissolve Starbucks VIA in the warm water. You can also use 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee or the equivalent amount of instant coffee used for an 8-oz. cup mixed with 3/4 cup water.
  2. Whisk together the VIA mixture, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, garlic, peppercorns and salt.
  3. Lay steaks out flat in a rimmed dish and pour marinade over top. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Allow steaks to marinate for as little as one hour or up to 8 hours, turning occasionally.
  5. Grill steaks as usual.

Have you tried this recipe?

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Unfortunately we had to move our cookout inside due to the rain, but we still came away with full bellies and happy memories!


Friday 7th of September 2012

What a fabulous marinade, Tara. I love coffee, and I love using it for flavor in meals!


Tuesday 4th of September 2012

I love this recipe!! I have been wanting to try a coffee rub for steaks...this looks wonderful!


Sunday 2nd of September 2012

Oh, these look so good, Tara! You had me at the word coffee :) xoxo

Paula - bell'alimento

Saturday 1st of September 2012

Great mind think alike! Love the marinade! Coffee is just spectacular with steak!


Saturday 1st of September 2012

This looks perfect. I've got to go buy some steaks for Monday. Great idea on the coffee rub!

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