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What Is a Kona-Crusted Steak? Steak Crusted With Coffee and Spices

What Is a Kona-Crusted Steak? Steak Crusted With Coffee and Spices

Have you ever heard of a Kona-crusted steak? If not, you're in for a treat! This unique dish combines the bold flavors of coffee and spices to create a mouthwatering crust on a juicy steak.

Join us as we delve into the world of Kona-crusted steak and learn how to make it yourself.

Related: You might want to read about other common steak types in this other article on beef cuts.

What Is a Kona-Crusted Steak?

Kona Crusted Steak is a delectable dish that has gained popularity in many high-end steak houses and restaurants. It's a succulent piece of steak that gets its unique flavor and appeal from its special crust. 

The crust is made from a blend of Kona coffee, spices, and sometimes cocoa. This combination gives the steak a distinct, robust flavor profile. The name 'Kona', refers to the particular type of coffee that is mostly used.

coffee beans and coffee grounds

If you know a thing or two about coffee, Kona must be a familiar name. If you are unaware, Kona is a world-renowned coffee that originates from the slopes of Mauna Loa. This is on one of the volcanoes in Hawaii. 

The rich flavors of the Kona coffee blend beautifully with the natural flavors of the steak. The result is a unique dish. Apart from the delicious crust, the process also results in a delightful texture that complements the tender, juicy steak inside. So, a Kona Crusted Sirloin Steak is not just a steak but a culinary masterpiece. This gastronomic delight offers a truly one-of-a-kind taste experience.

Related: Steak spices made in USA  you might want to try

How to Cook the Kona-Crusted Steak

Kona-Crusted Steak cooking in a pan

As any seasoned grill master knows, the secret to a delicious steak is as much in the preparation and cooking methods as it is in the quality of the meat. The Kona-crusted steak, with its bold flavors and unique coffee-infused crust, is no exception.

Here are some expert tips to help you cook the perfect Kona-crusted steak every time:

  • Begin With the Right Cut

The end product is only as good as your ingredients. When cooking a Kona-crusted steak, we recommend that you use prime cuts such as ribeye and filet mignon. Essentially, you would want a steak with a tender texture that would pair perfectly with the Kona crust.

  • Start at Room Temperature

Like any other steak, you should begin cooking it only when it is at room temperature. Never be in a hurry to cook something out of the fridge. Cooking it without letting it warm up results in uneven cooking.

  • Prepare the Kona Crust

The Kona crust is a unique blend of ground Kona coffee beans, brown sugar, salt, and various spices. To infuse the steak with maximum flavor, coat it generously with the Kona crust and let it marinate for at least 2 hours before cooking.

  • Let it Rest

When cooked, never hurry to cut into it. Instead, let it rest for at least five minutes before cutting it.

Kona Crusted Steak Recipe




  • 2 boneless steaks (such as ribeye or sirloin), about 1 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons of grounded Kona coffee beans
  • 2 tablespoons of ground black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the coarsely ground Kona coffee beans, black peppercorns, sea salt, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix well to combine.
  3. Rub the steak with vegetable oil or olive oil, coating both sides.
  4. Sprinkle the Kona coffee rub mixture evenly over the steaks. Press it on the steak to get it to stick.
  5. Place the steaks on the grill. Cook for about 4-6 minutes per side.
  6. Remove the meat from the grill. Let them rest for a few minutes. This allows for the juices to redistribute.
  7. Once a few minutes have elapsed, slice the steaks against the grain. Serve immediately.
  8. Enjoy your delicious Kona Crusted Steaks!

Kona Crusted Steak Serving Suggestions

Mixed Vegetables

You can serve the Kona Crusted Steak with a variety of side dishes. Here are some options:

  • Grilled green beans or asparagus
  • Roasted vegetables (potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts)
  • Rice or mashed potatoes to round out the meal
  • A crusty bread for soaking up the tasty pan juices


Whether you are a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, a Kona-crusted steak is a dish that is easy to prepare and sure to impress. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking skills, you can create a restaurant-quality meal in the comfort of your own home. 

So why not give it a try and see for yourself what all the fuss is about?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is Kona so expensive?

First, Kona coffee is rare. They are only specific to Hawaii, and you can't get more of them anywhere else. What makes Kona coffee even more expensive is that it is handpicked. Mechanized farms often produce cheaper coffee. Lastly, the law of supply and demand states that high demand can astronomically alter prices.

2. Which cuts can I use for a Kona Crusted Steak?

There are many different cuts that you can use to make the Kona-crusted steak. Some top choices include ribeye, sirloin, and tenderloin. Porterhouse is also a good choice. Whichever choice you go with, remember to alter the preparation time based on the size of your chosen steak. Thinner cuts will cook faster, while thicker cuts will require more time.

3. Can I use ground coffee instead of Kona coffee for the crust?

While Kona coffee is traditionally used for the crust, you can certainly experiment with other coffee varieties. After all, Kona coffee is not the most available option. Whichever coffee you choose to go with, remember to always opt for a high-quality, flavorful coffee with a medium to dark roast.

You can experiment with different coffee blends to find the taste profile that suits your preferences. Lastly, remember that you may not get the exact taste you would get with Kona coffee. Who knows? You may like whatever you create more.

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