Steak is a no-fail home-cooked meal that is easy to make, impressive when done right, and often a crowdpleaser.

But with the love holiday around the corner, a steak dinner calls for something more memorable and romantic. We cooked up this chocolate steak rub that you can apply to your cut-of-choice right before you toss it on the grill.

The proportions easily can be adjusted to taste.

The ingredients are simple enough—nothing that you probably don’t already have stocked at home, or can easily find in the spice racks at your local grocery. You can usually pick up cacao nibs at weekendmarkets or specialtystores (or evenorderonline), and dried chilies at your local grocery (though if there are none available, you can substitute it with 1/2 tbsp dried chili flakes, and 1 tsp smoked paprika for the same spicy-smokey effect). And if you’ve made too much, you can just store the rub in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

The result is a spicy steak with an underlying soothing cocoa scent that deepens the flavor of the crust. Chilies, steak, and chocolate—what better combination to get one (or two or three) in the mood for love?

Mexican Chocolate Rub

TIME: 20 minute
YIELD: 1/2 cup, enough for about 4 steaks


  • ¼ cup ground cacao nibs
  • 6 dried chilies, ground
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp salt


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the rub in a bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container.

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