What is a Kona crusted steak and how is it prepared?

What is Kona Crusted Steak?

Kona Crusted Steak is a dish that originated in the United States, specifically at the renowned restaurant chain, The Capital Grille. It is a steak that is coated with a unique blend of coffee and spice mix, which gives it a rich, bold flavor profile. The coffee used in this blend is Kona coffee, which is grown exclusively on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii.

A Brief History of Kona Coffee

Kona coffee is one of the most expensive and highly sought-after coffees in the world. It is grown in the Kona district of Hawaii, which is located on the western side of the Big Island. The volcanic soil and ideal climate conditions of this region make it the perfect place for growing coffee beans. Kona coffee is known for its delicate flavor profile and low acidity. It is hand-picked, sun-dried, and roasted in small batches to ensure maximum flavor and quality.

The Secret behind Kona Crusted Steak

The secret behind Kona Crusted Steak is the unique blend of coffee and spices used to create the crust. The coffee used is Kona coffee, which is known for its delicate flavor and low acidity. The spice mix includes a combination of kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. The proportions of each ingredient are carefully measured to create the perfect balance of flavors.

The Ingredients Required for Kona Crusted Steak

To prepare Kona Crusted Steak, you will need a few key ingredients. These include:

  • Steak (such as filet mignon or New York strip)
  • Kona coffee
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Olive oil

Preparing the Kona Crust Mix

To prepare the Kona crust mix, you will need to grind the Kona coffee beans into a fine powder. Then, mix together the coffee, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a small bowl. This will create the spice mix that will be used to coat the steak.

Techniques for Cooking Kona Crusted Steak

Kona Crusted Steak can be cooked using a variety of techniques, including grilling, broiling, or pan-searing. The key is to cook the steak to the desired level of doneness while ensuring that the crust remains intact.

Tips for Grilling Kona Crusted Steak

If you are grilling Kona Crusted Steak, it is important to preheat the grill to high heat before adding the steak. This will help to create a sear on the outside of the steak while keeping the inside juicy and tender. It is also important to let the steak rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute.

Serving Suggestions for Kona Crusted Steak

Kona Crusted Steak is typically served with a side of vegetables or a starch such as mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables. It can also be served with a sauce such as chimichurri or béarnaise.

Pairing Kona Crusted Steak with Wine

Kona Crusted Steak pairs well with a variety of red wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. The bold flavors of the steak are complemented by the tannins and fruitiness of these wines.

Variations of Kona Crusted Steak

There are many variations of Kona Crusted Steak, including using different cuts of meat or adding different spices to the crust mix. Some chefs also use a glaze or sauce to enhance the flavors of the steak.

Kona Crusted Steak Recipes

Here is a simple recipe for Kona Crusted Steak:


  • 2 filet mignon steaks
  • 2 tablespoons Kona coffee
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat grill to high heat.
  2. Mix together Kona coffee, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a small bowl.
  3. Rub olive oil onto both sides of the steaks.
  4. Coat the steaks with the Kona crust mix.
  5. Grill the steaks for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness.
  6. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Kona Crusted Steak: Is it Worth the Hype?

Kona Crusted Steak is definitely worth the hype. The unique blend of coffee and spices creates a bold and flavorful crust that complements the tender and juicy steak. It is a dish that is sure to impress guests and leave a lasting impression.

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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