Carne Crosta (pronounced car-nay crow-sta), loosely translated as “Beef Crust” in Portuguese, is exactly what this rub will produce. It excels when cooked over high direct heat, especially on well-marbled cuts of beef. The high cooking temperatures are necessary to release oils in the rich Brazilian coffee, which intertwine with the spices and rendered fat, creating the most sumptuously-crusted steak you’ve ever experienced.
This is our most technical rub and does require correct cooking technique to achieve the best results. We recommend applying a light coating (about a teaspoon per side) of extra virgin olive oil to all sides of the steak or cut of beef prior to applying the rub. The purpose for the EVOO is not to help the rub stick, it will do that just fine on its own. Instead, the purpose is to use this specific type of oil to develop yet another layer of flavor to the steak. This step is purely optional, but recommended nonetheless. You see, extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point, and some of it will burn when you sear your steaks, but this is desirable, as the flavors imparted by the slight burning of EVOO are quite pleasant and very tasty.
Additionally, you will want to cook this rub with very high (600º-700º F) direct heat. This means you will need to sear directly over the coals. Cast iron grill grates work the best as they allow the direct radiant heat to contact the sides of the steak while also making killer grill marks. However, any standard open wire grill will do just fine. We use Weber charcoal grills exclusively and have wonderful results with their stock grates.