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How to Use a Stove Top Coffee Percolator

Kristen hails from Modesto, CA. She is self-employed, raises chickens in her backyard, and bakes her own bread.

How to use a stove top coffee percolator.

How to use a stove top coffee percolator.

Going "old fashioned" may seem like you're taking a step backward, and it often is. However, there are some things that are just better when done without the new devices and gadgets. Making coffee is one of them. Now, I know what you're thinking, "There's nothing wrong with my electronic coffee maker." Maybe not, but until you've tried brewing your morning cup o' joe via stove top, you don't know what you're missing!

Stove top percolators often come in handy while camping, but they don't have to be limited to adventures in the great outdoors. In fact, I am especially thankful for my stove top percolator in the wintertime, for reasons you'll soon read about!

Why Use a Stove Top Percolator?

  • They are easier to clean than electric coffee makers.
  • They don't get clogged up by the minerals in tap water, which means they won't slow down over time.
  • Electronics eventually wear out and break. A percolator will last much longer (and often costs much less) than an electric coffee maker!
  • Your electric coffee maker won't get the coffee as hot as a percolator will (this is especially nice when the weather is cold!)
  • Coffee tastes much better when brewed in a percolator than it does in an electronic coffee maker!
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How to Use a Percolator

  1. Fill the body of the percolator up with the desired amount of water (using the measurement marks that should be located on the inside).
  2. Place the pump tube into the water, and slide the grounds basket onto the pump tube.
  3. Fill the grounds basket with the desired amount of coffee (Coffee filter is optional).
  4. Place the "spreader" on top of the grounds basket, and then snap the lid onto the percolator.
  5. Heat until the water boils, then turn the heat to a low temperature and let the coffee "perk" for several minutes before removing from the heat.
  6. Pour the coffee, and enjoy! (Careful, the coffee will be very hot!)

Note: This is not nearly as complicated as it sounds. Your percolator should come with an instruction booklet, showing you what the parts are and how to assemble them. It will also give you specific instructions for measuring and timing. For a more detailed explanation, check out the video I've included. That will tell you everything you need to know.

Cleaning Tips

Just like a normal electric coffee maker, a percolator will start to get clogged up with left-over residue from the coffee. The difference is that the percolator is much easier to clean!

The only way I know of to clean an electric coffee maker is to run white vinegar through it a couple of times every month or so. But I'm not good on keeping up with this, as it's usually a lengthy process. After running vinegar through a couple of times, I must also run it a couple more times with just water before brewing another pot of coffee. Otherwise, my coffee will taste like vinegar.

Now, you can clean your percolator this way, too. But instead, I just stick it in the dishwasher! The dishwasher does a wonderful job of removing the gunk and residue that builds up on the inside of the percolator. And between washes in the dishwasher, a little soap and water on a sponge do just fine.

Get one of your own!

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