How to Use a Stove Top Coffee Percolator

Updated on December 13, 2019
Kristen Haynie profile image

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. | Source

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!

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!

Farberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator - 8 Cup, Silver
Farberware 50124 Classic Yosemite Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator - 8 Cup, Silver
This is the one I have. It's simple, inexpensive, and dishwasher safe. I use it every single day and it still remains reliable after three years of use. That's more than any electric coffee maker has lasted in my household before!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      3 months ago

      Love my coffee. Living in a studio apartment there is very little counter space. So having this kind of coffee pot is a life saver.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I'm having trouble getting my percolator to work with a ceramic stovetop. I wind up getting a burnt flavor to it because the burner doesn't cool down fast enough to keep from scorching it. Any ideas?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I find if I am using cheap to moderately priced coffees, percolators actually improve the flavour by rounding off the harsher tastes. If I am using an expensive coffee, the drip method is actually better since I am getting all of the wonderful tastes that are rounded off by the percolating process. But nothing gets coffee as wonderfully hot as a percolator! As Scottie says, "Always use the right tool for the right job".

    • profile image

      Uncle RJ 

      3 years ago

      While I have had automatic drip coffee machines in the past, they really don't come close to the quality of coffee that a percolator produces.

      What's the old saying? "I like my coffee black as sin and hot as hell"

      Best I ever achieved with the new modern types is a thin coffee like substance.

      Not even close to my standards !

      Kudos for the article.

      And keep on peculating!!!

    • Dave Shaffer profile image

      Dave Shaffer 

      7 years ago

      A couple of points to ponder: an auto-drip is no harder or easier to clean than a percolator. And, my Braun KF-12 brews at a consistant 200 degrees...and has, for the past 6 1/2 years. As far as taste goes, the Braun brews *better* than a percolator, but not quite as well as my Corning 4-cup dripolator. Oh, and water doesn't have to *quite* come to a boil for it to start percolating, as I've seen with my 4-cup Pyrex Flameware.

    • littlemarkiesmom profile image


      7 years ago from The hot, humid South

      I love percolated coffee! It just can't be beat.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I enjoyed your topic on percolators! At last you can now have "hot" coffee and not have to use the microwave to warm it up! I will have to come over and have coffee with you one morning and try this out! :)

    • Kristen Haynie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Haynie 

      8 years ago from Scotia, CA


      I didn't even know they existed until I went camping with my boyfriend's grandparents a few months ago. I thought that the percolator was a great concept (duh, they've been around forever) and got one of my own to use at home. It's great and I can't believe I never knew of them before.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • pedrn44 profile image


      8 years ago from Greenfield, Wisconsin

      I have only used my percolator while camping and never thought to use it while at home. In fact, when my coffe pot "died" one day I did not think to use my percolator. Thanks for this tip!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)