Perks Of Coffee

How To Make Coffee With A Stovetop Percolator

How To Make Coffee With A Stovetop Percolator For A Traditional Brew

For a good old-fashioned coffee, read how to make coffee with a stovetop percolator. Get freshly brewed coffee full of flavor.

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The traditional method of “perking” with a stove coffee percolator beats the competition every time, in every way.

It is sad to see the coffee maker that happily bubbles away and brews on the stove has been pushed to the back of the shelves.


New, fancy electric coffee machines have come onto the market bragging about all the convenience and speed they offer.

But… they may not necessarily be the best buy for you.

How To Make Coffee With A Stovetop Percolator The Easy Way

Buying the best percolator to suit your needs will stand you in good stead for many years to come.

Making Coffee With A Stove Top PercolatorThese coffee pots are easy to use, easy to clean, and portable to anywhere far away from electricity and a wall socket.

They won’t stop working for some inexplicable reason and are a reliable source of really hot coffee whenever and wherever.

For those of you aware of the side effects of plastics and are looking for a coffee pot that is exempt from this dreaded modern-day material… this is the answer.

Most models are stainless steel with a glass globe on the lid. You can brew to your heart’s content knowing that you are BPA free.

The majority of percolator coffee pots for brewing on the stove make approximately 4 to 8 cups of coffee. Please bear in mind that 2 cups are equivalent to 1 standard coffee mug.

Find Stove Coffee Percolator Reviews on Amazon

The following Amazon products will be a long-lasting and favorite addition to your brewing arsenal.

Start making coffee with a stovetop percolator now – and start enjoying the aromas and flavors this type of brew offers.

How Does a Stove Coffee Percolator Work?

Even though every brand of percolator looks slightly different, the basic mechanism inside is exactly the same.

The coffee grounds sit in a small basket with a myriad of small holes above the waterline. There is a narrow tube that extends from the base of the basket to the water below.

This mechanism is the heart of the stovetop coffee brewer and how your delicious brew is made.

When the water heats up from your heat source, the water rises up the tube and into the coffee grounds. This action allows the hot water to circulate through the coffee grounds, absorbing its flavor and aroma.

This flavored water drains back down into the pot where the process will be repeated.

Very simple.

Use a coarser ground coffee for percolators.

As the water rotates many times during the brewing time, if the grinds are too fine, the coffee can become muddy.

This is caused by the smaller sized coffee grounds being transferred into the water below, and into your coffee, through the holes of the chamber.

Therefore, using the correct coffee grinder to prepare your beans is essential.

Also, a lighter roast is better to avoid a bitter taste.

Types of Percolators

There are several types of stovetop percolators to choose from on the market.

So you need to be open-minded and consider alternatives to what you have always imagined a stove coffee brewer to look like.

You have the option of:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Enamel
  • Glass

Within these categories, you will also find the old-fashioned and even vintage style coffee maker designs.

How about that?

You actually have quite a choice!

Making coffee with a percolator for the stove provides many style options. These are listed below.

Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee Percolator

Stainless Steel Stovetop Coffee PercolatorThis is probably the most popular coffee maker people choose.

They look very elegant and come in several different designs to suit your lifestyle and kitchen decor.

Their popularity probably also comes from the idea of durability as well as the ease of cleaning and maintenance. These are very important factors when contemplating purchasing any item for your kitchen.

One of the factors to consider is the size and how many cups or mugs of coffee you can brew. These vary between the maximum of 6,8, 9 or 12 cups. 12 cups are generally the biggest percolator available. This is a very generous sized brewer.

But the minimum brew can be from 1-2 cups. Most coffee pots come with water measurements. It is advisable to only use the amount of water required for the number of coffees being brewed.

Also, measure out the required coffee grounds accordingly. Then you can brew away.

Advantages of a Stainless Steel Coffee Pot:

  • Constructed of heavy gauge stainless steel
  • Heat safe to 600-degrees Fahrenheit
  • Most stovetop coffee percolators feature a glass cover knob and permanent cup markings on the side
  • Makes fresh perked coffee without using electricity
  • Water levels clearly marked inside for easy measuring
  • Percolator parts disassemble easily for cleaning
  • Generally dishwasher safe

These are a perfect addition to outdoor entertaining and taking on hiking trips. They are easy to use and set up over a fire.

Enamel Stove Top Coffee Percolator

Enamel Stove Top Coffee PercolatorNow – enamel coffee percolators are the hard-wearing, knock it about, outdoor brewer.

These pots bring to mind the cowboys sitting around their campfire in the middle of nowhere. I can just picture them eating beans and drinking strong black coffee out of their metal cups!!

These durable brewing pots are reminiscent of the old-fashioned coffee pot from a bygone era. But they are by no means a thing of the past.

They are still being made today and are just as efficient at brewing coffee as they always have been.

Coming in varying sizes there is an 8 cup, 12 and even 14 cups capacity pot.

These are the ultimate in outdoor coffee brewing over the fire. Hard wearing and durable, these percolators are made for the outdoors.

The Benefits of an Enamel Stove Top Coffee Pot

  • Heavy glazed enamel steel is rustproof and durable.
  • They generally have top and side handles
  • Kiln-hardened enamel finish preventing chips and scratches
  • Steel core heats quickly and efficiently
  • Enamel surface will not alter the taste of coffee or tea
  • No PTFE, PFOA or other harmful chemicals
  • Dishwasher safe

When looking for a basic coffee pot that does not need electricity and is usable both indoors and out – this type of coffee pot is the answer.

Glass Stovetop Percolator Coffee Pots

Glass Stovetop Percolator Coffee PotsThere is a small variety of glass percolators for the stove on the market.

Within this range, there are a selection of vintage styles that take you back in time.

These will add a little class to your coffee experience and become a talking point with your guests.

There is no need to be worried about the glass being put on a hot stove plate. They will not shatter or crack as soon as the stove plate gets to the right brewing temperature.

They are fully functional and made to withstand the heat required to do a proper brew.

Glass Percolator Qualities

  • Thermal-Shock Resistant
  • Made from Borosilicate Glass
  • Heat tolerant handles
  • Some come with a trivet so can be used on coil electric stoves
  • Can go from stove to table to fridge without cracking
  • Stain-resistant
  • Dishwasher-safe

These coffee makers also come in varying cup capacities.

Camping Percolators

Camping Percolators

Stovetop coffee percolators are the quintessential coffee brewers for camping outdoors.

So easy to set up and use – once the fire is going nicely of course!

When making coffee outdoors with a percolator, bear in mind that the stainless steel and enamel varieties are the perfect pots for brewing on a fire.

As a personal choice, I would go for the enamel type – they seem more robust for using over the flames. They have the outdoorsy feel too.

Another option would be the basic stainless steel pot. Not one with a high sheen or gloss as the flames may tarnish the exterior. They will also get knocked about with being lugged around in rough environments.

Practicality is the order of the day when choosing camping percolators!

How To Use a Stove Coffee Percolator For Coffee Brewing

Add Water

Add the amount of water required for the number of cups or mugs you need into the percolator.

Assemble the Basket and Tube

Place the tube or stem inside the coffee pot and slide the basket over the tube into position.

Add the Coffee Grounds

Place the coffee grounds into the basket. Be careful not to overdo the quantity. This method produces stronger coffee than other machines do.

A little experimenting with your favorite bean and accurate measuring with a scoop the first couple of times is needed to achieve the right strength for you.

Start Brewing

Place the percolator over a medium heat. The key to a good pot of coffee is to heat the water slowly to a point just below boiling.

The temperature is perfect when you can see the coffee start to bubble through the glass bubble on the lid. It should “perk” approximately once every few seconds at a regular roll. This is a good perking pace.

If your pot starts steaming, it is getting too hot. Either take it off the heat for a bit or reduce the temperature of the heat source. Try to achieve the nice perking roll observed through the glass top.

Brew for approximately 7 to 10 minutes for a stronger cup or 5 to 6 minutes for a weaker brew.

Take off the heat, carefully remove the basket and tube and pour your cuppa.


Making Coffee On The Stove

To Sum Up…

The stovetop coffee makers are back to basics and produce a coffee that is just as good, if not better than a drip coffee maker.

If you are seriously thinking of making coffee with a percolator on the stove, I would like to say a little something to you:-

The newfangled, fancy coffee makers with all the lights and settings are not everything.

Making a cup the way your grandparents did has its merits.

Now Make It Happen!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use a stovetop percolator?

Place your grounds into the basket and place the lid on the percolator. Put the percolator on a hot stove plate or fire to heat up and start boiling. Turn the heat down so that the coffee is on a slow rolling boil. Let the coffee perk for between 6 - 10 minutes and remove from the heat. Pour and enjoy.

How long do you let coffee percolate on the stove?

The recommended time is between 6 and 8 minutes. But the time usually comes down to how you like your coffee. The longer it percolates the stronger it will be. A little experimentation will get you to your goal of a perfect brew.

How do I know when my coffee percolator is done?

During brewing, you will hear the coffee "perking" when it comes to the boil. The coffee will bubble up into the glass top. When the coffee perks every 2 - 3 seconds at a regular roll you are perking perfectly. After 5 - 10 minutes your coffee is done. Take off the heat and serve.

Do you need a filter for a percolator?

A percolator has a built-in filter that is part of the mechanism design. The filter basket holds the grounds while the hot water perks over and through it extracting your coffee brew.

How do you keep coffee grounds out of a percolator?

A tip to stop the small grinds going through the filter when adding them to the basket is to wet the basket first. This captures any small grounds. Another tip is to not let the coffee boil rapidly. This may cause the grounds to overflow out of the basket and into the coffee making the coffee taste bitter.