Cooking with Coffee


It’s hard to imagine waking up to anything other than the scent of coffee tickling our noses awake. For us, morning just isn’t complete without a steaming cup of joe waiting for us. Not only does it supply you with a much-needed energy boost, but it is also jam-packed with awesome-for-you benefits that supply your body with antioxidants and help fight diseases.


Even though we do love our coffee, we aren’t the only ones. Most kitchens across the country have coffee makers or espresso machines in them because it is such an essential part of our diet. In fact, the United States has more than 50 percent of American adults who drink a cup of coffee each day.

However, even though we are all thankful for the delicious brew our coffee pots make us, what about the other things it can produce? Take a moment to think about this. In terms of cooking, how far will a coffee pot take you?

When you think of cooking appliances, we’re sure your mind jumps to the obvious. Your stove, oven, microwave, toaster, perhaps a blender, and so forth. But what about your coffee maker? And we don’t mean solely for the purpose of making coffee.

While there usually is an available stove top nearby, you might find yourself in a hotel or motel room without one. Maybe you’re a soldier in the middle of a warzone or on a boat without a proper stove. Perhaps you live in a dorm for the time being – either way, you don’t have access to a stove or oven. How are you going to survive?

Not to worry! When in a bind, it’s good to know the different ways you can cook food using something as simple as a coffee maker. This kitchen favorite can make breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all with a few simple tricks.


Even though it pales in comparison to a stove, you can get away with cooking certain things in your coffee maker. You just need to know the right moves. Here are three ways you can use your drip coffee maker to cook dinner:


Craving something healthier, like steamed broccoli or cauliflower? Surprisingly, the basket at the top makes a great place to steam your veggies.


The pot in a drip coffee maker can easily poach fish and chicken. Plus, you can use it to make oatmeal, couscous, and hard-boiled eggs.


If you’re really craving a grilled cheese sandwich, the coffee maker’s burner can serve as a makeshift grill. This technique is a bit more time consuming, but effective, if you want a sandwich badly enough.

We’ll use a salmon dinner with couscous and steamed veggie for our example. Add your veggies to the basket until it is halfway full. Fill the coffee maker’s water reservoir and run the coffee maker until there is just enough water for the couscous. Stop the appliance.


Next, dump out the water and add the couscous to the carafe. With a fork mix up the veggies to make sure they are evenly steaming. Restart the coffee maker until the cycle finishes and let the couscous sit for five minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl.

Allow the salmon to sit in the hot water until it appears opaque and flaky – anywhere from seven to fifteen minutes. Remove your salmon and veggies. Voila!

Now that you see your coffee maker in a whole new light, go ahead and experiment! Have fun making your own combinations and recipes.

The following are all things that you can easily cook using your coffee maker. And, who knows? Maybe these items will get the ball rolling on some of your own creations.

Hot dogs

With just a couple of minutes and seven cups of water, you’ll have hot dogs ready for serving.


Broccoli, cauliflower, and other veggies

Steam your veggies in the top basket to make a perfect side with your entrée.


Grilled cheese

Make a grilled cheese like you would on the stove by using the burner as your skillet.



Like a grilled cheese, cook these on the burner.


Poached salmon

Submerge in the fish in water for about ten minutes. Just add soy sauce, ginger, or any other seasonings to your liking.


Poached chicken

Just partially submerge the meat in water (in the pot) and flip over. Easy enough! Add any seasonings that suit your taste.


Fried eggs

Even though the stove top is a much better place, you can fry an egg on the coffee pot burner. Try it for yourself!


Boiled eggs

If you prefer your eggs boiled, use the pot. They should only take around eight minutes until done.


Instant oatmeal

Put two packs of oatmeal in the pot, and salt, honey, sugar, or whatever you desire for flavor!


Corn on the cob

Place an ear of corn in the pot and, after about eight minutes, the corn should be nice and tender.



No rice cooker? No problem! Rice is extremely easy to cook in a coffee pot. Just add ½ cup of rice per cup of water for each serving and leave it to cook for 20 minutes.



You’re able to cook these in the pot. Once heated, cover with your desired condiments, and you have breakfast.



For those who really want to test their culinary skills in the coffee maker, try to create your very own homemade soup. This can take up to five hours, so be prepared to wait.

Add your ingredients and water in the pot, place a stock cube in the filter and, after several hours of heating and occasionally stirring, add the spices and herbs you desire. Continue to cook for a few more hours, and you’ll have soup!


Ramen noodles

Chances are, if you live in a dorm, you’ll have a pack or two of ramen lying around. Cook the noodles in the coffee pot and add the flavor pack in the filter. Once the noodles are cooked, you’re ready to eat!



Since lentils can be prepared quickly in hot water, they make the perfect side dish for your coffee maker meal.



This is for the true master chef of the coffee maker. Use the burner as a skillet, and cook pancakes as you normally would. It might take longer than usual and, of course, you’ll only be able to cook one at a time. Just be sure to cover the burner with nonstick foil first, or you’ll have a real mess.



Perhaps you crave tea to wind down for bed. Just add the tea leaves in the filter and brew the water as you would for coffee!



Melt butter and add cocoa, sugar, and syrup. After about 45 minutes, you have delicious caramel to top ice cream or brownies.


Chocolate fondue

For a delicious treat to dip your snacks in, just heat cream in the coffee maker and, after 15 minutes, add chocolate. Let that cook for another 10, and it should be ready.


Mashed potatoes

If you tried your hand at cooking chicken, reuse the juice to prepare this classic side dish. Add milk and butter to the mixture and cook for about a minute. Once that’s combined, add in some potato flakes, and you have mashed potatoes!


After you’ve experimented with the above, and your own concoctions, it is important that you remember to properly clean your coffee maker. This can’t be stressed enough if you are using a hotel one. You don’t want to leave behind bacteria and germs that could contaminate your coffee (or the coffee of guests behind you.)

To properly clean your drip coffee maker, fill the water reservoir with a mixture of half water and half distilled white vinegar. Let several cups run through, and then turn the machine off and let it sit for about an hour. Turn the coffee maker back on to complete the cycle once again. After that, toss out the vinegar mix and run just water through the machine until the vinegar smell is gone.

To clean the carafe and filter basket, you should run through the dishwasher or wash by hand with soap and hot water if you do not have access to a dishwasher. This is hugely important to do if you have cooked (especially meat) with your pot and filter.

We would like to note that, whether you cook meals or not, you should give your coffee maker a monthly cleaning. By cleaning your machine once a month, you will ensure that every cup of coffee is delicious. The same method mentioned above will remove any oily residue and water impurities that build up in your coffee maker over time. These things can taint the taste of your morning coffee.

Okay, so perhaps you don’t want to actually cook in your coffee maker. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to incorporate coffee into your food. Here are some examples of the delicious main courses and desserts that use coffee in the ingredient list.



Although it may seem like an odd combination of two ingredients, coffee and ribs both have an earthy flavor that play off each other nicely. Use strong brewed coffee in a rub mix to marinate ribs for a unique taste. Along with ribs, try a coffee marinade for your burgers, jerky, and roasts.


As with the rubs for jerky and burgers, using a pinch of ground coffee beans gives fish like salmon an earthier flavor.


According to Food&Wine, using a combination of apple cider vinegar, cane syrup or brown sugar, and coffee to braise the bird makes for a sweet, bitter, and herbaceous
turkey breast.



Adding strong brew coffee into cake batters will intensify the chocolate flavors. Experiment adding coffee to some of these chocolate cakes or your own favorite cake recipe.

German chocolate cake

The coffee will give this classic added flavor.

Rum Mocha cake

You’ll need instant espresso and coffee liqueur for this one.

Chocolate Bundt cake

Delicious to serve at your next coffee hour.

Double chocolate cake

Slightly different than the light and airy Bundt cake, this one uses buttermilk and coffee in the batter with coffee and buttercream icing.

Crème Brûlée

For the gifted chef who has the right tools, using crushed coffee beans and caramel will make this classic dessert into a rich caramel cappuccino.

Candied Espresso Nuts

With just a few tablespoons of espresso coffee beans and instant espresso powder, you are able to make your own candied nuts for a delicious after dinner treat, pairing with your afternoon coffee, or as a gift during the holiday season.


Trust us – the Italians knew what they were doing when they mixed strong coffee with custard to create this light yet rich dessert.


Bananas steeped in coffee syrup are delicious as a topping on vanilla ice cream or yogurt. Just make sure the bananas you use are still firm, so they don’t get too mushy in the syrup.

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