Best Coffee Percolator: Stovetop and Electric Percolator Reviews

coffee percolator

Nothing smells better than the aroma of perfectly made coffee wafting through the morning air. Even if you own one of the best drip coffee makers, you'll know that you are missing out when it comes to the outdoors. That is why we have decided to put forward our recommendation of the best coffee percolator, to ensure your morning cup of coffee is truly amazing.

Loving coffee is one thing, but brewing the best coffee is entirely different. Fortunately, the coffee culture has seen a lot of evolution and advancement in how we make our coffee and the devices available. This is where coffee percolators come in!

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  • Perfect camping percolator
  • Stainless steel
  • Holds 12 cups
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  • Campfire coffee compatible
  • 9 cup basin
  • Easy to clean
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  • Brews 4 to 12 cups
  • Stainless steel
  • Stay-cool bottom
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  • Cool touch insulation
  • Stainless steel
  • Electric with 12 cup carafe
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  • Copper body stainless steel
  • Multiple color choices
  • 12 cup capacity
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What is a Coffee Percolator

These devices often get a few complaints among many coffee lovers because of its brewing process; forcing hot water through a tube and dripping over coffee grounds. The disadvantage with this process is that it is possible to overcook or burn your coffee and end up with a bitter cup instead.

If you don't let that deter you, then you'll be happy to know that a coffee percolator will help you create a more intense coffee flavor than you would get from a filter machine. Although very little has changed in the design of coffee percolators since they joined the culture in the 19th century, they remain very relevant. So, if you love your coffee strong, soothing, and burbling, then here are the best coffee percolators worth buying.

Best Coffee Percolator

1. Farberware Stainless Steel, 12-Cup Coffee Percolator

Farberware Percolator

When considering the best coffee percolator, there are many factors that may impact your decision. An excellent place to start is the Farberware Stainless Steel, 12-Cup Coffee Percolator, and it is not because this is probably the shiniest design on our list. If you’re looking for the best way to make delicious coffee on a budget, then this percolator should be on top of your reference list. Aside from being affordable, all you need is your stove to get this bad boy working its magic. 

This stovetop percolator comes with a half-gallon capacity, making it ideal for small families (or anyone not willing to share their cup of gold). But its 12-cup capacity also means that you and your family can sip your coffee together in harmony. If you are obsessed with the burbling nature of your coffee, this percolator will give you an extra rush of excitement, as its design allows you to watch the little bubbles in the glass knob while your coffee brews. That means that you can also monitor when your coffee begins to percolate.

On the topic of construction material, the device comes in high-quality, heavy-duty stainless-steel construction, which makes it durable and convenient. Its polished surface also gives it a mirror finish and makes it an ideal accessory for any kitchen. With this percolator, you do not have to worry about creating a mess; the Farberware Stainless Steel, 12-Cup Coffee Percolator features a permanent percolator filter basket, which means there’s no need to deal with a messy paper coffee filter. The stainless-steel material also makes this product dishwasher safe.

Since the Farberware Percolator is a stovetop percolator, not only can you rest assured that your electricity bills would not go up because of your love for coffee, it also means it’s the perfect percolator for your camping trips. One thing to note when using a stovetop coffee percolator is that it is easy to burn the coffee if you leave these unattended. That's why many people prefer an electric percolator. However, if you want the control or if you need a camping percolator, this may be the one!

2. Eurolux Percolator, Stainless Steel, Campfire Coffee

Eurolux Percolator

Up next, we have the Eurolux Percolator, Stainless Steel, Campfire Coffee. Although our previous percolator can be used for camping, the Eurolux Percolator is the preferred and recommended camping percolator. In fact, it is the best coffee percolator for camping! 

So, if you are looking to try your hand at making some cowboy coffee, this may be your solution. Plus, it comes with a smaller capacity and means that you carry it along for your camping with much ease. So, if you plan on going camping and need a stovetop percolator for some great campfire coffee, you may want to consider this one.

This small-sized coffee percolator does the job when it comes to delivering irresistible taste and aroma. It is designed to produce a consistently rich and fuller coffee flavor that is sure to pamper your taste buds with the luxury of good taste. Speaking of luxury, this percolator is made with 100% Teflon-free and BPA-free high-quality stainless-steel material that gleams with the kind of luxury perfect for any environment - both indoors and outdoors. Enjoy your coffee, assured that your percolator is free from any form of hidden chemicals that will not only ruin the taste of your coffee but also put your health at risk.

Cleaning your percolator can be such a drag. Thankfully, the Eurolux Percolator is stainless-steel construction also means that you can let the dishwasher do all the hard work after enjoying your coffee. Besides, if you plan on taking this camping, you'll need something a little more rugged that can withstand a beating while also allow for easy cleaning.

Eurolux Percolator is also very easy to use, as it comes without the hustle of dealing with cords and the need for electricity. This is one of the reasons why it is the best option for your camping trip. It comes with no plastic parts to worry about, and its 9-cup capacity should be more than enough for your camping company. Its design also makes it durable and sturdy enough for camping rigors - no need to worry about dents and marks from falls and knocks.

Are you new to using percolators? Eurolux Percolator includes step-by-step usage instructions and a filter basket. If you plan on using this stovetop coffee percolator as a camping percolator, you may want to read the instructions beforehand so you know what to expect ahead of time.

3. Cuisinart, 12-Cup Stainless-Steel Percolator


Cuisinart Percolator

Now, let’s take a look at the Cuisinart, 12-Cup Stainless-Steel Percolator. It may be challenging for any electric percolator to win the hearts of coffee lovers in terms of the artistic outlook of many other percolators, but this percolator from Cuisinart isn’t too bad to look at. However, unlike the two previous options, this percolator would not make a good camping addition. Even though it does not have outdoor properties, the Cuisinart percolator has a lot to offer.

First is the design.  The Cuisinart percolator comes in an elegantly made, compact build, with a tapered sprout and a transparent top knob. The transparent knob feature also means that you can keep your eyes on your coffee burbling merrily inside while you wait excitedly. 

The design features a stay-cool bottom unit that ensures that your surfaces stay protected from burns and marks. There is also a light indicator that lets you know when the brewing completes, so you don’t end up burning your coffee and ruining the taste. 

This Cuisinart percolator comes with a convenient capacity of 4 to 2 cups, making it ideal for small gatherings and low consumption households.  Yes, this may not be an electricity free stovetop coffee percolator, but it still remains a wonderful option. In our opinion, this machine is the best coffee percolator you can pick if you are looking for a trusted manufacturer.

As we have already mentioned, its light indicator makes it easy to use. It also comes with an ergonomically designed handle making for a very firm grip. The stainless-steel construction also offers a lot of resistance to scratches and knocks. Aside from that, it also features a cord measuring 36 inches, which gives you enough distance between the device and the power source. 

4. Hamilton Beach, 12 Cup, Stainless Steel Electric Percolator

Hamilton Percolator

Moving on from one electric percolator to another, the next entry onto our list is the Hamilton Beach, 12 Cup, Stainless Steel Electric Percolator. One thing that stands out about this entry from Hamilton is that it comes with so many features. First of all, it has a locking lid system to ensure that the vapor pressure does not dislodge the lid and dump hot coffee on your body. 

There is also a viewing window on top of the Hamilton percolator for anyone obsessed with enjoying the view of burbling delight while monitoring your coffee. Plus, it also gives you the sense of achievement that you’re brewing coffee on your own - that is, if you are trying it for the first time.

Beyond the two features mentioned, the pot also comes with all the necessary features you can expect in an electric percolator. It has a cool-touch handle that remains cool throughout your brewing process and makes it safe to handle your pot immediately after you finish. There is also a spout that doesn’t dribble and a power cord you can separate from the pot. 

Unlike the other percolators already reviewed, the Hamilton Percolator, 12 Cup, Stainless Steel Electric Percolator features a body constructed with durable plastic material. This takes nothing away from the pot’s durability as well as the sturdiness it offers. In order not to overcook your precious coffee, this percolator also features a light indicator, which tells you when the coffee is ready. There is also a keep warm heater.

Since nobody likes a messy situation, this pot comes with a permanent filter basket made of stainless steel in addition to its non-drip spout. You can also refer to a user manual to be sure you’re doing the right thing. If you aren't sure which electric coffee percolator to buy, but you know that you want the best coffee percolator possible, you should seriously consider the Hamilton percolator.

5. Moss & Stone Electric Coffee Percolator

Moss & Stone Percolator

For the fifth-best percolator, we have the Moss & Stone Electric Coffee Percolator. One glance at this percolator is enough to know that it is quite different in appearance from the others we have already reviewed. Instead of the purely stainless steel or plastic materials we have seen, this one comes with an elegant construction made from durable copper. 

As far as functionality is concerned, it features an ergonomically designed black handle which is cool-to-touch. It also has a ready-to-serve light indicator and an automatic keep-warm function to keep your pot of liquid gold warm for consumption. Not only is this arguably the best coffee percolator, but it is also the most stylish option.

Moss & Stone Electric Coffee Percolator has a capacity of up to ten cups, making it ideal for a small gathering. It comes with a removable coffee filter, including a stainless-steel filter basket, a power cord, and a pump tube. There is also a beautifully designed spout for easy pouring, which ensures that there is no spillage. At the top of the pot is a see-through knob for your viewing pleasure.

The pot measures a satisfactory 28 cm in height, 23 cm in length, and 14.5 cm in with. If this electric percolator is yet to convince you; Moss & Stone is backing this one up with a one-year warranty. Although most people prefer a stovetop coffee percolator to last a lifetime, this warranty helps many coffee drinkers to consider purchasing an electric coffee percolator, we sure recommend it!

How Does A Percolator Work

how does a percolator work

A percolator works just a little differently from a drip coffee maker, which we will explain more below as we compare the percolator vs drip methods.

So, how does a percolator work? Well, it's actually quite simple. The coffee percolator pot works like a recirculating water fountain system, which pushes boiling water upward through a tube. The boiling water moves upward and overflows into a filter basket, which holds the coffee grounds. The water then goes back down into the water reservoir for the process to repeat itself. 

The term “percolate” comes from the process where water or fluid is gradually carried through a porous substance and emerges with a different quality than it had before the process of percolation. 

The coffee percolator uses a similar process. The bubbles that form from the boiling water rises from the bottom of the pot. The percolator pot then uses a hollow pump tube to ensure that the bubbles concentrate and force the boiling water to move upward through the tube. 

The tube then sprays the water over a spreader cover, scattering the water thoroughly over the ground coffee and saturating it in the process. The spreader cover comes with holes of different sizes, making it possible to saturate the coffee evenly and thoroughly. Additionally, the spreader cover also serves as a preventive mechanism to stop the ground coffee from splashing upward and into the rest of the percolator pot. 

The best coffee percolator will do this in a way that creates a stronger cup of coffee, while also preventing burning from occurring. If you have never tried it, you are missing out.

Why Is It Called A Percolator

why is it called a percolator

The term "percolator" refers to how boiling water rises through a tube and is repeatedly deflected or redirected downward through a spreader cover or a perforated basket. The perforated basket contains the ground coffee and receives the water to extract the coffee beans’ essence. 

As the hot water continues to boil in larger rolls, it splashes upwards and through the base of the basket and makes its way back into the rest of the boiling water. This cycle will repeat itself over and over as the water continues to boil.

The longer the cycle repeats itself, the stronger the coffee gets, as it infuses the oil from the coffee beans several times. This process will continue until the heat source is no longer available.

So, why is it called a percolator? Simple, the brewing method used to extract the coffee is done with percolation rather than the common practice of infusion.

Therefore, for a coffee pot to be a percolator, it should come with the internal features of an upright pump stem tube, which will work together with a basket to hold the coffee while allowing the hot water to pass through. The coffee pot should also feature a stand that will hold the tube in place while the basket rests on the tube. The basket usually comes with a perforated spreader cover, which is placed on top of it. 

How to Use A Percolator

how to use a percolator

From our review list, there are two main types of coffee percolators, the stovetop coffee percolator and electric percolators. In case you need to know how to use one or the other, we have gone ahead and provided info below on how to use both options. There is no clear winner for the best coffee percolator, rather, there are better options based on your specific needs.

Step 1: Prep Your Percolator

Ensure that your percolator is clean. Then, using the appropriate amount of water, fill your water reservoir. During the percolation process, you will lose some water due to steam, so be sure to keep this in mind.

Step 2: Grind Your Beans

Whether you are grinding your beans fresh, or using pre ground coffee, you'll next want to add them to the upper basket within the percolator. This is entirely based on preference, but the amount of coffee you would use should be similar to that of drip coffee. For strong coffee, use a 1:1 ratio of one tablespoon of ground coffee to one cup of water. For a weaker cup, use a ratio of 1:2, one tablespoon of grounds to one cup of water. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle!

Step 3: Heat Your Percolator Coffee

Once you are ready, it is time to heat up your percolator. After the water becomes hot enough, you will see the device start to percolate or it'll notify you that it is ready. Generally, this is where you would reduce the heat slightly as you let your percolator coffee start to perk. For specific instructions between the stovetop percolators and electric percolators, be sure to check out the guides below.

Step 4: Let it Perk

Once the device has begun percolating, let it perk for around 8 to 10 minutes. It is all user preference, but you'll find your perfect time after some trial and error.

Step 5: Pour and Enjoy

Once the coffee is ready, remove the heat source by turning off the stove or by unplugging it. Remove the coffee basket and grounds. Then, let your coffee sit for a few minutes so coffee grounds will sink to the bottom. Once the coffee has cooled down to an appropriate temperature, pour a cup and enjoy!

How to Use a Stovetop Percolator

  1. First, fill the pot with the amount of water you prefer, making sure that you do not go below or beyond the measurement marks where available. Once done, place your pump tube into the water and position the basket on top of the tube. 
  2. Next, fill your grounds basket with the amount of coffee you desire - the coffee filter is optional. Place your spreader cover over the grounds basket and move the lid onto the percolator. 
  3. Place your percolator on your stove and heat it until the water begins to boil. Next, turn down the heat to a lower temperature to give your coffee the chance to perk for several minutes before removing the percolator from the stove. 
  4. Now pour your coffee and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Be careful though, as the coffee may be scalding. 

How to Use an Electric Percolator

  1. First of all, be sure to read the specific instructions on your electric percolator, if it comes with some unique features.
  2. Remove the cover inside the basket and the stem and fill the pot with your preferred amount of water. If your pot comes with measure marks, make sure you do not fill beyond the highest recommended or below the lowest mark required. 
  3. Once done, replace your percolator stem assembly and place the cover basket over it. Add your ground coffee and plug in your power cord. Next, turn on your percolator if there is a power button available and allow your percolator to do it's magic. 
  4. Keep your eyes on the light indicator (if your unit comes with one) to know when your coffee is ready. Pour your coffee when done and enjoy!

How to Clean A Percolator

how to clean a percolator

In order to clean your percolator, it is recommended to clean it after every use, as this makes the process easier and prevents the build up of coffee deposits, which can affect the quality and taste of your coffee. Most stainless steel percolators are dishwasher friendly, but always make sure that you read the instructions. You can also clean your percolator more thoroughly by filling the pot with warm water and adding one tablespoonful of baking soda. Allow the mixture to sit overnight and wash it off thoroughly the following day.

If you’re struggling with stains, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water to help clean the percolator more thoroughly. Simply heat up the mixture, and then pour it into your percolator. After allowing this mixture to sit overnight, wash it off the following day with fresh water and your stains should be all gone!

In order to be considered as one if the best coffee percolators, it is required that the percolator be easy to clean and made of a hard and durable piece of metal. Although there are glass percolators, we don't recommend them. Although you may find a few hardened coffee drinkers that don't believe in cleaning their coffee percolator pot, we recommend you learn how to clean a percolator. Besides, these aren't bacon pans, you don't want to be drinking old stale coffee or coffee grounds.

Percolator Filters

One thing to consider when using a stovetop percolator or an electric percolator is that you'll need percolator filters. Luckily for you, percolator filters are very easy to come by and are almost always in stock. If you find yourself needing percolator filters, and don't have time to go out and buy them, you may be able to use drip coffee filters as they are similar in design and functionality.

Although it can be done, we don't recommend using percolator filters that were not engineered for the stovetop coffee percolator or the electric percolator. Instead, simply stock up on them at Amazon to ensure you never run out. Besides, if you want to enjoy the tastiest cup of coffee, you may as well be using the correct filters.

Percolator vs Drip

Percolator Coffee vs Drip Coffee

So, it comes down to this. The stovetop coffee percolator, or the electric percolator, against the more commonly used drip coffee maker. Now, it would be unfair to say that one is better than the other as they are entirely different methods of extracting coffee. On one hand, you have the coffee percolator pot method where the coffee is brewed with percolation, and on the other hand, you have the slow drip extraction process.

Drip Coffee Maker

In a perfect world, the drip coffee extraction process would create a more flavorful cup of coffee, but that is not what usually occurs. The reason drip coffee usually falls short of perfection is due to engineering faults and/or user error. Ideally, you only want the water to pass through the grounds once to avoid over extraction, but that is not quite possible with limitations of drip coffee makers.

Also, since most drip coffee machines push water through the grounds based on the direction of the shower head within the machine, most users end up with something called channeling. This channeling process occurs when water follows the path of least resistance, which means that the water ends up following the same tunnel through the coffee grounds and into the carafe, which leads to half of the coffee being over extracted and the other half being under extracted. If the shower head was constantly moving, this could be avoided.

The only way to thwart channeling is through user interaction, meaning doing the pour over manually. This is typically done through the use of a gooseneck kettle and a Chemex or V60. Again, just because you are controlling the process, it doesn't mean that channeling cannot occur. Additionally, doing a pour over can be challenging since you'll need to control water temperature, extraction rate and the coarseness of the coffee grounds.

Percolator Coffee Pot

While the drip coffee maker makes a more flavorful cup of coffee, the percolator coffee pot can achieve a stronger brew. Since the water is constantly recirculating through the grounds, the final extraction will end up with more coffee sediment in the basin or carafe. With a stronger cup of coffee comes more components of the coffee, including acid. If you are someone that has acid reflux, you may want to consider whether the stovetop coffee percolator is right for you.

In terms of difficulty, the percolation method is no more difficult or time consuming as the drip method. In fact, in some instances, it is easier. For example, if you are going camping and need to make coffee, the camping percolator such as the Farberware Percolator or the Eurolux Percolator allows for you to achieve this. If you want to make drip coffee, you'll need a power source or machinery to do your own pour over. This may be difficult with a level table, a way to measure temperature and a few additional reasons.

So, if you wanted to know which was better, percolator vs drip, the answer is a bit complicated. Both have a place and both are great for different reasons. If you have the time and want to master the craft at home, learn how to do the pour over method.

However, if you are in need of some campfire coffee, or need to make a lot of coffee, you can't go wrong with the stovetop percolator or electric percolator. Luckily for you, the best coffee percolator is somewhere on our list above, you just need to figure out which one you would like to buy.

Final Verdict on Percolator Coffee

percolator coffee

If you’re looking for a boost in taste and aroma, coffee percolators remain one of the best for brewing coffee. Most critics will point to the possibility of burning your coffee; however, electric percolators have been designed to solve that problem which is why most consider an electric option to be the best coffee percolator. Even still, if you are careful and know how to make coffee with a stovetop percolator, you won't need to worry about burning your coffee.

Coffee percolators have come a long way in terms of design and features, to ensure that coffee lovers always get the best from their ground coffee. Although the stovetop percolator options are ideal for environments without electricity, the electric ones require less experience to use. We have settled with the above selection as our top five picks with many options to choose from.

If you find yourself needing a portable camping percolator, then go with the Farberware Percolator or the Eurolux Percolator. However, if you don't want to risk burning your coffee and would like the process to be a bit more automated, consider one of the three electric coffee percolator options we mentioned above, such as; Cuisinart Percolator, Hamilton Percolator, Moss & Stone Percolator.

If you found value from our best coffee percolator guide, please be sure to share so that others can find the best percolators available. Also, if you end up buying one of the machines we mentioned, please be sure to get back to us with whichever one you went with and whether or not it has performed as well as you were hoping.

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Parker Russell is a coffee professional and the founder of Black Ink Coffee. As an expert in the field of coffee roasting, cupping (professional Q-Grader) and brewing, Parker has established Black Ink as brand that fuels the grind of dreamers.