I adore my coffee maker, as I’m sure most of other coffee lovers out there do, but until recently I had no idea of things your coffee maker can do besides brew coffee. I discovered a few of these little miracles on my own, but found others on the web that are just pure brilliance, in my opinion. Some people may wonder why you would actually use a few of these, but these tips really come in handy if you want to save power without using a stove, or are without access to other conventional methods. These tips are especially helpful to college students in dorm rooms without main appliances. If you don’t drink coffee but have a coffee maker, don’t put it away in storage. There are things your coffee maker can do besides give you a cup of joe in the morning, though that is personally still my favorite way to use mine!
1. Melt Coconut Oil
My absolute favorite idea of all things your coffee maker can do is melt coconut oil. If you use coconut oil, which is solid at any temperature below 76 degrees, you’ll appreciate this one too. You can also use this for butter, which is solid when refrigerated and most likely needs to be melted for many recipes. I never liked the idea of microwaving my coconut oil, despite it being heat stable. Something about those precious nutrients just seemed too great to zap away in a microwave. So, one day, I got creative and took the carafe pot off the coffee maker, and put the coconut oil in a small ramekin. Then I set the ramekin on the hot plate of the coffee maker, turned on the machine and in 5 minutes, I had melted coconut oil that wasn’t scorched or boiling hot. Brilliant! Times will vary depending on the machine so just watch it until it is completely melted. You can do the same with butter too. You could also melt this in the actual carafe instead of a ramekin if you need to melt more than a little bit, and then just pour it in where the ingredient is needed.
2. Make Tea
One of my favorite uses for my coffee maker is also to brew loose leaf tea. I love buying specialty herbal teas such as rooibos, chamomile, rose petal and peppermint. They taste so much better in loose leaf form. I don’t own a tea infuser, nor do I need one. I simply place the tea leaves in a filter in my coffee pot and brew the water just like I would with coffee to make hot tea. I love making a big batch and storing the leftovers in the fridge to drink the next day as iced tea too. I have also used it to brew tea bags before. I was once stuck in a hotel room in New York with no microwave, but had brought my tea bags with me on my trip, since tea is essential to my life. I got a little creative, and just threw the tea bags in the basket of the coffee maker where you would normally put a filter and the coffee grounds. Then I just poured the water into the machine and brewed as normal. It made perfect tea with the tea bags and I was set to go. I used about 2 cups of water for each tea bag in case you need specific amounts.
3. Make Instant Oatmeal
Now this tip is not my own, but one I think is pretty awesome. It would be great for hotel rooms, along with dorm rooms. However, if your stove or microwave goes out at home, you’re all set here too. All you need to do is place the oats in the bottom of the carafe (the pot). Then, add any spices you want in there too and even some fruit. Pour the water through the top of the machine and hit brew. After the water runs down into the oats, let it sit for five minutes but leave the machine on so the oats can soak up the water. In no time, you’ll have perfect oatmeal in minutes. If you want to use whole oats, you can do this the same way, but you’ll want to let it sit for at least 10 minutes and I would recommend using ¼ cup less water so it isn’t watery. After it finishes you can stir in any almond milk and add whatever toppings you want.
4. Melt Chocolate
I love melting chocolate for recipes, but just like coconut oil, I don’t want to zap it away in the microwave or scorch it on a stove. I also like using as little power as possible, so I melt baking chocolate inside a ramekin on my coffee maker’s hot plate. If you’re melting a lot of chocolate or chocolate chips, you could put it in the carafe pot and just pour it out into your bowl for your recipes. Just put it on the hot plate, turn on the machine and wait 5 minutes or so until it melts.
5. Hot Mulled Wine
This tip is a pretty neat tip if you have a crowd or want to make a special beverage for yourself. To make hot mulled wine in your coffee maker, all you need to do is pour a bottle of your favorite wine in a 12 cup coffee maker. Add ¼ cup brown sugar in as well and place several cloves, cinnamon sticks, an orange peel, and even a little brandy in the coffee pot too. Simply turn on the machine so it can heat up and you’ll have hot mulled wine within 10 minutes. If you have a larger coffee maker such as a 30 cup coffee maker, then you could also use this to make hot mulled wine at a party for guests. Do this about one hour before serving so it can have time to steep, but leave the machine on so it stays hot.
6. Hot Dogs
Did you know you can boil hot dogs in your coffee maker? I hate hot dogs, but many people love them, and I think this tip would be great for moms or anyone in a pinch that needs a quick meal but doesn’t have access to a stove, such as dorm students. To make hot dogs, just empty a pack of hot dogs into the coffee pot and pour a pot’s worth of water through the machine. Let the hot dogs sit for 5 minutes after the water brews and they’re done!
7. Steamed Broccoli
This one is definitely a trick I’m going to use. I don’t have a veggie steamer, and hate microwaving broccoli, so this trick sounds perfect. Simply place about 10 broccoli florets or however many you want in the coffee carafe pot. Then boil about ¼ cup water through the machine. Let the broccoli sit for 5 minutes and the steam will do the rest. Then you’ll have tender, not mushy, cooked broccoli in minutes! You can even add any seasoning through the filter basket with a filter placed in as well, if you want it flavored! Brilliant, huh?
There are other uses for your coffee pot you can use too. You can boil eggs in it just like you would the hot dogs, make ramen like you would oatmeal, and even make rice like you would oatmeal. I also love making hot cocoa the same way you would loose leaf tea. Use the recommended amounts of water, etc. on the package directions and then get creative yourself with toppings, flavorings, etc. Just be sure above all else to wash your machine really well along with your pot if you use it to cook food with. Safety first, girls! Do you have any uses for your coffee maker that you like to use it for besides coffee?