12 Surprising Foods You Can Cook in a Coffee Maker

Foods You Can Cook in a Coffee Maker

When you wake up in the morning, your coffee maker can already have the beans ground and the coffee brewing. With a little culinary creativity, though, that one-time-use appliance can do a lot more. Furthermore, it can be surprisingly useful for college students who are hungry and stuck in their dorms or for people who are remodeling their kitchens and don’t have access to a stove.

1. Corn on the cob

Don’t wait for water to boil in a wide pot. To fit the corn ears in the carafe, cut them in half. Then, add four cups of water to the machine. After you boil the water, let the corn sit for ten minutes. Turn the corn ears over in the hot water and let them sit for another ten minutes, or until they are soft.

2. Caramel apples

If you know how to use two small glass bowls as one big pot, you’re ready to melt the caramel. Take the coffee pot out of the machine and turn on the warming plate. Put some water in a glass bowl and place it on the hot plate. On top of the bottom bowl, put another glass bowl of the same size. Add a few caramel candies or melts to the top bowl and stir them around every so often to melt. You can dip an apple in the caramel or use it to cover a variety of treats once the candies are melted: Lots of big marshmallows, strawberries, and other things. (Kids shouldn’t do this alone because the caramel can burn them.)

3. Poached fish

Tech-savvy cooks and high-end kitchens both like sous vide cooking, but smart home cooks know that you can get the same result with your coffee maker. You can use thicker fish like salmon and cod. Cut the fish into small pieces and put them in the bottom of the coffee pot. Fill the machine with three to four cups of water and add the spices you like. Launch the coffee machine and wait for the water to brew. For seven to ten minutes, or until the fish is soft, let it sit in the hot water. (If the fish is thin, poach it for less time.) Take the water out of the carafe and serve the fish. Here are some more quick and easy fish recipes that are great for busy weeknights.

4. Oatmeal

You can use your coffee maker to make hot water (without the coffee beans, of course) and then make instant oatmeal with the very hot water for a quick breakfast. You can also cook old-fashioned oats in the carafe if you like a heartier texture: Put the right amount of water into the machine’s reservoir. If you want to cook oatmeal the right way, add one cup of water for every half cup of oats. Start the machine and pour the hot water right into the oats. You can add honey or brown sugar to the oats after letting them sit for 10 to 12 minutes. Here are a few more of our favorite quick breakfast ideas.

5. Steamed asparagus

You can cook the side dish in the coffee maker’s basket while the fish smokes in the carafe. Put chopped asparagus pieces about two inches long in the basket and add water to the machine. (Fill the machine to the top if there is nothing in the carafe.) Let the hot water and steam wash over the vegetable pieces to make them very soft. You can also use broccoli florets and baby carrots with this method.

6. Chicken soup

We’ve tried making different foods in our coffee maker, and chicken soup without the chicken, vegetables, and pasta is always the best,” says Dan Scalco, founder of Food Box HQ. “This is because the coffee maker lets the soup and spices steep slowly and properly, so the spices are “infused” into the soup instead of just being added. It does taste better!” Pay attention to these bad habits you’ve been having with your coffee machine.

7. Instant noodles

Phallin Marie is the owner of a small business and the mother of four children. She uses her Keurig to make sure that her kids’ favorite foods always have just the right amount of hot water. “Put the Ramen noodles and sauce packet in a bowl, and then choose eight to ten ounces of water, based on how much broth you like,” she says. “Be sure to get rid of any old coffee pods so that the Ramen doesn’t taste like coffee.” Put a saucer on top of the bowl after the water is gone and set a timer for two to three minutes. “And just like that, your Ramen noodles are ready.” You can also boil the noodles in the coffee pot with the instant noodles added. Wait until the noodles are soft.

8. Grilled cheese sandwich

Putting together a grilled cheese sandwich on your coffee pot doesn’t seem so strange when you think of it as just a hot plate that can also make coffee. Find a small egg pan that fits on the hot plate of your coffee maker. Toast your cheese sandwich on the hot plate the same way you would on the stove: Spread honey or butter on one side of each piece of bread. Put a few slices of cheese on the side that isn’t buttered, then put the other slice on top of them (buttered side facing the cheese). Let the pan heat up on the hot plate so that the crust is nice and golden. After five to seven minutes on one side, flip it over. Why not a small frying pan? Place aluminum foil over the hot plate and cook right on it.

9. Pasta

Put aluminum foil around the carafe to help the water stay warm. Fill the machine with enough water to cover the noodles, then put them right into the pan. Make sure the water is very hot, and then let the pasta sit in it for at least ten minutes. It will take longer for the pasta to be soft because the water isn’t boiling. Take the pasta out of the water and eat it for dinner. Even better, save that pasta water and freeze it in ice cube trays. When you cook pasta, starchy water comes out that is thick and rich. You can freeze it and use it later to give sauces, soups, and other foods more body. Here are some more great kitchen hacks that you’ll wish you knew sooner.

10. Hot toddy

If you use tea bags in hot water, a coffee maker can also make tea. To make the hot tea even better, add whiskey and honey, which are both known to help soothe sore throats. If you make more boozy brew than you can drink, you can put it in the fridge for up to a week and heat it up in the microwave for your evening sip.

11. Hot dogs

Hot dogs and burgers are on the menu. You can heat the dogs in the coffee maker before serving and keep them warm while people wait. Put in as many hot dogs as you want—a whole package should fit—and make sure there is enough water to cover them. Give the hot dogs 15 to 20 minutes to get warm. You can drain and serve the hot dogs right away, or you can use a fork to take them out one at a time and keep the others warm until you need them.

12. Fried eggs

If you bought that small frying pan to make hot sandwiches, you can also fry or scramble a few eggs in it on the hot plate. Want more eggs that are cooked? There is room for several eggs in the carafe of your coffee maker. You can add milk, salt, and pepper to the carafe along with the eggs if you’d like. Then, flip the eggs over on the warming plate. Warm the eggs up and stir them every so often to make them scramble. To make sure they’re ready on time, start cooking them a little earlier than you normally would. This could take longer than cooking on the stove or in the microwave.


You can use a coffee maker for more than just making coffee in the morning. In addition to making coffee, your coffee maker can be used to steam vegetables, make oatmeal, and even make your desserts. Embrace your creativity and try cooking in ways other than the ones you’re used to. Your simple coffee maker can become a tool for many culinary adventures. This unusual but useful appliance will make your cooking experience more enjoyable by letting you make a variety of meals.

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