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9 Weird And Wonderful Things You Can Do With Your Coffee Maker

uses for your coffee maker

Throughout my 9 years as a blogger (so far!), one of my goals has been to discover and share creative uses for everyday household items. Because making the most out of the things you already have is not only good for your budget, it’s good for the planet too!

Some of my past explorations of household items have included unconventional uses for a cake pop maker, panini press, and even a French press coffee maker! And I’ve got a list of 20 uses for coffee grounds…but today I’ll be adding to that list today by sharing even more creative ways to use a coffee maker.

But in today’s post, we’ll be focusing on good old fashioned drip-style coffee makers instead of the French press variety. So pour yourself a cup of joe and gather round, because it’s time to learn what your coffee maker is truly capable of! :-)

9 Surprising Things You Can Do With A Coffee Maker (Besides Make Coffee)

uses for your coffee maker

1. Make Pancakes

The heat plate that keeps your coffee warm can double as a little griddle! Cook up some pancakes by pouring a small amount of batter on the preheated plate.

Wait until small bubbles develop on the surface of the batter, then flip to cook the other side. Coffee and pancakes, anyone?

Related: 11 Surprising Ways Your Microwave Is More Useful Than You Think

uses for your coffee maker

2. Make Grilled Cheese

But your coffee pot isn’t only useful for breakfast. Make a quick lunch by cooking up a grilled cheese on the heat plate! (Toss a small piece of tin foil on the heat plate first so you don’t leave behind a mess of melted cheese.)

uses for your coffee maker

3. Bake Mini Cupcakes

Depending on how hot your coffee maker’s heat plate gets, you can even use it to bake a cupcake! Just spoon cupcake batter into a metal measuring cup and set it on the preheated plate.

Baking time will vary, so I wouldn’t rely on this method if you’re in a cupcake-related rush. (But hey, it never hurts to know you could make a cupcake with your coffee maker if you wanted to!)

uses for your coffee maker

4. Melt Chocolate

The moderate heat of your coffee maker is perfect for melting chocolate! Just pour some chocolate chips into a metal measuring cup and place it on the heat plate.

Once melted, the coffee maker will keep the chocolate at the right temperature and consistency for hours. Use it to dress up homemade treats, or as a dip for fruit, marshmallows, or other snacks!

uses for your coffee maker

5. Prepare “Just Add Water” Foods

One of the most functional food-related ways to use your coffee maker is to make foods that just need hot water. This includes foods like cup noodles, instant mashed potatoes, instant oatmeal, and more!

Pour water into the machine’s reservoir and make sure the brew basket is empty. Run a brew cycle to heat the water, then pour the hot water from the carafe into your food container. Easy!

You can also use your coffee maker to make foods that need to cook in water for a bit, like instant rice and oats. Just add the food to the pot, start a brew cycle to add hot water to the pot, and let it sit until the food is cooked to your liking.

uses for your coffee maker

6. Boil Eggs

Hard-boiled eggs are simple to make in a coffee maker! Just carefully place a few eggs in the empty carafe, then start a water-only brew cycle to cover them in hot water.

Let the eggs sit in the hot water on the heat plate for about 10 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. (A color-changing egg timer would really come in handy here!)

uses for your coffee maker

7. “Steam” Veggies

Use your coffee maker to cook up veggies as a side dish for dinner! Place chopped veggies in the basket, fill the reservoir with water, then run a brew cycle.

The hot water dripping over the veggies will gently cook them, and you can run another cycle to cook them even further. Use this method to cook broccoli florets, baby carrots, or pieces of asparagus!

uses for your coffee maker

8. Make Hot Cocoa

Looking for a hot drink without the caffeine? Use your coffee maker to make delicious hot cocoa!

Fill the carafe halfway with milk, then add about half a bag of chocolate chips. Add 1 cup of heavy cream, then set the carafe on the preheated heat plate.

The heating element will gently melt the chips and warm up the cocoa, and all you have to do is stir occasionally!

uses for your coffee maker

9. Cook Hot Dogs

Make an easy hands-off lunch by cooking hot dogs with your coffee maker. Just place the hot dogs (of the pre-cooked variety) in the carafe, then run a brew cycle with an empty basket.

After 10 minutes or so, check the temperature of the hot dogs, and continue cooking until they reach your desired temperature. Then pass the mustard!

[bonus_tips]Bonus Tip: How To Clean Your Coffee Maker

  • Empty and replace the water reservoir and brew basket.
  • Fill the carafe with equal parts white vinegar and water, then pour it into the reservoir.
  • Run a brew cycle and let sit for 10-15 minutes to soak, then discard the vinegar water.
  • Run two more brew cycles using only water to rinse the machine clean.
  • Do this process weekly to keep your coffee maker clean and to prevent flavor transfer!
[/bonus_tips]

Have you ever used your coffee maker to make something other than coffee?

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • Hi Jillee, this blew me away. I am a drip coffee maker fanatic, making the best coffee with it based on how Martha Stewart’s guest, a rather snooty French barista, taught how to do it with a drip coffee maker (I’m seriously dating myself – this was when her show was new in the early ’80s). It’s the best method ever, and I only pay $10-$20 for a new one every few years because eventually I break the carafe. I have well water too, so I have to clean it quite often. When on Earth did we decide we needed to pay $80 to $400 for coffee makers? And K-cups fill our landfills, all for the worst tasting coffee ever.
    I use my coffee maker to brew black tea and hibiscus tea that I drink cold. With ice. And a little mint. And maybe a lemon ice cube. Never thought to use my burner for a pancake, but I’m nothing if not adventurous.

    • Leslie ~ What steps did that French Barista on Martha add to letting heated water drip through coffee grounds that made it so “extra” … sure would love to know!?!

  • These are great ideas. I’m definitely trying the hot chocolate one. I often use the coffee pot for iced tea. And hot tea. And for oatmeal. Thought of using it for a griddle but never needed to. But was a comfort that I could if needed. I never thought it would be hot enough for the eggs or dogs but now I have to try with the eggs. Thank you. Obviously some people have lived in the lap of luxury their whole life, and have never had appliances break and a hungry family to feed.

  • Hi Jillee, I have been without a kitchen a few times in my life and some of the ideas here are worth keeping in mind. The hotdog warming works well, done this years (decades) ago and it is fine as long as you clean the carafe properly after. I think the bad comments are well too harsh, and obviously none of these readers have been in a bad position ever where they had to make do… If you guys find it so silly, don’t bother reading it!!!

    Good work Jillee, love your posts!

  • Yes, some of these are unusual. I really don’t think Jillee would use some of these suggestions. It’s not her hands but someone else’s in these pictures from Pinterest. I think a College student may have tried this in a pinch,lol. Remember, necessity is the Mother of Invention. Just don’t drink the coffee if you’re invited for Hotdogs! Lol!

  • Last week I was cleaning my coffeemaker and poured 2 carafes of hot water only down a slow drain. It fixed it. I hope no one throws up cuz of this………lol

  • She didn’t say yo use the coffee maker without water. You might try reading it again. These are things you COULD do not necessarily do every day but wouldn’t it be great when you needed it? Lots of people don’t even have the bare necessities. Thank you Jillee for thinking out of the box. I bet kids in dorms would do these all the time!

  • Using your coffee maker without water can ruin your appliance. I know because that happened to me. You need something liquid going through the coffeemaker.

    • I think the hot plate use is for coffee makers that have a separate switch to heat the plate. Mine doesn’t turn on unless you turn on the switch. you can make coffee/hot water without it.

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