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The best electric coffee percolators (or any percolators, for that matter) can give you a sense of nostalgia. Some argue that using a percolator results in some of the most delicious coffee and that this old-school brewing method is superior to all others. But which electric percolator is best? How do you know what to look for?
Choosing Your Percolator
While you’re shopping, you may notice that there are two types of percolators: pressure and gravity. Other than that, you’ll need to consider a few things, like price, how many cups it will hold, and whether there’s a brand you’ve already had good experience with in the past and trust to manufacture quality percolators that will last for years.
Pressure Percolator vs Gravity Percolator
So what’s the difference?
Gravity Percolators: The gravity percolator is the more traditional type, which works when water is pushed up through a tube as it boils and then rains back down again through the ground coffee on the top layer of the percolator. The design of a gravity percolator ensures that the water covers the grounds evenly instead of accumulating in one spot.
With gravity percolators, one of the main concerns is knowing when to stop brewing. If you overdo it, the coffee will pass the point where it has a rich, wonderful taste and aroma and shift into something you probably won’t want to drink (at least not without adding flavored creamers and/or sugar and milk).
Pressure Percolators: These are also known as Moka pots. These work a little differently (and aren’t exactly the same as percolators at all, though they’re called that).
Instead of the water passing through the grounds and seeping back into the lower section of the percolator, it sits in that top section with the grounds once it’s been boiled and passed up through the tube. There’s a filter between the grounds and the water, but you’ll be pouring your coffee straight from that top section, not the bottom.
What to Consider
- How big does it need to be?
- Is there a brand you feel most comfortable with?
- Make sure you’re getting the gravity type to get the true percolator experience.
- Since there are different types of percolators (electric, stovetop, etc), make sure you’re getting an electric one if that’s what you’re after.
- Are there specific features you want, like the ability to see your coffee while it brews?
The 7 Best Electric Coffee Percolators
There are several different electric coffee percolators on the market. Some hold just two or four cups, while others are perfect for serving coffee to your whole family and a guest or two. You can make less than the maximum number of cups in the larger models. Though none of them are all that big, it still might not be worth finding storage space in your kitchen for a larger one if you almost never make that much coffee at a time.
Here are seven of the best electric coffee percolators out there right now:
Hamilton Beach 40614 Twist Lid Percolator
This model is made of stainless steel and has a twist-off lid, handle that doesn’t get hot, stainless steel filter basket, and makes 12 cups of coffee at a time.
One of the things that makes this one stand out is the fact that there is so much gleaming stainless steel on the exterior. A lot of models have a black base (often plastic) that comes higher up around the sides.
Your coffee will stay hot for a long time after it’s been made because of the keep warm heater. Take it to the table and enjoy a luxurious dessert-and-coffee chat without worrying about the coffee getting cold. You can take the cord off while it’s on the table.
When the coffee is done, a light comes on to let you know, but this model is built so you can watch your coffee brew and keep an eye on how much is left as you and your family or guests enjoy your beverages.
You can expect to pay around $40.00 for this model.
West Bend Classic 54159 Electric Percolator
This classic style stainless steel electric percolator brews from two to 12 cups, so if you live alone or with a significant other and/or like to have guests over and serve them coffee, this one could be your perfect match. Expect to pay about $60.00 for it.
It allows you to detach the cord once the coffee’s done (you’ll see a light when it is) and take it to the table. Since the handle and base are both heat resistant, you can take it to the table right away, set it down, and then start pouring without worrying about burning your hand or ruining your furniture.
Farberware FCP240 2-4 Cup Percolator
If you almost never brew coffee for more than one or two people at a time, you’ll probably want the Farberware 2-4 Cup Percolator. It can brew coffee at a rate of about a cup per minute, then keep it warm for a while with the keep warm mode.
Though the coffee inside will be hot, the handle and lid knob will not, so you should have no trouble pouring and enjoying your coffee. The stainless steel finish is class and will look nice perched on a counter or table. The only downside to this is the fact that, though it makes significantly less coffee, it still costs almost as much as some of the larger models at around $40.00.
Presto 02811 Stainless Steel Coffee Maker
This model brews your coffee in about two to 12 minutes, depending on how many cups you’re making (it averages about a cup per minute and makes two to 12 cups). When it’s ready, a light comes on so you know it’s time to enjoy a steaming cup of joe.
Most of the percolator is stainless here, including the filter basket and perk tube, which makes it more durable than some other models. Just as most of the other models do, this one has a removable cord to make serving and storing easier.
Presto 02822 6-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator
This is the 6-cup version of the 02811 model listed above, but it’s worth a mention anyway since not everyone needs a percolator that can make 12 cups of coffee. This smaller one may be perfect and it still has all the same features as the 12-cup model.
Because of its smaller size, this one will be easier to store. The cord is removable, so that makes storage even one step easier. The spout is designed so that it won’t drip coffee on anything as you pour. Bonus: this one will usually only cost you around $30.00.
Makes great-tasting coffee fast and brews 2 to 6 cups of rich, hot coffee. Stainless steel construction.
Farberware FCP412 12-Cup Stainless Steel Percolator
The Farberware FCP412 12-Cup stainless steel percolator will set you back about $70.00. It’ll keep your coffee warm after it’s done brewing but it’s designed so you won’t burn your hand on the handle or lid.
It brews about as quickly as a lot of other models, roughly a minute per cup. This is the larger version of the FCP240 listed above, and they share all of the same features.
Capresso 405.05 12-Cup Perk Coffee Maker
This one is great if you need to make a lot of coffee at one time. Its sleek stainless steel design (pot and lid) will look gorgeous on the kitchen counter if you decide to leave it out all the time. Expect to pay a little over $50.00 for this one.
You can put it out on the table when it’s time to serve the coffee (simply take the cord off) and it won’t ruin anything; the base safeguards against heat. Coffee stays warm for a while after it’s been brewed thanks to a keep warm feature.
You can quickly brew anywhere from four to 12 cups in it, and the pot is marked so you will know exactly how much water you’re adding. The more coffee you’re making, the longer it will take, but you can expect it to take 12 minutes or less. A light will flip on when it’s done, but you can watch what’s going on inside thanks to the see-through lid insert.
Choose the One That Fits Your Lifestyle
Do you typically enjoy your morning coffee alone? You could narrow your choices down by tossing all the 12-cup percolators. Need something that allows you to entertain? Throw out the smaller ones. Look at the prices and your bank account.
Beyond these changes, the differences in the best electric coffee percolators listed above are mainly in the smaller details, like whether the lid will be hot when you touch it, or if you can see the coffee through a window as it brews.
Their lines may vary from one to the next, but they all have a classic beauty about them and most of them have a stainless steel and black exterior. There are enamel percolators out there that come in different colors, but most of those are not electric.
It’s hard to go wrong with any on this list. They make serving, storage, and even cleaning easy (usually just a little soapy water, never submerged).