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For fast, strong, hot coffee, it’s hard to beat a percolator. The sounds, smells and looks of a classic percolator are comforting and inviting. After being an important part of the coffee experience for generations, the demand for the simple percolator has been challenged by changing tastes and new technology. But whether its the flavor, the convenience, the nostalgia or the simplicity, percolators still remain the brewer of choice for many people.

Pick the Best Percolator for Your Home:
Highly Rated Models for 2020

Quick Description
Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Electric Coffee MakerFast, Hot, Flavorful Coffee
Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Stovetop PercolatorStovetop + 100% Stainless Steel Interior
GSI Outdoors Campfire Glacier Stainless PercolatorUltra-Rugged + Good for You and the Environment

Percolator Basics

Percolators brew coffee by circulating hot water over coffee grounds repeatedly. This is different than the drip or pourover methods, where the water flows over the grounds only once. As water in the bottom of the percolator pot heats, the steam pressure forces it up through a tube into a chamber holding the coffee grounds. The water flows down over the grounds back to the bottom of the pot and the process continues to repeat itself.

This creates a stronger and somewhat more bitter cup of coffee than a drip method, but one which many people prefer.


A stovetop percolator is a simple (usually metal) pot that is meant to be used directly on your heat source (kitchen stove, wood burner, campfire, etc.). Its an uncomplicated method to brew coffee, but it often takes a little experimentation to find the taste that suits you best. You control the amount of water, the size and amount of the grounds, and the temperature and length of the brewing.


An electric percolator makes the process more convenient. You add water and grounds. The machine heats the water to the needed temperature, brews for a specific time, lets you know when its done, and then shuts off or goes into warming mode. Electric percolators range from small 4-cup personal sizes up to models that make dozens of cups at a time. This method is very popular when large, fast amounts of coffee are needed for gatherings and events.

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Buyer's Checklist

Presto 02811 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker

Fast, Hot, Flavorful Coffee

This Presto percolator brews flavorful, hot coffee and looks good doing it. Keeping it clean and shining is simple, so you’ll enjoy the touch of elegance with your daily cup of coffee.

If you want your coffee fast, you’ll enjoy the quick brew time of about a minute per cup. And you have the flexibility of making from 4 to 12 cups at a time. The indicator light will alert you when the cycle is finished, but there is no on/off switch so you’ll need to unplug the machine. After cooldown, cleanup is simple with warm, sudsy water and a thorough dry. The power cord is removable for easy storage, but be aware that the pot is not immersible in water or dishwasher safe.

With over 4,000 user reviews, customers overwhelmingly enjoy the speed, temperature and flavor of the coffee from this percolator.

Paper filters are suggested, although several reviewers comment that they enjoy the coffee without using them.

Sturdy stainless steel is the main material used. The body of the pot, as well as the filter basket and perk tube are solid stainless steel. There are only two aluminum parts: the internal bottom well and bottom nut. These two areas do come in contact with the heated water, if that is a concern for you. The only plastic parts (handle, knob and base) are external and do not come into contact with the water.

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Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Stovetop Percolator

100% Stainless Steel Interior

Don’t let the name ‘Yosemite’ fool you. This percolator is as good on your kitchen stovetop as it is on an open fire in the great outdoors. The mirror-like finish of this sleek, retro look is just the beginning of its popular qualities.

Many people search for a percolator designed so that nothing but stainless steel comes in contact with the hot water. This model accomplishes that, having no aluminum, plastic or other materials inside the pot. The only plastic used is the handle, the percolator bubble and an external ring around the bubble. If you prefer, a glass bubble can be purchased to replace the plastic one.

With over 3,000 user reviews, customers overwhelmingly comment on the flavor of the coffee, ease of cleanup and solid construction.

The permanent filter basket removes the need for paper filters, although some people choose to use them as well. You can brew from 4-8 cups at a time, with ‘8 cups’ being equivalent to 40 ounces. The brewing time will be slightly slower than an electric model, but cleanup will be faster and simpler as its fully immersible and dishwasher safe.

GSI Outdoors Campfire Glacier Stainless Percolator

Ultra-Rugged + Good for You and the Environment

The Glacier Stainless Percolator is built for a lifetime of use with heavy-duty materials and construction.

Good for you and the environment, it is fully-recyclable and constructed of marine-grade 18/8 stainless steel for years of everyday use. The brilliant, rust-proof finish is corrosion-resistant and dishwasher safe. It is also free of BPA, PFOA and Phthalates, and the percolator bubble is made of glass.

Destination camping is the perfect use for this tough coffee maker, designed with a recessed bottom to be at its best when cooking over coals and camp fires. But users have had success on both flat and open flame surfaces.

And its not limited to coffee. Consider it for boiling water, heating soup, brewing tea and other small cooking tasks where heating liquid is needed.

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