Do you have a coffee maker?
Sure you do, but if you are like the majority of coffee maker owners out there, the total
extent to which you use your machine is more than likely to brew your morning coffee
and an occasional pot when friends drop by or you are trying to pull a late nighter.
Then, there are the more adventurous owners of coffee machines who have perfected
their own special way of brewing tea, both iced and hot, by using their coffee makers,
but the creative use for the standard coffee maker pretty much stops at tea, or so we’ve
been led to believe.
Naysayers, Be Warned
The news that it is actually possible to prepare dinner by using your coffee maker is typically
first met with a bit of resignation, followed by a joke or two, however in actuality, this is no
laughing matter, when you finally get to taste the incredible proof that it works.
By now, a good many savvy web browsing aficionados have discovered the ins and outs of
preparing a variety of meals by using the full cycle of your dishwasher, and yes, you can even
do a load of dishes at the same time, too.
Family favorites like lasagna, poached salmon and more can be cooked to perfection in a dishwasher.
What will they think of next?
Well, first off, they are busy thinking up new tricks all the time, and it appears that the next big
one to hit is going to be meal preparation a la coffee maker.
This comes as especially good news for the more energy conscious among home chefs, as the only way
that cooking food in your dishwasher is going to save money and energy is when you simultaneously
wash a full load of dishes, at the same time, along with your salmon.
This may be a thought that is quite a bit less than appealing, for a few reasons, to many.
Oh, Come on Now–How Can a Coffee Maker do More than Make Coffee?
That’s what many people think when first presented with the concept, however the proof is out, and
there are many happy coffee maker chefs to show for its many culinary possibilities.
That’s right, from steamed broccoli and cauliflower, to scrambled eggs, couscous and again, poached
salmon, all the possibilities await the more adventurous home chef who enjoys occasionally stepping out
of the “comfort zone.”
Where in the World do Such Ideas Come From?
If you are scratching your head and wondering something along these lines, you are not alone.
To be sure, there is not some big overpaid exec somewhere sitting at a huge desk on a top floor of a
windowed high rise on Wall St., and in fact, we have the old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention”
to blame here, as it appears that if anyone deserves to get full credit for coffee maker cooking and its many
uses, that credit must rightly go to the uncle of one of the soldiers of our fighting troops in Afghanistan.
Apparently, it all began when his nephew complained to him that these soldiers were only allowed to have
coffee makers in their rooms, and not any other forms of cooking devices like microwaves, hotplates, etc.
This prompted this more adventurous and concerned uncle to begin to experiment with how the soldiers
could use their coffee makers to cook foods, and developing recipes based on the operation of a coffee maker.
Among the first meals to be coffee maker-prepared were mac n cheese, short ribs and chicken soup.
Once he had compiled a good collection of tasty meals, he assembled them all together and sent this
coffee maker recipe book to his nephew in Afghanistan.
Others Were Quick to Try it
Since that time, many professional chefs from some of the most leading professional and TV kitchens
have found ways to use coffee makers to branch out even further, making entire breakfasts using them,
and other delights like cinnamon buns!
While this may not be the chosen method for preparing dinner in kitchens that are outfitted with all of the
latest in kitchen appliance technology, it can certainly can come in handy in a lot of less than perfect situations,
so it’s not necessarily something to outright poo-poo.
You just never know– you may one day find yourself in a position where you’ll be grateful that you had a
coffee maker to prepare your next meal.
How it Works
According to the developer-uncle, the design of a traditional coffee maker offers a total of three basic
cooking modes: Steam, Poach and Grill.
What follows are a few more details on how these three work.
You can use the basket at the top, which is usually reserved for holding the coffee in the coffee filter,
as a steamer for veggies.
Try to choose selections like broccoli, cauliflower and other vegetables that generally cook within the
same time frame as these.
By all means, experiment.
If you like your green beans crunchy, steam them in your coffee maker.
You could always go for additional rounds, for anything that is undercooked at the end of one cycle.
You switch to the carafe which sits on the hot plate whenever you desire to poach chicken or fish.
Works great for hot dogs, boiling eggs and even for making couscous, rice and oatmeal or other hot
The carafe is what you use for heating soups, gravies, sauces and more.
Just remember to thoroughly clean your carafe after using it for cooking, especially after poaching fish,
as no one likes fishy coffee.
This is done directly on the hot plate, where the coffee carafe typically sits to keep the coffee warm.
This method is a bit messier, so it will require more cleanup following the cooking process.
It’s generally good to start out with something easy, like making a grilled cheese sandwich.
You can fry eggs, bacon and even grill some steaks on that little circle of heat.
You can think of it as your own mini grill!
Have you ever tried cooking food with your coffee maker?
What have you made?
Share your experiences, thoughts and comments with us.