Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pyrex Percolator - Made in the USA


As you can see in our “Diane Sawyer Loves Junk and Howe” post from a few days ago, they (ABC News) had a hard time finding a coffeemaker that is made in the United States. They couldn’t find one at all, actually.

Many nights, Jules and I will make coffee, and we make it the “old fashioned” way. We use a Pyrex Percolator – made in the USA. It may take a few minutes more than an electric coffeemaker, but it tastes much better, no matter what kind of coffee you like, and you never have to flush clean a coffeemaker. I saw a commercial for CLR the other day, demonstrating how to clean your coffeemaker with this toxic product. And then you’re supposed to brew coffee through that? And drink it? Multiple cups? Ack.

I’m quite fond of this classic piece of flameware by Pyrex. It’s one of my favorites, and probably the one we most often use. We have a 6-cup – they also made 4 and 9-cup versions. Since we have the 6-cup, we use 6 tablespoons of coffee for 6 servings. Here are the instructions.

1. Fill water to the line at 6.



2. Place a filter in the glass and metal basket. You will have to poke a hole in the center/bottom of the filter in order to do this.



3. Fill the filter with 6 tablespoons of your favorite coffee. We recommend Chicago favorite, Intelligentsia.
4. Place the top on the glass basket, and place the stem and basket in the middle of the pot. Put the lid on.



5. Turn the flame on high. VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT use glass percolators on electric range tops. They will shatter. Flame only!



6. It should take 8-12 minutes for it to begin percolating, causing the water to begin turning brown. After about 30 seconds or so, the entire pot of water should be brown.



7. Keep flame on high and let the coffee percolate for 4 more minutes.



8. Turn off the flame.
9. Using a kitchen towel, carefully remove the lid. Wait 2 minutes, and then carefully remove the stem and basket.



10. Replace lid and pour your coffee.




To clean, simply use a sponge with soap and water as you would with any other dish. The inner pieces – the glass stem and glass basket – are fragile, and should be handled with care. You can leave the handle and stainless steel band on for several uses, but it is ok to unscrew it and the handle to clean under the band once in a while. I would not put any pieces in a dishwasher.

We will have a few in the Junk and Howe store in the first couple weeks of May. There are a number on Ebay, but they’re often overpriced. If you can get your hands one, we’d recommend it. You’ll never want to use anything else.

22 comments:

  1. After having to replace modern coffee makers every two years or so, I gave up on them altogether, and now use my Pyrex 9-cup. I originally bought it (and a pyrex teapot) just because I thought they'd make cool kitchen decorations. But when I actually started using it, I was surprised at how good the coffee is. Modern coffee makers don't make coffee that tastes better, they just make coffee with a little less work. And they certainly won't last fifty years.

    I enjoyed the article, and I'm glad there is another Pyrex percolator fan out there. I was beginning to think I was the only one!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for sharing! The 9-cup is the mammoth - I'm patiently waiting to find one at a rummage sale this spring and summer. They're great for entertaining because you only have to make one pot!

    ReplyDelete
  3. thanks for these instructions, what an excellent job you have done of explaining it, I scored one of these pyrex perculators from a St Vinnies store here in South Australia for a couple of dollars, I had been looking for one for years as my mum had one when I was little, and even on ebay they were priced considerably more. Natural Gas is cheaper here than Electricity at the moment so I am looking forward to a decent cup of coffee. :) without the joy of an over priced electricity consumption

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have one of these as well, and they are amazing. Just one note: You can use them on electric ranges.. but if it's a coiled stove, you need to use a small wire trivet for it to sit on (which came with the original percolator) -- if you have a glass top electric range, you can place it right on the glass.. as the glass acts like a buffer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the glass top instructions..I really appreciate it!

      Delete
  5. I love these percolators, they just make better coffee and use less grounds to get strong coffee. I don't use paper filters, it works fine without them, and I don't remove the basket before pouring the hot coffee into a cup.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As soon as the water begins to boil, you need to LOWER the heat to medium/low. Do not keep the flame on high. It will still percolate, but just below the boiling point of 212 degrees. Coffee should be brewed below this temperature.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have a 6 cup pyrex glass percolator and most of the time I love it. Sometimes however, the water shoots out of the pot and explodes all over my stove and my kitchen cabinets. Has anyone else encountered that problem?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I have a 6 cup pyrex glass percolator and most of the time I love it. Sometimes however, the water shoots out of the pot and explodes all over my stove and my kitchen cabinets. Has anyone else encountered that problem?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have a 6 cup pyrex glass percolator and most of the time I love it. Sometimes however, the water shoots out of the pot and explodes all over my stove and my kitchen cabinets. Has anyone else encountered that problem?

    ReplyDelete
  10. I found one of these at a yard sale this past weekend....and too be honest I didn't know it was a percolator but did know it was used on the stove top for tea or coffee..unfortunately this one has nothing on the inside...it's Just the pot and lid...I only gave a couple dollars for it and otherwise looks like it's in great shape....wonder if I could get the inside basket for it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cindy you can! I broke the glass basket and was able to buy a replacement on Ebay.

      Delete
  11. I found one of these at a yard sale this past weekend....and too be honest I didn't know it was a percolator but did know it was used on the stove top for tea or coffee..unfortunately this one has nothing on the inside...it's Just the pot and lid...I only gave a couple dollars for it and otherwise looks like it's in great shape....wonder if I could get the inside basket for it?

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have a electric stove. can i use my glass coffee pot by useing a trivet on top?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can buy a metal heat diffuser (looks like a small wire hanger in a shape like a clover, triangle or squiqqle) and they are still available brand new-I just saw them on Amazon-or used on ebay.

      Delete
  13. I have read so many times people saying do not put on an electric coiled stove. Scroll up and look at the picture on the original box. Looks like an electric coiled stovetop.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I perk my coffee differently. Once the water is boiling, I turn it down and let it perk for 10 minutes, then I turn it off and let it sit for about 5 minutes so it can finish perking and let the water drain out. I pour the hot coffee in a thermal coffee pot to keep hot and fresh for hours. I never did think about using a regular paper filter, I'll have to try that.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just found a this same Pyrex 7756-B locally. What I consider a lucky find as I've been wanting to try one as opposed to the various other types of percolators I own made of various materials.

    The one I found was complete and is in pristine condition, aside from a few coffee grinds and a couple very minor coffee stains which were easily washed off. It reminds me of one my grandmother used. I can't wait to try it out.

    I will third the manor in which you perk coffee. You don't want it on high as the article suggests. Percolators should "perk" coffee at a slow perk.
    You're not trying to boil the water. Or over heat and burn the coffee which you will by doing so. You're trying to get a slow steady perk going. It takes some practice like anything. Think drip coffee maker... it doesn't perk-perk-perk-perk real fast. It's more of a perk..... perk.... perk...

    And of course grind size matters and will effect the taste of your coffee. Experiment to find what you like best as far as grind size. Start with a coarse grind and go finer each time to find your sweet spot of flavor. And you can mix grinds as well. There's no law that says you can't.

    Total percolating time is generally between 5 and 10 minutes depending on how you like your coffee and size of percolator.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I use my percolator for herbal tea. Unfortunately I forgot it one day and let the pot boil dry and it shattered. I have the basket and need a new pot but now I don't remember what size my pot was? Can someone tell me what pot fits a basket that is 4 inches across the bottom of metal part of the glass basket? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. A few notes:
    1) Paper filter are not necessary unless you are afraid of a little seepage from using the finest ground of coffee. This is why you should always use coarse grind with this percolator. bottom part of the basket IS the filter.

    2) Start the flame on high, but once you see it percolating and the initially coloring of drippings hit the clean water through the strain basket, turn the flame down on low to maintain a more gentle perc and reasonable temperature that will not exceed 210F. This will ensure that you don't steam the coffee to too high of a temperature.....In the even you do brew too high of a temperature DON'T take the lid off until the coffee has rested considerably. If you do the moisture will escape and the coffee won't be as flavorful and even taste burnt. If you have ever had Dunkin Donuts and couldn't drink it at first because it was too hot, but then it tasted great after resting you should also have noticed the inside of the lid was sweating. You will see the same on the pyrex clear lid to indicate it has properly rested.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I have this percolator but am missing the top part of the filter, the part that covers the grinds. Is there any way to make some kind of cover to keep the grounds in? I tried putting a hole in the bottom of a paper filter and flipping it over, but it didn't work. And I haven't seen just this part for sale on ebay, at least not at a reasonable price.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Does anyone know if the 6/9 cup stem is also usable in the 4/6 cup model? I'm trying to replace the part on a 4/6 cup model. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete