Cowboy Coffee

MogoBlog MogoLicious Tasty Tip of the Day:  Cowboy coffee is a simple but delicious method of brewing coffee that doesn’t require any special equipment. In fact, all you need to make cowboy coffee is water, coffee, a kettle, and a heat source. While cowboy coffee is traditionally made over a campfire, you can also make it over any type of heat source. Because you don’t filter out the grounds when you make cowboy coffee, the key to making it is settling the grounds and pouring the coffee slowly.

Cowboy Coffee


    • 5 to 6 tablespoons (26 to 32 g) coffee, coarsely ground
    • 2 cups (470 ml) water


    1. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Fill a metal or enamel camping kettle with water. When your fire burns down, move the hot coals to one side of the fire pit and place a camp grill over the coals. Put the lid on the kettle and place the kettle on the grill over the hot coals to boil the water.
      • You can also boil the water on a gas, wood, or electric stove if you don’t have a campfire.
      • To make a larger batch of coffee, increase the coffee and water quantities equally.
    2. Remove the water from the heat and cool it for a minute. When the water reaches a rolling boil, carefully remove the kettle from the grill. Protect your hands with oven mitts or a silicone glove, or use tongs to move the hot kettle. Set the kettle aside on the ground and let the water cool for 30 to 60 seconds.
      • It’s important to cool the water before adding the coffee, otherwise the boiling water will make the coffee bitter.
      • The ideal temperature for brewing coffee is between 195 and 205 °F (91 and 96 °C), which is slightly below boiling.
    3. Stir in the coffee and return the kettle to the heat. Pour the coffee grounds into the hot water and stir the mixture for 15 seconds to saturate the grounds. Use 5 tablespoons (26 g) for a slightly weaker coffee, or the full 6 tablespoons (32 g) for a stronger brew. Leave the lid off and put the kettle back on the grill.
      • You can use finely ground coffee instead, but coarsely ground beans will stand up to the heat better, producing a less bitter cup of coffee.
    4. Bring the coffee to a simmer. Watch the coffee carefully, because you don’t want the water to fully boil. Instead, you want to bring the water to a simmer, which is about 195 °F (91 °C). You can tell the water is simmering when bubbles regularly break the surface of the water, but the water isn’t yet at a full rolling boil.
    5. Remove the kettle from the heat and steep the coffee for 2 minutes. When the coffee is simmering, carefully take the kettle off the grill. Put on the lid and set the coffee aside to brew for a couple of minutes.
    6. Stir the coffee and steep for another 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove the lid from the kettle and stir the coffee for another 15 seconds. Replace the lid and set the kettle aside to let the coffee brew for an additional 2 minutes.


    • True Story:  We had an old Aunt who was born in 1908 who we use to tease about her Cowboy coffee. She made it on top of an old gas stove. Recipe is the same, but she would make a sizable amount. She would then continue to re-heat it throughout the day. At night, if any coffee was left, she would leave it there and the next morning reheat it. Rarely did she rinse the pot as she would just continue to add more coffee and more water.  We had two tests to see if it was ready to drink:
      1. If a spoon would stand up in it.
      2. If it would grow hair on your chest. LOL!!!!!!

Yields:  1 Mug with Attitude serving


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