The 10 Best Cowboy Coffee Pots – How to Brew Cowboy Coffee

Last Updated on January 24, 2022 by John Moretti

Cowboy coffee has a long history in America’s West, and cowboy coffee was brewed ever since cowboys rode the trail and camped under the stars.  How is cowboy coffee made, and what best cowboy coffee pot do you can use?  We discuss everything in this article.

The most important thing about a cowboy coffee pot is durability and heat retention. Several excellent cowboy coffee pots are available, like the Coleman Stainless Steel, Stansport Aluminum, GSI 12 Cup Enamelware Percolator, Granite Ware F6006-1 Coffee Boiler, and the Stanley Camp Percolator.

Are you looking for a cowboy coffee pot for your next camping, hiking, or trail riding trip?  Look no further I list the best ones on here!

cowboy coffee pot

What is Cowboy Coffee?

Cowboys traditionally made cowboy coffee on the trail over an open campfire.  The coffee was brewed by using coarse coffee grounds brewed with water in a cowboy coffee pot and then poured into a cup when the coffee grinds sunk to the bottom. 

Those days cowboys drank the most coffee in the West.  They drank the coffee strong and hot.  Even though the world has evolved, cowboy coffee is still drunk by cowboys, campers, and outdoors enthusiasts.

The Best Cowboy Coffee Pots

The Coleman Stainless Steel 12 cup Cowboy Coffee Pot

Coleman 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator
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  • This Cowboy coffee pot brews 12 cups on a grill, camping stove, or open campfire.
  • It is made from durable stainless steel that is corrosion-resistant.
  • It can easily be cleaned.
  • This coffee pot is durable and lightweight, and designed for outdoor use.
  • The 12-cup capacity of this coffee pot is great for groups.

Stansport Aluminum Cowboy Coffee Pot

Stansport Aluminum Percolator Coffee Pot
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  • This cowboy coffee pot is made from aluminum that makes it the most affordable cowboy coffee pot.  
  • This coffee pot can brew 9 cups of coffee.  A 12-cup coffee pot in this brand is also available.
  • It is lightweight and easy to clean.

GSI Enamel 12 cup Cowboy Coffee Pot

  • This enamelware cowboy coffee pot can brew 12 cups of coffee.
  • It is made from heavy-gauge steel and features the traditional cowboy speckled enamel finish.
  • This coffee pot is made with high standards and maximizes heat distribution.
  • The unbreakable resin cap gives a great view of your coffee while it is brewing. 
  • Available in blue and green color.

Granite Ware Cowboy Coffee Pot

Granite Ware F6006-1 Coffee Boilers, Graniteware, 100 oz
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  • This cowboy coffee pot quickly heats up, reducing the time on the fire.
  • It is easy to clean and can be washed in a dishwasher.
  • It is lightweight for easy camping and outdoor use.
  • The porcelain cowboy coffee pot is very durable.

Stanley Stainless Steel Cowboy Coffee Pot 6 cups

  • The stainless-steel cowboy coffee pot can brew six cups of coffee.
  • It has an improved design from Stanley.
  • This camping coffee pot is easy to clean and is dishwasher safe.
  • This coffee pot is lightweight for camping, hiking, or trail riding.
  • The silicone handle maintains a cool temperature whether the coffee is brewed over a campfire or stovetop.

COLETTI Bozeman Cowboy Coffee Pot 

  • This cowboy coffee pot is made from stainless steel.
  • It can hold 9 cups of coffee.
  • Great for camping, hiking, and trail riding.
  • It is lightweight and durable.
  • It comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

Bulin Cowboy Coffee Camping Kettle 

  • This camping kettle is made from aluminum alloy. 
  • It holds 1.6 to2.2 L of coffee. 
  • It is great for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. 
  • This kettle is ultralight and easy to clean.  

Cinsa Enamelware Cowboy Coffee Pot

  • This cowboy coffee pot can brew 8 cups of coffee.
  • Great for camping, hiking, or trail riding.
  • The ultra-weight design makes it ideal for outdoor use.
  • Corrosion-resistant and easy to clean.

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Steel Cowboy Coffee Pot 

  • This rugged design coffee pot is ideal for open campfire coffee brewing.
  • It holds 2 liters or 14 cups of coffee, great for groups.
  • The coffee pot is made from Glacier stainless steel, is corrosion resistant, and withstands ground impacts.
  • This coffee pot is ideal for hiking, camping, and outdoor use.
  • The clear percolator featured cap allows you to see the coffee brewing.

Fire-Maple Antarcti Cowboy Coffee Pot

  • This coffee kettle can hold 0.8 Liter of coffee.
  • It is lightweight and easy to clean.
  • It is made from stainless steel.
  • Durable with excellent craftmanship. 
  • Great for outdoor use on an open campfire while camping or trail riding.

How to Brew Cowboy Coffee on an Open Campfire

brew

Brewing a great-tasting, old western-style cowboy coffee with a proper coffee pot is easy.  To make a great-tasting cowboy coffee on a campfire, you need a good-quality cowboy coffee pot.

The taste of authentic cowboy coffee will have you wanting more.  Cowboy coffee is bold, rich, and brewed the traditional way with the Old West’s wild, untamed spirit.  

Because cowboy coffee is so simple and easy to make, you can use whatever kind of coffee roast you like. Though, dark roasted coffee beans work best.  If you use the lighter roasted coffee beans, it can sometimes result in a bitter-tasting coffee.

Here is how to brew it.

  1. Fill your cowboy coffee pot with water and place it on the campfire, stove, or grill. Bring it to boil.
  2. Once the water has boiled, remove it from the fire and cool for thirty seconds to one minute.
  3. The best temperature to add coffee to your cowboy pot is 195-205°F or 91-96°C.
  4. Never add coffee to boiling water.  Adding the coffee to boiling water will burn the coffee and have a bitter taste.
  5. Once the water has cooled for one minute, you can add the coffee.  Add two tablespoons of coffee for every 8 oz of water and stir.
  6. Leave the lid off and place the coffee pot back on the fire.
  7. Keep an eye on the coffee pot. You do not want the coffee to reach boiling point and boil over.  
  8. Simmer your coffee for 30 seconds, then remove from the fire. Put the lid back on, and put your coffee aside to rest for two minutes.
  9. Stir the coffee and let it rest for another two minutes,
  10. After four minutes of resting, gently pour a little cold water on the coffee grounds that are floating on top of the pot. It will help them sink to the bottom.  Make sure not to add too much cold water, or you will lower the coffee’s temperature.  Alternatively, you could just wait for three to five minutes for the coffee grinds to settle at the bottom.
  11. Pour the coffee into a cup slowly.  That will keep the grounds at the bottom of the pot and not transfer them into your cup.
  12. Most people drink cowboy coffee black. But if you like your coffee with milk and sugar, you can add milk, cream, and sugar at this point.

A Bit of Cowboy Coffee Drinking History

hot water

Coffee sustained the cowboys on the prairies of the old West.  It was typically ready to drink all day long.  Camp cooks made coffee in three-to-five-gallon cowboy coffee pots to make sure there was always a steady supply of cowboy coffee.

A pot of steaming strong black cowboy coffee over an open campfire was a standard fixture in camp. Cowboys rode for hours and worked hard, and they needed coffee before and after long shifts.

Hot fresh coffee in camp was a morale booster for cowboys far from home.  Sharps carbines rifles were designed with a coffee mill in the buttstock to make grinding coffee beans easier on the trail.

Cowboys drank their coffee hot, strong, and black.  They hated weak coffee.  Often camp cooks did not remove the coffee grounds from the pot after the coffee was brewed but added new coffee grounds to the old grounds until the pot overflowed.  Their love for the strong cowboy coffee was probably why this was done.

A standard fixture in camp was a three-to-five-gallon cowboy coffee pot enough for 10 to 12 cowboys steaming over an open campfire or on a bed of hot coals.

Chuckwagon cooks were generally heavy-handed with coffee because they knew it was the cowboy’s mainstay, day in and day out. 

One camp cook wrote that he used around 175 pounds of coffee beans every month.  Cowboy lived on coffee and drank cowboy coffee with each meal.

The cowboys needed coffee before they left to work all night and again when they returned to camp in the morning.  Written old west records show that once in a bad storm, a group of cowboys who were in the saddle for 60 hours was kept alert and going with strongly brewed cowboy coffee and rations of bread.

What Did Cowboys Call Coffee?

brewed

These are all names cowboys used to refer to their coffee:

  • Six-shooter skink
  • Float a horseshoe
  • Dehorned belly wash
  • Brown gargle 
  • Jamoka

How to Get the Best Taste from Your Cowboy Coffee Pot

enamel

Getting a good taste and nice flavor from your cowboy coffee doesn’t just come from the coffee but also from your coffee pot.  A cowboy coffee pot needs to be seasoned just like cast iron does.  As soon as your cowboy coffee pot is seasoned, you will taste the difference immediately. 

Here is how to season the new cowboy coffee pot

  • Fill your cowboy coffee pot with water. Add enough coffee grinds, and boil the water and coffee beans for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Take the coffee pot off the stove and let it soak all day. This soaking allows the coffee flavor to absorb into the inside of your cowboy coffee pot to season it.  This seasoning greatly improves the flavor and taste of your cowboy coffee.  

The cowboy coffee pots that build the best seasoning are enamel and graniteware coffee pots.  Stainless-steel cowboy coffee pots, generally take longer to build a good seasoning.  

How to Clean a Cowboy Coffee Pot

You should NEVER use soap to clean a cowboy coffee pot. 

The soap will affect the inside of the coffee pot when the soap is used to clean the cowboy coffee pot.  It affects your coffee taste and removes any seasoning already built in your coffee pot.

All you need to do to clean your cowboy coffee pot is to rinse it with hot water.  Make sure you let your coffee pot dry completely inside before you store it away.

Conclusion

To make a good cup of traditionally brewed cowboy coffee, you not only need good coffee beans, but you also need a good quality cowboy coffee pot that holds heat well and is durable. 

Cowboy coffee pots are great for camping or hiking outdoors.  Their lightweight designs make them easy to carry and pack for camping trips.  We hope you can find a quality cowboy coffee pot from the list above.  

This simple traditional old west method of brewing coffee while sitting around a campfire with friends is an old and tested way of brewing coffee.