Best Electric Coffee Percolators

Thinking of buying an electric coffee percolator?

With a percolator, the coffee drinking experience is made fuller and more robust. Coffee made in a percolator is more flavorful. The aroma and bubbling sound are also part of its charm.

The full flavor of the coffee made in a percolator is due to the design of the machine. Percolators are made with an upper chamber and a lower chamber. You put the coffee grounds in the upper chamber and water in the lower chamber. Then you warm the water. As the water boils, it is pushed upward through a tube to the upper chamber and wets and seeps through the coffee powder. Then as the heating continues, the flavored water drips into the lower chamber which is also heated. This process continues over and over until the entire brew is ready, and the continuous movement of the water produces an aromatic and flavorful coffee.

Let’s find out about some of the best percolators on the market today.

Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Coffee Percolator

The Hamilton Beach Coffee Percolator is a major favorite among coffee percolator enthusiasts. It is a quality product which will last longer than others on the market. It is also very versatile and can make as few as two cups to as many as 12 cups in one brew. It works quickly and can make your hot coffee in about a minute, at which point its ready-to-serve indicator light will turn on. And then, its automatic keep warm function will kick in, to make sure your coffee stays at a nice temperature for a considerable amount of time.

It has a viewing window that comes in handy when you want to see how the coffee level is coming along.

This model has many safety features including a locking lid that never dislodges when pouring hot coffee too fast. This is a wonderful quality, especially if you’ve ever spilled hot coffee on yourself while pouring before. Its handle always stays cool, the spout does not spill or dribble, and the cord is detachable.

In addition to percolating coffee, it can also heat water for tea or cocoa. And bonus – this percolator is dishwasher safe!


  • High quality, long lasting
  • Versatile – can brew two to 12 cups at one time
  • Viewing window
  • Many safety features including locking lid
  • Dishwasher safe


  • Complicated design

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Presto 02822 6-Cup Stainless Steel Percolator

The Presto 02822 6-Cup Percolator is affordable, well-built, and keeps your coffee hot for an extended period of time. It has an attractive vintage look and comes with vintage-style accessories.

At six cups, it makes less coffee than other brands, but then again it’s not every day that you want to host a party. It is perfect for two people or even just a single person who really enjoys coffee.

This percolator makes a very hot brew, which means your coffee stays hot for longer. It efficiently heats your coffee, disseminating the hot water through the ground. Also, it is a very heavy model, which means it is made of thick, solid steel and is well insulated. This insulation makes for faster brewing and the ability to maintain heat in the brew for a longer time. It may take you a bit longer to drink your coffee when it is made with this percolator compared to others, due to the heat.

You don’t have to worry about burning your hands, though. This percolator is easy to work with because its handle and knob are both cool to the touch. It also has a cool-bottom design.

The Presto 02822 lets you know your brew is ready with an indicator light, which then keeps your coffee hot with its keep-warm mode. It manages to do this without overcooking your brew.

Another fun feature is the percolating sound this device makes when it is brewing. One drawback is the knob does not allow for viewing your coffee level.

Other useful features include its detachable cord, so you can remove the percolator after it’s done brewing and serve the coffee easily to your guests. The device does not have an on/off switch; when you plug it in, it brews and keeps warm, and when you plug it out, it turns off. It has a mess-free spout, which makes for easy, graceful pouring.

This model is easy to clean up after you have used it.


  • Attractive vintage style
  • Keeps coffee hot for extended period of time
  • Well-built, heavy, and well-insulated
  • Cool handle, knob, and bottom
  • Percolating sound


  • No viewing knob

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Cuisinart Classic 12-Cup Percolator PRC-12

The Cuisinart Classic 12-Cup Percolator PRC-12 is an affordable and attractive model that will add sleek design to your kitchen. Tall and slim, it has a tapered, non-drip spout for added elegance. You can watch the coffee inside bubbling away through the transparent knob at the top. And its stainless steel construction ensures this product is durable and long lasting.

This percolator heats up fast, preparing your hot coffee in about a minute, but it has a bottom unit that always stays cool, and won’t burn your counter. Likewise, it has a comfortable, cool-touch handle that will keep your hands safe. And it won’t burn your coffee either as it has an indicator light to tell you when your brew is ready. It has a detachable cord for added safety.

You need a household full of coffee lovers though because it will not brew less than four cups at a time. It’s more of a percolator for a crowd, and can make up to 12 cups in one brew.

Although this model can make a lot of coffee, it is not always consistent in flavor. Sometimes a batch will come out weak, and other times not. But on average it will provide a robust tasting brew and locked in aroma. Also, although it won’t burn your coffee, it also will not keep it piping hot for long. Instead, it maintains a warm temperature for a considerable amount of time after brewing.


  • Attractive and sleek
  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Brews a large amount of coffee quickly
  • Keeps coffee warm for extended periods of time
  • Handle and bottom unit always stay cool


  • Some users think the coffee is too weak
  • Cannot make a smaller amount of coffee

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Farberware 12-Cup Percolator FCP412

The Farberware 12-Cup Percolator FCP412 is an expensive brand that is attractive, sturdy, and efficient. It provides modern styling and, of course, a tasty brew.

This uniquely designed model pours 12 cups of coffee for those large get-togethers. It features a non-drip, spill-free spout for easy pouring, a detachable cord for safety and storage, and the base also detaches so you can move the pot wherever you wish. Its lid, base, and handle are all cool-touch to avoid burns. It has a steel double creel filter and a handy coffee level indicator.

Once brewed, this model’s keep warm mode will maintain your coffee at an enjoyable temperature.

One drawback is its short cord so it needs to be plugged in near an outlet. However, considering you can heat the coffee and then move it wherever you due to its detachable base, this is not a major problem.


  • Useful for large get-togethers (makes 12 cups)
  • Double creel filter
  • Cool-touch lid, base, and handle
  • Non drip, spill-proof spout
  • Keep-warm mode


  • Not suitable for a small group
  • Expensive

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Electric coffee percolator FAQs

What is the advantage of an electric percolator over a manual percolator?

The electric versions work automatically when connected to power, and so they are more convenient and safe. In contrast, a manual percolator is heated on a stove top and requires more hands on supervision. If you are using your percolator indoors, for example, at home or at the office, an electric percolator makes sense. On the other hand, if you want to use your percolator outdoors, for example, while camping, a manual version is more appropriate.

How do I choose the perfect electric percolator?

When choosing an electric percolator, you should consider your budget. Quality and features will often determine the price so those are important considerations as well. You should also think about the size of the device you need, i.e., how many cups of coffee would you like to brew at one time? Some people prefer a percolator that brews a small amount, while others like to host parties frequently and prefer a large machine. Also look into how easy the percolator is to clean. It should be easy to dismantle so you can clean it.

If I have a percolator, do I have to grind the coffee beans myself?

No, you can actually buy a coffee grinding machine or you can ask your local specialty coffee shop to grind whole beans for you. Always remember, when grinding the beans, that a percolator works best with a coarse blend.

What is the difference between a percolator and a French press?

Both types of coffee makers create a brew that is robust and that has some acidic and bitter elements to its taste. Also, they both do not use coffee filters. However, many percolators can make a lot of coffee quickly, around 12 cups, while French presses tend to only make about four cups at a time. In a percolator, the hot water passes through the coffee grounds a few times while brewing. In a French press, this is done in one pass and the grounds then go through a mesh filter.

What is the difference between a percolator and an automatic drip machine?

Percolators have been around for many decades, and around the 1970s they started receiving competition from automatic drip coffee makers. The latter allowed consumers to use a paper filter to remove bitter essential oils and other unpleasant tastes in the coffee. However, people who love strong coffee often feel a percolator provides better taste that a drip coffee maker. As with the French press, the water in a drip machine only passes once through the coffee grounds whereas the water is brought through the grounds numerous times in a percolator, resulting in a stronger taste.

A percolator requires more maintenance than a drip coffee maker. Unlike drip coffee makers, percolators do not use paper filters; therefore, you need to remove the coffee grounds from the basket whenever you brew a pot of coffee. Also, some percolators are more of a challenge to clean than others.

What is the difference between a percolator and a single pod coffee maker?

Single pod coffee makers are engineered to extract the most from coffee grounds in the shortest amount of time. In that sense, single pod coffee makers are similar to making instant coffee. Percolators use a more course type of coffee grounds and make a blend that is much more robust and complex. Single pod brewers can make not just coffee but also gourmet coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. A percolator is purely for the coffee lover, and is generally not used to make tea. And one big difference is a single pod brewer makes one cup of coffee at a time while a percolator can make much more, often up to 12 cups in one brew. Last but not least, single pod coffee is more expensive per cup compared to coffee made in a percolator.

Photo credit: Frank Anusewicz/Shutterstock

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