Everyday Cheapskate: 10 Surprising Things a Coffee Maker Can Do Besides Brew Coffee
You might think your coffee maker is a one-trick pony -- does anything smell more wonderful than a freshly brewed pot of coffee? But let's think about this for a moment. That appliance heats water to about 200 F and comes equipped with a hot plate to keep it at about 165 F. Whether you're traveling, living in a dorm room or just like the idea of a kitchen tool doing more than one thing, you're going to love knowing all the things your coffee maker can do besides brew coffee.
Instant soup, especially those packets of ramen, is perfect for preparing with a coffee maker. Break up the noodles and then pour the entire contents, including seasoning mix, into the coffee carafe. Now pour water through the machine as if you were making coffee. Let it set on the hot plate for a few minutes, and you're good to go.
You're going to think I'm nuts, but stick with me here. You really can make minipancakes on a coffee maker's hot plate. First, line the burner with foil (optional, but foil will keep it clean), and let it heat up. Now pour a small amount of batter right onto the foil. Flip it over when the edges begin to turn brown and the surface develops small bubbles. Amazing, no?
MAKE GRILLED CHEESE
Refer back to the pancakes above. You can use this same method to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Just let the burner with foil reach its maximum heat and then place your buttered cheese sandwich right on top. Once it's golden brown, give it a flip to grill the other side. Yum!
This is such a great idea, especially if you're traveling and holed up in a hotel room. Place the oatmeal, cinnamon and/or raisins -- however you like it -- into the carafe. Run the right amount of water (according to your recipe or the label on a packet of instant oatmeal) through the coffee maker. Give it a stir and then let the oatmeal "cook" accordingly. There you go: instant breakfast!