When I was in college, we were allowed a coffee maker and a two-slice toaster in our dorms for cooking — and nothing else. (But, they couldn't stop us from making grilled cheese sandwiches with our irons!) If I had known the things that a coffee maker could cook back then, I would have eaten a lot less Chinese food and pizza on the weekends when I didn’t have a meal plan.

I’ve seen all sorts of creative ideas for cooking with coffee makers. Here are 10 that might be worth a try if you’re short on cooking appliances:

  1. Oatmeal – Put the oatmeal in the carafe and let the hot water pour into it. Voila. Instant oatmeal.
  2. Hard-boiled eggs – After the water has poured over the eggs in the carafe, allow them to sit 10-12 minutes.
  3. Hot dogs – Just like the above hard-boiled eggs, let the hot water pour over them and allow them to sit until heated through.
  4. Grilled cheese – Use the burner of the coffee maker like a hot plate to toast up bread and cheese.
  5. Pancakes – Place nonstick foil over the hot burner and pour some pancake batter on it.
  6. Beans and Rice – Everything from sautéing onion in the coffee pot to finishing off the beans and rice is done in the coffee pot. This will take about four hours to cook.
  7. Fish in the carafe, vegetables in the top basket – An entire healthy meal, right from the coffee maker.
  8. Chocolate fondue – This would have definitely made late-night studying in my dorm more enjoyable. Heat the cream, melt the chocolate, dip.
  9. Meatballs – The suggestion here is for spicy meatballs done in hot sauce, but you could certainly do meatballs in tomato sauce, too.
  10. Condensed soup – I didn’t see this idea on any websites, but it seems logical. Put the soup from the can in the coffee pot. Add the right amount of water to the reservoir and allow to slowly drip over the soup. Stir. And leave on the burner to heat more thoroughly.
Do you have any other creative ways to cook food using your coffee maker?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

10 foods you can cook with a coffee maker
Chocolate fondue made from your coffee maker? Yep. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.