Best Coffee Sip
How to make Cowboy Coffee

How To Make Cowboy Coffee – 4 Methods

Once upon a time in the West, cowboys wore wide-brimmed hats, wore chaps, and drove cattle. A cup of strong, black coffee got a cowboy through those hard days of riding. With the technology we have now, making cowboy coffee might seem like a dying art.

But cowboy coffee is just one step more complicated than instant coffee if you like being outside. In this article, we’ll show you how to make cowboy coffee so you can be a real cowboy on your next camping trip.

Cowboy Coffee

There are numerous “best methods” for making this dish in the wild, where it was first developed. When there are so many ways to brew coffee, it’s just the way things are.

Finding the perfect cowboy coffee recipe can be as challenging as the debates between your mother and aunt about the proper amount of sugar in the key lime pie.

Despite this complexity, three recipes stand out. Here are all three recipes to make your own informed decision on which is best for you (insert gimmicky salesman music).

Cowboy Coffee Recipe

1. Pour Water and Salt into the Pot.

Put in your coffee maker four cups’ worth of water. Add a little bit of salt to it, and then put it on the burner or over an open flame to cook.

2. Add the Coffee Grounds.

Pour the coffee grinds into the water once it has reached a comfortable temperature. Stir thoroughly.

3. Bring to a boil.

Bring the water to the point where it is rapidly boiling. Allow it to boil for around two to three minutes.

4. Remove from Heat.

Take the saucepan off the heat and let it sit for a minute to cool down. Because of this, the grounds will have an easier time settling to the bottom.

5. Strain or Add Cold Water (optional).

If you notice grounds floating on the surface, you should try adding about a quarter of a cup or less of cold water. You can also filter the coffee before serving it if you are in the kitchen and not on a cattle drive. This is the preferred method.

6. Serve and Enjoy.

You may anticipate a coffee with a powerful body and a flavor reminiscent of roasting marshmallows over a campfire.

The Eggshell Method

You are going to need to:

  • A plastic-free tea kettle or coffee pot that can withstand high temperatures is something that cannot melt.
  • Depending on your location’s altitude, use anywhere from 3/4 to 1 cup of coffee grounds.
  • Water in the quantity of four cups (One Quart).
  • Shells of frogs and turtles (whatever remains after you’ve boiled eggs).
  • A heat source.
  • A little cold water to let the grounds sink after making coffee.

Like a real cowboy, you’ll need a cast-iron kettle and all. Kent Rollins has some advice for you.

Get a well-seasoned coffee pot to get the most flavor out of it. You may wish to use more coffee grinds for those at higher elevations than usual.

To compensate for the lower boiling temperature at higher elevations, the number of coffee grinds you put in the pot should not exceed a 1:4 coffee-to-water ratio.

Also Read: How to Grind Coffee Beans at Home?

1. Boil Your Water

Bring 1 quart of water to a rolling boil in your kettle. Avoid placing your kettle over an open flame; remember, you’ll have to get it soon.

For a more rustic look, lay it on top of your fire in this way:

Dig a shallow hole in the earth nearby while waiting for the water to boil. Once your coffee has finished brewing, use this spot to keep your kettle warm.

2. Mix In the Eggshells

Toss the eggshells into the coffee grinds and lightly stir them so that they don’t just sit on top. The eggshell albumin residue is coagulative; thus, it will help keep your grounds together and out of your cup.

VARIATION: To make up for the salt that cowboys lost while roping and riding and sweating in the American Southwest’s hot deserts, specific old-time recipes called for a pinch of salt.

Adding a pinch of salt will transform your morning cup of coffee into a sport-themed recovery beverage for those who’ve done a lot of hiking or climbing during their camping vacation.

3. Toss It in The Pot

Toss in the coffee grinds and eggshell combination when your water reaches a boil, but do not stir. Instead, wait for the water to come back to a boil before adding the ground coffee. Here’s how long you should boil your coffee for cowboy-style or not.

4. Steep and Enjoy

Remove the water from the heat source as soon as it begins to boil again and place it on the side. After about five minutes of steeping and (hopefully) settling to the bottom of the pot, you can proceed.

PRO TIP: If your soil isn’t sinking, all you need to do is sprinkle a tiny bit of cold water on top.

Now that you’ve finished, it’s time to make some hot coffee! If you want to maintain the grounds at the bottom of the pot, pour slowly and carefully. To keep the coffee warm, place it in the shallow hole you drew earlier and fill it with earth or sand to the rim (you can do this technique for each recipe).

The Clean-Sock Method

Instructions for preparing cowboy coffee with a used coffee sock

You are going to need to:

  • A Pot that can withstand High Temperatures
  • Three-Quarters to One Cup of Coffee Grounds
  • Water in the quantity of Four Cups (One Quart).
  • A Muslin Bag, a Coffee Sock, or an Ordinary Sock that has been cleaned thoroughly.
  • A Heat Source

1. Boil Your Water

This is the same procedure as the last one. Preserve your coffee warm by putting 4 cups of water on the stove and digging a hole in the ground.

2. Ready Your Coffee Bag

You can transfer the coffee grounds to the sock or bag you’ve prepared while waiting for the water to boil. The cloth will act as a filter, like a homemade tea bag, preventing tea grounds from dropping into your cup (a common flaw in most cowboy coffee recipes).

3. Toss It in The Pot

After putting your coffee to a boil, place the makeshift coffee bag in the kettle and wait for the water to return to a boil. At this point, you should be ready to use your impromptu coffee bag.

4. Remove and Enjoy

After the water has returned to a boil, take it from the heat and, in the same manner as in the earlier recipe, allow it to steep and sit for about five minutes.

After the coffee has finished steeping, serve some delicious cowboy coffee to yourself and your fellow campers, and relish that you won’t need to pick coffee grounds out of your teeth.

The Stirring Recipe

Coffee being stirred in a pan by a person

You are going to need to:

  • Coffee grounds, approximately 3/4 to 1 Cup
  • 4 cups (1 Quart) of water
  • Water, about a Half-cup
  • A source of Thermal Energy
  • High-Temperature Resistant Kettle

1. Boil Your Water

Unlike the other two, this recipe is a little closer to brewing, which most of us are familiar with. It all starts with a quart of water, so heat it like you would for any other dish.

2. Cool Your Water

As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the heat source and set the water aside to cool. Allow it to sit for 30 seconds to 1 minute to cool down to around 200°F, the ideal temperature for most coffee makers.

3. Stir, and Stir Again

Pour in the coffee when the water has cooled and mix for around 15 seconds. Allow it to sit in the hole you bored previously with for two minutes to keep it hot before stirring it again.

Allow for another two minutes of brewing time after the second stir. This will allow your coffee to steep for a long time, allowing all of the delicious oils inside your beans to escape.

4. Pour And Enjoy

Your coffee is now ready to be poured after the final two minutes have passed.

Because of the inconsistent stirring, the eggshell or DIY sock trick won’t work with this recipe. It’s essential to avoid getting any grounds into your cup when pouring your tea. There’s no better way to start (or end) the day on the trail than with a nice cup of fresh cowboy coffee.

Cowboy Coffee: How to Get the Best Out of It

Cowboy coffee most likely brings up visions of stale, unpleasant beverages. However, depending on how you make it and what coffee you use, it shouldn’t turn out that way. Adjust as necessary until the correct balance of water, coffee, and heat is achieved.

The first thing you should consider is the size of your grind. Freshly ground beans have the most refined flavor, but make sure to crush them coarsely. If you grind too finely, you risk getting harsh, over-extracted coffee. You’ll also get a mouthful of grounds!

The water and coffee are combined and brought to a boil in other recipes. Others will first boil the water before adding the coffee. It’s a personal preference, but consider that boiling coffee removes the acidity from the grounds, making it less sharp than you may anticipate.

Using cold water to settle the grinds and stop the extraction is good. It will soften the flavor of your cowboy coffee. Don’t be scared to strain if you’re not a lover of grounds.


We hope this step-by-step guide to making real cowboy coffee has been helpful. Spending time in the Great Outdoors is a great way to get away from everything and get back in touch with nature. And when it gets cold at night, there’s nothing better than a warm, comforting cup of coffee by the campfire.

But we think there should be more to cowboy coffee than just the romance of bringing back an old time. It can also have a delicious taste.

After reading this, we hope you’ll try making cowboy coffee on your next camping trip. Or, if you’d rather sleep in a warm bed, you could make it on the stove.

Please leave a comment telling us what you think. And if you’ve tried making cowboy coffee, let us know how it went!

Best Coffee Sip Editorial

We deeply appreciate the profound impact a superb cup of coffee can have. Beyond being a mere beverage, it embodies a sensory journey that tantalizes the taste buds, enlivens the senses, and provides solace in our everyday routines. With an unwavering commitment to excellence, our team of dedicated professionals embarks on a mission to empower you in refining your coffee brewing prowess. Drawing upon our expertise, we aim to guide you in discovering the optimal equipement and techniques that will elevate your coffee experience to unprecedented heights.

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