How To Make Cowboy Coffee ( 3 Methods and Step-by-step Guide)

How To Make Cowboy Coffee

Photo: Shutterstock

Sometimes it is not always possible to make coffee on your fancy coffee makers as the situation or environment might not allow it. It is this need for alternative coffee making methods that has brought up some interesting coffee making methods like cowboy coffee.

Cowboy coffee gets its name from the fact that it is the method that most cowboys would use to get their caffeine fix when out in the wilderness where they would only have access to a kettle, some ground coffee, and a campfire.

This coffee is one of the simplest you can make because there is nothing much to do besides adding coffee and water to the kettle and placing it over the campfire.

However, there are different ways of doing it, and so if you are trying to figure out how to make cowboy coffee, this piece is for you as we highlight three different methods.

How to Make Cowboy Coffee

Anyone can make cowboy coffee as there is nothing too fancy or complicated about it. However, just like any other coffee type, you need to follow certain steps to ensure you make the best brew quality. Here are 3 methods you can use.

Method 1: Eggshell Method

Eggshell Method


Eggshell cowboy coffee is perfect for those that do not want to use filters or carry cheesecloth to filter out their coffee as it makes it easy for the grinds to settle at the bottom. And contrary to what some people might assume, it will not introduce any foreign taste to the coffee but can also help neutralize some of the acidity and bitterness.

What You Will Need

  • Coffee pot or kettle
  • 1 cup of ground coffee
  • 4 cups of water
  • Eggshells
  • Heat source like a campfire

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Start by adding you water to the kettle and boiling it over the stovetop or campfire

Step 2: Next crush your eggshells into small particles and sprinkle them on your coffee grounds and mix thoroughly

Step 3: Once the water boils, you can throw in the eggshell and coffee grounds mixture

Step 4: Remove the coffee from the fire immediately after tossing in the coffee and place it somewhere for around 5 minutes to steep and for the grounds to sink to the bottom

Step 5: Serve and enjoy your cowboy coffee

Method 2: Clean-Sock Method

Clean-Sock Method

For those that prefer a cleaner cup of cowboy coffee, the clean-sock method will be a perfect choice because using it will mean you will hardly ever end up with any coffee grounds on your cup. And it is also quite a straightforward coffee-making method.

What You Will Need

  • Kettle or coffee pot
  • 1 cup of coffee grounds
  • 4 cups of water
  • A coffee sock or muslin bag (you can even use a clean regular sock)

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Add the water to your kettle and bring it to a boil over the stove or campfire

Step 2: As the water boils, you should ready your sock bag by adding the coffee grounds and tie the top securely

Step 3: Now toss the coffee sock into the kettle with the water and wait for a few minutes for the water to come to a boil

Step 4: Once the water boils, remove the kettle from the fire and put it aside for about 5 minutes to allow the coffee to steep

Step 5: After steeping you should remove the coffee sock and serve your cowboy brew

Method 3: Stirring


Photo: Shutterstock

The stirring cowboy coffee method will be more like other coffee-making methods that many people use often and as the name suggests, it will involve a lot of stirring. However, it is still a quick and easy way of making cowboy coffee.

What You Will Need

  • Coffee pot or kettle
  • 3/4 cup coffee grounds
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Step by Step Directions

Step 1: Start by boiling your water over a campfire or stovetop

Step 2: Remove the water from the heat source when it starts boiling and leave it to cool a little for at least 30 seconds for the temperature to go down to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 3: Once the water is at the right temperature, add your coffee grounds and stir for a few seconds and let it sit for a while before stirring again and then leaving it to brew for a few minutes

Step 4: After the few minutes (at least 2 minutes) the coffee will have brewed enough and the grounds settled at the bottom and your cowboy coffee will be ready to serve

Note: The three methods above are for making cowboy coffee (the beverage) and not on how to make cowboy coffee chew. However, cowboy coffee chew recipes are also equally easy if not simpler.


Cowboy coffee is one of those things that will always be the highlight of any camping expedition. However, you can still make it at home on a stovetop and there are different ways of doing it.

The three most common ways of making cowboy coffee are the eggshell, clean-sock and stirring method, and the best thing about them is that they are all quite straightforward and will not take a lot of your time.

And now that you know how to make cowboy coffee on the stove at home or when camping, go ahead and try it out and it might end up being your new favorite coffee.

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