It's easy to learn how to make coffee in a catering percolator as long as you follow a few basic rules. According to the late Camille Glenn, author of "Heritage Southern Cooking", you should use 1/2 pound of coffee and four quarts of water to make coffee in a 20-cup sized catering percolator. To make coffee in a 40-cup size catering percolator, use one pound of coffee and eight quarts of water. If your catering percolator falls in between the 20 and 40 cup sizes, Glenn recommends using two level measuring tablespoons of ground coffee and 3/4 c. water (six fluid ounces) for every extra cup of coffee you need to make. These measurements and proportions work for every coffee brewing method, and every type of coffee maker, whether it is automatic or not.
- Before starting to make coffee in your catering percolator, make certain it is completely clean. Take it apart and wash the parts in hot water and dish detergent. Rinse thoroughly with clear water. Before putting the catering percolator back together, scald it in hot water.
- When ready to make coffee in the catering percolator, use only fresh water that has just come out of the tap, and coffee that has just been ground. If you can't grind your beans right before making coffee in the catering percolator, grind them no earlier than one week ahead of time. Make sure the coffee is regular grind, not too fine and not too coarse.
- The coffee goes into the metal basket that sits atop the tube in the center of the catering percolator.
- The level of the water in your catering percolator should always be below the coffee basket. Making coffee in a catering percolator is just like making coffee in any size percolator only on a larger scale.
"Heritage Southern Cooking", Camille Glen