Cowboy Coffee – Tips and Tricks

Are you looking for that perfect cup of coffee, but don’t want to stand in line and then pay $20 a cup? I don’t blame you! Folks, we are going to show you the tips and the tricks to getting the smoothest cup of coffee around!

Some years back we did a Cowboy coffee video. But, today we’re going a little more in-depth and answering some of your most asked questions regarding this black magic.

Now, let’s talk about some of the myths that there are about Cowboy coffee: it’s like pudding, it’s too stout, it’s bitter, it’s so thick you can stand a spoon in it. Folks, that is all wrong!

Cowboy coffee, when it is made right, is probably the smoothest coffee in the world. I have had so many folks come up to me and tell me they can’t drink coffee because it upsets their stomach or gives them acid reflux. But, when you boil coffee correctly, it takes the bitterness out and boils the acid out of the bean. 

How to Make Coffee Right

Cowboy Coffee

Start by adding water to the bottom of the spout. Then let the water warm. Once the water is warm you can add the coffee grounds directly in to the pot (you can pick any brand you like).

I’ve got a coffee grinder that I used to have on the wagon, and I’d grind my beans every morning to make coffee. It was a coarse ground. I’ve found that a coarser ground coffee needs to boil a little bit longer, so remember that depending on what type of grind you like. 

Now y’all need to wait patiently for that to come to a boil. And I’m not talking a little bubbling- it needs to come to a full rolling boil.  

Cowboy Coffee

Put the coffee in warm water.

If you’re in the house and you nearly get to that point when it’s fixin’ to boil, turn that fire down a tad so it won’t boil over. I like to let it roll for about 4 minutes on the heat, that’s what makes good coffee.

A lot of folks ask, “Where do you get those big pots?”

Every once in a while, you can find the big ol’ camp pots like I have on the wagon at antique stores, junk shops and sometimes eBay. But, be careful because some of those old coffee pots will have holes in the bottom. Hold them up to the light to make sure you can’t see any holes.

Check these links for more coffee pots:

Large camp pots: 20 cup
36 cup

3 quart coffee pot:

How to Make the Right Strength

Just remember, the longer you  boil that coffee the stouter it will become at some point. You can adjust the strength of your coffee with the boiling time and also the amount of grounds you use, so do it to your liking! 

How to Settle the Grounds

After it has cooled off for a couple of minutes, we’re going to take about 1 cup of cold water and pour some down the spout and a little around the edges. When you pour it down the spout, it will get any of those caught up grounds along the top. 

Cowboy Coffee

Pour cold water through the spout to settle the grounds.

In some smaller pots, the grounds can get caught up in the spout and up there on the edges. You can take a paper towel, dip it in a little water, and make a circle around the top of the pot to catch any of those grounds. 

Cold water is the best trick to settle the grounds.  

Cowboy Coffee

You can also use a wet paper towel – it will pick up the grounds from the edges.

Take Care of the Coffee Pot

When you have a pot, make sure that the coffee pot gets well-seasoned, (check the link on our how-to), ’cause it’s just like cast-iron. You need to take care of the inside of that pot. Never wash it with soap because it need to build up a good seasoning. All you need to do is rinse with hot water.  

Sometimes the pots can build up soot on the outside. To help keep yours clean, take a rag and wipe a little vegetable oil around the outside of the pot and it will be easier to clean after use. 

What to Do If You Made A Lot?

So, let’s say you made a bunch of this in the house and you don’t know what to do with it. Well, sometimes I’ll just pour it in a mason jar and you can set it in the icebox. You can also strain the coffee while pouring to make sure that you don’t get any grounds when reheating. 



 Check out our video for even more tips and  don’t forget to share it with your friends and neighbors!



Cowboy Coffee - Cowboy Kent Rollins


  • 1/4 cup coffee grounds
  • 1 quart warm water


  • If using a coffee pot, fill with water to the bottom of the spout and warm. Depending on what size pot you are using you can estimate 1/4 cup of grounds to 1 quart of water. 
  • Add the coffee grounds and bring to a rolling boil. To prevent the water from boiling over, you can slightly reduce the heat when boiling. Boil for about 4 minutes- the longer the boil the stouter the coffee will be. 
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let rest 2 minutes. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup for smaller pots and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of cold water for larger pots down the spout and in the top of the pot. The cold water will settle the grounds. 
  • Serve hot. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. […] at the end result. Skip any recipe that talks about adding raw egg or egg shells – just yuck! Kent Rollings says it […]

  2. […] “Cowboy coffee” is actually my favorite way to enjoy coffee at the campground, however, it is a bit more labor-intensive. You know what they say, “The best things come to those who wait”. Honestly, it’s not that hard and it makes a really delicious cup of coffee that sets those early morning camping mornings just right. […]