Okay, okay, I know... perking equals bad. BUT! (you knew there had to be a self-righteously indignant "but" in there, right? Good.) But... I found a vintage glass silex stovetop percolator for a whole buck! Science experiment for a buck- wouldn't you try?
Anyways, the only deterrent to trying it out immediately is this- I don't want to die in a fiery vintage glass shattering explosion in my own kitchen. I have a gas range; do I just place it right on the burner? I've tried looking around the interwebs, and I see a "grid" recommended for electric ranges, but that's all.
I just thought it'd be fun for curiosity's sake, but I'm not so keen on the slight danger to life/limb/eyesight that it could possibly entail.
OK.......fine........sure, I've used one. Which obviously tells you one of two things about me. Either I'm "A", a geezer, or "B", I bought a vintage glass percolator at a garage sale like you. So, here are your two choices; "A" or "A." (if you picked the "second A", it shows thoughtfulness, like you had to think a minute, even in the face of the obvious.) Back when we walked uphill, in the snow, both to and from our elementary school in Redondo Beach, I remember Mom would put the percolator directly on the flame. You could watch the coffee stain the clear water, until it reached it pinnacle of perfection. (...that would be perfection given we used Folger's drip grind out of the can!) If you go to youtube, you'll find numerous videos of glass percolators directly on the lit burner of a gas stove. HOWEVER... DO NOT TOUCH THE MONITOR SCREEN, YOU MAY BURN YOUR FINGERS!
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