8 Clever Uses for Your French Press (That Have Nothing to Do with Coffee)
For a perfect cup of coffee, use a French press. But this cylindrical carafe, plunger and filter can do more than brew a beautiful light roast. We found plenty of French press hacks!
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Adam Smigielski/Getty Images
Make Fresh-Pressed Juice
A juicer is the best way to make cold-pressed juice because it extracts the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals from your fruits and vegetables. But a French press will do in a pinch! Dice up your choice of softer fruits and place into the French press, mash with a spoon to release their oils, add cold water and then press the plunger down firmly to squeeze out the juice.
Creativ Studio Heinemann/Getty Images
Grains like rice, quinoa or barley should be rinsed thoroughly with cold water before cooking to remove excess starches, dirt and germs. Place uncooked grains in the French press canister, cover with water, then press down the plunger and pour out the cloudy water. Repeat the process until the water is clear.
Steep Tea Leaves
As coffee’s close cousin, it makes sense to use your French press for tea. Add your tea leaves to the French press, then pour in about 8 ounces of hot water and steep for two minutes. Press down the plunger to capture the leaves and pour out a perfect cup of tea.
Leonhard Kraisser/Getty Images
Squeeze Water from Vegetables
Some recipes require squeezing excess moisture out of shredded vegetables (like when making crispy hash browns). Put the shredded veggies in the bottom of the French press, then press down the handle to squeeze out all the water. Perfectly dry veggies, no cheesecloth required! It’s our favorite zucchini cooking trick.
Image Source/Getty Images
Mix an Impressive Cocktail
Use this old bartender trick to mix up classic cocktails, like a brandy old-fashioned. Put fruit at the bottom of the French press and mash with a muddler. Pour your choice of liquor on top, allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, then press and strain to separate the liquid from the solids. Pour over ice.
OK, this French press hack might be slightly related to coffee (but still doesn’t involve making the actual coffee). Pour milk in the French press. Warm briefly in the microwave, then give it several quick pumps. The milk will gradually become frothier. Pour over your cup of coffee to create a fancy latte at home!
Rehydrate Dried Mushrooms
Dried mushrooms contain concentrated flavor and can last indefinitely, so they’re a great pantry staple. Rehydrating them is easy with a French press. Fill the canister with dried mushrooms, then cover with hot water for 20 minutes to an hour. Slowly push down the plunger, pour off liquid and soft, nutty mushrooms are ready to use!
Jennifer A Smith/Getty Images
Make Homemade Broth
Make up a small batch of delicious broth without a pot. Add your choice of aromatics (like sliced ginger, crushed garlic, rosemary, shallots or even seafood scraps) to a French press, then add boiling water and stir. Cover and let steep for 5 to 7 minutes. Press down the plunger gently and pour out the clear broth.