Wondering if a moka pot will work on your electric stove? Buying a random moka pot could be a problem if you’re not using a gas stove. There are a few different types of moka pot that impacts what kind of heat source you can use. Here’s what you need to know.
Most moka pots are made of aluminium which won’t work on an induction stovetop. Infrared or coil stoves work well with any type of moka pot since those don’t rely on the material of the cookware to create heat. Moka pots made from stainless steel or have a stainless steel bottom will work on induction plates.
Below you can find out more about which type of moka pot works on your induction stove and why.
Does a Moka Pot Work On an Electric Stovetop?
As usual, there is not a very straightforward answer to a seemingly simple question. If your moka pot works on an electric stove depends on two things:
- The type of electric stove
- The material of the moka pot
That means there is no straightforward answer that fits everyone. Let’s dive a little deeper into those two factors above.
Are you not yet 100% sure on how to brew good coffee with a moka pot. click here to find a step by step guide.
Types of electric stovetop
There are roughly three types of electric stovetops. There might be a few more but these are the main and most common types.
- Coil: The oldest form of electric stove is the coil element. It’s a metal rod that is heated up by running electricity through it. Sometimes it’s covered up by a metal plate to make it smoother and easier to clean but the insides are still the same. The heat created in this type of stovetop doesn’t depend on the type of cookware you’re using. Any type of moka pot will work on this type of hob.
- Infrared: Infrared cookers are usually recognizable because they light up like they’re glowing. They use halogen lights and radiant coils to produce heat. That heat is transferred to a ceramic glass cover which in turn heats your cookware. That means you don’t need special cookware to use an infrared stovetop. So just like the coil type, any type of moka pot will work on this type of heating element.
- Induction: Induction hobs work a bit differently than the previous two. The heat isn’t created in the hob itself but in the cookware. An induction cooker creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field isn’t hot and you could put your hand on the hob without feeling anything. Once you introduce something that’s magnetic to the mix is when heat starts building. It creates heat in magnetic cookware and only in the cookware. Magnetic in this case means any metal a magnet will stick to. Since most moka pots are made out of aluminum, they don’t work on induction hobs.
Suggested: Do coffee makers a lot of electricity?
I’m sure you can already see where this is going but just to make sure, let’s look at the materials moka pots are made out of.
Moka pot materials
The most common type of moka pot is made from aluminum. That means the original Bialetti and the cheap knock-off both are most likely made from aluminum. It’s light, strong and works very well. However, if you hold a magnet to an aluminum moka pot, it won’t do anything. That means the majority of moka pots won’t work on an induction plate. Since induction heating relies on the magnetic field working on the cookware, non-magnetic cookware doesn’t create any heat.
There are a few moka pots that are made from stainless steel. They can either be completely made from stainless or just have a stainless bottom while the rest of the moka pot is aluminum. Stainless steel is certainly magnetic. That means these moka pots will work well on any type of electric stove. It doesn’t really matter if it’s just the bottom or the whole pot. The magnetic field of an induction plate doesn’t go very far anyways. The hybrid versions are lighter but can be a bit more expensive.
In rare cases there can be some other materials used to make moka pots out of. Most of the time that’s in versions that can almost be described as novelty items or ones with a heating element built in. Especially with the second type, the whole problem of which stovetop to use goes away completely.
Most moka pots are made from aluminum. Aluminum won’t work on induction stoves but will work on all other types of electric and non-electric stoves. Some moka pots are made from stainless steel. These will work on all types of stoves.
Managing Moka Pot Heat On Electric Stoves
It’s all about getting enough heat in the moka pot to make the water boil and keep it boiling until the coffee is finished brewing. You don’t want that to take too long otherwise the coffee grounds in the pot might ‘burn’ and give off a lot of very bitter notes. Some people might like this but if it’s bad, most people won’t enjoy that cup of coffee.
So you want the hob to be hot so the water boils as quickly as possible without giving the grounds time to get too hot. It’s all about getting the water to boil as fast as possible.
The first thing to do is to start your moka pot with hot water. Boil some water in a kettle and use that to fill your boiler with. That means the stove has to do less work to heat up the water and you’ll have better tasting coffee faster. Just handle the moka pot with oven gloves after filling it with hot water. You could even throw out the first fill of hot water and immediately refill the boiler with boiling water to get the metal as hot as possible.
If you’re using a coil or infrared stove, it’s a good idea to turn them on about 30 seconds to a minute before putting the moka pot on top, regardless of the material of the pot. These types of stoves take a while to get up to temperature. That means if you just turn them on when putting the moka pot on, you add 30 seconds to 1 minute to the brew time and to the time you heat up the grounds.
There is also a delay when turning the hobs off. They will still be hot for a while after turning them off. So if you want to be extra efficient, you can turn off the stove once the coffee starts coming out the tower. The residual heat in the hob will keep the water boiling long enough to finish brewing.
With a stainless pot on an induction hob, it doesn’t matter. Induction doesn’t produce heat by itself but needs the stainless steel to start heating up. Turning the hob on earlier won’t do anything.
How To Make An Aluminum Moka Pot Work On Induction
You got an aluminum moka pot and only have induction hobs. But you’re still craving that strong black liquid that comes from a stovetop espresso maker. Is there anything you can do?
Buying a moka pot with built in heating element or a stainless steel one is the best option. However, that’s not always an option. What other options are there?
- Induction converter: There are stainless steel plates with a handle that you can put on the induction hob. The converter will heat up and in turn heat the moka pot.
- Pan: Can’t wait for a converter to show up? It’s basically the bottom of an induction compatible pan. So in a pinch, you could use put the moka pot in a pan that works on induction and heat it up that way. Use a shallow pan that’s not too big. Be careful the handle of the moka pot doesn’t get too hot.
You will lose some efficiency with either method but it will work. It’s only for 1-2 minutes per brew so it’s very unlikely you would notice the difference in efficiency on your electric bill.
Favorite Moka Pot Products
You don’t need many things to brew good coffee with a Moka pot. Here are the few things you need to make the best possible coffee.
- Moka Pot: Just buy a high quality Moka pot from the get go. The cheaper ones can be messy when brewing. Bialetti is the original and still one of the best with it’s classic looks. They cost a bit more than the cheap ones but these can last for decades and the parts that wear out are easily available for the Bialetti Moka pots. The 3 cup size is good for a single person (Amazon)
- Beans: Good coffee starts with good beans. You can’t make bad beans taste good. Espresso roast beans are good for a Moka pot and will get you closer to that typical espresso taste. Peet’s coffee does a great 100$ Arabica espresso roast. Give it a try, you can get it here on Amazon
- Grinder: Using whole beans means you need to grind them at home. This improves the taste because the grounds are much fresher. A Hario Slim (Amazon) is a great starting point for the starting home barista. If you want a good hand grinder for a good price, check out the TimeMore C2 (Amazon)
- Scales: To get consistent results, a set of accurate scales is essential. Check out this Apexstone scale (Amazon). I’ve been using it for more than a year and while it doesn’t look the sleekest, it’s cheap and just as accurate as more expensive coffee scales. It just reacts a little slower.