Aluminum vs Stainless Steel Moka Pots: Moka Pot Dishwasher Tips
You're wondering if a Moka pot is worth buying and if it's dishwasher safe? Or you already have one and it's completely ruined by throwing it in the dishwasher. Let's see what can help your Moka pot survive a dishwasher. Hint: it's the metal it's made out of.
How Does a Moka Pot Make Coffee?
Also known as stovetop espresso, this coffee is among the strongest you can get or make at home and it's to no surprise that Moka pots can be found in nearly every Italian home. Something you should know is that not all Moka pots are made equal. We'll look into the differences between the different models and why it is important to know how to clean them later in the article. For starters it's important to understand how a Moka pot makes coffee as there are some parts that you should always keep clean.
The process starts by pouring hot water into the bottom chamber of the Moka pot. Then, you put the filter on top and add coffee. It's crucial that you don't tamp it. Otherwise, your coffee will come out weak and bitter, and you might get an exploding Moka pot.
Once you have your water and coffee in the Moka pot, you're ready to go. Start your stovetop and put the Moka pot on top. You should know that an induction stove is only going to work with a stainless steel Moka pot. Get yours now.
When the water starts boiling, your coffee will start extracting. As the boiling water expands it generates a lot of pressure. Usually what's in excess is released through the safety valve. That's why you should always make sure it's clean.
As the water finds its way up through the coffee grounds in the filter, the pressure will keep pushing it into the tower and the top chamber. This is where you can find your brewed coffee. Then pour it into a cup and enjoy.
We mentioned an explosive Moka pot and you might be wondering why is that. As we already said, a Moka pot generates pressure and that's how it extracts your coffee. If you tamp your coffee too tightly the pressure won't be enough to force the water through the grounds. That's why high-quality Moka pots come equipped with a safety valve. It's there to release the excessive pressure. If the one on your Moka pot doesn't work properly or there's coffee stuck inside it might end up exploding and you might end up cleaning coffee off your ceiling.
Washing Your Moka Pot
It's crucial that you wash your Moka pot after each use. This is how you avoid something getting in its safety valve, and then the whole coffee maker blowing up. Even though all types of Moka pot should be cleaned, some are not as requiring and are even safe in a dishwasher. Let's look into the differences between a stainless steel and an aluminum Moka pot.
Stainless Steel Moka Pots
Stainless steel Moka pots are significantly tougher than aluminum models. As stainless steel is a nonporous metal, there's virtually nothing that can happen to it when washing. You can throw it in the dishwasher, wash it with dish soap or even stronger detergents.
If the water where you are is hard, you will need to descale your coffee maker every few months. You can do this with lemon juice, baking soda or vinegar, even though it's not recommended.
Aluminum Moka Pots
An aluminum Moka pot is a little more requiring. Aluminum is not as tough a metal as stainless steel so you will need to be more careful. Here you should avoid using dish soap or any other strong detergents and simply give it a rinse with warm water. Otherwise you risk the aluminum oxidizing.
These issues are caused by the fact that aluminum Moka pots are generally softer and the top layer can easily be damaged. In addition aluminum is a porous metal.
Polishing a Moka Pot
As you continue brewing Moka pot espresso, your aluminum Moka pot will probably lose its glossy finish. This is because of different particles building up. While it's good to leave a thin layer of coffee on the inside, it looks bad if it's on the outside. That's why you might want to not only clean the coffee maker but also polish it.
The best way to do that is with a bicarbonate and water solution. Add three teaspoons of bicarbonate to a glass of hot water and using an abrasive sponge scrub your Moka pot. If the solution is not strong enough, you can add a dash of vinegar. When you're done, rinse the Moka pot under running water.
How Do You Fix a Moka Pot After a Dishwasher?
If you put your Moka pot in a dishwasher it might not show any signs of damage. This would mean your Moka pot is made of stainless steel. If it's made of aluminum though, it will most likely turn dull or dark. The same thing is not only going to happen to your Moka pot but also to any piece of aluminum kitchen equipment you put in the dishwasher.
Whether it happens and to what extent depends on whether the aluminum was anodized or not. If it wasn't or if it was done poorly, the harsh detergent you need for the dishwasher will go through the top layer and the Moka pot will corrode. You'll know that's happened by the white spots that'll show on the surface.
If you're already seeing the white spots there are a few things you might want to try.
Add Lemon Juice to Water
- Add a few tablespoons of lemon juice to water.
- Disassemble the Moka pot and put all the parts in the solution.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- Rinse with fresh water.
- Dry with a cloth. Don't let the Moka pot air dry as this will probably leave some stains.
Make a Baking Powder and Vinegar Paste
- Start by mixing white vinegar with baking powder.
- Spread the paste everywhere on the coffee maker and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Wash the paste off. If there are still spots on you Moka pot, you can use steel wool to scrub them off. However, this might damage the surface of the Moka pot so you will want to avoid it.
- Rinse the stovetop espresso maker thoroughly. You will want to make sure there are no vinegar and bicarbonate left as it will affect the taste of your coffee.
You should know that no matter which approach you try, you will want to make a few rounds of coffee before it's actually back to its normal taste. This is because no matter how well you rinse the coffee maker, there might still be some lemon juice or vinegar left on the surface.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Does the Moka Pot Come From?
The history of the Moka pots is actually very interesting. It was invented by the Italian engineer and inventor Alfonso Bialetti in the early 20th century and was first called the Moka express. Back then stainless steel was too expensive, especially for a kitchen appliance and that's why he resorted to using aluminum. After its invention, it wasn't long before the Moka pot made its way into nearly every Italian home and stood next to espresso as the true Italian coffee.
Another story is how the Moka pot got its name. Not long after coffee was discovered, Somali traders started exporting it from Ethiopia to the Middle East. That was usually done through Yemen and the port of Mocha (Moka) in particular. As Alfonso Bialetti knew the importance of the city, he decided to honor it in his invention.
Is a Moka Pot the Same as a Stovetop Espresso Maker?
You might be wondering why a Moka pot is also called a stovetop espresso maker. It's pretty simple: it uses the same coffee brewing method as an espresso maker. Both generate pressure and push water through coffee.
The Italian word espresso means "pressed out" and that's how you get your coffee.
Moka pots are known for the delicious coffee they make and their ease of use but like anything you use to prepare food, you should clean it after each use. Stainless steel Moka pots are low maintenance but aluminum models are a bit more requiring.
If you want to save yourself from worrying where you're going to ruin your aluminum Moka pot you might want to treat yourself to a stainless steel one. The LuxHaus Stainless steel Moka pot is made of high quality steel that is food safe and dishwasher resistant. Get yours now.