If you’re in the market for a new Moka Pot, you’ve probably noticed there are a ton of options out there. But one of the most common questions is whether it’s better to buy an aluminum or stainless steel Moka Pot.
Aluminum and stainless steel Moka Pots both come with several advantages and disadvantages. For example, aluminum conducts heat better, but stainless steel is more durable and resistant. The one you should buy really depends on what you’re looking for in a coffee maker.
For the rest of this post, we’re going to compare these two Moka Pots on a variety of characteristics. And by the end, you’ll know exactly which one is right for you.
Summary of Aluminum vs Stainless Steel Moka Pots
|Characteristics||Aluminum Moka Pot||Stainless Steel Moka Pot|
|Better heat conductor||✓||✗|
|Wider variety of shapes and colors||✓||✗|
|Resistant to tarnish and corrosion||✗||✓|
|More Durable And Scratch Resistant||✗||✓|
|Works on Induction Stoves||✗||✓|
Are Aluminum Moka Pots Safe?
Aluminum Moka Pots are safe. While a small amount of aluminum will leach into your coffee, it’s within the European Food Safety Authority’s recommended limits. Additionally, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (under the CDC), states aluminum ingested orally is usually not harmful.
Health concerns surrounding aluminum are probably the biggest reason people choose stainless steel over aluminum. These concerns started with a 1965 study that discovered a potential link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s.
However, after decades of additional research, there aren’t any definitive conclusions about the relationship between aluminum and Alzheimer’s (You can read more about it at Scientific American or the University of Washinton).
Also, since aluminum is everywhere – in the air, water, soil, food, food packaging, cosmetics, deodorants, and even some medicines, there’s literally no escaping it even if you do choose to buy a stainless steel Moka Pot.
Reasons To Choose An Aluminum Moka Pot
Aluminum Conducts Heat Better Than Stainless Steel
One advantage aluminum Moka Pots have over stainless steel is that aluminum conducts heat better.
Many people take this to mean that aluminum Moka Pots require less energy to heat than stainless steel. But this isn’t true. It actually takes more energy to heat aluminum, which is why stainless steel Moka Pots get hot faster.
The advantage of aluminum Moka Pots comes from,
- Even heat distribution
- Water reaches hotter temperatures
Aluminum Moka Pots are heated evenly while stainless steel pots get hotter in certain areas. The even heat distribution makes for a more consistent brew.
Water Gets Hotter In Aluminum Moka Pots
While stainless steel Moka Pots get hot quicker, the aluminum pots get hotter overall.
Because of this, the water will get hotter inside an aluminum Moka Pot than inside a stainless steel pot. And when the coffee starts brewing, the water may be closer to the ideal extraction temperature.
(If you want to learn more about Moka Pots and water temperature, check out our article “Should You Use Hot Or Cold Water In A Moka Pot?“)
Aluminum Moka Pots Come In A Variety Of Shapes And Colors
Another advantage aluminum has over stainless steel is that it’s a softer metal. This makes it easier to shape and cut than stainless steel.
This is why you’ll find aluminum Moka Pots available in a variety of interesting shapes that you won’t find for stainless steel.
You’ll also see that aluminum Moka Pots come in a variety of colors as well. This is because of a process (called anodizing) that allows colors to be applied to aluminum.
Aluminum Moka Pots Are Cheaper
Aluminum is one of the most abundant metals on Earth. It’s also light and easy to work with. Because of these facts, it’s also cheaper.
Of course, depending on the brand and any special features that are included, you may find aluminum Moka Pots that are just as expensive as stainless steel.
But in general, a regular aluminum Moka Pot will be more affordable than a regular stainless steel pot.
Reasons To Choose A Stainless Steel Moka Pot
Stainless Steel Moka Pots Resist Corrosion
Stainless steel is an alloy made of mostly iron, chromium, and nickel. It’s the addition of chromium that makes stainless steel resistant to corrosion and rusting.
As a result, stainless steel Moka Pots keep their color and are much easier to clean. And this is one of the biggest benefits of stainless steel Moka Pots!
By comparison, aluminum Moka Pots turn black when they oxidize which can make them appear dirty.
If you care about your Moka Pot’s appearance, it’ll be a constant battle to keep your aluminum coffee maker polished and shining.
Stainless Steel Moka Pots Are More Durable
Stainless steel is heavier, stronger, and denser than aluminum. This means a stainless steel Moka Pot is more durable and scratch-resistant than an aluminum pot.
While these characteristics make stainless steel harder to work with, they also mean that steel Moka Pots last a long time with less maintenance required on your part.
So, if you want a long-lasting coffee maker, you should go with the stainless steel version.
Most Stainless Steel Moka Pots Work On Induction Stoves
Induction stoves use magnetic fields to generate heat. This means your pots must have a magnetic bottom or be made of magnetic material in order to work on this type of stove.
While aluminum isn’t magnetic, many stainless steel Moka Pots are. So if you’ve got an induction stove, may want to stick with the stainless steel option.
But keep in mind that not all stainless steel Moka Pots are magnetic. The reason is that some stainless steels contain nickel, and it’s the nickel content that makes stainless steel non-magnetic.
So, if you’ve got an induction stove you’ve got two options:
Get a stainless steel Moka Pot that’s labeled as “induction capable” or something similar. Check out this Induction Capable Bialetti on Amazon for example.
Alternatively, you can get a Stainless Steel Heat Diffuser that also acts as an induction adapter. With this plate, you can use any type of Moka Pot on your induction stove.
Who Should Buy Aluminum Moka Pots?
Aluminum Moka Pots are a good option for people who
- want a Moka Pot that’s not the traditional color or shape
- don’t care about oxidation or the way the Moka Pot appears
- want a cheaper option
- want their coffee to brew at hotter temperatures
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Who Should Buy Stainless Steel Moka Pots?
Stainless steel Moka Pots are a good option for people who
- are concerned about the safety of aluminum
- want a more durable Moka Pot
- have induction stoves
- want a Moka Pot that’s easier to maintain
In this post, we’ve tried to highlight the differences between stainless steel and aluminum Moka Pots. And while each has its own pros and cons, they have far more similarities than differences.
Both are great options and we’re certain you’ll be able to make amazing coffee with whichever one you choose!
Cheers Coffee Lovers!
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Idalmis is co-owner of Coffee Break Lovers. She is a Cuban coffee enthusiast that is passionate about coffee and coffee culture.