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In my eternal quest to make a decent cup of coffee at my parents' house, with an induction stove and moka, I recently discovered an interesting problem.

Having found a good heat setting for the hob (that doesn't superheat the water instantly and boil it dry in ~20 seconds), I found that the hob attempts to maintain thermostatis by cycling the power on and off. This may work fine for a large pot of boiling water, but for the moka pot this means I get a few seconds of extraction, followed by a few seconds of water being sucked back down the wrong way as the pressure decreases, then forwards, then back, etc.

Is there any way of overcoming this? Is it even likely to cause a problem with the extraction?

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    Your moka pot must be some kind of ferrous metal (e.g., stainless steel)? My first instinct would be to use an aluminium moka pot like the classic Bialetti with an induction plate interface (one example from Amazon). Perhaps the induction diffuser plate will work with your existing pot, but I'm not sure. Maybe a good question for Seasoned Advice... – hoc_age Jun 15 '15 at 15:58
  • have you tried this? imgur.com/gDu5qid – Justin C Jun 16 '15 at 15:28
  • @JustinC - that's exactly what I'm talking about! 1- ferrous diffuser; 2- non-ferrous (aluminium) moka pot, which would not (by itself) work on an induction hob. Good picture! – hoc_age Jun 17 '15 at 2:37
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    @hoc_age is it necessary to swap to a non-ferrous moka when you're using an induction plate? What advantage does that bring? – Nick Udell Jun 17 '15 at 8:58
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As far as my experience with Moka pots, I don't have them on the stove for long. Something that I got in that habit of doing when using moka pots is to boil the water before I put it in the Moka pot, then introducing it to heat, then removing shortly after it starts to percolate. Stumptown illustrates a similar method.

As for the induction stove cycling to maintain a steady temp, if you set the temperature over boiling(212F, but may differ by altitude) it likely won't cycle. This is because water will not exceed boiling point, under most circumstances, in a liquid state. For instance water is often used to prevent things from burning, because it keeps the temperature below the boiling temperature until all the water is evaporated. So if you set the induction stove to above the water's boiling point it will likely not exceed that temperature. It might take a bit to find a sweet spot. Though I'm not sure, I have never used an induction stove with a moka pot.

UPDATE:

Something I had not considered is the boiling point increases with pressure. So it might be worth turning the heat up quite a bit beyond 212F/100C. Its pretty difficult to burn water. Then again if you're using an induction stove to avoid heat pollution on the moka pot, then you can just use a traditional stove with the method I described and avoid the need to use an induction stove.

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