Can a Moka pot explode?
When a container can no longer withstand the pressure, it will occasionally simply explode violently open. To prevent pressure from rising too high, Moka pots have a safety valve.
While waiting for your coffee to boil in a Moka Pot, have you ever worried that it could explode?
It is unlikely that a Moka Pot will explode because of the great heat and pressure it can sustain. There is a slight risk of explosion, though, if the Moka Pot is not used correctly.
And at this point, you’re probably wondering how you may misuse your Moka Pot and set it off, blowing up. Thankfully, we are available to assist. This article will discuss some things you shouldn’t do with your Moka Pot to keep it from blowing up.
Can A Moka Pot Explode?
Under the appropriate (or incorrect) conditions, a Moka Pot can explode. Everything makes sense if you stop and consider how a Moka Pot operates.
When a Moka Pot is put on a cooktop, the water in the bottom chamber is heated until pressure is created, and then it is forced upward through the filter basket and into the top chamber, where your coffee is waiting.
It brews coffee using pressure and steam, like an espresso machine, but at a cost that is significantly less. However, espresso machines brew a shot at roughly 9 bars of pressure, while Moka Pots only need 1-2 bars.
This brings us to the first possible cause of a Moka Pot explosion: internal pressure.
If the Moka Pot is not assembled correctly or something obstructs the safety valve, the pressure will rise until it explodes.
The pressure will force the top of the Moka Pot to fly off, splashing boiling water and coffee grounds all over the place. This is what we mean when we say “boom,” so we don’t mean that your coffee maker is exploding into millions of pieces.
The Grind Size
The grind size of your Moka Pot is critical for one reason: if the grind is too fine, it can clog the filter basket.
The Moka Pot will burst if the grind is too fine and the water can’t flow through, causing a pressure buildup.
It’s like having a car with broken brakes. You’re going to speed up, and then you’ll fall to the ground. If the grind is too fine, the water won’t pass through the Moka Pot, much as you won’t be able to stop your vehicle if the water is too thin.
This may seem strange, but we’ve seen it happen before. Please use a medium to fine grind for your Moka Pot, and err on the side of slightly coarser if in doubt.
The coffee grinds must be tamped down well when using an espresso machine. However, using the Moka Pot might cause more damage than good.
To ensure a uniform extraction, we tamp the coffee grinds in an espresso machine.
However, if you tamp your coffee grounds in a Moka Pot, you risk clogging the filter basket, which will lead to the abovementioned pressure buildup and, well, you know what comes next.
Don’t get me wrong — tamping is an excellent method for maximizing flavor extraction from coffee grinds, but avoiding overdoing it while using a Moka Pot is essential.
Lightly tapping the coffee grounds on the counter will help them settle to an even level.
The Safety/ Pressure Valve
Every stovetop espresso machine has a safety valve to let out steam if the pressure builds up.
The pressure in a Moka Pot can build up to the point of explosion if the safety valve is not functioning correctly or has been broken.
Make sure the safety valve is still in good working order on your older Moka Pot regularly. If this is the case, a new Moka Pot or the valve within the old one is required.
Getting A Cheaper Alternative
If you’re a coffee lover, especially of Moka Pot coffee, you probably already know that Alfonso Bialetti developed the original Moka Pot in 1933.
Contrarily, what you might not realize is that hundreds of firms now produce their own Moka Pots.
I’m not trying to argue that the alternatives aren’t helpful; nonetheless, you should know that not all of them are manufactured to the same high standards as the classic Bialetti Moka Pot.
It is impossible to emphasize the importance of avoiding cheap materials and poor design. So, if you’re in the market for a Moka Pot, it’s essential to shop around instead of settling for the first one you find.
If you can locate a vintage Bialetti coffee pot, by all means, do so; but, if you are short on cash or can’t justify the price tag, alternative versions are available.
Putting The Filter Upside Down
Of course, not everyone likes to utilize the standard filter basket included with their Moka Pot.
The Competition Moka Pot filter is just one example of an alternative that aims to improve coffee’s taste and aroma extraction.
You must insert these filters into the Moka Pot in the correct orientation for them to work correctly. In rare situations, an explosion can occur if this is not done.
Moka pot safety tips
In addition to the abovementioned measures, which try to address the root of the problem, there are some further options to consider.
Because you never know if a safety valve will operate until necessary, it’s wise to take additional safeguards just in case.
- Start with hot water: This will reduce the time it takes for your Moka pot to begin sputtering. If, after a minute or two, you still haven’t heard or seen your coffee brewing, then you know there’s anything in the way of the water passing through the liquid. When you start with cold water, it’s more difficult to predict when the fluid will begin to flow out of the tower.
- First, you should see if the little piston within the valve can be spun and if it can be moved in and out. If you’re able to move it, pressure probably can, too. Try moving it with a little screwdriver if your hands cannot do so. Unless that happens, it’s probably stuck. Keep in mind that they store at least two bars of pressure, making it necessary to exert some effort to get it moving.
- The pressure valve in your current pot may be just worn out, so in that case, you should consider replacing it. However, a faulty valve will allow steam to escape rapidly rather than prevent leaks.
- The first thing you should do if your Moka pot’s safety valve is stuck is clean it thoroughly. To achieve this, boil the Moka pot (without the silicone gasket) in vinegar-infused water for a few minutes. A lot of the deposits on the pot and in the safety valve should be removed by doing so. Using clean water, discard the boiled water and rinse the Moka pot. After that, check that the safety valve can be turned freely and that the pores in the filter screens are not blocked.
- The O-ring in the valve has probably degenerated and gotten hard/brittle, and moving the valve around has broken it apart if it moves after cleaning but still doesn’t maintain pressure. If the O-ring wears out, the valve has to be replaced. Although it may appear that the valve was damaged during cleaning, it is more probable that the valve and O-ring were in poor condition, to begin with and were keeping the residue in. The leaky valve began after the residue was cleaned.
A Moka pot needs more expertise in coffee brewing to use safely than other methods. A Moka pot can be used safely, provided it is maintained regularly.
Enjoy your coffee in peace and safety.