OT: Induction cooking question

About 6 months ago we bought a single induction burner. We’re very happy with it and use it for most of our cooking. I have Bialetti stainless steel (induction friendly) espresso maker that should work on the burner, but because of its small size I get periodic warnings that there is no pot on the burner. I solve this issue by putting a large steel plate on the burner and the coffee maker on that. It solves the problem, but it takes longer to make the coffee than if I use a gas burner. So here’s the question.

When I use the steel plate am I making coffee via magnetic induction or through thermal conduction?

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Both in this case are one and the same.

I was told a by an appliance repairman that inductions are risky to buy because all of them break down. He thought the tech was not ready too fickle after the install.

Take a magnetic and move it across the Bialetti to see if it just skates or sticks to the pot and do the same thing to the steel plate. I am thinking the Bialetti does not have enough ferrous metal in it to work correctly. Also when you put the Bialetti on the steel plate does it seem to stick even a little? Really hard to know whether it’s magnetic or thermal but if it takes longer than a gas burner I am thinking thermal.


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Is there some happy medium where you could cut down the size of the steel plate enough to not waste the energy heating all of it, but still heavy enough to let the burner know there’s something there?

But yeah, I’m voting for “conduction” with a side salad of “induction”.

I wondered that too, but a magnet grabs and holds tight. This isn’t the classic aluminum Bialetti. This is a new-ish model that is stainless steel.

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Hmmm, I have a small cast iron pan that works well on the burner. I’ll give a try on my next Americano.

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Yea that is weird it won’t work right. If a magnet grabs you would think you are good to go.


Better pots are made in layers, steel copper, steel…or whatever combination.

Adding a typical excellent combination is aluminum steel aluminum.

I want to be careful about listing metal combinations because my memories of galvanic action are now very old.

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I think it has more to do with where the magnetic coils are in the burner and the small size of the espresso maker. Its diameter is about 3.75 in.


I am currently in Spain and so your shopping may be frustrated, but I have a friend who recently bought an extra small mag induction hot plate that he uses for his espresso machine in the morning and for cooking small quantity items in small pots and pans in the evening.

Might take some searching…

(I have a hideously stupid gas stove in my home in Mexico that has nothing but huge burners. Same problem)

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I suspect that’s your problem. If you dig into the induction cookers instructions, you might find that it has some minimum size for the pans you use on it. Your coffee pot may be right at or just under the minimum.



We’ve owned a Bosch induction range for the past 6 years now and we love it. Knock on wood - no problems with this appliance whatsoever - and it works like a charm!! Love cooking on it!


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Thanks to all,

Have a flat bottom surface with a minimum bottom diameter of 5".

When in doubt RTFM.


The great, unread, American classic.



Is the steel plate induction friendly?

Stainless Steel cookware works on an induction stovetop only if the base of the cookware is made with a magnetic grade of stainless steel. Those with a high nickel content will not work because the magnetic field will be blocked. Stainless steel 432 and ferritic stainless steels, which both have a magnetic field, makes them both great choices for induction cooktops.

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It was a GE repairman. Go figure.

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Yes. A magnet grabs on to the steel plate, actually a heat diffuser for my gas burners, and holds on tight.