When you think about a milk frother, you probably picture in your mind’s eye one of the handheld devices that resembles a small whisk. This is indeed the most popular version. But it is by far not the only one. If you want something a little more different and traditional, then a stovetop milk frother might be the right choice for you.
The stovetop milk frother is a jug type appliance that is placed on a hob to heat the milk and which uses a plunger on its lid to create the froth.
While this can be done when the milk is cold, there is also the option to place the frother on the stove and heat the milk before frothing. This is important as most frothy coffee recipes require warm foamy milk.
It might all feel a little overwhelming hearing about the multitude of milk frothers available but when it comes down to it, they’re all designed to do the same thing; froth milk.
But let’s get better acquainted with these frothers.
How to use a stovetop milk frother
How do these milk frothers differ from others?
There are electric milk frothers that require the user to place the milk into the jug, push a button and then sit back and wait for the frother to do the hard work. Once the process is finished, all you need to do is pour the warm foamy milk into your drink.
On the other hand, a handheld milk frother is a wand-like device with a small whisk on the end that is placed into the milk and beats it until it is frothed
Somewhere between these is the stovetop milk frother. They feature a container like an electric frother, into which you put the milk. However, unlike the electric frother, they don’t heat the milk. Instead, they must be placed on a heat source; your stove, in order to heat the liquid.
Like the handheld milk frother, the user must froth the milk themselves. However, in this instance, rather than inserting the frother into the liquid, you have a plunger which is repeatedly plunged into the liquid, causing it to froth.
You may see the similarity between a stovetop and a manual frother. And yes they use the same process to froth the milk but they differ in that the milk is heated within a stovetop frother whilst for most manual frothers the milk is heated separately and then poured into the appliance to create the froth.
Can I use a stovetop milk frother on all hobs?
When using a stovetop milk frother, you should check the instruction manual to make sure that it is suitable for use on all types of hob.
However, for the most part, these devices can be used on gas, electric and ceramic hobs. One of the most well known brands is Bialetti and these impressive stovetop frothers are suitable for use on most hob types.
But, these like many other frothers are not suitable for use on new induction hobs. This will be made clear in the product description so if you have such a hob do make sure you read the description carefully.
Why use a stovetop frother?
Many of us are guilty of rushing through our morning routine in order to get out of the door on time. If that sounds familiar, we totally understand and in these situations, an electric milk frother will probably be the best option.
However, if you want to savour making your coffee and be really involved in the process, then using a stovetop frother makes for much more of an experience.
For a lazy weekend morning, where you want to spend some time preparing a delicious breakfast and coffee made with passion, a stovetop frother is an invaluable piece of equipment.
How to use this type of frother
Most types of milk frother are incredibly simple to use and don’t require any previous experience. However, the stovetop frother does involve a little more effort than an electric or handheld version. Still, it isn’t complicated.
To begin with, as we saw in the video, you will need to pour your chosen milk into the milk frother being careful not to overfill. You’ll only need to add around ⅓ of the capacity of the container because the milk will expand as it froths.
Now, you can froth cold milk but this doesn’t always have quite as creamy or light a texture as warm milk, so we would always recommend heating it.
To do this, you will need to place your metal jug onto the stove and allow it to heat up. Don’t let it reach boiling point but get it to a point just before this. If the milk does boil, this will affect both the texture and the taste.
You will now need to remove the jug from the stove and pop it onto the flat surface. Your frother will come with a top which must now be placed onto the frother. You will use the handle to pump the plunger up and down, which in turn will froth your milk.
This process shouldn’t take long but we would recommend pumping in ten second sessions. If the milk requires more frothing after this, leave it a further ten seconds to settle and then continue.
Why aren’t stovetop frothers popular?
Earlier, we talked about the fact that people are so keen to get through coffee making so that they can quickly guzzle down their drink or have it on the go.
While a stovetop frother does produce excellent results and very impressive foam, they remain less popular than other types purely because of the lack of convenience.
Moreover, if you use an electric frother, all you need to do is push a button and the machine will do everything for you.
With a stovetop frother, you need to be present and once the milk is heated, it will be up to you to produce the froth using the plunger. This can feel like too much effort for some people.
Should I buy a stovetop frother?
Whether you choose to buy a stovetop frother will depend on what you want to achieve out of your coffee-making experience. If you are after convenience and quick froth then we recommend that you would be better off buying an electric frother.
On the other hand, if you want to be as involved as possible in making your beverages, then a stovetop frother is definitely the way forward.
But since milk frothers are such affordable pieces of equipment, there is always the option to buy one of each so that you can have the best of both worlds.
Unlike other types of milk frother, a stovetop frother needs to be placed on the stove so that you can heat the milk. Once this is done, you must then use a plunger to create that beautiful foam that will complete your favourite drinks.
While they may not be as popular as other types of milk frother owing to the fact that they are less convenient and involve more effort, they make a perfect foam and allow the user to be fully involved in the process, which can be very therapeutic.
At a glance – Best stovetop milk frothers
We’ve pulled together what we think are the three best stovetop milk frothers you can buy today. We’ve added a brief description of each frother below the table.
Judge Milk Frother
What we like
- Simple stainless steel design.
- Insulated cafeteria.
- 25 year guarantee.
- Makes really creamy and dense foam.
- Much hotter milk froth vs an electric frother.
What we don’t like
- Handle tends to get hot.
- Plunger handle can be prone to breaking.
You don’t need a lawyer or jury to tell you how good the Judge Milk Frother is.This is a simple but really elegant looking frother. It has an insulated cafeteria, 25 year guarantee, and you’ll get much hotter milk froth than you would using an electric frother. Make creamy and dense foam with easy pumping of the handle.
One of the drawbacks of the stainless steel material is that the handle can tend to get a little warm.
The other negative reported by some users is that, in common with other frothers of this type, the plunger handle is susceptible to breaking. However, I have to say in many years of using these devices I’ve never seen this. But when using the plunger do take care.
One of the things which really makes this frother stand out is the 25 year guarantee. You can’t get much better than that and it really illustrates the faith Judge have in their product.Check latest price on Amazon.
Bialetti CD Tuttocrema
What we like
- Made in Italy the classic design looks great.
- Made of aluminum coated with Teflon, plastic handle.
- Can be used on a gas, electric or ceramic stove.
What we don’t like
- The spout doesn’t pour well. Milk tends to dribble down the side.
- Only enough capacity for one cup.
- Can’t be used on induction hobs.
When you want your milk to be as smooth and light as possible, the Bialetti CD Tuttocrema is the perfect tool! Made by Italians who live for coffee, this beautiful product can now take care of all your creamy needs.
It’s not just functional but aesthetically pleasing too.
Start your day off right with this cracking little frother. This device warms and foams up to 166 ml of milk in a couple of minutes.
It’s made from aluminum that has been coated in Teflon for easy clean-up, and can be used on gas, electric stovetops, as well as a ceramic burner. Proudly made in Italy since 1948 and available in larger capacities.
On the downside the spout is a bit weird and it’s difficult to pour milk without it going everywhere. Even if the container’s only 1/3 full it can be a bit messy. You do need to be careful when pouring or you could end up with a puddle of milk on the counter top rather than in your cup.Check latest price on Amazon.
Lychee Stainless Steel Milk Frother
What we like
- Double mesh screen on plunger.
- Thicker, long-lasting creamier froth.
- Made from top-quality stainless steel.
- Pump handle to make foam in 30 seconds.
- Put on the stove top to warm.
- No electrical parts.
What we don’t like
- Jug gets very hot on the stove.
- Small capacity.
Remember back when you were eight, the first time your mom mixed a little half-and-half with some cocoa powder and made hot chocolate? Do you remember how delighted you were when she handed you that mug of milk on this cold morning. The sweet creaminess sliding down your throat warming it to its core? That’s the feeling you’ll have with the Lychee frother.
Enjoy a smoother, richer, and more creamy froth in seconds any day of the week. With this high-quality stainless steel milk frother there is no need to worry about expensive plastic pieces or electrical parts that might break down.
This simple but oh so effective frother delivers top-notch results every time. Simply pump the handle for 30 seconds to create enough foam for a luxurious foamy coffee or a heart warming hot chocolate.
Do be careful when the frother is on the stove as the jug will get very hot. The handle will of course still be fine to touch but keep your fingers away from the jug.
This is the frother that stars in the video at the top of the page.Check latest price on Amazon.
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