Reviews and Tips on Buying an Electric Kettle
Coffee and tea lovers everywhere agree that electric kettles have become indispensable kitchen appliances. For heating water, brewing tea and making coffee, the electric kettle has replaced the stove top kettle in many modern kitchens. Electric models heat water faster and typically use less energy than traditional models, and often include added safety features. The best electric kettles are easy to use, fairly inexpensive and have a variety of other features not usually found in stove top kettles. In this article, we'll take a look at the best electric kettles on the market, and discuss what consumers should look for when purchasing these appliances.
Choosing an Electric Kettle
Before you make a purchase, consider how much counter space you have available and if you have nearby electrical outlets. Electric kettles must sit on the countertop, although cordless models are also available to make use in a small kitchen easier.
Also, consider the material. Most electric kettles are made of aluminum, stainless steel or plastic. Of course, aluminum and stainless steel are sturdier than plastic, but plastic may cost less. Weigh your options within your price range, and choose the highest quality product you can afford. Keep in mind, however, that plastic kettles can contain bisphenol A (BPA), a toxic substance you don't want in your water and they also tend to begin looking worn and dingy faster. Several glass kettles have also hit the shelves in recent years, and these often look very sleek, stylish and modern. The glass is more easily broken, though, which means they may be attractive but they typically don't last as long as stainless steel.
Other considerations include extra features and energy efficiency. Some of the features you might want to look for when choosing an electric kettle include:
- Wide grip handles
- Insulated pour spouts
- Non-drip pour spouts
- Water gauges or indicators
- Cordless models with swivel bases
- Automatic shut-off for safety and energy efficiency
- Washable parts
- Boil dry protection
- Security lock lid for added safety
- Stay cool housing to prevent burns
- Mineral deposit filter for hard water
- "Ready" bell or buzzer
- Cord storage for corded models
In addition, remember to look at the prospective model's size and capacity. If you're only going to heat enough water for one, you don't need to spend the extra money on a larger kettle. However, if your whole family drinks hot tea, you may need a larger capacity kettle that costs a bit more. An automatic shut-off is helpful if you're trying to conserve energy or if you want the added protection for those hectic mornings.
The Best Electric Kettle on the Market
There are dozens of different electric kettles on the market today, but some are better than others. Some of the most popular brands include Hamilton Beach, Breville, Presto, Oster, Aroma, Chef's Choice and Cuisinart. According to numerous customer ratings and reviews, the best standard, inexpensive electric kettle is the Proctor Silex K5070 Electric Kettle. This model is simple, but it gets the job done. It has a concealed heating element, drip-free spout and cord storage. It's also known for its durability and longevity.
At the time of this writing, the Proctor Silex kettle has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com and costs under $40. While it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, it's ideal for quickly heating water. One drawback, however, is that it doesn't have a removable base and the cord is rather short. If you're using it close to the table, this shouldn't be a problem.
The Best Cordless Electric Kettle
If you're looking for the added convenience and flexibility of a cordless electric kettle instead, try the Aroma AWK-115S Hot H20 X-Press 1-1/2-Liter Cordless Water Kettle. This kettle boils up to 1 1/2 liters of water at a speed of 1 cup per minute. It has a swivel base for cordless pouring that turns 360 degrees, which it makes it convenient for both right- and left-handed users. It shuts off automatically after brewing for added safety, and features a water level indicator, stay-cool handle, non-drip pouring spout and removable spout filter. It also typically comes with a 1 year warranty if anything ever goes wrong.
According to more than 600 customer reviews, at the time of this writing, the Aroma electric kettle has an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. It also costs less than $30 to buy, which is even less than the corded kettle discussed above. For all the extra features you get, this is certainly a good value. While it isn't the most expensive electric kettle on the market, it definitely isn't the cheapest. This kettle performs well, holds up to repeated use and will work reliably for many years to come. The only drawback to this model is that the outside gets a little hot immediately after use, so make sure to keep it out of reach of small children and pets.