A Guide to Selecting an Electric Tea Kettle
It was a little over 100 years ago when Arthur Leslie Large made the first electric tea kettle in 1922. His breakthrough innovation was being able to make a heating element that could be immersed in the water without shorting out. But just like the stovetop kettle, his invention required you to watch over it to stop it when it reached the boiling point. It took almost another 40 years until Russell Hobbs made a tea kettle with a thermostat that would turn it off automatically when the water boiled! Nowadays, an electric tea kettle is practically a staple in every kitchen.
We’ll see electric tea kettles that are quite simple to use for boiling water in quantities ranging from 1 to 8 cups. And some have very precise temperature controls if the particular type of tea or coffee that you are preparing doesn’t require boiling water. There are also safety features on electric tea kettles now, such as cordless models, where the cord is concealed in a base unit. And most have a sensor to detect if there is no water in the kettle. They shut off automatically so that the heating element doesn’t get damaged.
Let’s go through some of the most popular electric tea kettles in the Best Reviews Guide list. Whether you need hot water for coffee, tea, instant soup, oatmeal, or even for cooking, an electric tea kettle can prepare it effortlessly in minutes!
Why would I prefer using an electric tea kettle?
Electric tea kettles have a lot of advantages over stovetop tea kettles:
Speed: They can boil an entire liter of water in around 5 minutes. (The actual amount of time will vary depending on how much power the tea kettle uses.) That saves time and energy.
Precision: Many electric tea kettles will allow you to get the water to a precise temperature. This can be important for more delicate types of tea, where water that is too hot can actually ruin the flavor.
Keep-warm function: If you happened to boil too much water, or if someone doesn’t want tea right now, there are tea kettles with a “keep warm” function, that keeps the water hot enough to make tea.
Style: You’ll find electric tea kettles in a variety of styles and colors so that they match your kitchen’s decor.
Types of Electric Tea Kettles
Looking at the Best Reviews Guide’s most recent list of electric tea kettles, we see that certain features that were considered groundbreaking in the past (for example, being cordless) are now quite standard. But, you’ll notice that there are two main types of electric tea kettles, based on their functionality:
Simple on/off button: These are simple to use since there’s only one button to press! You fill up the kettle with the desired amount of water and press the button. The heating element in the base will boil the water, and a thermostat will turn off the electric kettle when the water reaches the boiling point. The better electric tea kettles will also have a feature to turn off the unit if there isn’t any water left in the kettle. This will protect the appliance’s heating element from burning out. An example is the Bodum Bistro Electric Water Kettle. You can purchase it in 17-, 34-, or 37-ounce kettles.
Bodum Bistro Electric Water Kettle
With preset temperatures: There are also electric tea kettles with temperature controls and settings. They have special optimal water temperatures for different types of tea. An example is the Cuisinart 1.7-Liter Cordless Electric Kettle. It heats water to 160℉ degrees for delicate tea, 175 ℉ for green tea, 185 ℉ for white tea, 190 ℉ for oolong tea, 200 ℉ degrees for French press tea or coffee, and the standard 212 ℉ boiling setting. It also has a “Keep Warm” function, to keep the boiled water warm for later use.
Cuisinart 1.7-Liter Cordless Electric Kettle
Some kettles even let you dial in the temperature that you want your water to reach. The Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Gooseneck Kettle has a digital display, letting you select the temperature to a single degree! That’s convenient when you make instant coffee since you won’t have to wait so long to drink it. The Stagg Kettle also has a selection to let you maintain the temperature for up to one hour.
Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Gooseneck Kettle
What reviewers say
Here are some customers’ impressions about the electric tea kettle that they bought:
Advantages of glass: Many kettles use borosilicate glass. This has the advantages of being strong as well as resistant to sudden changes in temperature. Also, glass doesn’t affect the taste of the water, as some metal or plastic kettles will.
Aesthetically pleasing: Even if you want the convenience of an electric tea kettle, it doesn’t mean you can’t have the quaint aesthetics of the old stovetop kettles! For example, the KitchenAid 1.25-Liter Electric Kettle (Model No. KEK1222PT) has the look of an old-fashioned tea kettle. Great for the decor of any kitchen!
KitchenAid 1.25-Liter Electric Kettle
Here are some features to look for when choosing an electric tea kettle:
Easy to clean: If you live in an area with hard water, calcium carbonate will eventually start to accumulate on the heating element of your electric tea kettle. It’s best to get a kettle with a removable lid that allows you to reach in and remove the limescale deposits. The Cosori Double Wall Electric Kettle has a lid that pops open to a 45-degree angle when pouring and can be opened to 80 degrees when you want to clean it.
Removable filter: Many tea kettles will have a removable mesh filter at the spout. It will help block any limescale from getting into your tea or coffee. The mesh filter is usually removable so you can wash it off if limescale accumulates over time.
Warranty: Most kettles will have a one-year warranty, but some products are exceptional, such as the Cuisinart 1.7-liter Electric Kettle, and will offer a 3-year warranty!
Protection from burns: Many kettles have safety features to protect you from scalding yourself. For example, the Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch 1.5-Liter Electric Kettle Pro has a double-walled body, so that the outside remains cool to the touch. It also has a lid that opens by means of a push-button release, and it only opens 70 degrees. This will keep you from getting scalded by the hot water.
Zwilling Enfinigy Cool Touch 1.5-Liter Electric Kettle Pro
We went over some of the features of today’s electric tea kettles. Some are safety features, such as a cool outer shell or a non-slip handle. There are also features that protect the heating element, like auto shutoff when the water has reached boiling, or if you accidentally press the “On” button when the kettle is empty. You can also consider how fast each appliance boils water, and whether it keeps it warm afterward as well. And some are for heating water to specific temperatures, for making gourmet tea and coffee. With all of these features, you’re sure to be able to find an electric tea kettle that suits your needs!