Best Electric Kettles of 2017
An electric kettle lets you make tea, coffee, soups, and more quickly and easily. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best electric kettle for your brewing needs.
How Do You Take Your Tea? The Perks of Owning an Electric Kettle
If you like tea—hot tea, iced tea, herbal tea, and so on—you may be interested in owning an electric kettle. Electric kettles aren't quite as common in the U.S. as they are in other parts of the world, such as the U.K. and Europe. But they definitely have their place in the American kitchen, especially if you're a tea fan.
Choosing the right electric kettle for your needs can be more challenging than you might imagine. With a range of features to consider, it can be tough to decide what's important and what's not, especially if this is your first time purchasing an electric kettle.
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In the product matrix above, you'll find descriptions of three of our favorite electric kettles. If you'd like to learn more about the world of electric kettles before making a selection, please continue reading this shopping guide.
Why Buy an Electric Kettle?
You may be wondering why you would need an electric kettle; there are other ways to boil water, after all. But owners agree that having an electric kettle on hand is a small luxury that's worth the price.
● Boiling water in an electric kettle is quicker than boiling water on the stove, whether you're using a pan or a stovetop kettle.
● Electric kettles are useful for making tea, coffee, cup soups, instant noodles, instant oatmeal, and more.
● You can use an electric kettle anywhere within reach of a power outlet. These appliances are great for employee break rooms and college dorms.
● Using an electric kettle is more precise, particularly when the kettle has variable temperature settings.
● Electric kettles are easy to use. Just fill the kettle with water, place it on its base, and press a button to switch it on.
The Best Electric Kettle Features
● Automatic Shut-Off: All electric kettles should shut off automatically when they reach a full boil. Otherwise, they could boil dry, which could lead to an electrical fire. If an electric kettle doesn't have an automatic shut-off feature, avoid it.
● BPA-Free: If you opt for a plastic kettle, check first to see if it's BPA-free. BPA (bisphenol A) can leach into water and has been linked to some health issues with regular exposure.
● Cool-Touch Exterior: Make sure your electric kettle of choice has a cool-touch handle so you won't burn yourself when you pour the hot water. In fact, you may wish to invest in an electric kettle with cool-touch housing—especially if you have young children in your home.
● Easy Pouring: Look for a kettle that has a decent spout and is easy to pour without spilling.
● Keep-Warm Function: A kettle with a keep-warm function is particularly handy if you and your family consume lots of hot beverages or if the kettle will be used in a setting where multiple people use it, such as an office.
● Large Lid: An electric kettle with a large lid is easier to clean, as you can fit your arm inside it.
● Rust-Resistance: Nobody likes a rusty tea kettle. Fortunately, most electric kettles are rust-resistant. Many electric kettles are plastic, but those that are metal are usually made of stainless steel, which doesn't rust.
● Variable Temperature Settings: An electric kettle with variable temperature settings allows you to preprogram the temperature of your water. The electric kettle will switch off once it has achieved that temperature. Continue to the next section for information about specific brewing temperatures.
What's the Right Temperature for Brewing Tea and Coffee?
A basic kettle will shut itself off when the water inside reaches its boiling point of 212°F. But that's not the optimum brewing temperature for coffee and most kinds of teas. As mentioned above, an electric kettle with variable temperature settings allows you to fine-tune your brewing experience.
● Most black teas brew best in boiling water (212°F), but delicate black teas like first flush Darjeeling should be brewed between 180°F and 190°F.
● Herbal teas generally brew best at 212°F.
● Fresh coffee has an optimal brewing temperature of 200°F to 205°F.
● Oolong tea brews best between 190°F and 200°F.
● White tea needs a more delicate approach and should be brewed using water of 160°F.
● Green tea should be brewed between 150°F and 180°F, with lower temperatures reserved for steamed Japanese varieties.
How Much Should I Spend on an Electric Kettle?
You can spend a lot or a little on an electric kettle. Less-costly electric kettles aren't necessarily of poor quality, but they don't have all the bells and whistles of pricier models.
● $10 to $20: In this price range, you can find a basic electric kettle with a small capacity. If you want a simple model for occasional use, this would probably suffice. However, we'd recommend a sturdier electric kettle for everyday use.
● $30 to $50: In this price range, you'll find basic electric kettles from well-known brands, as well as some electric kettles from lesser-known brands with some extra features.
● $60 to $100+: At this level, you'll find some excellent, well-constructed electric kettles with all the bells and whistles. Many will come from brands you already know and trust.
Electric Kettle FAQ
Q. Are there any geographical areas where water boils differently?
A. This might sound like a strange question. But actually, the answer is yes; water boils at a lower temperature at a higher elevation. So if you live in the mountains, your water will boil more quickly than it will at sea level.
The problem is that the automatic shut-off feature that prevents electric kettles from boiling dry is triggered by temperature, not the actual act of boiling. If the water in your kettle is boiling but has only reached 200°F, the kettle could boil dry and set fire. Therefore, you should always keep an eye on your kettle, especially if you're using it at a high altitude.
Q. Do electric kettles signal when the water has reached temperature?
A. Some electric kettles beep or whistle to alert you that your water is ready. Most don't, however; they simply turn themselves off. It's up to you to notice that your water is ready.
Q. How many cups of tea or coffee will an electric kettle make?
A. This depends on the size of the kettle and how big your cups are. The capacity of most kettles is measured in liters, with 1L and 1.7L being popular sizes. While a "cup" equals 240 ml in the measurement world, an average mug holds closer to 350 ml. So, a 1.7L kettle should make four to five mugs of tea or coffee.