Electric kettles have been a staple in our kitchens all throughout the 20th century. But even before the industrial age, people were using kettles to heat up water for more than just cooking. Fragments of the first kettles were found in ancient Mesopotamia and in China, and it is evident that kettles have been put over an open flame for thousands of years. The word kettle is a derivation of the word cauldron, which was the first basic model. Of course, the most recent development is the electric kettle.
When it comes to electric tea kettles, it seems that people are either all for them or they can’t stand the idea of them. The latter group is usually made up of tea enthusiasts who believe that in order to get the best tasting cup of tea, the water needs to be steadily heated. However, those who are for electric tea kettles realize how many benefits they provide.
For one thing, it’s a lot more energy efficient to heat up water in an electric tea kettle than it is to heat one up on the burner of your stove top. It’s also more energy efficient than heating up a mug of water in your microwave. Another major advantage is that you can control the temperature of the water.
These appliances have dials, which you can adjust to set the temperature of the water and get the perfectly temped water possible. With a stove top tea kettle, there’s no way to accurately control the temperature of the water; you kind of just have to wing it. Same thing goes for the microwave.
Electric tea kettles also often feature automatic shut off, so if you leave the tea kettle on when you go out of the house, you don’t have to worry that kettle will continue running and potentially become a hazard. You can’t do that with a stove.
If you want to learn more and decide whether or not having one is a good option for you, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading to learn more about these appliances and things that you should take into consideration if you do decide that buying one is the right option for you.
What is an Electric Tea Kettle?
An electric tea kettle is, as the name suggest, a tea kettle that is operated with electricity. In other words, you just fill up the vessel, plug it in, set the temperature and in a matter of a few minutes, you’ll have hot water to make a cup of tea with.
Electric kettles were actually introduced in the late 1800’s. The first company to sell them to the general public was Crompton and Co. in England. These were very basic and had to separate the heating element and the water, otherwise it would have electrocuted the user. It wasn’t until 1922 that the element problem was solved by an engineer at Bulpitt & Sons in Birmingham, Alabama. This new version actually made themmore efficient than the stovetop kettle for the first time.
The electric kettle took the place of the stovetop kettle which was what people had used before that. Of course, those had to be watched carefully and it wasn’t until 1955 when a company introduced a kettle that would shut itself off automatically when it reached a specific temperature or when the water began to boil. There are a number of features on modern electric kettles, including water filters and cordless features.
An electric kettle can be known by many names. Sometimes, it is called a tea kettle, although this is mostly reserved for the kettles with the round base and the spout. They are also called “hot pots” because they heat up water in a pot, particularly in the United States. Electric kettles were created so that you didn’t have to boil water using your stove. They are constructed of heavy-duty plastic or steel and have electricity running to enclosed elements that heat up the water.
With modern electric kettles, the device turns off once the water starts to boil. This protects the electric kettle as well as keeping water from boiling over and causing injury or damage. The thermostat that allows the kettle to sense when it has reached the boiling temperature is usually a metal strip. There are smaller ones called jug kettles that use a different design and boil usually no more than a cup of water.
Electric tea kettles are simple and straightforward; however, there are several different types on the market, so you may not be sure what you should be looking for when you purchase one.
Electric Kettle Reviews:
Types of Electric Kettles on the Market
Although there are a lot of electric kettles on the market right now, with many different brands and models, all offering different features, there are really only two types of electric tea kettles. The first one is the electric kettle that boils water up to a certain point, known as a “hot pot” in the United States, and then there are the ones that not only boil the water for you, they also make tea.
Best Brands of Electric Kettles to Buy
Here are some of the best electric kettles on the market today. Some of these brands have many different models and some of the only have a certain model that they are rated for.
Ovente is one of the top rated brands of electric kettles on the market right now. In a review of the top rated electric kettles on Amazon, Ovente had four models that were in the top twenty. They are highly rated because they have great features. For example: many of them are cordless, which is safer and more convenient, and they use less energy than other electric kettles on the market. They are also great looking kettles, with very stylish designs. Ovente has both glass and plastic kettles and you probably can’t go wrong by going with this brand.
Hamilton Beach is also a very well-known brand of electric kettle. Hamilton Beach is lauded for making some very stylish electric kettles that look great in your kitchen. Besides the look of them, Hamilton Beach electric kettles have illumination on some models that can give your kettle a glow and make it look incredible on your countertop, and then there are models that have filtration so you get cleaner water for your tea. Hamilton Beach also has some amazingly fast, stainless steel models and most of their models offer cord-free serving.
Cuisinart and Breville are also great brands and have enough features to make them a worthwhile purchase. For example, on some Cuisinart and Breville models they offer presets that will allow you to reach the perfect temperature for steeping. Some of their models will also keep the water warm for 30-60 minutes after it has reached the boiling point. Many of these models incorporate water filtration to make your tea taste even better and they use different materials like stainless steel and plastic, for a sleek, modern look.
Things to Consider When Purchasing an Electric Tea Kettle
Since there are so many different types of electric tea kettles available, and there are different features to choose from, here’s a look at some important things to keep in mind when you are buying one of these handy appliances.
- How much water can it hold?The size of the electric tea kettle is something that you are really going to want to consider. They range in size from being able to make just two cups of tea to being able to make up to 12 cups of tea. Which is the right size for you? Well, that really all depends on how much tea you plan on drinking. If it’s just you that you are going to be making tea for, then a smaller sized kettle may be the best choice for you; however, if you love tea and you drink it throughout the day, or you have a lot of tea drinkers in your house, you may want to get a larger one.
- How long does the water take to boil?This is another important consideration to make. The last thing you want to do is stand around waiting for what seems like an eternity to have your tea kettle boil. Most decently-made tea kettles will boil water in less than 4 minutes; however, there are models that boil the water in even less time. Obviously, the less time it takes to boil the water, the better.
- Is there a warming option?Once the water in the tea kettle boils, you may want to keep the water warm without having to restart the entire boiling process again. If you want to keep your water warm, you’ll want to choose an electric tea kettle that can keep the water warm for a prolonged period of time. Depending on the model you select, your electric tea kettle will be able to keep the water warm from as little as half an hour to as long as an hour. If you want to be able to decide when to use this warming feature, select an electric tea kettle that allows you to turn this feature on or keep it turned off.
- Is the base cordless?
One of the best features of an electric kettle is the ability to remove the cord so that you can easily move the kettle from one location to another and serve it without the electrical cord getting in the way. Either the cord should be detachable from the unit or the kettle should be detachable from the base.A cordless base will make serving hot water from your electric tea kettle whole lot easier. Cordless models are those that have either detachable cords, or they have a separate base, which the tea kettle can be taken off of so that the tea can be poured.
- Is there an automatic shut off feature?You don’t want to choose a kettle if it doesn’t have an auto-shutoff. If your kettle reaches the boiling point and it keeps on going, not only are you going to have a major mess on your hands (and cause a safety issue for people or pets who come in contact with the boiling water) you are also going to wear out or damage your heating elements.You want to make 100 percent certain that the electric tea kettle you choose has an auto shut off feature. The reason for this is to keep yourself protected from a potentially hazardous situation. Should you forget to turn off the tea kettle, the automatic shut off will give you peace of mind because it will turn off the appliance after a certain amount of time.
- Is there a non-spill spout?
You want a spout that won’t spill, which most of the models on the market today will have. There is also an advanced feature on some of the more premium models which allow you to set the temperature to allow for steeping.
A leak-proof spout is also very handy. Not only does water spilling out of the spout pose the risk of burns, but it also makes a big mess. To avoid having this happen, choose a model that has a spill proof spout.
- Do you have a temperature selection feature?Perhaps you like your tea water to be tepid and not boiling. If so, you are going to want to choose an electric tea kettle that has a temperature control. With this feature, you will be able to choose what temperature the water in your kettle will heat up to. This feature will also allow you to obtain maximum steeping for different types of teas.
- Does the kettle fit comfortably in your hand?
Finally, you want to make sure that the electric kettle fits your hand comfortably and that it isn’t going to slip out of your grasp while you are pouring
There’s no doubt about it; an electric tea kettle can certainly be a very handy appliance to have in your home, your office or in your college dorm. Keep these things in mind when you are shopping for one and you will be able to find the one that best meets your needs and will give you the perfect cup of tea each and every time.