What to consider when buying a kettle

December 15, 2014

A handy small appliance, a kettle is a useful gadget to have around the kitchen. Whether you’re making a great cup of tea or instant soup, you can boil water quickly, safely and easily with the right kettle. Here are a few things you should consider when buying a kettle.

What to consider when buying a kettle

Types of kettles

Kettles come in two major styles: stovetop and electric.

Stovetop kettles: While stovetop kettles tend to be more basic, many people still love the traditional method of boiling water on the stove. Also available as a steam kettle, it is typically made of metal and is easy to fill, either through a top opening or the pour spout. Stovetop kettles are portable and can go with you on camping trips.

Electric kettles: This type of kettle generates its own heat when plugged in and switched on. Electric kettles bring water to boil more quickly than stovetop kettles, making them more energy efficient. Electric kettles can be made of metal, plastic or glass and come with a few different features.

Kettle features

When buying a kettle, here are some key features of electric and stovetop models:

  • Body: The body that holds the water can vary in shape and size, from tall and narrow to short and round. It can be made from metal, plastic or glass.
  • Spout: The spout helps direct the flow of water as it’s poured out of the kettle. Stovetop kettles tend to have covered spouts, while many electric kettles have splash guard spouts.
  • Handle: Stovetop kettles feature handles that are attached to the top of the kettle, while electric kettles typically feature side handles that may be shaped or grooved for comfort.
  • Power source: Electric kettles can come in corded and cordless models. Cordless kettles have a power base that provides the energy to heat the water. The kettle is removed from the base when the water is ready to be poured.
  • Element: The heating element that boils the water is concealed to keep the hottest part of your kettle safely out of reach.
  • Whistle: Stovetop kettles often have a whistle to indicate when the water has reached its boiling point.
  • Temperature control: Some electric kettles have variable settings that let you control the temperature of the water.

Factors to consider when buying a kettle

  • Consider kettle capacity and material. If you have a large family, you may want to look for a high-capacity tea kettle. When considering a stovetop kettle, look for copper or stainless steel kettles that can last for years.
  • Plastic electric kettles are more affordable. Metal kettles, however, keep water hotter for longer. The material inside is important too. Metal interiors may change the taste of the water, but a glass kettle interior won’t interfere with taste.

Whether you prefer the convenience of an electric kettle or love the sound of a kettle whistling on the stove, kettles make it quick and easy to enjoy a cup of tea or your favourite hot beverage.

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