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Mar 28, 2009 07:38 AM

electric kettle recommendations

I'm going to be buying a new electric kettle soon and would appreciate hearing which ones other 'Hounds recommend (or not).

I use it primarily to make coffee with my Aeropress, and less frequently to heat water for tea and other things, rarely (if ever) for stock or anything else other than water.

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  1. Take a look at the Breville. It's the one I wish I'd purchased instead of the Krups that drives me crazy.

    In addition to heating very quickly, the Breville has a lid that pops up for easy filling and has an automatic switch off.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jillp

      I have had a Breville for a few years and really like it. I'm lusting after the new variable temperature model. It's nice for coffee and teas that require a water temperature a bit lower than a full boil.

    2. our Russell Hobbes has been going strong for years

      1 Reply
      1. re: chuckl

        We too have a Russell Hobbs we purchased recently on sale at Macy's for around $30.00. It looks great and works great. As far as I can tell, they all do the same thing, except for a few that allow you to select from a variety of temperature settings. Other than that, there's no need to spend top dollar for one.

      2. We have had two, with different strengths and weaknesses.

        The Edgecraft Chef's Choice Electric French Press,, is an electric kettle that comes with two interchangeable tops, the second of which allows you to make French press coffee directly in the pot -- but if you use it that way, some residual coffee oil will build up over time, and you can use it after that ONLY to make coffee, because water boiled in the pot will have a faint coffee taste. We used ours strictly as an electric kettle. The wonder of the Chef's Choice is that the walls are clear from top to bottom and you can watch the water boil (and know if scale has built up inside the pot that needs to be scrubbed out). And getting your hand inside the kettle to scrub out the insides is a cinch, unlike other kettles that have small openings. It appears that, over time, the silicone seal between the cylinder that forms the walls of the Chef's Choice and the base of the appliance will cease to make a perfect seal and the appliance will begin to leak. That happened to ours about five years into ownership, but it was a great unit while it lasted. Edgecraft, headquartered in Pennsylvania, is also a wonderful company to work with (as we did when the seal gave out), and it would be nice if other companies took their customers' concerns as seriously as Edgecraft does. (Our kettle was actually made in Germany.)

        Eventually, we replaced our Chef's Choice with a Braun WK200B, the same as this one: except ours is all black. The Braun has stood up to hard use for several years and it has worked flawlessly, but in all that time, we never have scrubbed out the inside of the Braun even once because the top opening is so tiny. (Peering in there, it still LOOKS clean, fortunately.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: Politeness

          Boil vinegar in it to help remove scale.

        2. The glass Capresso is our choice. It works fine and looks really cool, especially as the water reaches boil. The old models tended to drip from the spout but not the newer ones. The glass part sits on a plug-in base. Absolutely no off taste to the water.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lergnom

            I bought a Capresso too; it's my first electric kettle. On the recommendation of a tea-shop owner whose opinion I value.

            Unfortunately, there is a slight chemical smell released into the pot after a boil. I don't think it remains in the water, and hasn't affected the taste of my (expensive) teas, but that does bother me. I think it's from some gasket at the bottom where the silver heating element meets the glass. It bugs me, but I stopped thinking about it. I'll probably have cancer in 5 years, hee-hee.

            I must admit, the pot is quite attractive. I like watching the water come to a boil in it; it's just a nice design.

            1. re: comestible

              We got ours because the others, including some recommended in this thread, affected the water taste. We don't notice what you've pointed out.

          2. You sometimes use your electric kettle for stock? Doesn't tea or coffee made from this kettle taste a little err....unusual?

            7 Replies
            1. re: Robin Joy

              Not since I discovered soap and water.

              1. re: BeaN

                Sorry. Didn't mean to sound sarcastic, just intrigued.

                Anyway, we've had quite a few over the years and there's not much th choose between the brands we've owned (Magimix, Dualit, Russell Hobbs, Morphy Richards etc.) in performance. Much more important is the design of the handle and how it will feel to pick up when full and hot. Safety from spills or dropping is definitely an issue I think.

                Our latest is a "Prestiege" brand which is a mid-market name here in the UK and it's fine, especially as it was only about $28. An earlier $150 item made us feel horribly smug for about a week. After that it just became "the kettle".

                One more thing is that white plastic takes a weekly wipe down much better than stainless which needs a proper polish fairly often, or it quickly looks pretty tired.

                1. re: Robin Joy

                  Hot damn Robin. I just image searched "kettle" and saw a glass one with 'Prestige' clearly written on the side, and a couple of seconds later, I came up with this bad boy, which I really like :

                  And it's still less than £30. I have to say the platic bits are rather tasteless, but let's see:

                  Glass is a good insulator
                  Seeing the water boil is probably very amusing (simple things..
                  )You could put whatever you want in it, and the glass will not absorb odors etc

                  I'm off to find out more stats about it, but I think I've found my next kettle.

                  1. re: Soop

                    Yes, they look great, don't they? However, I'm tipping that a proper weekly clean and polish will be required, even if it does not look needed. Otherwise it may start to look cruddy pretty quickly.

                  2. re: Robin Joy

                    I don't think I've ever dropped my kettle, but that potential has me leaning away from glass.

                    The cleanup issue is one I wasn't thinking about. We have white plastic now. I don't think that it would ever occur to my husband to wipe it down. I'm the only one who will ever clean it, so i need to think about that.

                  3. re: BeaN

                    I think you may find that the instruction booklets for many electric kettles tell you not to boil anything in them but water. Mine certainly does.

                    1. re: comestible

                      No room for any one-trick ponies in my kitchen except the fire extinguisher.

                      I rarely ever use my kettle for anything other than water, but if I can use a pot to boil water or stock or milk, I intend to use my kettle the same way. I'm thinking I might finally be able to make pho at home.