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Anyone know an electric kettle that doesn't auto shutoff?

Shamp Oct 17, 2013 03:21 PM

Can anyone recommend an electric kettle that does not forcibly implement auto shutoff when the water boils? Here's what I want:

* Ability to boil water for an arbitrary amount of time. For example, boil for 1-5 minutes to sterilize it.

* Water exclusively or primarily in contact with stainless steel or glass, not aluminum, plastic, or other (unless there's something as good as SS or glass).

* Preferably not too expensive.

* Doesn't necessarily need to be too large. 1 liter or perhaps even 1/2 liter would probably be sufficient. I'm not necessarily opposed to a larger one though.

* I'd prefer one that's relatively sealed shut so that water left in it (if you can do that) isn't exposed to the air.

* I guess I want one with a concealed heating element if that comes in a package with the other stuff I'm looking for.

* I'd prefer a "cordless" one.

* I DO want one that implements boil dry shutoff.

I've never used one of these, but when I started looking at them recently I noticed that they all seem to be saying they implement auto shutoff. I really hope it's not the case that they all have auto shutoff that you can't get out of. WTF, stoves and plenty of other things don't automatically shut off. I just took a look at the manual for one online to see what it said about it, and there is an interesting note: "If lid is not closed, auto shutoff will not operate."


Can anyone who has an electric kettle with auto shutoff confirm that works (and that the water keeps going at a full boil with the lid open)? Maybe it's just that make / model that does that, I don't know.

For what it's worth (in case anyone has other suggestions), the main reason I'm interested in these is for sterilizing and / or warming water for nasal irrigation (e.g. neti pot). Other solutions I've considered for warming the water are an electric cup warmer (not sure if it would take the water from room or refrigerator temp to body temp though) and baby bottle warmers. I know I could put the irrigation water in a bottle and put that in hot water, but that's a PITA and I'd prefer a solution where tap water isn't getting on my hands during the process.


  1. srgoodman Oct 18, 2013 11:40 AM

    I have one of these Bonavita Kettles:

    I believe it fulfills all of your requirements except that it is fairly expensive ($95 at Amazon and other merchants). I'm not sure if it has boil dry protection, but I do think that is a UL requirement, and this kettle is UL listed.

    I set the kettle for 212 degrees and "hold" to see what happened. When the kettle reached 212, it shut off the heating element until the temperature dropped to 210. It then restarted the element until the temperature reached 212. Supposedly it can do this for an hour; I confirmed it can do it for at least five minutes.

    5 Replies
    1. re: srgoodman
      Shamp Oct 18, 2013 12:47 PM

      Thanks for posting, and thanks a lot for testing your kettle, I appreciate that.

      I wonder if that hold feature would do the trick. These instructions from the CDC say to boil water for either 1 minute or 3, depending on elevation:


      I believe the need to boil for longer at higher elevation is due to water boiling at a lower temperature. So I guess in that case, the lower temperature will still disinfect the water, but takes longer.

      But I wonder if the key element is the boiling, or if maintaining a certain minimum temperature that's lower than boiling for a certain amount of time is sufficient.

      CDC says to boil water as follows to disinfect it:

      1 minute at < 6500 ft (at sea level, 212 F


      3 minutes at >= 6500 ft (at 6500 ft, 199.6 F)

      So let's say you're at sea level and heat water to 199.6 F or higher but less than 212 F for 3 minutes. It will never have boiled. Will the water be disinfected?

      1. re: Shamp
        srgoodman Oct 18, 2013 01:12 PM

        Yes, the water will be disinfected. There's nothing special about boiling, other than it's a convenient reference point for people who don't own thermometers (and don't live at elevation).

        As I recall, disinfection can be accomplished at any temperature above 160 (maybe it's 165) as long as the time the water is held at that temperature is long enough.

        1. re: srgoodman
          Shamp Oct 18, 2013 02:53 PM

          > Yes, the water will be disinfected. There's nothing special about boiling, other than it's a convenient reference point for people who don't own thermometers (and don't live at elevation).

          I was wondering if that's the case.

          > As I recall, disinfection can be accomplished at any temperature above 160 (maybe it's 165) as long as the time the water is held at that temperature is long enough.

          I'm going to try to find a reference for that somewhere. If the water doesn't actually need to boil the whole time, the auto shutoff behavior of these kettles might not be a dealbreaker, especially with a hold feature like yours.

          For anyone following this discussion, it's important to note that water disinfection requirements for drinking and nasal irrigation may differ, e.g. due to stomach acid.

        2. re: Shamp
          skippy2 Oct 18, 2013 01:24 PM

          Shamp, I think you should get a gold star for your perseverance. I went to the website for NeilMed and found this:

          "Which type of water is recommended for nasal rinsing?

          Always Use Distilled or Micro-Filtered (through 0.2 micron) or Commercially Bottled or Previously Boiled & Cooled Down Water at Lukewarm or Body Temperature.
          Rinsing your nasal passages with only plain water will result in a severe burning sensation. Use lukewarm distilled, filtered or previously boiled water, properly mixed with NeilMed's SINUS RINSE packets. Please do not use tap or faucet water for dissolving the mixture unless it has been previously boiled and cooled down. Do not rinse if nasal passages are completely blocked or if you have an ear infection or blocked ears...."

          See http://www.neilmed.com/can/faq.php

          1. re: skippy2
            Shamp Oct 18, 2013 03:03 PM

            Thanks skippy2, I'm familiar with that information provided by NeilMed. The question is what exactly satisfies the boiling requirement, and if it can be achieved with one of these electric kettles.

            I wonder where NeilMed gets some of their information. For example, they say you can use water "micro-filtered (through 0.2 micron)". Meanwhile, the CDC says you can use water "filtered, using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller". NeilMed says "You can store boiled water in a clean container for seven days or more if refrigerated.", while the FDA says "Previously boiled water can be stored in a clean, closed container for use within 24 hours." Maybe that difference is down to the refrigeration. I'd much prefer to be able to store the water for 7 days than 1.

      2. s
        skippy2 Oct 17, 2013 04:12 PM

        I bought a small pan with a lid for boiling my Neti water, and it works just fine. It's got a spout for pouring, and I don't use it for anything else. Suits my purpose, and it's cost-effective too.

        2 Replies
        1. re: skippy2
          Shamp Oct 17, 2013 06:48 PM

          Thanks for your reply. I'm really trying to avoid doing it on the stovetop because it's not very convenient. I want to be able to boil the water whenever I need to without worrying about cleaning the stovetop first. It's also painfully slow to boil water on my stove. I've heard that these electric kettles are much quicker and more energy efficient at it. In fact an added benefit of getting an electric kettle would be that it would help speed things up when I need to boil water for cooking.

          1. re: Shamp
            skippy2 Oct 17, 2013 07:09 PM

            You're right about that. And for sure an electric kettle's way more efficient than a pot. And fast. I have a kettle for everyday use, but it's starting to get a build-up of scale, so the thought of using that water was a tad icky (haven't found chemical-free descaler yet).

            Kudos to Kaleo (above) for finding that GE kettle. I bought a knock-off of that kettle a few yrs ago (great style), but it died PDQ.

        2. k
          kaleokahu Oct 17, 2013 04:05 PM

          Hi, Shamp:

          Gosh, coincidentally, I just bought a vintage electric kettle like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/VTG-GENERAL-E... It replaces one that'd been used in my family for 40 years. They boil quite fast.

          This style *doesn't* shut off automatically, but it *will* shut off when the kettle boils dry. All SS inside, too. Only downside is: It has a cord.


          1 Reply
          1. re: kaleokahu
            Shamp Oct 17, 2013 06:44 PM

            Hi, thanks for your reply.

            Thanks for the idea and the link. That might not be a bad option. Having a cord is not a dealbreaker for me, but not being able to boil the water as long as I want would be, so if I had to choose, getting one like you're talking about would be the viable option.

            > They boil quite fast.

            That's what I've been hearing since looking into these. I actually wish I knew about that earlier, because my stove takes forever to boil water for cooking.

            > This style *doesn't* shut off automatically, but it *will* shut off when the kettle boils dry.

            That's great, exactly what I want. I wish some were made that way now (and hopefully are?). It being stainless steel ticks another one of my key requirements too. I could live with the cord.

          2. k
            kagemusha49 Oct 17, 2013 03:44 PM

            I suspect that there are rules that require an auto-shutoff on electric kettles to prevent the element from melting down. You could override the shutoff by either taping over the switch or using a rubber band.

            You might want to check this item out on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Philips-AVENT-M...

            1 Reply
            1. re: kagemusha49
              Shamp Oct 17, 2013 06:37 PM

              Thanks for your reply. That's what I'm afraid of -- that there's some stupid nanny-government regulation imposing this limitation on all of these products. Are you saying that the element would melt down if the kettle had water in it and kept boiling it after reaching a boil? Or are you talking about if it runs dry?

              > You could override the shutoff by either taping over the switch or using a rubber band.

              Oh yeah? Can you tell me more about that? Where is the switch, inside somewhere?

              Thanks for the link. I've looked at some of those products. That particular one is for microwaving, and I forgot to mention in my original post that I'm not interested in solutions involving microwaves. The baby bottle products that I've looked at that are possibilities are the ones that heat the bottle using steam or by placing it in hot water.

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