Hand-me-down tea kettles are never the prettiest stovetop artifacts to look at, but it’s hard to part ways with a kettle when it’s working just fine. That being said, you shouldn’t deny yourself the modern conveniences of an electric tea kettle.
Many electric models can be set to specific temperatures to help maximize the flavor of certain tea varieties, while others can be controlled with a smartphone app or set to run automatically on a set schedule. And all, of course, can be used without a stove. Here are some of the best electric kettles on the market, whether you’re looking for something simple or a high-tech gadget that takes your tea to the next level.
The Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp is everything you need in an electric kettle. The 1.7-liter reservoir can be brought to a boil in just a few minutes. And, if boiling is a little hotter than you like your tea, the one-touch controls make it easy for you to select one of six preset temperatures. This allows you to heat your water to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) for delicate teas or 200 degrees (93.3 Celsius) if you’re using a French press. The kettle also has a 30-minute warming feature — so you don’t have to reheat your water when you go for that second cup — and a two-minute “memory,” allowing you to remove the kettle from the base without losing any heat.
Breville is frequently featured on Digital Trends, namely when talking about our favorite small appliances. The 1.8-liter Breville Variable Temperature Kettle touts five temperature settings, ranging from 175 degrees Fahrenheit (79.4 degrees Celsius) for delicate teas to boiling for sturdy black teas. This appliance can also hold its temperature for up to 20 minutes, so you don’t have to reheat your water just for a second cup of tea. It is on the expensive side when compared to the Cuisinart PerfecTemp — which carries many of the same features for $45 less — but some would argue that the Breville’s larger capacity and elegant design are worth the added price.
The Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle is the smallest kettle on this list with its one-liter reservoir, but its pint-sized build allows it to outperform the rest of the pack in terms of precision. Instead of preset temperature buttons, the Bonavita can be adjusted by 1-degree increments ranging between 140 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit (60 to 100 degrees Celsius). The device also has a real-time temperature display and can hold its temperature for up to an hour. The Bonavita Gooseneck Kettle also has a count-up timer, so you know just how long you’ve been steeping your tea.
If style is what you’re after, then feast your eyes on this 1.7-liter offering from Hamilton Beach. Capable of 1,500 watts of power, the kettle can produce plenty of water for a round of tea, soup, cocoa, coffee, or any other hot water application. Regarding style, the stainless steel base and accents make this an appealing small appliance to display on your countertop. Better yet, when you’re actually brewing water, a soft blue light illuminates inside the kettle, letting you know that your water is boiling. We also love the added mesh filter that keeps scale and other hard minerals out of your hot beverages. There’s also an auto shut-off that activates once your water has hit its boiling point, ensuring your liquids will never boil over.
Are you constantly boiling large quantities of water? Whether you drink a lot of tea or cook a lot of soup, this 4.0-liter Zojirushi boiler will be your new best friend. This bulletproof water heater uses vacuum insulation technology (the same material that thermoses are made from) to quickly boil water while using minimal electricity. The boiler is also equipped with four Quick Temperature settings (160, 175, 195, and 208 degrees Fahrenheit) that warms your water to the designated temperature and cuts off the heat before the liquid hits its boiling point. To top it all off, the stainless steel shell and non-stick interior make the Zojirushi a breeze to clean. This is one of the higher-priced offerings on our list, but for industrious size and energy-efficient boiling, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something bigger and better.
For the oatmeal-devoted and other hot water quick-fixes, the Proctor Silex is a wise investment for the budget-minded. Priced below $20, the kettle is capable of brewing up to 1 liter of water and does so faster than a standard microwave. The auto shut-off function keeps you and your kitchen safe, and the kettle is small enough to be stowed away in most cabinets, pantries, or other storage spots. It may not be the fanciest electric kettle on our list, but the Proctor Silex promises solid performance and quick brews for minimal cost.
Ascot’s 1.7-liter electric kettle could be a museum piece. Craftsmanship and features combine for a sturdy boiler that will whip you up steaming water in as little as five minutes. The stainless steel shell is BPA-free and totally plastic-free, so your water will never come in contact with subpar brewing materials. Four overflow holes at the base of the kettle provide runoff for condensed water, ensuring no liquid gets anywhere near the kettle’s electric components. The spout is also equipped with a splash-guard for more accurate pours into your mug or thermos, and the stainless steel filter keeps nasty minerals out of your beverages. For kettle connoisseurs, this is a perfect blend of kitchenware aesthetics and reliable performance.
We love all the kettles on our list, but this last one is a true case of saving the best for last. Featuring a beautiful chromium exterior, the Fellow’s sleek minimalist design is buttressed by awesome tech features. Bluetooth connectivity means you can monitor brews, set temperatures, and receive notifications when your boil is complete. Just download the Brewmaster app for iOS and Android devices, and you’ll be synced up to your next hot brew. The variable temperature control knob on the base lets you adjust the temperature from 135 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Pick your heat, start your boil, and the kettle does all the rest. Best of all, the 60-minute hold option keeps your water at your desired temperature for up to one full hour, which is great if you’ve got chores to tackle before you can pour that much-needed cup of joe or loose-leaf tea.
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