Kettle Buying Guide
Buying a kettle might seem like an easy consumer choice, but when you start investigating the options it is not as simple as it first appears. This kettle buying guide explores the variables associated with purchasing one of the most used appliances in your kitchen.
Electric or Stove Kettles
It is fair to say that nowadays stove kettles are scarcer than their electric counterparts, however, they are seeing somewhat of a revival. Although slower to boil cold water than electric kettles, stove kettles do have a certain evocative appeal – probably attributed to their in-built whistles. Aside from being quicker, some electric kettles have features that make boiling water easier and better. Let us take a look at some of these next.
What Features to Look for in a Kettle
A growing number of people are becoming more discerning about coffee and tea and as such variable temperature functionality on electric kettles is now quite common. Having said that it is not yet ubiquitous. There is an additional cost to kettles with this feature so ask yourself if this is something that you will utilise.
Kettles can vary by up to 2 minutes per litre of water, which might not seem a lot, but is in fact significant in terms of energy usage. If you do not mind waiting an extra few minutes for your kettle to boil, a slower, more energy efficient kettle is your best option. Higher wattage kettles boil faster but keep in mind that they tend to be the noisiest.
Most electric kettles now come with a 360-degree base from which the power cable is attached. Not only is this a safety feature it is also incredibly handy because it allows you to face the kettle in the most convenient way. Other safety features to consider are boil dry protection, locking lids, cool-touch walls and non-slip bases are equally important.
Ergonomics and Aesthetics
Most kettles have the same three design features – a handle, a spout and the body. Aside from water capacity, the body is purely aesthetic, but the spout and the handle have to be functional too. The spout needs to pour smoothly. Unless the shop allows you to test it, you will not be able to tell until you get it home. If you find that the water spills when poured, you are entitled to ask for a refund.
A handle should feel comfortable in your hand – a factor which is even more important when the kettle is full. Take note of the shape and position of the handle and also what the kettle is made of – metal is heavier than plastic. Consider whether the handle get in the way of the tap when filling. Does the kettle have a removable or hinged lid or are you restricted to filling through the spout alone?
Filters prevent limescale from being poured into your cup so it’s important that these are easily cleanable. With this in mind check to see if the filters are removable. The ability to clean filters also helps prolong the life of your kettle, saving you money in the long run.
Between 1.5 and 1.7 litres is average, which will get you around six or seven cups, so if you are going to buy a kettle based on capacity alone, consider how many cups you are likely to make at a time.
This kettle buying guide has all the information you need to consider when buying a kettle. Let us know which factors are most important for you.