Things to consider before buying a tea kettle
Here in this subsection are features to consider before buying a tea kettle that is safe for human health. They include features and functions such as type, capacity, safety features, dimensions, and more.
Type of kettle
Generally, there are two types of teakettles, the electric kettle, and the stovetop teakettle/teapot:
- Electric tea kettle: The electric kettles, unlike the stovetop types, are usually made of plastics, glass, and sometimes stainless steel. They have a heating base from which the jug, which has a heating connection, can be heated. The advantages of the electric kettle are that they are detachable from the base or can be used cord-free for serving purposes. However, most of them don’t have whistle functions.
- Stovetop tea kettle: Also called teapot because of their shape, this type usually has a whistle function that alerts you when the water is boiling. The stovetop teakettle is usually usable in all types of stovetops, from gas, electric, glass, to induction hobs. Some, like the Medelco Cafe Brew Collection Tea Kettle or the Poliviar Tea Kettle, can be used for serving purposes as they can add a touch of beauty to your dining room or sitting room decor.
Before buying your teakettle, you have to ask yourself how many members you have in your family or how many guests do you usually have at a time.
Most kettles have a filling volume between 0.5 and 3 quarts. Devices with a volume of 1.7 liters are the most common. How high the filling volume should be depends on the usage behavior of the consumer. If you want to prepare larger quantities of coffee or tea or want to use the kettle to prepare potatoes, pasta, or rice, you should choose a model with a high capacity. A kettle with a capacity of 0.5 liters is sufficient for mobile use or the preparation of individual hot drinks. Also, for a 6-member or more family, a 3-liter teakettle will be needed. This can serve up to 12 cups at a time. A good example is the Creative Home Savanah Whistling Tea Kettle. For single-use, choose a small model such as the one-liter Chefbar Premium Gooseneck Tea Kettle or the Fellow Stagg EKG. Electric devices with a filling volume of 1.7 liters and an average power of 2,000 watts can bring one liter to a boil in around 3 to 4 minutes.
As seen in the reviews, the commonly used material for food-grade teakettles are stainless steel, enamel, copper, cast iron, aluminum, borosilicate glass, BPA-free plastics, and silicone. Below is a table showing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Material Pros Cons Copper Elegant look Pricey Top heat conduction Components can come off Top heat distribution Pure copper NOT inductive For whom? Aesthetes Cast iron Good heat conduction Pricey Extremely high quality Weight Extremely durable Components can come off For ALL stove types For whom? Tea fans Enamel Good heat conduction Heating takes a little longer Robust The enamel layer can come off Easy to clean Price with full enamel is relatively high For ALL stove types For whom? Campers with sense of style Aluminum Light Does not hold the temperature long Very good conductivity Can bump easily Robust Cheap NOT suitable for induction For whom? Minimalists Glass Tasteless Not 100% break-resistant Easy to clean NOT suitable for induction Puristic look For whom? Minimalists hand Stainless steel Tasteless It all depends on the model! Easy to clean NOT suitable for induction Good thermal conductivity Large selection For ALL stove types Good holding power For whom? Everyone serious about hand brewing
You have to consider the dimensions of the teakettle if you have little space. If you need the teakettle for camping, choose an electric model with modest dimensions such as the Medelco Cafe Brew Collection. Meanwhile, if you want a small teakettle that also looks classy and contemporary, pick the Chefbar Premium Gooseneck Tea Kettle.
For electric tea kettles that use a heat source, features to ensure are present include the auto-shutoff and the dry boil protection. The auto shut-off is usually activated when the water reaches the preset or default boiling point. Also, the dry boil protection automatically switches off the heating element when there’s no water or the water in the kettle is finished.
For stovetop teakettles, what to watch out for is the handle and the lid. They must be made of stay-cool plastic or silicone materials.
When choosing the kettle, attention should be paid to the wattage. Because the performance of the kettle determines how long it takes to heat the water. While powerful kettles need about three minutes for one liter of water, a kettle with low power takes up to 10 minutes. With devices from around 2,000 watts, larger amounts of water can be heated quickly. Additional functions such as a preset timer and keep warm are useful in electric kettles. For stovetops, spout levers, strainers, and infusers will set the teakettle apart from the run-of-the-mill types on the market.
In the user review sections of products on Amazon, a few users complain about certain models ending up nonfunctional after a few months of use. The major complaints are leaky kettles, rusting material, chipping layer, among others.
Some kettles also have additional functions such as different temperature levels or even a timer. Limescale filters can also be included in some models.
How can I clean a tea kettle?
If you want convenience in cleaning, choose a kettle that you can put in the dishwasher. This is by no means possible with all articles, however. But some, like the Medelco Cafe Brew Tea Kettle, can be washed in the top rack of the dishwasher. You can use pipe brushes or milk hose brushes for penetrating narrow spouts. You should remove limescale deposits regularly with a decalcifier (liquid/powder) and vinegar essence. Vinegar essence is cheap and a tried and tested means of descaling. Simply add a few splashes to the pot, fill up with water, bring to the boil, and rinse thoroughly! To completely get rid of the vinegar taste, then heat it once with clean water. The acid dissolves lime, so with continuous care, hardly any effort is necessary. If there is any residue left, use a sponge to loosen it. But be careful: acidic cleaners can damage some materials. For example, copper is sensitive. The result is poisonous copper acetate, also known as verdigris.
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