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Best Electric Kettles

by Siel •

Capresso H20 Plus Electric Kettle

The Best Electric Kettles

Stovetop kettles are nostalgically cute in movies and lovable as collector’s items, but when it comes to our time-crunched, energy-efficient world, electric kettles–which boil water twice as fast as their stovetop counterparts–are the way to go.

More specifically, stainless steel electric kettles are the way to go, since plastic pots can contain bisphenol A (BPA) and start looking dingy pretty quickly. Plus, according to Chow.com, plastic pots can imbue your favorite brew with a plasticky taste and aroma. The best electric kettles boil water quickly, last a long time, require little maintenance, and are loaded with safety and efficiency features.

Here are our picks for the best electric kettles:

Chef’s Choice Cordless 677 Electric Kettle

Chef's Choice Cordless 677 Electric Kettle

The Chef’s Choice Cordless 677 is what I own — and by the fact that I’ve put it first, you might be able to guess that I’m happy with it. After 2 years of heavy use, this kettle still boils water in 4:50–or more accurately, still automatically shuts off in 4:50, since the water’s hot enough for my French press before that point. This mostly-stainless steel kettle has a detachable base and sleek design–with a concealed heating unit to prevent any buildup of mineral deposits.

The one downside of this kettle’s that the exterior does get a tad warm–but I can assure you it never gets piping hot. Get it at Amazon for $49, or opt for the slightly bigger 678 for $57.94.

Capresso H2O Plus Electric Kettle

Capresso H20 Plus Electric Kettle

The Capresso H2O Plus wins big on style points because it’s sleekly designed out of glass–which lets owners watch water boil, if so moved. Of course, the glass exterior can also be more easily broken by clumsy owners.

Like the Chef’s Choice, the Capresso boils water under 5 minutes, shuts off automatically, and has a concealed heating element. As a bonus, the cord retracts into the electric kettle’s base. This kettle also has a slightly smaller six-cup capacity, though whether that’s an upside or downside depends on how many people live in your household and how often you entertain guests. The Capresso costs $53.48 at Amazon.

Home Page: Capresso

Bodum Ibis Electric Water Kettle

Bodum Ibis Electric Water Kettle
The Bodum Ibis Electric Water Kettle boasts a 7-cup capacity and a boil time of 4:25 according to Slate, which gives the product top ratings. While the carafe’s made of an unstylish plastic, the Bodum shuts off automatically once water’s at boiling point and catches mineral deposits in a special filter. It boils a full tank in fewer than five minutes. Get it from Amazon for $47.99.

Home Page: Bodum

UtiliTEA Variable Temperature Electric Kettle

electric kettle utilitea

The 2.8-pound UtiliTEA Variable Temperature Electric Kettle’s the picky tea lover’s dream. This kettle heats up to 30 ounces of water via its concealed heating element to the temperature of your desire.

Want your water at the optimum temperature for green or white tea? All you have to do is turn a knob. For black tea? Turn the knob a little more to reach the regular boiling point. This UtiliTEA kettle’s yours for $49.95 at Amazon.

Zojirushi Electric Water Boiler and Warmer

Zojirushi Electric Water Boiler and Warmer

If you just can’t wait five minutes for your water to boil in the morning, you can set your Zojirushi to do it for you ready your water at 140, 175, 195, or 208 degrees up to 10 hours ahead. Hit your snooze too many times? Then hit the reboil button when you wake up to reheat the water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Of course, many Metaefficient readers will find this product less efficient than their standards. Do we really need water heated to an exact temperature available at the push of a button every moment in the day? I can readily answer no to this as an individual–but have also been in too many homes and offices where full kettles get completely forgotten on stoves for hours or reheated over and over again by absent-minded employees. If you’ve had to give up on reforming your family members or co-workers, this 7.2-pound Zojirushi with its 4-liter capacity and “interchangeable melody or beep indicator to alert the completion of the boiling process or a low water level,” as described on Amazon, might actually make your workplace or home run more efficiently.

Zojirushi Electric Water Boiler is available from Amazon.

Home Page: Zojirushi
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If you decide to go for an electric kettle off this list, try to go for an item that’s mostly stainless steel with a handle that doesn’t get hot and an automatic shut-off button. And if your electric kettle doesn’t have a concealed heating element, follow the advice from Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency and clean it regularly by boiling water with vinegar to remove mineral deposits that can reduce energy efficiency.

Comments 31

  1. Hey
    I also do not like the taste these Capresso machines make, but he one i have is great and its money worth, with no problems so far

  2. This is funny because I came across this post when I was actually searching Google as to why my new Capresso H2o+ smells like rubber and makes my boiled water taste like a McDonald’s happy meal toy. In fact, I have here a cup of french-pressed coffee made using the foul water. I can taste plastic through the coffee and can only imagine how horrible it’d be for tea. The sad part is I’ve been using this garbage for over a week now and it’s still stinking up the kitchen! Consider yourself fucking lucky if you don’t have this horrible plastic taste. I’m taking it back to store and hopefully they’ll refund me. If we have this plastic taste/smell from the kettle itself, just imagine how all those poor Chinese factory workers must feel who are actually putting these things together for 10 hours straight! Well played, Capresso, well played.

    1. It must be defect in some Capressos because I’m very sensitive to plasticky tastes, and I’ve been using mine for over year now without problems.

  3. Just to mention that I found a very good electric glass kettle.
    It is from BREVILLE, the “One touch tea maker“, that can be used as a hot water kettle as well.
    No plastic part inside and no smell at all.
    Expensive but great.

  4. Nice research. The Zojirushi website says their boilers “take 30 to 40 minutes to boil water…they are meant to keep water hot all day long; that’s why they have a timer.”

  5. Pino Digital Pro WIDE-diameter heating plate is in direct contact with water, so heats fast. All stainless, cordless, acquires and maintains specified temp, which is variable to one degree. Maintains to within 5 degrees up or down from set temp. OR will boil, then allow temp to drop down to set temp. My initial worries about internal water level indicator have been assuaged. Just don’t tip it upside-down and shake it, because the level indicator strip may come loose; however, easy to replace. Light enough for my arthritic wrists. I drink tea alone all day, and find it absolute heaven. NOTE: I have so far avoided putting any mineral-rich water in it, but I think it would clean easily. I hope you find your dream kettle and enjoy many good cups!

    1. I’ll try the Pino Digital Pro next, based on the recommendation here and on Amazon. I currently own a Chef’s Choice Smart Kettle Model 688. The first one I had gave unknown error messages after 6 months so I exchanged it for a new one. But after 1 year, the new one is giving a low water warning and shutting down, even though I use the required 2 cup minimum. I now have to use 4 cups to keep it from shutting down. I’m guessing that either the parts and/or quality control are sub-standard.

  6. Looks like the jury is still out on these being leaders or lemons.
    Might be a quality control issue. Like many products in our disposable society..we’ve ‘value engineered’ the sustainabilty right out of most things. I have an 18 year old stainless kettle with a broken spout hinge that I fixed with JB weld about 12 years ago, and it’s still going strong.
    Give me durable and repairable over high tech any day.

    It’ll be interesting to see how long induction cooktops last..
    are they repairable?..
    any concerns on EMF?

    In summer I go with a solar oven and a pump thermos. Boiling water is still hot the next morning. Best price I’ve found is here:
    http://shop.newleafamerica.com/solar-ovens-s/36.htm
    Shameless plug, I work for them. Peace

  7. I looking for the best stainless steel elektric cordles keetle ( no plastic parts inside, no teflon, Full stainless steel If you find this one please send me information Regards Edward

    1. Check out the Pino Digital Pro. WIDE-diameter heating plate is in direct contact with water, so heats fast. All stainless, cordless, acquires and maintains specified temp, which is variable to one degree. Maintains to within 5 degrees up or down from set temp. OR will boil, then allow temp to drop down to set temp. My initial worries about internal water level indicator have been assuaged. Just don’t tip it upside-down and shake it, because the level indicator strip may come loose; however, easy to replace. Light enough for my arthritic wrists. I drink tea alone all day, and find it absolute heaven. NOTE: I have so far avoided putting any mineral-rich water in it, but I think it would clean easily. I hope you find your dream kettle and enjoy many good cups!

  8. I have the Capresso H2O, for about 3 weeks now. I use daily and have clear water with no weird smell or taste as others have noted. I use the filtered water from the fridge door, don’t know if that matters or not. I love the way it works and have even dumped my “tea ball” in there for a whole pot (don’t know if you’re supposed to do that or not!). It’s easy to clean and I love the way it looks, even when I’m done and it’s just sitting on the counter. To each their own but I love mine.

  9. Add another firm Thumbs Down to the Capresso. I’ll be taking mine back tomorrow. Nasty smell, plus adds floating filmy bits to the water. To test, I cleaned the pot and boiled same tap water in the Capresso and in a stainless steel pot on my stovetop. After boil, stovetop water was crystal clear. Capresso water had nasty film on top and smelled like oily plastic. Pretty terrible for the $79.99 I paid for it.

  10. Thank you to PERSON who is absolutely right. The Capresso I bought because I wanted a glass electric kettle, was sent back the next day. It had an horrible plastic smell, my all kitchen was smelling it. I phoned Capresso they told me to boil lemon juice and the smell shall go away, I boiled four times, and it was the same. This is pure rubbish! I wish I could find an electric glass kettle without plastic. So I keep on using my old Russell and Hobbs.
    If anyone knows of an electric glass kettle please let me know.
    Thank you so much.

  11. Induction capable cookware needs to be magnetic. Cast iron works great but is not required. If in doubt, go shopping with a decent magnet. I’ve noticed some online vendors have misinformation on their site regarding particular cookware’s ability to be used with induction cook tops. I recommend checking with the manufacturer to avoid hassles and disappointment!

    http://theinductionsite.com/how-induction-works.shtml is a nice primer. Decent info there regarding all things induction. (I’m not affiliated – just a shopper.)

  12. All you folks with induction cooktops. Any challenges with stainless pots?
    I was under the impression that induction needed caST IRON?
    THANKS SO MUCH

  13. To maximize the energy spent on the boiling/heating, I boil a full pot in my stainless electric countertop model and pour it into a glass lined thermos to retain the heat (most of it).

    The challenge of hot water for tea (in Japanese, chanoyu) of the leaf steeping variety is to bring it to a boil and then to let the temperature drop, not to just heat it up to a specific temperature. The temperature (and composition of the water, i.e. less minerals are better) impacts the flavor of the tea. One doesn’t want to shock the dried leaves.

    As a Japanese tea ceremony / matcha aficionado, I find that having electric pots (or heating elements in braziers) to boil water is not conducive to making a fine bowl of powdered green tea. In chanoyu procedures, using a set of naturally produced (no chemicals) charcoal allows the water to come to a slow, rolling boil at a pace that allows for the serving of a meal and two bowls of tea over a period of two to three hours, with only one refreshment of charcoal. The first bowl is prepared in a concentrated manner and the second, often frothed; the first one being finer of the two teas presented. The sound of the water as it develops its appropriate heat in an iron kettle, “matsukaze” (Japanese, wind in the pines) provides all in the small tea room also with a sense of time. Electric heaters maintain water at a constant, rushing temperature producing something akin to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvias. In this way, the tea gathering host doesn’t have to constantly adjust temperatures. Also a single amount of water can be overboiled and exhausted, another challenge to the taste of tea. Fresh water, drawn from a fine well served by a snow-topped mountain … ah! For more info on tea preparation, check all-volunteer produced Kyoto Journal’s forthcoming issue at http://www.kyotojournal.org

    1. “water can be overboiled and exhausted” … Let me guess, you think that dilution *increases* the potency of junk “medicine” too. Sorry, most people don’t have the time or desire to boil water by charcoal; they have real jobs

  14. It definitely doesn’t win style points but my office decided to purchase a Sunbeam Hot Shot ($18-25 on Amazon) several years ago to use instead of heating water in the microwave and it has been very satisfactory. It boils 16 oz of water in 60 seconds, has a stainless steel boiling chamber, and has had heavy daily use in an office of tea drinkers without fault. Your fingers get a little steamed when dispensing the water but the new models are oval rather than round, putting the water dispenser farther from the dispenser button. How do I know? I liked the convenience and efficiency of the office one so I bought one for home.

  15. I’ll second the suggestions that efficiency relies on boiling the amount of water needed for the task. That said, I’ve struggled with finding a kettle with a small capacity that was well made. I ended up w/ the Chef’s Choice above based on customer reveiws, and it does an excellent job. It’s just that I wish it were approx. half its current size as I am using it at work for my tea. And, though I do sport a hefty cup (maybe 0.4 L), the fact that the minimum is 0.3 L does mean that I boil more water than is needed most of the time.

  16. To Person:

    I actually own the “Capresso H2O Plus Electric Kettle” and I’m very sensitive to taste in my water. I haven’t tasted anything plastic or otherwise in the water. I like this kettle — its nice to see the water boiling in the glass container.

    Justin

  17. The Capresso H2O Plus Electric Kettle is junk. Just look up reviews on amazon or something there are countless reviews of it off-gassing nasty odors and adding petroleum flavor to the water. I guess the heating element is badly sealed to the glass. This is NOT the kettle for someone looking to have less contaminants in their water.

    1. The dozens of reviews referred to on Amazon are the work of a single “crank” poster. There may indeed have been a pot flaw in this customer’s item, but no other reviewers have indicated it, and the product was top or near-top rated in several independent magazines. I think this is unlikely.

      1. Well, I ignored the Amazon review and bought this kettle because I loved the look of it. I gave it a week of testing to see if the initial ‘plastic’ smell would go away. It didn’t, so unfortunately I had to return it to Amazon. If I can taste something funny off the water, what is it doing to my insides?? I’m now hunting for another kettle. What a shame they have not got this sorted out yet

      2. This is just not plausible: of the reviewers who gave the kettle 1 star at Amazon, more than 10 had the ‘real name’ badge, which means they identified themselves as unique customers using a credit card. Several also have the ‘Verified Amazon Purchase’ badge, which means Amazon vouches that the reviewer actually bought the product from them. And even the non-authenticated reviewers all look legit, with review histories over several years. There are also many 5-star reviews that say they had no problem with smell, but to me it doesn’t look like this is the work of a crank, but rather a real issue for some purchasers.

        1. I’ve used the earlier version of the glass Capresso kettle for several years. After the lid finally broke off due to five years of heavy use with steam finally damaging the connection points.

          The old version was recalled due to some of the units having the base fall off so I can not outright replace mine and looked to the new version. However, the lid does not open completely (making filling cumbersome) and the slightly redesigned base does have a silicone seal that is very close to the heating element. While this does not impact the flavor much – and I am particular on taste effect to the point that I avoid even alternating between glass and stainless steel containers in tasting lineups – at least the fist 25 used reaching adequate boiling time to automatically shut off produced a burning plastic smell within the kettle. I still prefer glass, but for portable kettles I’ve switched to all stainless steel.

  18. Surely the most wasteful aspect of boiling water is to boil too much. I would have thought that a solid steel electric kettle that has no way of accurately measuring the amount of water being heated is likely to waste electricity – unless of course you heat your kitchen that way!
    After years of using plastic with a clear level indicator, I have no complaints about taste transfer.

  19. I too have an induction heater which is much more efficient than the normal electric kettles discussed here. But ya the efficiency is very good for water temperatures of 60 to 70 deg C. Why not people use LPG or any other fuel rather than electricity to boil water?

    Thanks for the info on bisphenol A (BPA) related to plastic pots.

  20. I have a simple all-steel kettle that is compatible with my single-burner induction cooktop. Think these separate units are more efficient still? Induction cooking is quite efficient…

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