Why buy an appliance to boil water? Isn’t it faster to boil water in a microwave?
Electric kettles are great to quickly heat up water to a boiling temperature—often faster than a microwave. (That’s because kettles are 1500 watts, while microwaves are often half that power rating).
And, of course, some folks don’t have access to a microwave (some college dorms ban the use of microwaves).
The average time to heat up 1.7 liters of water in an electric kettle is 4-6 minutes (depending on the initial temperature of the water).
Kettles are great for quickly making soup, French press coffee and (of course) tea.
Another advantage for kettles: many can heat up to 1.8 liters of hot water at a time . . . more than a microwave can handle.
Kettles are quieter than a microwave, which is great if you live in a dorm . . . or want to make your own hot drinks at your office desk (without having to go to the break room and use the communal microwave—and have to visit with everyone).
After testing out an electric kettle model here at our office (and surveying our readers for their favorites), here are a few caveats to think about when buying an electric kettle:
- Kettles are to heat up water—and no other liquid. They are just designed for H2O.
- You must be careful in cleaning a kettle. Why? The electric element is often built-in into the pot . . . so you can’t submerge the kettle in soapy water, for example. Kettles must be cleaned in a certain way (see the manual for details).
- All kettles get hot—even the glass ones! Be careful when handling.
Ok, now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s go over our top picks for electric kettles.
For the best electric kettle for home use, we recommend Mueller’s Premium 1500 watt kettle—it combines the best performance with value.
What We Liked
• Easy to use.
• Good capacity at 1.7 liters.
• LED light indicates it is on.
• Auto shut-off within 30 seconds of boiling.
• Safety feature turns off unit if it is accidentally turned on, yet has no water.
• BPA free.
• Glass kettle + stainless steel.
What Needs Work
• Despite the European-sounding name and flag logo, this kettle is made in China. To be honest, nearly all electric kettles are made in China and there’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t think because this brand has “Austria” in its name, that it’s actually made in Europe!
• Durability could be better. We see some reports that the kettle stopped working after several months.
• Somewhat louder than other kettles. If you prefer a quieter kettle, we’d suggest our next pick (Best For Office).