Our Top Pick for 2018: Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle
Read our full review.
Sometimes it is the simple things in life that you need to bring yourself peace of mind. For many people, that simple thing can be a cup of tea. Sometimes though, you might want a cup of tea at the office or somewhere else that a conventional tea kettle is unfeasible. Or the efficiency offered by an electric tea kettle in terms of temperature control, safety and simplicity of use can make it a preferred way to boil water for tea or other purposes. The question being, what are the best electric tea kettles on the market and what sort of features should I consider when buying an electric tea kettle. This article will look at three of the best kettles on the market, as well as a pick for the more budget minded as well as what you should consider in general when making your purchase.
Let’s Have a Quick Look of Our Top 4 Picks:
#1. Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle
For our money, the best electric tea kettle on the market today is the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp. The CPK-17 offers virtually everything you could think of in an electric tea kettle in a smart, well-designed package. Cuisinart is held in high esteem for their high quality, high end kitchen products and this kettle only bolsters that reputation. The CPK-17 does an incredible job not only with packing itself with features, but making these features and the kettle’s general use incredibly easy. This kettle is the choice of those concerned with the perfect cup of tea no matter the leaf or time of day.
The first thing you notice after the sleek and stylish stainless steel body of this kettle is the blue LED lights highlighting the water level indicator window and the temperature selection buttons. Not only is the water level window backlit to improve visibility, it is also quite large compared to many kettles, making it easy to see how much water is in your kettle. The light around the buttons for temperature selection let you know instantly which temperature you selected, minimizing the chance of error.
Where this kettle truly shines is in doing its job of heating water. The CPK-17 has 1500 watts powering its heating element, making it one of the of the most powerful on the market. This power translates into getting water to your desired temperature quicker, getting you that much closer to your cup of tea that much faster. Between this speed and the specificity of temperature, this is the kettle you want when you desire that perfect cup of tea.
As well, those six distinct temperature levels are ideal for those who know that different teas require different temperatures of water for different teas. Cooler water for more delicate leaves all the way to boiling for stronger black tea. Along with this temperature selection, the CPK-17 features a stay warm feature that will keep the water at your specified temperature for 30 minutes. Even more impressive is that the kettle can be removed from the base for up to two minutes without forgetting its temperature setting. This allows you to pour a cup of tea and have it return to the base and maintain temperature without having to reset settings on the kettle.
Another great feature of this kettle is its base, which powers the kettle when it is resting upon it. This means that you do not have to fuss with a cord to pour tea and can set the kettle in any way on it and have it function correctly. While these are both convenience features, many reviewers said that this feature along would make it hard for them to want to switch to another kettle after purchasing this one. Showing again how Cuisinart has thought of everything with this kettle, the cord retracts into the base when unplugged, allowing for easy storage.
Safety is also of the utmost concern with Cuisinart putting in automatic safety shut-off as well as boil dry protection. The safety shut-off is truly automatic, shutting off the kettle after being left unattended for thirty minutes. The boil-dry protection shuts the kettle off when the water level falls below a certain point, preventing the heating element from burning out. Both of these features, as well as the stay-cool nonslip handle ensure safe usage for anyone. Even better, this kettle has lid that stays locked closed until you press a button on the handle, ensuring that water will not get out of this kettle if it happens to be tipped.
Maintenance is a minor part of every electric tea kettle as they need to be cleaned out to remove scale and salt buildup, especially off the heating element in many cases. This is another area where the CPK-17 shines as it conceals the heating element and has a filter to minimize build-up that reduces the effectiveness of your kettle to heat and makes clean up much simpler.
There are two minor complaints that users had with this kettle. The first is that compared to many other kettles on the market, the CPK-17 is much more expensive. But for the robust set of features that this kettle delivers, many users did not mind as they felt that they got great value and a great electric tea kettle in spite of that expense. The other complaint was a bit more vexing. The markings on the handle for temperature control tended to wear off rather quickly, with some people reporting it occurring after only a few months of use. While familiarity or a Sharpie made this problem go away quickly, it was slightly frustrating.
All said though, it is clear with its many features and amenities, the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp kettle is peerless. While it runs at least twice as much as any other kettle we mention, it is clear to us that this kettle will give you years of quality and reliability.
#2. EPICA 1.75 Quart Cordless Electric Stainless Steel Kettle
While it is clear that the EPICA Electric Kettle is not the Cuisinart CPK-17, perusing its features, it is still a great electric tea kettle at about half of the price of the CPK-17. This kettle is also a little more general use as opposed to tuned to just to boiling water for tea, which means that for some users this might be a better kettle.
Similar to the CPK-17, the EPICA has a stainless steel body and is shaped the same. There is a tilt to the top of the EPICA, giving it a bit of an artistic look and feel. While it lacks the blue LED lights and backlit water level window of the Cuisinart offering, the window is only a little smaller than the CPK-17 and still provides a clear reading.
It is easy after looking at the CPK-17 to find any other kettle lacking in comparison. With the EPICA, it is best to consider its lower price point and what it does offer. This kettle reviewed well with its purchasers, who understood that while everyone would love a Mercedes, some of us only have Cadillac budgets. Consider the EPICA a strong second place as opposed to losing to the CPK-17, there are many satisfied customers.
As well, the EPICA has 1500 watts of power at its disposal, meaning that it heats to boiling as quickly as the CPK-17. Similarly, the kettle detaches from its base and has a retractable cord, making for easy usage and storage. Unfortunately, the EPICA lacks the memory function of the Cuisinart model and it shuts off once the water is boiled, meaning that there is no way to retain the water temperature without restarting the kettle. Fortunately, the lid does lock, which should prevents spilling in most situations.
But cleanup of this stainless steel kettle is a snap though with the concealed heating element and the scale filter ensuring that you do not have to worry about scaling as you would in many other kettles. While there are a few plastic parts that do cloud over time, this kettle is rather stress free to keep in good working condition.
One area that the EPICA tends to be a little disappointing is that it does not have a temperature control feature. This means that you can only be certain of boiling water, although many users report that with a little trial and error, they have found when the water inside the kettle was to the desired temperature.
Where this kettle does stand out among kettles is in its durability and reliability. Many users reported that their EPICAs kettled lasted a long time and never seemed to drop off in performance. A lot of which can be attributed to its concealed heating element not picking up scale and its primarily stainless steel construction not requiring much care beyond wiping it out every so often and rinsing the filter every few months. Some reviews mentioned that the kettle itself did not break or have its lid lock break when dropped, which is great considering that accidents do happen.
The EPICA Electric Stainless Steel Kettle may not be the top of the line model, but in comparison to its peers at its price point, most experienced reviewers felt that the quality and durability this kettle offered made it the best and economical compared to the Cuisinart.
#3. Hamilton Beach 1.7L Stainless Steel Electric Kettle
Our third pick is priced a little lower than the EPICA, but with a few minor differences, offers many of the same features. It lacks temperature control like the EPICA, but shares the same 1500 watt, concealed heating element, enabling it to deliver boiling water at a rate faster than a microwave.
The first thing that stands out when looking at this kettle is that it looks much more like what most people would consider a “normal” tea kettle. It has a handle and an extended spout. It also comes in both a standard stainless steel color and candy apple red to give a little pizzazz to your kitchen if you leave it on the counter when not in use. While having a look similar to a tea kettle seems a little strange and of debatable merit on first glance, many users reported that having something familiar, like their old stove top kettle was welcome. As well, many users enjoyed the look of this kettle, especially if they were looking for a piece that complemented a kitchen designed for a classic metal and chrome look.
Like our other two picks, the Hamilton Beach kettle does offer cord-free serving, but does not have the same 360-degree base as it requires the kettle to be placed in a certain way on the base in order for it to operate. This did not draw much ire from most users in their reviews as it is really is a minor concern for most users and still safer and faster than a stove-top kettle.
The biggest difference between this kettle and many others is the weight and its sturdy, familiar feel. It weighs eight pounds, more than twice most kettles. This gives you a feel in your hand similar to a stove top kettle and functions in the same way, meaning that if you for the first time using an electric kettle, this might be a good kettle to use for that transition.
An area where there was some disdain mentioned was with the spout. While it was drip free, there was no way to lock it or prevent spillage if it were upset. But like many stove top kettles, people were usually used to just being careful around a metal pot filled with boiling water. Other safety features like automatic shut off and boil-dry protection were there, although some users reported that the boil-dry protection was not always reliable.
Another concern stated by users was that it was difficult to fill this kettle as the handle blocked the lid. This meant that some users could not fill the kettle with their kitchen faucet because its design did allow it to fit over the opening. This was usually alleviated by using the sprayer attachment, but it is still something worth noting and considering before buying this kettle. As well, many users complained about the metal interior of the kettle flaking regularly, requiring frequent rinsing or a metallic taste to the water after it was boiled even if rinsed regularly.
The difficulties of this model notwithstanding, the look and function of this kettle still makes it our third pick for an electric kettle. The cost as well makes it standout as it priced out slightly cheaper than the EPICA in most online stores and appeared to be easier to find in brick-and-mortar stores.
#4. Ovente KG83B Glass Electric Kettle
Our budget pick much like the Hamilton Beach model we looked at above, blends simple functionality with a very wallet friendly price. The Ovente KG83B Glass Electric Kettle offers some unique features for its price point in a very stylish looking package.
What stands out about the KG83B is that its carafe is glass. This allows you to see the level exactly. As well, there are blue LEDs that light up when the kettle is heating, making for a spectacle when in use. There is a problem with durability obviously, but most users reported liking the look of this model while it was boiling water.
Along with that glass carafe, the plastic components of this kettle, meaning the handle, lid and base, came in several colors, although Amazon reported prices in the same range as the Hamilton Beach model reviewed above for most of them besides black. Again, color might not be a large consideration for many users, but if you are looking to fit a kettle into a certain design or motif, it is a nice option to have at your disposal.
Even though much cheaper, outside of its slightly smaller 1.5 liter capacity, it offered many of the same features as the EPICA and Hamilton Beach kettles. It had a concealed 1500 watt heating element and a detachable base to enable cordless use. The base on the KG83B did allow for 360-degree usability, enabling easy pouring, filling and serving.
There are a couple of drawbacks to the the KG83B. Many users reported that the automatic shut-off feature was not reliable. This is likely attributed to the glass carafe not allowing the thermostat for the heating element get a consistent reading on the temperature of the water. As well, it did not claim to have boil-dry protection. Many customers reported issues with the lid warping after only a few uses, leading to the lock on the lid not functioning like it should.
Still, for its look and price, if needing a kettle on a budget, we recommend the Ovente KG83B Glass Electric Kettle. There are some concerns over it not delivering on safety and some durability issues. Regardless with diligence while using it, it does a fine job of boiling water without taking a large bite out of your wallet.
One of the most important features of any electric tea kettle is its capacity. When looking at capacity, consider how many cups of tea you can brew at full capacity, as well as the minimum amount you can brew as some kettles require you to boil a certain amount to prevent burnout of the heating coil and a fire risk.
Most tea kettles will have a capacity around 1.5 liters, which is ideal for most users. If you are brewing just for yourself, it is likely that a 1 liter model will be fine. If you plan on using it for entertaining or boiling water for cooking purposes, you likely will want something in the 1.5 to 2 liter range.
Keep warm and safety features
Another factor to look at when purchasing an electric tea kettle are features that involve your usage and safety of usage. Again, this goes back to how you will be using the kettle. If you are planning on keeping water in the kettle for longer use, you will want a keep warm feature. As well, if you plan on serving at a party from the kettle, you may want to have a detachable power cord.
Along with this, there are many safety features that you might be interested in on your kettle. One of the most important would likely be if it has an automatic shut off or boil dry feature. This means that if you leave it turned on, that it eventually turns itself off after a certain amount of time or after it boils off a certain amount of water. This is important because if left running, the kettle could burn out its heating element or worse, start a fire.
Another safety feature to consider is a non-spill spout. Many kettles require a button being pressed for the kettle to pour or requires being held a certain angle for water to be poured, which prevents spillage if the kettle were to fall. Since you are dealing with boiling water and an inherent burn risk, this is an important factor to consider, especially if you have children or elderly users who might be more prone to spilling.
Much like in a stove top tea kettle, scale build up is a concern that should be a factor when looking at your kettle purchase. As you use your kettle, scale from the salts and other trace elements in the water you use will build up on your metallic components. This usually becomes a factor with your heating element, reducing its effectiveness as scale builds up on it, increasing the time it takes for water to boil.
What you want to look for is either a heating element that is not submersed directly in the water or an element that is easy to clean. You will not have to clean the element or the inside of the kettle often if you are just boiling water, but even the occasional cleaning can be frustrating if it proves difficult.
It is likely that you are buying a tea kettle for a relaxing cup of tea. Therefore it is important to consider some of the convenience factors that are featured on some kettles, especially the higher-end ones. Many kettles have handles that are molded to your hand or are shielded from the heat of the kettle body, which makes pouring potentially more pleasant.
Another convenient feature would be temperature control. Again, this is a feature found on more expensive kettles, but if you are a true tea aficionado, being able to heat water to the preferred temperature of specific blend of tea you are brewing is a nice, if not necessary feature to consider.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
There are many ways to boil water, for tea or other uses. This article hopefully clarifies what should be of the highest importance when looking for an electric kettle. Regardless of how much you spend whether you go for the top-end Cuisinart CPK-17 or the much more basic Ovente KG-83B or somewhere in between like the EPICA model we considered or the Hamilton Beach 40894, considering construction, capacity, safety, heating speed and convenience will ensure that you do not go wrong on finding your own best electric tea kettle.