The kettle that keeps you in hot water
Electric kettles are handy for making tea or coffee and for cooking tasks that require a few cups of boiling water, such as softening lasagna noodles or rehydrating dried mushrooms and tomatoes. Need more good reasons to own one? Water boils faster in an electric kettle than in a covered pan (we timed it!) and your stove remains free for other cooking tasks. We first tested electric kettles in 2008 and we’ve conducted another round of tests since then that included new models with updated features. Our Best Buy has all the features you need (speed, safety, usability), and buying one during our 24-hour deal makes it an even smarter purchase.
Capresso Silver H2O Electric Kettle
Best Buy - Highly Recommended
Our old favorite continued to impress us throughout testing with its speed and deep, stable base. The power button is conveniently located on its handle. Our only quibble: Sometimes the light-up indicator was a bit dull in bright daylight. The kettle is much shorter and has a smaller capacity than our winner, which makes it a good option for people who prefer a smaller kettle.
CAPACITY: 16 to 48 oz KETTLE MATERIAL: Glass
AVERAGE TIME TO BOIL 1 QUART OF WATER: 4 min, 49 sec
How We Tested Electric Kettles
We tested 10 electric kettles (five stainless steel and five glass), priced from about $30 to about $100, with maximum capacities between roughly 25 and 60 ounces, rating them on their speed, ease of use, and safety.
We started by timing how long each kettle took to boil water. We then evaluated the precision of the kettles’ spouts and comfort of their handles and boiled the maximum allowed volume in each one to see if they splashed or spilled. We even held a blind tasting of the boiled water to see if any models imparted off-flavors. Finally, we subjected each kettle to a durability test of 25 additional boiling cycles, putting the top-ranked models through a full 365 rounds to simulate daily use for a year.
Water Level Visibility
We liked kettles made of clear glass and stainless-steel kettles with clear water-level indications (big windows or visible, responsive gauges). We knocked points from models that had only interior etchings, since they were difficult to find and read, and from models with water-level gauges that lagged behind the actual water level.
We evaluated the size, brightness, and convenience of the location of the kettles’ power indicators. The best were located near the power switch and were bright enough to be visible from across the kitchen. Lower-ranked models had lights that were small, dim, or hard to find.
Filling And Pouring
Multiple testers filled and poured from the kettles to evaluate the comfort of the handles, precision of the pour spouts, and design of the lids. Models with curved, textured handles offered better grip and security. We docked points from models with narrow openings that were hard to fill or lids that opened too quickly, flicking us with hot water. We also docked points from models with other design features that placed our hands too close to the hot water and steam during use.
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Winning traits of our Best Buy, the Capresso Silver H2O Electric Kettle
• Boils water in less than 5 minutes
• Doesn’t impart off-flavors or odors
• Wide, easy-to-fill opening
• Clear water-level indications
• Sturdy base with snug connection between base and kettle
• Keeps hands away from heat, including slow, push-button lid lift
• Comfortable, secure handle even when kettle is full
• Pours neatly and precisely