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3 Things to Consider When Buying A Kettle

Your Kitchen
June 9, 2020

Everyone needs hot water. Whether you're making Pad Thai noodles, preparing the best cup of coffee ever, or having a simple and delicious cup of tea, you're using hot water. But what are you using to heat up your water? Here are the top 3 things to consider when buying the perfect kettle for your kitchen.

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As you might’ve gathered from my previous post on making the best coffee from home, I’m serious about having the right kitchen tools for drinks — whether it be coffee, tea or cocktails.

Coffee, tea and cocktails all require very specific tools to make the best drinks you can. When it comes to cocktails, there’s a whole world of barware you can get lost in. Future posts on such items to come.

For this post, I focus in on the kettle. The question I want to help you answer is “which kettle?” As always, I’ll give you my suggestions which flow right out of my own personal experience.

I find that when searching for reviews, finding some personal opinions on the matter can be the most useful.

I want to zero in on three things you must consider when buying a kettle: temperature control, pour control, and kettle composition. This last one probably sounds more complicated than it is; I just mean what the kettle is made of.

1. Temperature Control

Whether you plan to use this kettle to heat water up that you’ll cook with, make tea with or make coffee with, having control over the temperature is absolutely essential in every case.

If you’re using a kettle to heat up your favorite Pad Thai noodles with, then you’ll want to make sure you have a kettle which can reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit. That's the exact temperature for, boiling water!

Some sauce recipes, for example, call only for lukewarm water; no need to boil. And wouldn’t it be nice if you could control exactly how lukewarm this water was? It turns out you can.

At every step of the way, I’ll be recommending this Bonavita 1.0L Electric kettle. There are others like it, but this has been the tried and true for me.

Bonavita Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle + Reviews | Crate ...
Photo via Crate&Barrel.

Water temperature is probably the most important when it comes to brewing coffee or tea. Because it is so easy over-extract (which happens when water is too hot) your coffee or tea, or under extract it (which happens when water is not hot enough). Having control over the temperature is crucial.

Most coffee requires water to be as hot as 205-208 degrees for proper extraction.

Temperature control matters.

2. Pour Control

What matters a little less for food or tea, and a whole lot more for coffee, is being able to control where you pour the water.

Some kettles have wide spouts where the water really rushes out of the kettle. This is great if you’re pouring it into a cup for tea or a pot for noodles.

With coffee, you need precision. You also want to be able to control the amount of water that exits the kettle. With coffee brewing, you’re generally trying to control the amount of water you’re using per cup. By having a kettle with a goose neck, you can do just this.

Goose neck kettles have become very popular. They give the user optimal control over where the water goes and how much of the water exits the kettle at a time—two key components for making the perfect cup of coffee.

Lastly, you should care about what the kettle is made out of.

3. Kettle Composition

The kettle I use is made from brushed, stainless steel and sits on base containing parts made of BPA-free plastic.

Bonavita Temperature Variable Kettle – Slate Coffee Roasters
Photo via Slate Coffee Roasters.

Stainless steel is important for the way it maintains and holds the heat of the water within the kettle. Definitely do not touch the outside of the kettle for it will be very hot while heating the water. That is what the handle is for. I speak from accidental mistakes.

Given the stainless steel composition of the kettle, however, it’s important to use filtered water as often as possible when you’re heating water in the kettle. If you’re not using filtered water, chances are that you’re using water which will eventually mineral buildup inside the kettle.

How do you clean the mineral buildup within the kettle? I wish I could tell you. Go here for more information.

I hope this blog helps you choose the best kettle. If you’ve got more of a budget, this one might be a nice upgrade.

Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Pour Over Kettle
Photo via EightOunceCoffee.

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