Your experience with ceramic cordless electric kettles (esp EU / UK)?
February 5, 2016 4:24 AM   Subscribe

I like the idea of a ceramic kettle, like the look of this and this for our space (something mostly white, and more old fashioned looking, basically), and want to switch from plastic, but I'm worried about a couple of things...

Price: obviously one of these will be much more than the 5€ we spent on our ancient no-name plastic model that has survived four moves, a couple of bounces off the floor, and multiple daily use for so many years that if it were our child, we'd probably be sending it off to college by now. That's okay, though, IF the replacement is reasonably reliable and sturdy, but I suspect that ceramic kettles will be much more prone to damage.

The Lid: All the ceramic kettles I've seen appear to have lids that must be fully removed to fill, which makes sense, but I imagine that if the lids are also ceramic, this is a likely breakage vector, and not being able to use a £30+ kettle because the top has been broken would be a big waste and disappointment. Also, I'm trying to imagine how annoying it will be to remove and replace such a top every time, when one is used to a convenient attached lid.

Leakage: I can't tell about ceramic kettles specifically, but when digging into the Amazon UK reviews of various glass and stainless steel models, it's something that comes up frequently in negative comments even for expensive models. Our truly elderly plastic soldier has only now begun to leak a bit, so the idea of spending much, much more for something that might begin leaking within a year is not encouraging.

Weight: I imagine a ceramic (or any non-plastic) kettle would weigh more, but how significant is the difference? Just a little heavier, no biggie? Or more like, "wow, kinda heavy!"?

If you have a electric ceramic kettle, what has your experience been?

(I'm also interested in thoughts or recommendations on other types on non-plastic cordless electric kettles!)
posted by taz to Shopping (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a ceramic one, but I own this glass one from Capresso, and absolutely love it. I've had it for over 10 years at this point, and have never had a problem with it.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:24 AM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Last time I looked into this I bought and returned four (!) models of stainless steel electric kettles before settling on this one from Breville. It's been going strong since 2011 and I have no qualms about it, although it did have a funny smell for the first few weeks. (I trusted the online reviews which said it would go away, and it did.) Weirdly, they don't seem to sell the exact same model on, but there are other Breville models.

I think the ceramic ones are really attractive, but I couldn't find one at the time with good reviews.
posted by chocotaco at 6:11 AM on February 5, 2016

I have the same Breville as chocotaco, but it does appear to be a US-specific model. That Capresso model was Cook's Illustrated's editor's choice, but it has an alarming number of negative reviews on Amazon that say things like how the handle comes off or the chrome flakes and peels. The Breville didn't have as many negative reviews when I bought mine and it's held up well so far. And I never noticed a bad smell even when it was new.

That said, Breville seems to have an entirely different product lineup overseas so our reviews might not help you so much. :-/
posted by fedward at 7:22 AM on February 5, 2016

Best answer: We have two stainless steel ones from Morphy Richards that seem to be holding up well, despite my butterfingers. I don't love that the lid is plastic, but the body is all metal, so I feel happy with drinking from it and reducing our melty plastic exposure. The ceramic ones are pretty, though!
posted by robertthebruce at 7:46 AM on February 5, 2016

"The Lid: All the ceramic kettles I've seen appear to have lids that must be fully removed to fill, "

Can't you fill it up through the spout?
posted by I-baLL at 7:52 AM on February 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have this one and I love it. I'm in the US. I bought it on a whim, and have been more than happy with it. I'm not a morning person and the kettle eases my mind that I won't leave the burner on one rushed morning. I don't find it onerously heavy and I'm a woman with no particular strength. I break stuff all the time, glasses, carafes, bowls but have not yet managed to break or scratch the ceramic lid. I'm not all that worried that I will - it's solid. It's never leaked. Also - it's pretty to look at!
posted by rdnnyc at 8:20 AM on February 5, 2016

Best answer: I can't comment on ceramic specifically, but I just changed from a nice (but plastic) kettle to a steel one for a snowflake reason*.

The steel kettle has a separate top rather than hinged, and it doesn't heat as quickly. The former is NBD to me, but the difference between 1.5kW and 1kW is significant in heating ~0.8L of water— recommend you include heater wattage in your list of requirements.

*the spout on my old kettle dripped everywhere when I poured slowly enough for my coffee brewer
posted by a halcyon day at 12:42 PM on February 5, 2016

We replaced our glass Capresso (after the replacement for the first one broke again) with the Cuisinart multi-temperature one.

It turns out that I use the different temperature settings all the time---to make herb tea, green tea, black tea, does seem to make a difference.

(I don't think it was quite so expensive when I bought it two years ago, though. But it's a great kettle.)
posted by leahwrenn at 6:07 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I have the same kettle as leahwrenn. Have had it for a couple years now, daily use, love it still. It did replace an old plastic one and I did notice a weight difference, but quickly got use to the heavier weight. Have had nothing issues with leaking.
posted by MandaSayGrr at 7:38 PM on February 5, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! After reading an insane number of reviews for electric kettles on Amazon UK, I've opted for this stainless steel Morphy Richards model, which is even more expensive than the ceramic ones (ack!). Because...

1. a halcyon day makes a great point about the wattage, and all the ceramic models I've seen have lower wattage than our current kettle, which would lead to disappointment since we love how fast ours heats. Sad about that, but glad I asked here. Thanks, a halcyon day!

2. The glass models seem fun and cool looking, and I like the idea of something that looks more like a glass pitcher on the counter, but there are SO many complaints about leaking, failure, etc., they just seem particularly unreliable as a whole.

3. If not ceramic or glass, I still want something white and attractive that's not plastic and won't clash in our decidedly non-über-modern kitchen, and this design appeals to me. (Kind of reminds me of the old, iconic CorningWare electric coffeepots, actually, that I've always had a particular fondness for)

4. There are fewer reviews for this than some others, but I read all the reviews for this model across the three different colors, and they were almost 100% positive, plus we love our four-year-old slow cooker from Morphy Richards that has been excellent and very reliable, plus robertthebruce's experience with reliable stainless steel kettles from this company, so I'm putting some faith in them for quality.

We'll see! I will definitely update this kettle of beans for better or worse, early on and later. Thanks so much for the help sorting it out!
posted by taz at 9:56 AM on February 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: After having this one for a little while now, I'll say that the pros are that it looks and feels really solid and well-made, heats quickly, and looks very, very attractive for what I wanted – even better than the online images. I like the built-in permanent filter in the lid, and also really like the feeling of the handle, which is easy to grasp and hold securely.

The cons are the lid is a bit fiddly to put back on (but pro: not much chance of it breaking), it's loud, and definitely pretty heavy in comparison to our old one, which is not surprising. It's not a problem for us, but for someone with hand or arm weakness, or if it's to also be used by a child, I'd say go for something lighter. Also pertinent: it gets quite hot on the outside. Some say that the lid shows fingerprints, but I don't find it a problem because we just don't seem to touch it that much, pulling it off and putting back on with the ring.

It's also bigger than I expected: about 10" tall, and 7" wide at the base. All in all, I'm very pleased with the choice so far, and if it remains reliable, I'll be 100% happy.
posted by taz at 7:28 AM on March 8, 2016

Response by poster: (Oh, I should also mention that the instruction manual warns that if you don't de-scale, it could lead to malfunction. We use filtered water, and I haven't seen any lime scale so far. Also descaling agents could mar the outer surface (which is really nice!), so one should be careful not to get any on the outside.)
posted by taz at 7:35 AM on March 8, 2016

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