Looking for a kettle with all the mod cons...
March 29, 2020 9:22 AM   Subscribe

As a Brit living in the US, one of my lifeline appliances - my electric kettle - is starting to show signs of dying. While I can go online and buy a $25 replacement, it might be time for an upgrade. My wife and I have identified a couple of features we'd like, but I can't find one that has them all. Can AskMeFi help?

We're looking for the following features:
- 1.7l or greater capacity
- Double-wall construction (ideally vacuum insulated)
- Variable temperature selection (for different tea types) (Note: ideally, the kettle should retain last temp setting, or have a single-button selection for "boil", as it will be used this way 90+% of the time)
- Externally-visible water quantity meter

Active electric stay-warm is not a requirement, and if fitted, ideally should be optional-on rather than optional-off (i.e. no additional step required to turn off)

An external temperature indicator (so you can manually turn the kettle off at the desired temperature) would be an acceptable alternative to auto-shutoff if a kettle met the other criteria.

The closest we have found is a Bodum Bistro Glass, but at 1.1l, it's a little small for our uses.
posted by Nice Guy Mike to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I suggest looking at the Zojirushi water boiler/heaters. Expensive, but very energy efficient. They have a lot of models so check for one that does exactly what you want.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:51 AM on March 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

We have a Cuisinart CPK-17 as recommended by the Wirecutter and it's worked out great for us for the past few years.
posted by reptile at 10:09 AM on March 29, 2020 [3 favorites]

We have the Cuisinart PerfectTemp. Pretty close but not 100% - I don’t think it’s double walled though it’s pretty thick metal, and it has a 30 minute keep warm auto-on so I’ve had to get into the habit of turning it off unless someone else is also making tea. Otherwise fits your list and we’ve been happy with it.
posted by brilliantine at 10:11 AM on March 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thirding the CPK-17 - the cord did break after four years of hard use, but Cuisinart just sent us a new kettle.
posted by scyllary at 10:11 AM on March 29, 2020

Hello fellow Brit living in the US :)

I like this Oxo Adjustable Temperature Kettle. It has some but not all of the features you're looking for.
  • I think it's 64oz capacity, which is 1.8 litres
  • It's not double-walled.
  • You can set it to 170-212 degrees F, and it defaults to the last temperature you set.
  • It's clear glass, with volume markings on the side, so you can easily see how much water is in there
  • It does automatically stay warm, you need to press a button after you put it back on its base to stop it from trying to keep the remaining water warm.
  • The display shows the current temperature as it's heating up, so you can manually shut it off at whatever temperature you want.
The wirecutter article others have linked to said this model has problems keeping its lid closed - I've never had this issue. If anything, I sometimes have to encourage the lid to open.
posted by loop at 10:23 AM on March 29, 2020

I have one of the older Cuisinart CPK-17's and its been fine, but reviews of the current models are very mixed, the quality control seems to have dropped so I'd be hesitant to recommend it now.
posted by Lanark at 10:34 AM on March 29, 2020

Zojirushi has water boilers in 3-5L capacities, and from one to four of these temperature settings: 160°F, 175°F, 195°F, or 208°F, plus Reboil. I went through pretty much every pitcher-style kettle available in the US between 1995 and 2008 (incl. Mrs. Tea!) and I've only recently replaced my first Zoji, about a year ago. That was necessary only because I neglected to ever do a citric acid clean on it. They are the best option available anywhere in the world, or my name isn't Raymond J. Johnson, Jr.!
posted by rhizome at 11:18 AM on March 29, 2020

I don't think you will find Double-wall construction AND 1.7L capacity in any kettle, just because the size/height/weight would become prohibitive. So you need to pick one or the other.
posted by Lanark at 11:19 AM on March 29, 2020

Oh right, if height is an issue, the 3L above is ~12in tall.
posted by rhizome at 11:21 AM on March 29, 2020

We just rotated out our old CPK-17 to my office, where it serves up boiling water for tea and 175F water for Aeropress coffee, and got a new CPK-17 for home. Bed, Bath & Beyond 20% off FTW!
posted by dws at 12:03 PM on March 29, 2020

I have a Breville (don’t know model name) with 5 temp settings, a keep warm button, and one button for start/cancel. It’s 8 cups max capacity, fills a brown betty. I got it to replace a cuisinart model more than 5 years ago and have been very happy. Pretty sure it came from Bed Bath Behind You - someone gave me a gift certificate and I otherwise don’t shop there, but it was timely.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:39 PM on March 29, 2020

This Krups kettle seems to tick most of the boxes. Double Wall Electric Kettle with Adjustable Temperature, 1.7-Litre, external water gauge.
posted by essexjan at 2:42 PM on March 29, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far; I have seen a couple of reviews suggesting the Cuisinart CPK-17 and also a couple of comments regarding old/new standard and reliability/build quality. I've also seen an near-identical model on sale on Amazon at litterally half the price, so I suspect strongly that there's something to be said for those build quality reports.

Going around in circles over that particular Amazon listing is part of the reason I turned to AskMe, essexjan. The listing is for two completely different Krups models; the newer one has selectable temperature, but isn't double-walled. The non-selectable-temperature model is older and does have the double wall construction.

I've not considered a full-up water boiler. I'll have to take a look.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 3:05 PM on March 29, 2020

I also have the Breville with different temps, have had it for many years. It lost the little ding sound to let me know it was done quite a few years ago, and it occasionally won't stop boiling away and I have to take it off the base, but it always settles down again. I use it a lot so am pretty tough on it, and so these things don't bug me because it's still functional and I don't have to spend money I don't have on a new one. And my water is always just the right temperature for whatever tea I'm brewing, or French press when my coffee friends are over.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 3:16 PM on March 29, 2020

I'll just toss this out there if the water boiler thing seems not great: our Bonavita kettle is rated for commercial use and while it isn't double-walled it is an excellent device with presets, full adjustability, optional keep-warm, and a timer on the base that's useful for steeping tea. You see these a lot in cafes used for pourover, etc. It's pretty precise about its temps.

Oh, yeah, we had one of those Cuisinarts and it died fairly early. Not recommended by me.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:53 PM on March 29, 2020

Response by poster: An update: My wife and I realised that there wasn't any one kettle that ticked all the boxes, and that we'd need to compromise somewhere. We decided to compromise on capacity and bought the Bodum kettle I linked above. I've had it a couple of weeks now, and it's going well. Capacity actually isn't as bad as I thought - probably closer to 1.3l than 1.1l.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 10:58 AM on May 2, 2020

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