I came to the world of electric kettles fairly late. I was raised with a stove top kettle and thought it the best way to manage my hot water needs (plus, I’ve always liked the way they looked sitting out on a burner). But then in the fall of 2011, I went to visit my sister. She had a relatively inexpensive electric kettle that boiled water at miraculous speed. There was no ten+ minute wait for a pokey stove to heat and transfer its warmth. I was sold.
Soon after I got home, I ordered my first electric kettle. I got this fairly basic model that didn’t have any fancy features beyond the fact that it shut off after boiling and there wasn’t any plastic in the interior of the kettle (call me crazy, but I don’t love the idea of boiling large amounts of plastic on a regular basis).
Soon enough, I was using it multiple times a day. It served up hot water for morning cups of coffee and tea. In the afternoon, I’d use the cooled water in the kettle to help feed my sourdough starter (boiling helps evaporate out any chlorine in the water supply that can harm or kill the sour bacteria. Just make sure the water is under 100F when you add it to your starter). During dinner prep, I’d heat water to hydrate spoonfuls of Better Than Bouillon or to speed up soup making.
I also found myself turning to the electric kettle during canning. As you know, I make a lot of small batches of preserves, and often I make three or four things in succession (I like to take advantage of a hot canning pot). These small batches range in size from two half pints to four or five. If I don’t plan well, I can wind up trying to process jars without having enough hot water to cover. Instead of adding hot tap water and hoping that the pot returns to a boil quickly, I can keep the kettle hot and top off the canning pot immediately. It has sped things up immeasurably.
This summer was also the first time I had the electric kettle during tomato canning season. I do the bulk of my tomatoes whole, peeled and packed in water (makes for a shorter processing time) and with an electric kettle, having that hot water takes no time at all.
Thanks to the kind folks at Hamilton Beach, I recently upgraded my electric kettle to their programmable model (my previous kettle was also made by HB, but I bought it with my own dollars, long before I started teaming up with them for giveaways). This guy allows you to select the temperature to which your water heats. That makes it particularly great if you have fussy coffee habits (I say this lovingly and as someone who regularly weighs her beans to ensure a close-to-perfect brew), drink green tea, or live at high elevations where water boils at lower temperatures.
It also has a outside fill indicator (the trade-off is that there’s a small amount of plastic inside the kettle to allow for this) and pours far more smoothly than my previous kettle. I also like the fact that it has a timer, so you can schedule the moment you want it to switch on to boil. With a fast boiling kettle, it’s not really entirely necessary, but I have been enjoying the luxury of walking into the kitchen each morning to a just-boiled kettle of water. It’s the little things.
- Leave a comment on this post and share your water boiling habits. Stove top kettle? Electric tap in the sink? Microwaved mug? If you don’t do hot drinks, what gets you moving in the morning?
- Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Friday, February 15, 2013. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog over the weekend.
- Giveaway open US residents only.
- One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.
Disclosure: Hamilton Beach gave me one Programmable Electric Kettle for review and photography purposes and they’re providing eight additional units for this giveaway. They did not pay for inclusion on the blog and my opinions remain entirely my own.