We all love a hot cup of coffee or tea in the morning, but sometimes, life gets in the way, making it difficult to go through the rigamarole of getting the kettle heated up and ready to go. Electric kettles are one of the fastest and easiest ways to step up your hot beverage game, giving you a delicious mug of your favorite coffee or tea within minutes.
Why use an electric kettle?
Apart from the precious time you'll save during hectic mornings, an electric kettle can help save you money, since you'll be able to skip those daily trips to Dunkin’ or Starbucks.
As the temps begin to dip, you’ll also appreciate having perfectly toasty drinks in the comfort of your own home, especially on cozy days spent enjoying a good book in your favorite reading chair or kicking your feet up by the fire.
How does an electric kettle work?
Unlike a traditional kettle, which typically uses fire from a gas stove to heat the water within, electric kettles utilize a resistor (a material that resists the flow of electricity), to turn it into heat.
These machines also use thermostats, most of which are automatic, to control the temperature of the water — an especially important element for brewing drinks just right.
When making a cup of tea, most people simply stick a tea bag into boiling water and call it a day, but there’s so much more to a good cuppa than that. Different types of tea are meant to be brewed at specific temperatures. Some are based on personal preference, but generally, the more delicate the leaves are, the cooler the water should be. Green tea, for instance, requires a heat index that's markedly lower than a cup of black tea to steep properly and enhance its natural flavors.
Alternately, for the perfect cup of joe, you’ll want to keep temps below boiling — the National Coffee Association recommends a water temperature between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if you’ve already got a Keurig or other single-serve coffee maker, it’s worth considering purchasing an electric kettle with a gooseneck, which is specifically designed for pour-over coffee, and aids in perfecting a slow, controlled pour right into your mug of choice.
What is the best electric kettle?
When choosing an electric kettle, you’ll want to select a model that can heat to your desired temperature quickly (reaching a boil within 5 minutes is ideal) and accurately.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for several important safety features. Your kettle should stay cool to the touch, so you won’t burn your fingers or hands and pour cleanly with no splashes or spills to minimize the risk of being scalded.
When it comes to materials, the less plastic an electric kettle has, the better. Not only is this better for the environment, these kettles will be more sturdy and last longer over time, without the potential for a “plastic-y” taste or smell to your drinks.
You’ll likely desire something that's relatively easy to clean and quiet as can be, with minimal rattling while heating or shrieking during boiling. Some nice extras include a good warranty in case something should happen to your appliance, automatic timers, temperature indicator, and automatic shut-off features.
Ultimately, there are all kinds of electric kettles out there for you, but we’ve found the best of the bunch. Keep scrolling to shop FIRST's picks for the top electric kettles for the best at-home beverages!
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