Have you ever been in the middle of sipping a hot brew and wondered, what are the different type of kettles? It's an appliance that you are probably already using in your day to day life and you may not have thought about the available options out there.
If your looking to purchase a new kettle for your kitchen its important to know how to differentiate between the different types available. There can be some confusion when it comes knowing what type of kettle serves what purpose. Keep on reading to discover which type of kettle is perfect for you.
So, what are the different types of kettles?
Generally, there are two types of kettles, electric kettles and stove kettles. Stove kettles can be broken down into subtypes. These include stainless kettles, cast iron kettles and copper kettles. Both have their pros and cons and both can be used to create the ideal hot brew.
What are the benefits of these kettles?
The most common type of kettle in a modern household, the electric kettle provides a convenient way to heat up making heat energy from electricity. The electric kettle is predominantly used to boil water for tea or coffee consumption. It is regarded as the fastest way to heat up water.
These types of kettles are used many times a day with their most obvious advantage being that they are not required to be used on a stove or hob.
How do they work?
Electric kettles primarily work by turning off when a bimetallic switch in the handle of the kettle is sufficiently heated to deform one of the metals, this turns off the kettle.
Pure water boils when its vapor pressure equals atmospheric pressure. Pure water will only boil at 100 degrees at sea level if the atmospheric pressure happens to be 1 atmosphere (760mm of Hg)
These devices are likely affected by the amount of limescale on the bottom of the pot. That means that the only way to be sure is with a thermometer; used not just once, but every week or two.
This switch is heated by steam or water vapor. The element itself is usually turned off below 100°C to ensure it doesn't go on heating indefinitely. This ensures it is boiling, as the steam pressure required to move the steam to heat the element doesn't exist until the water is at a full boil.
The first electric kettle was designed in October 1955 It used a bi-metallic strip at the rear of the kettle.
As a result, steam was forced through an aperture in the lid of the strip and this knocked the switch, turning the kettle off. John Taylor was one of the first adopters of this switch mechanism. He was renowned for his extensive research into electric kettles.
Electric kettles come in a wide variety of styles and many modern ones are now using smart technology.
This technology allows the user to control the temperature of their water. As well as this, many smart kettles now have smartphone integration where you can switch the kettle on/off from anywhere in your home.
These have proved to be game-changer for some buyers, as the convenience of starting your kettle remotely allows your brew to be ready before you have even entered the kitchen, provided that the kettle is already full.
Electric kettles can be plugged into any power outlet. This can be incredibly useful for households with nontraditional kitchen setups. As a result of being plugged into any outlet, electric kettles are quite portable. This can be considered a distinct advantage over heavier stovetop kettles.
Some of the more advanced units can set the boiling temperature of the water inside it. This kind of custom water setting can appeal to those who like to drink teas such as green tea at a certain temperature.
Most electric kettles don't whistle. They tend to just switch off when they have finished boiling. This is one of its most notable benefits. its ability to shut itself off proves very valuable in energy-efficient households. Although a lot of modern electric kettles are fast to boil water. Their temperatures can't heat up as high a stove kettle.
And while most modern electric kettles are made of good materials, some of the cheaper options contain cheap plastic. As a result, these cheaper kettles may give your brew a plastic taste.
And it's no secret that we are huge fans of green SMEG kettles (Amazon affiliate) at LHA. For me personally, its a sturdy kettle with both style and substance that lights up any kitchen. And it won't give you that nasty plastic taste that some electric kettles will.
But let's now move on to the counterpart of electric kettles.
Stove Top Kettles
How do they work?
Stove top kettle are usually used in combination with a hob or heated source. A full pot can sit on the base of a heat source for 10 - 20 minutes before being ready.
They typically are made from more durable materials than electric kettles. These materials include:
- Cast iron
- Stainless Steel
These heavier materials are required as anything plastic would not be suitable for placing on a heat source of a long period of time.
The majority of the stove top kettles are easy to fill, having wide openings with good interior visibility.
Stove kettles tend to be heavier than other types of kettles. They have a older aesthetic and are generally regarded as a lot more stylish than electric kettles.
They tend to look much more ceramic and of a sturdier build. Because of this, when poured, the process feels more authentic.
Stove top kettles require a lot more patience as they take a significantly longer time to boil than their traditional electric kettles counterparts. Having said that there is something to be said for using stove kettles for a longer period of time.
If you are looking for a kettle that is capable of producing the highest temperate, even past boiling point. a stove top kettle will indeed be the best option.
When making a hot beverage, using a stove kettle is a much more hands on process.
It provides a much more rewarding experience when the water has reached peak boiler temperature.
Our ancestors have been using stove top kettles for years and the combination of a stove and a kettle is a more fulfilling boiling process for a lot tea making connoisseurs.
Electric kettles depend on electricity, apart from some battery powered options, they don't work during power cuts.
Whereas a stove top kettle can work on any stove that has heat on it. Stove kettles are also frequently put onto campfires and are frequently brought on camping expeditions.
Stove top kettles come in whistling and non whistling variants. This is obviously a personal preference but for many tea makers having that audio feedback is important to remind them to come back into the room to make their hot beverage.
A whistling kettle is also an iconic noise, and for some people this noise is ingrained in their morning brewing ritual.
These kettles provide an elegant stainless steel look. Gooseneck kettles are essentially stylized teapots that are designed ergonomically with a narrow, long spout.
The idea is that you get a more controlled pour and better flavor extraction which makes it quite popular among coffee lovers.
It is built for pour over coffee preparation. The curved long spout allows you to control the speed of the water coming out.
The grip of this handle is also extremely comfortable allowing you to get a full hold the the kettle without touching the base.
Taking all this into consideration, your choice of kettle mainly depends on how much time you want to wait for a boil.
Electric kettles provide that injection of speed to the process that many need in their hectic day to day lifestyles.
However, stovetop kettles adheres to the more traditional water boiling purists.
Those with a little more time on their hands. that prefer the heavy builds and that enjoy authentic boiling process, may prefer the stovetop type of kettle.
However, those that require a unit with some modern flair, technology capabilities and the option to connect to power outlets will lean more towards the electric kettle.