In a Nutshell
- The best electric kettle is the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfectTemp Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle. The Cuisinart kettle includes a durable and heavy stainless steel carafe and base, non-slip handle, and concealed heating element. It features six preset variable temperatures, a removable scale filter, and easy-to-use back-lit control buttons, as well as a host of other features, including boil-dry protection, internal memory, and sleep mode.
- Another top contender is the Breville BKE820XL Variable Temperature Kettle. This also features a cordless stainless steel carafe and variable temperature controls, but didn’t quite match up to the Cuisinart in terms of value.
Already staples of European homes, electric kettles are slowly gaining popularity in the U.S. Although mostly sought after by tea and coffee aficionados concerned with the achieving the optimal water temperature when brewing their beverage of choice, electric kettles are also prized by office workers and college students for efficiently boiling water for oatmeal and other packaged food.
The Cuisinart electric kettle is one of the most well-reviewed and popular kettles on the market due to its high-quality and durable construction, myriad of features, and reasonable price. The entire unit is four pounds, including the base and 1.7-liter carafe. The stylish carafe is mostly made of durable brushed stainless steel; only a few pieces, such as the spout, water-level window, and parts of the handle, are made of BPA-free plastic. The corded base is equipped with 1,500 watts of power for quick and efficient heating, and is designed to allow the carafe to swivel 360˚. The carafe itself features a drip-less pour spout with splash guard, removable scale filter, a comfortable, easy-grip handle, and a water-level window, and LED back-lit control buttons located on the handle.
The unit has six preset temperature control buttons ranging in temperature from 160˚F for delicate green and herbal teas to 200˚F for French-press coffee. Special features include an internal “memory” that allows the user to remove the carafe from the base for up to two minutes without shutting off or stopping the brew process, a 30-minute “keep warm” option, and a sleep mode. In addition, the unit maintains boil-dry protection, with the heater automatically shutting off to prevent damage if water is not detected in the carafe. Cuisinart offers a three-year limited warranty on this unit, and will either repair or replace it if defects not consistent with normal wear and tear are discovered.
A Close Contender
While the Cuisinart is our pick for overall durability, features, and price, the Breville BKE280XL is also a very good buy. While more expensive, the Breville is similar in design and construction to the Cuisinart with one significant exception – all control buttons are located on the base, rather than the carafe. Although the Breville holds slightly more water than the Cuisinart, it doesn’t have back-lit buttons, only offers five preset temperatures ranging from 175˚F to 212˚F, and only keeps the water warm for 20 minutes. Furthermore, Breville only offers a one-year limited warranty. However, the Breville offers two water-level windows, a heavier base, and a metal spout.