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The best electric kettle

By Michael Sullivan & Winnie Yang & Tim Barribeau

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer’s guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

We’ve spent dozens of hours researching and long-term testing electric kettles. For the fourth year in a row, we think the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle is the best electric kettle for most people. It’s a high-end, variable-temperature model that’s ideal for brewing teas, making pour-over coffee, or simply boiling water for instant oatmeal. Thanks to its winning combination of speed, accuracy, and ease of use, it bested all the other electric kettles we tested.

How we picked and tested

For 2017, we tested a new round of electric kettles for speed, accuracy, and ease of use. Photo: Michael Hession

Because different types of coffee and tea are meant to be brewed at different temperatures, a great electric kettle should have a wide variety of temperature settings that it can reach with reasonable accuracy. However, we realize that not everyone is a coffee or tea aficionado, so we also looked at kettles that do not have variable temperature settings and simply boil water.

Speed is critical—you don’t want to wait forever for your water to come to temperature. An electric kettle should also be easy to use, have a handle that doesn’t get too hot, and feature automatic shutoff so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it off. A large mouth for easy cleaning is another plus.

All of the kettles we tested for our 2017 update were metal or glass. Some people, including our experts, complain about plastic kettles imparting a funny taste or smell to the water. We excluded any kettles made entirely of plastic, but all of the models we did test contained some minor plastic elements, such as parts of the lid, a filter, or the water-level window.

We tested each variable-temperature kettle by measuring how long it took to bring a liter of water to a boil and by measuring how accurate the internal thermometer was for non-boiling temperatures compared with measurements taken from a Thermapen thermometer. For the simple electric kettles we tested, we just measured the time to boil.

Some models in the test group had a warming feature that could hold set temperatures, so we checked their accuracy after letting them rest for an extended period of time. We also tested automatic-shutoff features and took note of any excessive or annoying beeps. Additionally, we tasted the water from each model after boiling to see if it had any off flavors caused by plastic components.

Our pick: Cuisinart CPK-17

The Cuisinart CPK-17 remains our top pick for the fourth year in a row. Photo: Michael Hession

Our top pick for the fourth year in a row is the Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle, thanks to its ease of use, speed, and accuracy. It has an intuitive interface with a keep-warm option that conveniently holds water at a set temperature. The wide handle is comfortable to hold, and the spout doesn’t cause water to dribble when pouring. Unlike many of the kettles we tested, it has a simple streamlined design, so it won’t be an eyesore if you store it on your kitchen counter.

Compared with all the other variable-temperature models we tested, the Cuisinart CPK-17 was the simplest to operate. It offers six preset temperature settings as buttons on the handle, along with a Start button and a Keep Warm button.

Although the Cuisinart CPK-17 had better accuracy than most of the other kettles we tested, we found it wasn’t as accurate at hitting lower temperatures, measuring 8 degrees over when we set it to 160 °F. On temperatures of 175 °F and up, it measured only 3 to 4 degrees off, which is pretty accurate. Because this model has a slew of other noteworthy features and has been consistently reliable over three years of testing, we’re willing to forgive its minor temperature variances at the lowest setting.

Runner-up: Bonavita BV382510V

The 1-liter Bonavita BV382510V is great for preparing pour-over coffee or heating water to precise temperatures for making tea. Photo: Michael Hession

We think the stainless steel Bonavita BV382510V 1.0L Digital Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle represents an excellent compromise between a traditional tea kettle and one better suited for making pour-over coffee (see our guide to the best pour-over coffee gear for more). Although this model wasn’t the fastest kettle to bring water to a boil, the Bonavita had the most accurate temperature controls among all the models we tested. The long, gooseneck spout provides superior pouring technique, and the interface is easy to use. We also like the looks of this kettle; it’s handsome enough for you to keep on your kitchen counter.

Of all the models we tested, the Bonavita BV382510V had the most precise temperature control, impressively measuring just 1 degree off regardless of the temperature setting. It gives you the freedom to set it in 1-degree increments from 140 °F to 212 °F on an easy-to-read digital display. This model also tracks the water’s temperature accurately as it rises or lowers, so you always know how hot it is.

It has some minor drawbacks, however. This model took about two and a half minutes longer to boil than our top pick, and it doesn’t provide a water-level window for you to see when it’s getting low. Unlike our top pick, it lacks a boil setting, so you have to manually enter 212 °F using the plus button. Also, the lid doesn’t have a push button and needs to be removed, as on a traditional stovetop kettle. But despite those minor flaws, after over two years of using the Bonavita BV382510V daily, we haven’t experienced any issues, and we think it’s the best for anyone who will use it for both tea and pour-over coffee.

Budget pick: Hamilton Beach 40880

The Hamilton Beach 40880 offers fast and consistent boiling times at a bargain price. Photo: Michael Hession

We recommend the Hamilton Beach 40880 Stainless Steel 1.7 Liter Electric Kettle for anyone who wants an affordably priced basic model that quickly brings water to a boil. This kettle doesn’t have preset temperature controls or a keep-warm setting, but it does have all the other features we look for in a decent kettle.

Our testers were impressed with the speed of this kettle, which was on a par with our main pick in boiling time (about four minutes). This Hamilton Beach model is very simple to operate: You flick the tab up on the base of the handle, and the kettle begins heating the water. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, the kettle automatically shuts off, so you don’t have to worry about turning it off manually.

The plastic hinges on the Hamilton Beach 40880’s lid are its only significant drawback. Other models, such as our top pick, have metal hinges that seem more durable.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from The Sweethome: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

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About Ms. A. C. Kennedy

Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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What we’re watching: ‘Raw’ and ‘Feast of Fiction’

Welcome back to Video IRL, where several of our editors talk about what they've been watching in their spare time. This month we're kicking things off with some seasonally-appropriate horror fare, that you can catch right away on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Then it's time for a Gundam throwback before Kris Naudus points out a couple of YouTube food channels perfect for binge eating or binge watching.

Them / Raw


Timothy J. Seppala

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To get into the Halloween spirit, I've been watching at least one horror movie a day since the end of September -- the lower the budget, the better. Problem is, so many of the American low-budget or indie horror offerings on Amazon and Netflix are crappy Paranormal Activity clones, cheap-thrill gore-fests or uninspired found-footage "documentaries." Whether it's by design or coincidence, I've found that French horror movies have held my attention the most lately. Specifically, 2016's Raw, as well as Them, from ten years prior. They're more psychological thrillers than straight-up horror, but that didn't stop me from being more on edge while watching them one afternoon than I was during A Haunting in Saginaw, Michigan, late at night. Both start with a car crash, but they couldn't finish any more differently.

Raw, recently added to Netflix, tells the tale of a vegetarian girl in her first week at a prestigious veterinary school. During a hazing ritual, she's forced to eat a raw rabbit kidney. She immediately gets sick, throws up and wakes herself up that night scratching a full-body rash to near bleeding. This bout with food poisoning is just the beginning, though, and soon protagonist Justine finds out she has a taste for forbidden fruit. As the remaining 70-ish minutes unfolded, I lost track of how many times I clasped my hands over my mouth, agape in shock, to stifle my shouts of "OHMYGODWHATTHEFUCKISEVENHAPPENING?!"

But French director Julia Ducournau balances every body-horror scene either with something pedestrian twisted into being unsettling (like a horse on a treadmill) or with something that makes you ask how far Justine can go before someone confronts her about her new diet. And those questions keep coming right until the credits roll. I can't say I enjoyed watching Raw, but it was a hell of a ride.

The same goes for Them, currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Its focus is narrow, centering on a young couple living in a cavernous farmhouse, terrorized over the course of a night by unseen horrors. The camera never quite gives away who (or what) the perpetrators are, and revealing the twist would be a sin. As with Raw, its atmosphere and overall creepiness won me over straightaway. The scariest part? Realizing that I've probably driven past a shot like the final scene countless times and not thought twice about it. If you're willing to read subtitles, both of these should make you shiver and scream more than The Conjuring 2 on HBO Go could ever hope to.

Mobile Suit Gundam The 08th MS Team


David Lumb

David Lumb
Contributing Editor

I'd heard that a lot of anime had left Hulu, but I scanned their selection anyway looking for classic shows I'd missed, like the original Mobile Suit Gundam. They don't have that -- but they did have a series I didn't finish the first time it aired on Toonami, the 1996 classic Gundam side story The 08th MS Team. Unlike the franchise's other show released the year before, the massively successful Gundam Wing, 08th ditches the brand's typical pretty-boys-in-unbeatable-robots for a grounded and sobering story about the people who get caught up in wars -- desperate soldiers, civilians and guerrillas alike. It's dirty, honest, utterly humane and gorgeously animated.

It's also a little preachy and melodramatic, and it shows its age with odd sexist moments. While it's still the Thin Red Line of the Gundam universe, I remember it far more fondly from when my 14-year-old self grazed the series on its first American airing. There's something sad in seeing an old favorite for the flawed media it always was. Much like Waypoint's Rob Zacny, I've grown up and seen a lot since I first caught the show as a starry-eyed teen. I still think The 08th MS Team is a wonderful little 12-episode miniseries with a big heart, but I won't revere it so highly -- and will think a little harder about who I recommend it to.

Feast of Fiction / Binging with Babish


Kris Naudus

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Senior Editor, Database

Back in March, I came home from a trip only to discover that my oven didn't work. The cooking gas in my building had been shut off due to a leak. My building management seemed to be on it, so I made do with a combination of microwavables, toaster oven and Seamless. Unfortunately, weeks and months went by, calls to the city were made and permits were issued, but, even as I write this in October, gas still has not been restored to my building. My landlords eventually threw their collective hands in the air and began installing electric ranges in every apartment, so a few weeks ago I was finally able to cook for myself again.

I am so jazzed to be able to make food. Hot food! Scrambled eggs! Steak! Cookies! I started reading food blogs and cookbooks, and shopping to refill my pantry. I'm halfway through Kenji Alt-Lopez's The Food Lab, a huge 900-page hardcover that talks about the science of how food cooks. On the lighter side, I've also been reading food-themed comics like Delicious in Dungeon and Food Wars. And the latter title (which is also an anime) ended up sucking me into a YouTube hole of food videos that I've been obsessed with ever since.

You see, the very first chapter of Food Wars features the "Gotcha" Pork Roast, a bacon-wrapped potato loaf that hero Soma Yukihira makes to save his family restaurant. It looks pretty tasty, so I searched for recipes and pics online and stumbled onto Jimmy Wong and Ashley Adams' Feast of Fiction, a series that demonstrates how to make various foods seen in cartoons, video games and comics. If you ever wanted to taste Steven Universe's beloved Cookie Cat ice cream sandwiches or Kirby's super-spicy curry, there's an episode for you. One thing I really enjoy is how they also incorporate crafts into it, showing how to make paper wrappers for your Reptar chocolate bars or genuine-looking Ecto Cooler Hi-C boxes.

I've been marathoning through the episodes, which the YouTube algorithms have definitely picked up on at this point, throwing food show after food show into my suggestions. One that caught my eye was Binging with Babish. Where Feast of Fiction mostly sticks to the realm of kids' cartoons, anime and video games, Binging with Babish is a little more mainstream, covering foods from popular media like Mad Men, Seinfeld and House of Cards. Still, there's a bit of overlap -- both Babish and Feast have done their own takes on the Ultimeatum from Regular Show and Krabby Patties from SpongeBob SquarePants. But the recipes are different, and I watch the shows for the personalities. Feast of Fiction is pretty silly (and there's a cute dog), while Binging with Babish is a little more subdued. Not that Babish can't be ridiculous as well -- the Moist Maker is one of the most ridiculously complicated sandwiches I have ever seen, basically asking you to cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner.

Sadly, I still haven't done a lot of actual cooking since getting my stove back. I'm having too much fun watching other people do it instead, with the added bonus that I don't have to clean up the mess.

"IRL" is a recurring column in which the Engadget staff run down what they're buying, using, playing and streaming.

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