Product reviewed: OXO Cordless Glass Electric Kettle
At my house we’re always boiling water for one reason or another, whether it’s to neutralize the mineral taste in our tap water or to prepare our favorite warm beverages for chilly mornings. Up to now, we’ve been pretty old school about it, relying on a stove top tea kettle instead of an electric kettle or high-capacity water boiler. The reasons are partly because of cost — a water boiler can cost around $100, depending on the brand and model — but also a desire to minimize the number of items taking up space on the kitchen counter.
While the Oxo Cordless Glass Electric Kettle can’t avoid being another appliance to occupy the countertop, it does so with a sturdy and elegant design, keeping a minimal footprint despite a generous 1.75-liter (59 fluid ounces) capacity. It boils all that water quickly, too, taking under eight minutes for a full kettle to reach the maximum temperature. The traditional kettle on a gas range takes at least twice that long with a smaller amount of water. It also should be noted that while the name of this kitchen tool includes the term “cordless,” there is in fact an electrical cord involved, but it’s attached to the base on which the kettle sits, not the kettle itself. A bit misleading, though technically correct.
Besides speed, this kettle also has the benefit of precision, allowing the user to set a specific water temperature ranging from 170° to 212° F (the kettle also can be set to display in Celsius). Dialing in a temperature will appeal most to coffee and tea connoisseurs, who know their beverages do best at specific temperatures, but even for a layman like myself, the feature caught on simply because I could heat the water to 170° and not have to wait so long for my hot beverage to cool. After it reaches the user’s selected temperature, which it signals with a single, innocuous beep, the kettle also will maintain it for 30 minutes before shutting off — again with a beep. One more handy feature if you find yourself needing to refill your mug.
Though the kettle quickly supplanted our traditional stove-top version for its appearance, speed and temperature-controlling feature set, it did take some time to adjust to its increased weight compared to what we’d been using. The mouth of the kettle also has a mesh filter over it, which helps control the outflow of piping hot water but causes a slight delay before water starts pouring and could lead to a first-time user overcorrecting and accidentally overfilling cups. In addition, because of the rim on the non-removable, flip-up lid, there’s always a small amount of water that won’t pour out, though the opening is large enough to wipe the interior dry with a cloth or paper towel.
Finally, the price of the kettle may be more than some are willing to pay for the simple task of boiling water, but if you’re an avid coffee or tea drinker or looking for an attractive, upscale housewarming or wedding gift, this OXO kettle certainly belongs on the short list.