Why you need an electric kettle & simple kettle recipes

Why you need an electric kettle & simple kettle recipes

Long a staple in British and European kitchens, the electric kettle is catching on in the US, with sales doubling between 2014 and 2019. Why the spike? Well if you’ve ever boiled a kettle dry on the stovetop or watched a dog cringe at the sound of a traditional kettle’s high-pitched whistle, you might have a theory or two. But the attraction of the electric kettle goes deeper: an electric kettle is faster, safer and more energy-efficient than most methods of heating and boiling water.

Electric kettle vs. microwave

People in a hurry (Americans chief among them) often prefer the microwave for heating and boiling water, but this is actually among the worst ways to get the job done. Not only is the microwave much slower than a stovetop or electric kettle, it’s also less energy-efficient. And if you’re a tea drinker, microwaving your water will lead to a beverage that simply may not be “your cup of tea.” Why? Microwaves don’t heat water evenly, so you could end up with isolated pockets of boiling water surrounded by cooler water. That partly explains the brouhaha that broke out on TikTok in 2020 when an American woman used a microwave to make what she called “British tea.”

Electric kettle vs. stovetop

why-you-need-an-electric-kettleAlthough many tea lovers and other experimenters deem the electric kettle faster than the stovetop kettle, it’s hard to declare an outright winner in this race because stoves and electric kettles vary greatly. But it is pretty clear that the electric kettle is a more energy-efficient way of boiling water than using a gas or electric stove. An electric kettle with automatic shut-off is also safer than a traditional kettle on a stovetop.

If safety, speed, and energy efficiency haven’t won you over yet, there’s another boon for coffee connoisseurs, tea lovers and parents: with a better electric kettle you can heat water to the ideal temperature for pour-over (205º F) or French press coffee (195º F), green, white or black tea. You can also make sure that the kids’ hot cocoa is served at a safe temperature (140º F).

A final benefit of the electric kettle: unlike a microwave or stove, electric kettles are compact, portable appliances that you take and use almost anywhere. They’re also incredibly convenient for making all kinds of things that require hot or boiling water, like these simple, tasty recipes for hot chocolate, no-cook ramen and quick-and-easy oatmeal.

Hot Chocolate Melts
Prepare these delicious chocolate squares in advance and then simply pour hot water over them to make a mouth-watering hot cocoa in minutes.

No-Cook Ramen
Tastier than commercially packaged cup noodles, this recipe includes hardboiled eggs, cooked chicken, fresh ginger and other ingredients that you can prepare in advance. Then, quite literally, just add (hot) water.

Quick-and-Easy Cherry Apple Oatmeal
No need to buy flavored instant oatmeal when you can make your own and make it better. This tasty recipe uses 1-minute oats and is ready in less than 5 minutes.

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