As I mentioned a week ago, I am reviewing three items I got from Wayfair as part of their Preferred Blogger program. The purchases were compensated with a gift code, but this doesn't deter the objectivity in my reviews.
I appreciated how timely their offer was, since my old tea kettle had broken and I was looking for a replacement. I had debated between an electric kettle over the traditional stove top kettle with a whistle. The pros for the electric kettle was rapid heating (in under 5 minutes for a full pot) and auto shut off, though I'm lazy and if I walk away I might forget I had heated up water in the first place. I also lack the counter space so I went with this lovely and sleek KitchenAid Gourmet Essentials 2 Quart Tea Kettle in Brushed Stainless Steel. The price is $49.98, and shipping is free on this item when purchased through Wayfair.
Besides the pretty brushed 18/10 stainless steel body, which adds style to the kitchen, the handle features silicone grips on the top and bottom. I'm not sure why they didn't decide to wrap the handle entirely with the silicone, though the handle remained cool so in the end it doesn't matter.
Unlike my former tea kettle, the whistle cap isn't opened with a sliding mechanism attached to the handle. You have to flip the tab open, which rests under the handle, but it doesn't feel awkward so I didn't have an issue there. Obviously you need to put the cap back down for next time. The pot is fairly lightweight when empty, so it's not too heavy when filled with water.
For first time use, the instructions tell you to wash with warm, soapy water, drying the outside when finished. There's a line on the outside underneath the spout that says "maximum", though on the inside there is no line indicator. It would have been a nice feature to have, like my coffee percolator, though all you need to remember is to keep the water level under the spout, otherwise it will interfere with the whistling process. I filled the pot about 1/2 an inch under the spout and place on the stove. The handle is somewhat obtrusive when it comes to filling the pot with water, but not enough to make it a hassle.
There are a few rules to follow with this kettle:
- Use the correct size burner
- Don't heat higher than medium-high (most likely out of a concern for warping)
- When taken off the heat, let cool on a heat-proof surface or on a cool burner
- Don't allow to boil dry
Simple to follow, though I'll have to keep in mind about not cranking the heat all the way to the highest setting, as I've done with my old kettle. On medium high, the mostly filled pot took about 12-13 minutes to boil cold water on an electric burner, though times will differ based on your stove. This kettle also works for a wide variety of stove top surfaces, not just electric ranges.
As the water heated up, I prepared the large teapot with black tea bags, orange slices, and a few whole cloves in a tea ball for spiced tea.
The whistle on this kettle is pretty loud, so unless your iPod is cranked up to the max you won't have to worry about missing it. It's almost like one of those firecrackers with the reports, or at least that's what I initially thought of. The water doesn't dribble when poured, and although I didn't completely fill the kettle up I had enough water for a full pot of tea. I'm not sure how long the water remains hot in the kettle if you don't use it all, but I'm going to estimate that it stays hot for at least 10 minutes after removing the kettle from the heat.
This is a bit more than what I'd have payed alone for a kettle. However, since it doubles as a decorative kitchen piece it was worth the extra cost, and KitchenAid is a good brand. It's pretty, heats up to 8 cups of water, and is covered by a 1 year warranty which protects against general wear and use in the kitchen (basically, you won't be covered if you drop the kettle and it dents, but if the handle falls off or something like that occurs just by general use, KitchenAid will probably help you out). So far, I'm happy with this item and I like that I will continue to hear the whistle of the kettle when I make tea in the morning.