Thursday, December 15, 2005

The joys of electric kettles

I recently switched from a plastic to a stainless-steel electric kettle, like this one: (Click the image to visit the Amazon.com listing.)

Most (if not all) electric kettles shut off automatically once the water begins to boil, so you don't have to worry about the water boilding down. Note that this isn't a thermos, but a self-contained kettle, with a base that plugs into an electric outlet and heats the water to boiling when you press the switch.


The kettle itself separates cordlessly from the base, so that once the water has boiled, you can take the kettle to wherever you need it.


A stainless-steel kettle keeps boiled water hot a lot longer than a plastic one does. On the one hand, you have to wait longer for the water to cool to the right temperature for tea, but on the other hand, if you drink your first cup of tea quickly enough, the water will still be hot enough for a second cup.


When getting a new kettle, you can use a cooking thermometer to see how long you need to wait after boiling for the water to cool to the right temperature, between 165 and 185 degrees F (which can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes). After boiling, you can remove the kettle's lid to speed up cooling.


—Mellow Monk


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