Distinct from standard types which sit upon a stovetop burner, an electric kettle pot utilizes its own internal heating element to heat water. Powered by standard electricity, this type of self-contained appliance is perfect for bringing water to near boiling when preparing a cup of tea, instant coffee, cocoa and other beverages or foods requiring hot water. Produced by numerous small appliance manufacturers, including Cuisinart, Breville, Black & Decker and Krups among others, electric kettles are faster than using the stove or the microwave.
Because electric kettles have an internal heating element and can become quite hot, a number of safety features are included in their design. First, kettles made of stainless steel feature stay-cool handles, commonly made from heat-resistant thermoplastic. Select models feature a cool-to-the-touch bottom as well. So as not to ruin the heating element or scorch the kettle, an automatic shutoff circuit and boil-dry protector switch are built-in as well.
Electric kettles can hold anywhere from about 0.5 to 2 liters of water. That is equal to roughly 2 to 8 cups. Select models offer multiple brew settings at a range of temperatures. Common features include a water level indicator, power-on LED, drip-less pour spout and an anti-scale filter. More comprehensive models, such as the Krups BW4000, include an integrated water filter as well.