by Hari Won
What is the easiest activity you can perform in the kitchen? To boil water, of course!
Yes, we can all boil water, even someone who has never set foot in the kitchen and doesn’t have any plans to do so in the near future. This doesn’t exactly qualify as cooking - this act of boiling water - but it doesn’t mean that boiling water, or arranging for excruciatingly hot, boiled water is of no consequence in the kitchen.
Actually, hot water is something we all need every day, in cooking or in preparing hot beverages. This is something everyone needs, from the very young to the extremely elderly.
We need to boil water to make coffee or tea, or hot chocolate, or to prepare formula for babies; we need to boil water for extensive cleaning or for use in cooking. In most homes, we use more than one kettle full of boiling water every day, for different reasons around the house.
Apart from the different reasons we have for boiling water in the kitchen, there are also different ways we can do this. We can boil water in a pan on the stove, or in a cup inside the microwave oven; however, the easiest way to boil water would be in a kettle.
When it comes to kettles, there are again two types for you to choose from: an electric kettle and a stove kettle. Both types have their own advantages and setbacks, but they are both extremely important in a kitchen.
Stove kettles are just like a basic piece of kitchenware, the more traditional way of boiling water for coffee or any other reasons. You usually need to place them over your stoves for using; alternatively, you can also do it on induction, electric or a gas stove.
More importantly, stove kettles are perfect for tea lovers who prefer to boil their tea leaves for a long time for maximum flavor and aroma. You can use a stove kettle to boil water above boiling point, for as long as you want to until you are satisfied.
These stove kettles are perfect for hiking and camping activities where you don’t have access to electricity but have a fire.
Electric kettles come with their own heating base. You need to place the kettle on this heating base to make it work, and nowhere else. They take a comparatively shorter time to boil or heat water than traditional stove kettles, and cost less, as well.
Electric kettles are perfect for families that need hot water constantly. Although you cannot really use an electric kettle to properly boil water, it is quite useful for quickly heating water for making hot beverages, formula and baby food, or for cleaning and washing.
Besides, for using an electrical kettle, all you need is an electrical power source and not fire, which makes it extremely necessary kitchenware for students in dorms, for travelers, or to keep in your study or office. You can travel with it and plug it in anywhere; this is the reason, most hotel rooms have an electric kettle these days.
Stove kettles are much less expensive than electric kettles. If you are on a tight budget and need a kettle for your kitchen, a stove kettle makes much more sense than an electric kettle.
You can use an electric kettle anywhere, at home or at work; at your dormitory or in a hotel while traveling. All you need is an electrical power source where you can plug it in. A stove kettle, on the other hand, requires a stove or an open fire. You can use a stove kettle on any kind of stove - induction, gas or electric, but only a stove.
If you regularly go camping, to picnics or hikes, a stove kettle will be more suitable for your outdoor activities, but only if you are also building a fire or using a stove.
While hiking to remote areas or camping, stove kettles are the only way you can boil water for drinking or for making coffee/tea. Stove kettles are handier during power cuts and natural disasters, as well.
When it comes to time, nothing beats the speed of an electric kettle. Electric kettles are way faster in boiling and heating water than stove-top kettles. It doesn’t take the average electric kettle more than a few minutes to bring a few liters of water to a complete boil, a job that might take a stove kettle around 10 minutes.
Electric kettles are more portable and travel-friendly than stove kettles; you can take them anywhere with you and keep them with you always. Electric kettles don’t require a kitchen or a stove, or even a fire.
You can get one for your dormitory, work tours, office and factory, or you can even plug it in on a train or ship while traveling.
Water has no taste, of course, but there are a few tea lovers who prefer to boil their tea leaves to perfection before drinking. This is not possible in an electric kettle whose only function is to shut-off automatically after the water has come to a boiling point.
For releasing the true flavor and aroma of tea leaves, they need to be boiled in water for much longer than is possible in an electric kettle.
Therefore, anyone who drinks and loves tea instead of coffee or any other hot beverage, prefers the use of a stove kettle which you can use to boil water for as long as you want.
On the other hand, if you are someone who has the tendency to forget that there is water boiling on the stove, an electric kettle is much better for you. All electric kettles automatically shut-off after the water has come to a boiling point, whereas some stove kettles will only give out a whistle, depending on the model and the brand.
Whistles are easier to miss if you are not in the vicinity of the sound, and this might cause your stove kettle to overheat and ultimately melt (if you are using one made of glass, fiber or plastic).
So, if you can’t trust yourself to remember every time you leave the stove kettle on the stove, it is better to use an electric kettle which will shut off when its work is done.
Whatever the brand, electric kettles are usually made from plastic or metal, and comes with a heating element you have to place it on. Design-wise, they are all similar.
On the other hand, tea kettles or stove kettles are sometimes absolutely beautiful, elegant enough to serve guests with. They are made from plastic or stainless steel, sometimes even fiber and glass (Although, they are quite risky and prone to bursting/melting). They come in a variety of designs and shapes, and are usually quite aesthetic.
Electric kettles stay cool and safe no matter how hot the water is inside; stove kettles, on the other hand, can get hot when it has been on the stove for a long time.
The body most definitely gets hot if you are using it on an open fire or a gas stove, and sometimes, the handle can become quite heated as well. Therefore, when it comes to safety, an electric kettle is much preferable and user-friendly.
Electric and Stove kettles both have their unique features and setbacks, but an electric kettle is more user-friendly and modern. While tea lovers and traditional kitchens love nothing more than an elegant stove kettle with a beautiful structure and design, it is the electric kettle that is more convenient around the house.
About Hari Won
Hari has been a close friend with Josh since kindergarten. Her place is right around the corner from Josh’s.
She claims they are only friends. Hari also loves to drink. By accident, she tried her first taste of beer in middle school; felt in love with them since then.
Life has been up and down lately for Hari. She and/or other friends often meet up with Josh for a few packs. They may drink through the night, while taking turn to tell their life stories.
Hari received her BS degree in biochemistry from University of Phoenix. She hoped to become a great brewmaster someday...