Updated February 6th, 2020 – You don’t have to be British to enjoy a good “cuppa!” Here is my personal favorite if you’re in a hurry – The All-Clad 2 QT from Amazon – I love it because it’s big and shiny so it just makes me happy when I heat water.
Did you know that, per capita, the Irish drink more cups of tea daily than any other country in the world? Tea is synonymous with social niceties, and offering a visitor a cup of tea as soon as they walk in the door is almost a rule in many households.
Tea has a long and complex history. It’s become ingrained in many cultures and in language itself. From the “Boston Tea Party,” to the phrase “not for all the tea in China,” even American culture is steeped in tea!
After water, the most commonly enjoyed beverage is tea. The water can be heated on a gas, electric, or induction cooker. Tea kettles come in all sorts of styles, designs, and colors.
That plethora of options might leave you wondering, which one should I have in my kitchen? Today, we’ll look at some tea kettles suitable for induction cookers.
How does an induction cooktop work?
Thermal conduction uses direct heat such as a flame or electric element, whereas induction cooking uses a magnetic field. This magnetic field repeatedly magnetizes the vessel placed upon it to create large eddy currents. The natural resistance of the pot causes an increase in temperature, which is then absorbed by the water within.
This may sound a little boring, but it’s good to know the difference. The different mechanism of action is why you need to use a metal tea kettle. You’ll be waiting a long time for water to boil, whether you’re watching it or not if you put a ceramic kettle on an induction cooktop.
Read reviews of the best portable induction cooktops.
Tea kettles: a few things to keep in mind
The type of tea prefer to brew, whether it be black, breakfast, green, white, or herbal is not of particular concern when choosing a kettle. The important thing is that the water is not boiling when you add the tea, as this will scald the tea and impart a bitter flavor.
If you only make tea once in a while, something more decorative may be in order. If you are an avid tea aficionado, however, functionality and economy will be higher on your list of priorities.
Most important is the material from which the kettle is made, and whether or not you’ll be making tea for a large family or just for yourself. A small kettle will heat water quickly and save on energy, but it’s nice to have the option of making a big pot for those times you have company over.
Tea for breakfast? How about a pancake too? Here are the best electric griddles.
Stainless steel is certainly pretty and needs very little in the way of maintenance. Read about how to care for scorched stainless steel cookware. However, iron stores heat better, meaning it keeps water at the optimum temperature for longer.
In this article, I’m going to focus on stainless steel kettles. For cast iron teapots, check out this post.
I’ve looked at many of the options on the market and these are some models that stand out:
Mr. Coffee Flintshire Stainless Steel Whistling Tea Kettle
If you want a pot of tea but don’t have a lot of cash, Mr. Coffee makes a basic model for those of us who can’t afford to spend a lot.
This lightweight kettle is made of brushed stainless steel with a comfortable Bakelite handle. The handle, in particular,r seems to be a potential point of failure. There are some reports of the handle melting and rust developing on the body. The nice thing about this model, however, is the variety of sizes available, ranging from 1-½ to 2 quart.
I would only suggest this option if your sole metric is cost. If you make a lot of tea, you might as well shell out a little extra for something sturdier.
All-Clad E86199 Stainless Steel Specialty Cookware Tea Kettle
All-Clad is known for its quality cookware. You can see my review of some All-Clad cookware here. Their tea kettle appears to live up to this well-earned reputation.
The E86199, part of their Gourmet Accessories line, is certainly on the high side when it comes to price. The stainless steel pot features handles that are permanently affixed to the body with stainless steel rivets. Unlike the Mr. Coffee, this kettle is oven and broiler safe to 500°F, refrigerator and freezer safe, and dishwasher safe.
Though it’s not cheap, the lifetime warranty offered by All-Clad makes this a compelling choice.
Fino Pour Over Coffee and Tea Kettle
For a simple, elegant, and minimalist design the Fino is very hard to beat. Super practical, with an ergonomically-designed handle that stays cool while the water boils, this 4-¼ cup kettle is a great value for money.
This stainless steel pot features a narrow spout which allows you to easily control the rate at which you pour the water. You may find yourself unable to resist practicing drawing your pour!
The 1 liter capacity is small enough to heat the water economically, but large enough to make between 4 and 6 cups of tea. And, it’s dishwasher safe. Overall, a happy medium as far as size and price are concerned.
Chef’s Secret KTTKC Surgical Stainless Steel Tea Kettle
If you like to hear when your water is boiling, then a whistling kettle will be right up your alley. There’s no doubting the advantage of a warning whistle if you have a tendency to get caught up with the kids and forget the kettle is on.
The Chef’s Secret whistles to let you know when the water is boiling. Design-wise, this model mixes the old with the new. It has a stainless steel body and a quick-heating copper capsule bottom, but a retro trigger mechanism. The ergonomic grip stays very cool during heating, as does the knob handle on the pot.
At just under four inches in height, width, and length, this kettle is quite compact. It can only heat 2.75 (small size) or 3.17 (large size) quarts at a time, but that might be all you need.
Whistle while you work
Any of these kettles are suitable for induction stoves, though some are nicer than others. It really comes down to what you’re willing to spend. Personally, I’m partial to the Chef’s Secret for its numerous features and efficient design, but the Fino is better if you need to make a really big pot.
Now all that’s missing is a tray of cookies and a few finger sandwiches!
For more reviews on products for brewing tea and coffee, check out this post on the best French press for making tea. You might also want to read about the Thermoses perfect for keeping tea and coffee hot at the office.
For coffee in particular, see my article on the best espresso makers for the money! Or, learn a very unique way to roast coffee beans at home…with a popcorn popper!
Serve up a cuppa with a fresh tray of cookies! Read about the best cookie presses for spritz and which cookie sheets are suitable for convection ovens.
And if you’re the type who brings lunch to the office, check out this post on the best lunch box coolers for work.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Megan Y. and Jim D.