You’re considering an upgrade to an electric kettle. Ceramic kettles are an excellent choice, but are these kettles worth it and are they safe? Here I look at what you need to know about electric ceramic kettles—pros and cons and all about owning them.
Some say that ceramic kettles add matchless appeal to the kitchen. Compared to many others on the market, electric ceramic kettles do appear stylish.
Some say the great thing about ceramic tea kettles, in general, is that they are quintessential and safe to use. Let’s leave no stone unturned as we explore the world of electric kettles! In particular, ceramic kettles…
Is an electric kettle safe for health? People have used electric kettles for decades with no reports of adverse health effects. They are commonplace in home kitchens of countries, such as Australia, where people use them to boil water (rather than using microwaves or kettles on stovetops) for making tea, coffee, soup, and instant noodles in that mug.
I have to say my experience with them has been positive and according to consumerreports.org, in the US “An estimated 3.9 million electric kettles were sold last year.”
But then the question here is whether the ceramic kettles are safe? Or, any good?
Are ceramic kettles any good?
Ceramic kettles are extremely good because ceramic is a natural product that retains heat – perfect for top ups of your cuppa from the kettle. Ceramic also resists corrosion and generally speaking, they have no plastic parts that can disintegrate or taint the water. Ceramic is also non-metal and so overcomes any metallic tainting as well.
Ceramic is an inorganic non-metallic material and that seems good. If the ceramic kettle has no plastic parts that is even better. About plastic parts: those in contact with the water should be BPA-free, which is important for food and water containers.
A ceramic electric pot that will turn off automatically once boiled is also good, not only for safety but for convenience in the kitchen whether you’re infusing a teabag or making coffee in a French press. And a ceramic hot water kettle having a detachable base is another good thing.
Compare popular ceramic kettles…
BELLA Ceramic Kettle
|Editor’s choice in design
– 1.5 L
– Boil Dry Protection
– Detachable Swivel Base
|– 1.5 L
– Boil Dry Protection
– Detachable Swivel Base
Pinky Up Noelle
– Rose gold trim,
– Gooseneck Spout
– Detachable Cordless Design
Chinese Blue Flower
|– 1 L (5 cups)
– Over-fill protection
– Boil dry protection
– Detachable Swivel Base
I should mention that the ceramic of these products is not the same as that of ceramic knives, which are of zirconia nor of that of the nonstick ceramic cookware, which is a sol-gel ceramic coating. The ceramic in kettles is similar to that of the 100% ceramic cookware.
You’ll find an electric kettle is safe but also very useful in the kitchen. You can quickly boil water to brew tea or coffee, make hot chocolate, instant soup or noodles, or sanitize bottles and jars. But are the ceramic ones any good compared to the plastic kettles?
Ceramic kettles vs plastic kettles
Are plastic tea kettles safe? Plastic electric kettles will disintegrate over time. They tend to powder (mine did this) and I guess that stuff goes into the water that goes into your cuppa. Also, they discolor and look kinda cruddy inside. The upside is that they are cheap. But the problem is they are a throw away item after short use and you will be replacing them more often than a durable ceramic kettle.
Is a plastic kettle safe for your health? The good part is that modern plastic kettles are usually BPA free. It’s been over a decade since scientific research, like that published in Toxicology Letters, determined certain plastics release toxic BPA, an endocrine-disrupting chemical (meaning it affects our hormones) and more so (55-times in fact) when filled with boiling water. This can determine whether a plastic kettle is safe or not.
Today’s manufacturers promote the use of BPA-free for containers like kettles and French presses that have contact with water for drinking. However, ceramic kettles won’t deteriorate like plastic ones. Ceramic won’t taint the water. But, they do have a few potential downsides to consider, which I cover below.
Pros and cons of electric ceramic kettles
The advantages of having a ceramic electric kettle are many but there are also notable disadvantages.
Advantages of ceramic electric kettles
- Presentation: The solid stone look of these adds a natural sophisticated feel to the kitchen.
- Convenience: Just a flip of a switch and your water is boiling!
- Energy efficiency: They heat water fast using less energy than heating a kettle on the stovetop.
- Versatility: Being cordless with a detachable base means a portable unit for easy filling and also serving, e.g., when hosting dinner parties.
- Clean operation: Optional scale filters help prevent mineral buildup.
- Insulation: Ceramic is insulating, which means the heated water stays heated for longer to enjoy those top-ups.
- Safety features: Automatic shut off. Plus, most ceramic kettles come with boil-dry protection.
- Non-corrosive interior: Ceramic interior apart from the heating element, which is typically a circular stainless steel plate or coil to ensure continued safe heating.
Ceramic kettle — non corrosive interior
Available at Amazon
Disadvantages of ceramic electric kettles
- Weight: Noticeably heavier than the metal or plastic types.
- Handle with care: Ceramic kettles can crack if dropped or chip if given a hard knock.
- Cost: You’ll pay more for good ceramic kettles over plastic or metal rivals.
Are electric kettles better than stove kettles?
Electric kettles are better than stove kettles for these reasons:
- You don’t have to worry about the spluttering of a kettle on the stovetop.
- The latest electric kettle design will boil water faster than the same water in a microwave.
- You are less likely to burn yourself with an electric kettle than a kettle on the stovetop.
- Electric kettles have an automatic shut-off that stops the kettle once the water is done (and no whistling to ring in your eardrums).
- You’ll have the exact temperature for the perfect cup, especially with models that offer a set of specific temperatures.
History of the kettle at a glance
The history of kettles starts with the earliest ones made of iron used on open fires to boil water in Europe. Today’s design is said to originate from Mesopotamia, Asia, and date back to 3500-2000 B.C.
- In 1891, The Carpenter Electric Company created the first bona fide electric kettle manufactured in the United States. The design had the heating elements in separate chambers and it took almost 12 minutes to boil the water.
- In 1922, The Swan Company advanced the electric kettle design. This time the heating element was sealed in a metal tube and positioned inside the water chamber.
- In 1956, Russell Hobbs revolutionized the electric kettle design by making it fully automatic. Following this, we saw the production of plastic kettles, which continues to this day.
Are ceramic kettles safe?
Ceramic electric kettles are safe in that they are free of harmful BPA (Bisphenol A). Modern kettles turn off automatically once the water is boiled. This ensures they do not boil dry and burn out. They also detach from the base, adding safety when pouring water and some have overfill protection.
Are ceramic electric kettles bad for you?
When new Proposition 65 requirements came into effect August 30, 2018, various companies appeared to add a Proposition 65 warning to their products—regardless of whether it was known they contained contaminants or not.
For this reason, you may have seen ceramic kettles (or other kitchen items) on the market labeled with “This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm” or a similar warning.
It might have caused you to wonder whether ceramic electric kettles are bad. Should you buy one?The following disclosures from two reputable brands…SMEG, who makes household appliances of stainless steel, and De’Longhi, who also makes household appliances, help ease these concerns.
From SMEG company
SMEG is a company known for its quality stainless steel appliances. SMEG discloses on its website the reason for their product warning:
“While the exposure may be negligible or well within the “no significant risk” range, SMEG has elected to provide the Proposition 65 warnings, as not all of the listed chemicals provide exposure limit requirements. While the exposure may be negligible or well within the “no significant risk” range, SMEG has elected to provide the Proposition 65 warnings.”
De’Longhi is known for its coffee machines. On its website, it discloses a long list of products that carry a Proposition 65 warning.
From their disclosure, we learn that “the new regulations include changes to listed chemicals and specific requirements for how warnings required for products containing identified chemicals must be provided.” Apparently this list contains ~900 chemicals.
They explain how manufacturers must either test for these chemicals to verify that none are present or place the appropriate warning on the product packaging and website. From their prospective, they reasoned that…”All products may now need a Proposition 65 warning, even if a warning was not previously required.”
If looking to buy a ceramic kettle and wanting a good one, it’s best to choose one that has no plastic parts that come into contact with the water, regardless of whether it’s 100% BPA free or not. It’s also best to check for warnings pertaining to US regulations related to potential contaminants, such as lead.
Choose wisely. The above information is a guide only to help you with your choice of product. Scroll up to the table to compare models by the maker of Bella electric teapots and others.