Published March 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.
The best electric kettle should be easy to fill, pour, and clean.
Electric kettles promise to shave minutes off the wait for boiling water and save space on your stovetop, too. We tested eight brands, ranging in price from $9.99 to $89.99, for speed, safety, and ease of use. All but one beat the time it took to boil water on the powerful gas stovetops we use in the test kitchen. Unfortunately, the inexpensive models also lacked the automatic shutoff/boil-dry safeguards we deem necessary. Of the remaining models, we preferred those that had a separate base, allowing you to move the kettle away from the heating element, and a window that lets you view the water level. With one exception, we also learned to dislike plastic kettles, which tended to impart an off flavor to the water.