- A high-quality electric kettle fills and pours without making a mess or putting your hands in harm’s way, has an easy-to-see power indicator and clear water level visibility, and brings water up to temperature quickly.
- I like the Chefman Programmable Electric Kettle because it allows you to choose the water temperature, shows you precisely how hot the water is at any given time, and it keeps water at temperature until you’re ready for it.
- Though it’s more expensive than your average electric kettle (currently $59.99 on Amazon), it has several high-end features and is backed by a one-year warranty.
Whether you love tea, pour-over coffee, ramen, or need hot water for other purposes, an electric kettle is useful to have. The best models heat water faster than your stove, which means you can enjoy your drink sooner. Top kettles also give you control over precisely how hot the water gets, which is a must when you are trying to extract the best flavor from tea leaves and coffee grounds.
Dozens of popular brands have entered the electric kettle space, but the company that’s really doing it right is relatively unfamiliar. Chefman is a New Jersey-based kitchen appliance company, and over the past year, I’ve tested about half a dozen of its products, including an air fryer and a slow cooker. So far, I’ve been impressed with the quality of each one.
The Programmable Electric Kettle lives up to the excellence I’ve grown to expect from Chefman. The combination of high-end features and reliable performance earned the appliance a spot on my kitchen counter. Read on to learn about what makes this unit great.
At about 7 inches wide by 8 inches deep by 10 inches high, the Chefman Kettle doesn’t really take up much counter space. It makes efficient use of its design holding 1.7 liters (or about 57.5 ounces) of water.
The unit comes with a removable tea infuser/holder, which holds up to 7 teaspoons of loose-leaf tea. Also included with the kettle is a reusable mesh filter, which attaches to the spout and catches larger sediments you may have in your water.
There are five buttons:
- Play – this is the on/off button
- Temp – press to display and set temperatures
- Steep – press to display and set steep times
- Plus – increases the target temperature or steep time
- Minus – decreases the target temperatures or steep time
A bright LCD screen displays the steep time and temperature in high-contrast white on black.
The Chefman Tea Kettle comes with a guide, but I like to walk on the wild side and see if I can figure products out without instructions. In this instance, set up was so incredibly intuitive that I had the kettle operating within five minutes of opening the box. First, you’ll want to wash the kettle with water. Then, add as much water as you want (between 0.6 and 1.7 liters), set the temperature, and press the Play button.
If you want to brew the tea in the kettle, you can also add some loose tea leaves to the tea infuser and insert the infuser once the water gets to temperature. The guide gives useful suggestions for the amount of tea, temperatures, and steep times based on the type of tea you’re using. The steep button on the unit allows you to set the steep time.
What makes the kettle stand out
We rarely use the tea holder because it’s a little bit of a hassle to clean. Instead, we use tea bags or our other steeping devices. Still, the Chefman kettle is a welcome replacement for our cheap unit that you had to unplug to refill and that lacked even the most basic features.
My teenager and wife are the big tea drinkers in the house, and they were instantly in love with this appliance. They especially liked that the screen tells you precisely how hot the water in the kettle is.
We’ve all commented on how quickly the kettle heats water. To give you a point of comparison, I filled the carafe with 1.7 liters of room-temperature (68 degrees Fahrenheit) water. Then, I set the target temperature to 212 degrees, the boiling point of water. It took eight minutes and 10 seconds before it beeped to let me know it was done.
Cook’s Illustrated uses the time to boil one quart of water as a comparison point. So, I also tested that. The Chefman kettle took 5 minutes, 26 seconds. This time was only 27 seconds slower than Cook’s top pick, the OXO Brew Electric Kettle, which costs $24 more and lacks the high-end features the Chefman kettle has.
Another feature I like is that you can easily remove the kettle from the base to fill it up. The top opens with the press of a button, and there is a large hole that makes refilling the kettle effortless. It’s also worth noting that the kettle doesn’t need to be in a specific position for it to operate. It rotates 360 degrees on its base for better accessibility for righties and lefties.
When the water is boiling, the handle remains cool and keeps your hand out of harm’s way as you go to pour. The spout design is excellent. I didn’t have any problem with water going anywhere but where I wanted it.
With your classic metal stovetop tea kettle, it’s hard to tell how much water is inside. This was not a problem with the Chefman Electric Kettle. Since it’s mostly made of glass, you can easily see the water level and adjust accordingly.
I also appreciated that it was easy to tell if the unit was on. Each of the buttons is illuminated when the kettle is active, and the lights are bright enough to see from across the kitchen. After 20 minutes of non-use, all the lights turn off except for the play button. When the kettle is in keep warm mode, the play button is orange. And, when it’s heating up, the play button is red.
Cons to consider
The kettle automatically shifts to keep-warm mode once it reaches the target temperature. For the most part, this is an awesome feature. But, I feel guilty when I forget to turn off keep-warm mode and consequently waste electricity heating water I never intend to use. Fortunately, after an hour, the kettle leaves this mode.
Many consumers are turned off by the idea of drinking hot water or tea that has come into contact with plastic. Unfortunately, plastic is a major element in the kettle’s design. However, the company affirms that the unit is BPA-free.
The bottom line
My wife puts her enjoyment of the kettle this way: She loves our children unconditionally, but she loves this tea kettle “more unconditionally.” The Chefman kettle is an excellent addition to our kitchen. If someone were to take it, we would likely replace it with the exact same model.
It heats water quickly, has an easy-to-read LCD screen that displays the temperature, you can effortlessly check and adjust the water level, it’s simple to set, and we haven’t had any issues in three months of daily use. If you are in need of a kettle, I strongly recommend purchasing the Chefman Programmable Electric Kettle.
Pros: Displays temperature and steep time, glass body allows for water level visibility, intuitive functionality, stay-cool handle, drip-free spout
Cons: Plastic (BPA-free) components come in contact with hot water