My jury-rigged meat thermometer powered kettle works well enough for boiling smaller amounts of water, or when I want to accurately heat water to 80-85 °C for green, white, or yellow tea.
The thing is, I often need boiling water in larger amounts, i.e. when having a longer gong-fu style session with a black, Oolong, or Pu-erh tea. The old kettle only has a 1.2 litre capacity, which can mean heating water twice when gong-fuing.
Ikea provide a great alternative – the “Vattentät” kettle. As with many Ikea names, there’s an in-joke attached – “Vattentät” translates as “water-tight“. Yes, quite…
This simple, traditional style whistling kettle has a 2 litre capacity, and because of its stainless steel construction works well on induction hobs, a huge plus point for me – on our induction cooker top I can heat a greater volume of water in a fraction of the time the older, filament kettle could.
That whistle is a real window-rattler too – there’s no way on earth you could not be aware that your tea water had come to the boil – even if you were somewhat hard of hearing and at the bottom of a particularly long garden I’d imagine you’d hear it!
For the record I did experiment with attaching the faithful meat thermometer to the kettle, just to see if I could use it for heating water to less than boiling point, but it was not to be. I’m assuming that it was the electromagnetic field from the induction hob that caused the circuitry in the thermometer’s control and display unit to malfunction.
A quick check has shown that the kettle is also available on Ikea’s British and American sites, retailing for about £15 / $13, so I’d guess it’s going to be available at most Ikea stores wherever they are.
Hob-top whistling kettles seem to have come back into fashion at the moment, and some of the prices I’ve seen have been real eyebrow raisers.
This kettle may lack a designer label and either a cool retro or chic space-age appearance, but it works just fine, and at that price is just about unbeatable.