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Electric kettles are a type of tea kettle that is a self contained heating unit used to boil water for tea and other beverages. Requiring nothing more than an electrical outlet as a means of tapping into a power supply, the electric kettle heats water more quickly than most types of conventional tea kettles, and is perfectly safe to leave on a kitchen counter. This makes the electric kettle ideal for use in small apartments, especially efficiency units where cooking space is greatly limited.
The structure of an electric kettle is not much more complicated than the configuration for a conventional stove top kettle. The body is composed of materials that will help to conduct the heat efficiently. Many electric kettles are simple stainless steel devices with a colorful enamel coating. The handle on most models is attached directly to the top portion of the body, providing an easy grip that is located just behind the spout. Like conventional kettles, the electric kettle will often include a cover to the spout that features a small hole to allow steam to escape. When the water is sufficiently heated, the steam will create the sound that most tea lovers refer to as singing.
What sets the electric kettle apart from other types of kettles is the heating element found in the base of the unit. Some kettles place the heating element in the bottom of the reservoir, but other designs enclose the heating element in a chamber located directly below the water container. More elaborate units include a control panel that allows the electric kettle to be turned off and on, as well as select various temperature settings. The vast majority of the electric kettles on the market today also include a safety feature that automatically shuts off the device after a certain amount of time.
The electric kettle is a common appliance in most parts of Europe and the United Kingdom. Over the last couple of decades, the device has gained in popularity in North America, especially in Canada and the United States. For quick heating, the electric kettle is the perfect option for anyone who enjoys a hot cup of tea.