I never wanted a cordless kettle. But when we remodeled our kitchen, our instant hot water device was disconnected. We are so accustomed to having boiling water on demand that we needed to find a substitute.
I researched all of the different options, keeping in mind that what I was looking for was a temporary solution. Most kettles are far more expensive, and many of them are illogical and possibly dangerous--they don't turn themselves off, or they don't have a detachable base, or you can't see the water you are putting in them, or you have to pour the water in through a little hole and can't easily clean them.
The Rival was ridiculously cheap in this field of competitors -- around $13. But it had a detachable base, auto-shutoff, a clear window you could look through to see the level of the water (and see it boil), and you can flip the top open pretty wide, so theoretically you could clean it.
The very top level kettles, like the Cuisinart for about $80, have stainless steel tanks, their heater coil (unlike the Rival and many others) is "hidden", meaning that you don't look into the middle of the kettle and see a big metal heating coil, and they have more complicated controls, presumably allowing you to hold the water hot for a measured length of time, or have it turn itself on in the morning automatically--things like that. If I were buying a kettle for permanent use, I'd probably spring for the Cuisinart -- it's better looking and I like the stainless steel.
However, there is just no contest when you are looking for an inexpensive, short term solution (or for that matter, for a permanent solution, because it looks like it would last forever). The Rival absolutely performed as promised. You flip the top open, pour the water in, you can see the water level through the side. The base is already plugged in -- you sit the pitcher on the base, flip the on/off switch, and it starts heating immediately.
It's really fast, going from cold water to boil in a very short time. You can hear it when it's boiling. Then you can lift off the pitcher from the base, and set it down on the table if you like, or pour and replace it. If it heats up all the way and you do nothing, it turns itself off. In other words, it simply does, and does well, everything any reasonable person would need in an electric kettle. Plus it's light, small, holds 1.7 liters of water (a good capacity) and not bad looking.
Although it is plastic, there is no plastic taste. The boiled water tastes absolutely neutral. They must have used a good type of plastic that doesn't leach much into the water, and that's a good thing.
If you are in the market for an inexpensive electric kettle that does everything it is supposed to do, and well, you will be very happy with this one. In my view, it blows away the competition in the $30+ range. The only thing I would have preferred would have been stainless steel interior, but frankly there is no taste difference. And also, I'm not entirely sure that many of the kettles that claim to be stainless steel are using the proper grade of stainless, say 304, to make a real difference. I would wager that most of them are using inferior grade stainless that will corrode, like the stuff on a cheap outdoor grill. So it is very possible that there is no advantage moving to the stainless here--the Rival kettle looks indestructible. It is a simple machine that is well-conceived, and offered at a very good price.
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