As a follow-up to my previous post "A Good Electric Water Kettle "“ Just A Fantasy?", thought it was time to get down to business and put a few kettles through a some paces. A "standardized test", if you will, fashioned by me.
As a refresh on my "methodology", full pots filled to maximum were heated and timed, starting off with both cold and already-warmed heating elements. For the "warm" boil, I heated a full pot of cold water, emptied the kettle, then re-filled with cold water and turned it right back on. To gauge yield, I used 10-oz coffee mugs, filled to about 8 oz.
Read on for the full review of the Zojirushi CK-BAC10.
– Max/Min capacity: 34 oz / None (!)
– Average boil times:
Cold – 4:45 = 4:26 minutes + 19 more seconds for heat to click off; filled to max
Warm – 4:26 minutes; filled to max / 34 oz
– Yield: 4 cups
– Cord management: Cord wraps around the underside of the base. There are four openings for the cord to poke out of, allowing good cord control on your countertop.
What I liked
The Zojirushi brand is reputable one. Full disclosure, I grew up with Zojirushi appliances so I was predisposed to like this kettle. It's cute, it's insulated, and it's fast.
- Water heated in the little Zojirushi tasted good.
- The interior container for the water is all stainless steel, no plastic! If you can imagine it, resembles the interior of a little rice cooker.
- The kettle is well insulated, the outside is completely cool to the touch. There's no chance of burning yourself by touching the kettle.
- The last thing I'll note is that it has a grounded plug, if you value that type of thing.
What I didn't care for
The spout is built into the lid and the interior of the spout mechanism appears to be mostly plastic. While the water is not actually touching the plastic during the heating/boiling, it ends up traveling through the plastic parts to get out. Given that one of the qualities I'm looking for in a kettle is for the hot water to not come in contact with plastic materials, not sure whether this kettle fits the bill.
- The capacity is on the small side, I got barely 4 cups from one pot. Certainly acceptable if you're having tea alone, or maybe with one other person. Though boiling up a second pot only takes about four and a half minutes.
- The spout limits the rate at which the water pours out to a small stream. So takes longer than it should to fill a reasonably sized cup.
- Opening the lid is more difficult than it should be due to a feature called a "spill guard lid. Excessive child safety measures, perhaps?
- For folks who live in hard water areas, you will definitely see some type of deposit left on the inside of the kettle. Seems like this shouldn't happen to a metal container, but I guess if you notice film in your cooking pots after boiling water, the same will happen with this kettle.