Variable Temp Kettle Opinions?

So I need some suggestions/opinions on choosing a variable temperature kettle. Right now I heat water in a pan on the stove with a candy thermometer stuck in it, which kills my time. So I figured I’d look for a kettle. One that lets me set what temp I need for different teas is pretty much all I need since I’m not really sure what else would be useful on one. Lol.

I’ve gotten it narrowed down to either the Oster 1.7 L Variable Temperature Electric Kettle ($30), a Hamilton Beach Programmable Electric Kettle ($44), & the UtiliTEA from Adagio ($45). I also was considering the Pino Digital Kettle Pro ($78), but it’s double what these other three cost since I could only get it on ebay, so I’m hesitant at putting that on the list.

I’ve checked reviews on different sites and tried to find as many comments as I could about these. They all have both good and bad reviews so I just wanted to see if anyone here has owned any of these or currently use them and what your opinions of them are. Or if I should just ignore these completely and try something else. I’m up for any suggestions.
Thanks for the help.

-Also, I know there’s already a couple topics made about these sorts of kettles up, but I wanted to ask about specific kettles so I figured it was alright to start a new topic. If it isn’t, please let me know. Thanks.

45 Replies
Dinosara said

I own the Adagio UtiliTEA and I am pretty happy with it, but as I have become more into tea I dislike that I only sorta-kinda know what temperature my tea is brewing at. Of the three you listed I would go for the Hamilton Beach… my next electric kettle will definitely have the ability to program whatever temp I want to within a degree, but 5 degree (what that kettle has) would be fine too.

Ellyn select said

I was just going to make the exact same comment about the Adagio UtiliTea. I got it at the very beginning of my tea addiction. It works as advertised…I just am now looking for more specific control! I wont buy another kettle unless this one breaks or I bring it to work but as Dinosara says, next time I will want more explicit programs. If you don’t think that will bother you it does the job well, does not leak, and is fairly attractive sitting on the counter.

Dinosara said

Yup, and FYI this is my dream kettle that I will get someday:

But I admit the Hamilton Beach has a lot of the same features for cheaper!

Ellyn select said

That kettle is so pretty!!!

looseTman said

I agree, the variable temperature feature of the Bonavita kettle would be ideal for tea. Most of the better electric kettles only give you a choice of 4 to 6 temperature choices.

Have you had a chance to check out the reviews? About 12% were less than fully satisfied.

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Fiddling said

I have the Hamilton Beach kettle and I love it! I originally went with the Hamilton Beach because it was the most affordable variable temperature kettle that had the features I was looking for. I couldn’t justify spending $100+ on a kettle.

There is a slight issue with the temperature controlled shutoff when the kettle is less than about half full. I’ve noticed that if I set the kettle to 180, it might actually end up as high 190 after it goes to “warming” setting. The display still shows 180 until you actually turn off the kettle and then it will display the actual temperature inside. I think this happens because the kettle must have a timer that it uses when decided how long to heat up the water. I generally just wait a minute or two until temperature cools down a little, but you could probably avoid this by setting the desired temperature 5-10 degrees lower.

Fiddling said

I wanted to give an update on my kettle in case anyone is reading through this thread with the intention of buying a new variable temp kettle.

I purchased my kettle 12/17/12 from Best Buy and the heating element died on 12/10/13. I called Hamilton Beach today and they are sending me a new one free of charge. I do, however, have to cover the cost of shipping which is $14 to my zip code. Right now the cheapest electric (non variable temp) kettle in Wal-Mart is also $14, so I’m not really bothered by spending the money. If I wanted to replace my kettle on Amazon it would cost $41.

The customer service agent was very helpful and the phone call only took about 5 minutes. (I can’t remember the last time I called an 800 number and didn’t sit on hold for a least 10 minutes!) They required me to cut the electric cord and send them a photo to prove that I can no longer use the old kettle. Turns out electric cords are surprisingly easy to cut with a cheap pair of kids’ scissors.

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OMGsrsly said

The Oster one is only $30? This one?! <> D: I might have to make a trip to the States…

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I use this one from kohls and it works wonders.

I picked it up for around $50 with coupons/sales. I haven’t had any troubles with it, the temp is always where it should be, and it has a stay warm feature which I think is really nice to have.

If you can wait, I would look into this one because it is a $150 kettle that you can easily get for 1/3 of the price.

I adore this model, too. I dragged my heels on investing this much money in a kettle, but it was well worth it! Sur la Table and Bed Bath & Beyond carry it for only $99.

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Boosh – That one looks hard core. Lol. And way more expensive than I want to spend at this moment.

I decided to go with the Hamilton Beach. Ordered it from Walmart ‘cause then I have an option of returning it easier than if I’d gotten it online somewhere. Just waiting for it to be shipped to the store to pick it up. Kinda silly but I’m pretty excited about it. Lol.

K S said

So 3 months later – what do you think of the Hamilton Beach? Would you buy it again?

Definitely. It’s a wonderful kettle. The only issue I have is that when I set a temp, what I usually get is at least 5 degrees above what I’ve set. Then after 5 or 10 min, it’s cooled down to the temp I set it at and holds there pretty well.
So I either set it below want I want if I want tea now, or set it to the actual temp and come back later.

K S said

I picked up the Hamilton Beach at Walmart for $40. So far I am very happy with it. Feels solid.

Nice. That’s what I paid for mine. And I love it. But like I said above, make sure you check the temps because mine runs hotter than the set temp when I first turn it on and start it up. I would think it’s all of the kettles they sell since I’ve heard others saying the same thing, but definitely check. ^^

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Dag Wedin said

I usually boil the water and then decant in a samashi or other mug.
the first times i measure the drop of temperature so i know for future reference.
That way you will get perfect temperature every time.
Another technique you can use if you boil water on a stove is to look at the size of the bubbles.

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Annoying dawback of the Oster, in my opinion: any time you press a button on it, it emits a shrill, loud beep, ensuring that if multiple live in your house and they aren’t awake at the same time, they will be.

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Sergio said

Probably not the response yu are looking for, but a very honest one.

I am somehow new to loose leaf teas, only been enjoying them for the past six months or so. Went the boling water / boiling water plus thermometer / low end temp kettle… and now, a Breville!

What a difference it has made on my tea enjoyment! Some teas I did not cared much for now taste fantastic, just because I am brewing them the right way. All my teas are done “western” style, I haven’t learned yet the Gaiwan methods, but for now, my Breville rocks.

I know there is a $240 model that will do everything, I don’t own that one. I have the simple, $130 model, ( ) and while I do understand that this is more than what you want to spend now, my advise is not to buy anything else, save a little and then go for this one.

It is a really, really good piece of hardware, you wont regret it, and your tastebuds will thank you for it!

(UPDATE – Reading all of the thread I know you already brought one. Leaving my answer here just in case there is someone else considering buying one. Cheers, enjoy your tea!)

Kokabel said

Thanks for leaving this comment! I’m looking into getting a new kettle, and would rather shell out for a great one than have to go through a few not-so-great ones. 7 months after posting this, do you still think it’s great?

Right now I’m debating between your recommendation and the Bonavita.

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looseTman said

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looseTman said

Here is a handy comparison chart for the Zojirushi models:

Zojirushi CD-WBC30/40: 4 temp settings:
140, 175, 195, & 208 degrees F

Breville BKE820XL: 5 temp settings:
175, 185, 195, 200, 212

Cuisinart CPK-17: 6 temp settings:
160, 175, 185, 190, 200, 212

1. – Do other brands offer more temp settings?

Teavivre for example recommends the following temperatures for their various types of teas: 176, 185, 194, 205, 212 F.

2. – Which is most accurate?

Amazon Selection – 4-stars & Up:

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