32 Facts About Kettles

We all love our cup of tea or coffee in the morning and throughout the day. But do we actually know anything about that little device known as the ‘kettle’ that plays such a pivotal role in our tea and coffee making? Probably not. But that’s why we’re here… Here are 32 facts about kettles for you to enjoy while drinking your morning beverage! 

Fact 1: A kettle can sometimes be known as a ‘tea kettle’ and a ‘teakettle’, essentially these words are interchangeable and they mean the same thing nowadays. But years ago, people would have noted the distinct difference between the ‘kettle’ and the ‘tea kettle’. The ‘tea kettle’ is obviously only involved in the making of tea, as the name suggests. Today, most of us aren’t that picky over the name!   

Fact 2: The kettle is and was made for the purpose of boiling water. While today we associate boiling a kettle with the purpose of making a cup of tea or coffee, the boiling water in a kettle can be used for many reasons. For example, you could use the water to clean dishes, add to a pan of food, or even to remove tough stains. 

Fact 3: A traditional kettle comes with a lid. And in fact, it’s really dangerous to boil water without a lid as the water can spit out at you! Additionally, the lid helps to increase the pressure inside the kettle and helps the water boil quicker.

Fact 4: Your kettle should come with a spout too! This spout is there to help you pour out boiling water in a safe and easy way! There’s no hard and fast rule about it – without a spout, you’d make one heck of a mess and you’d risk tipping boiling water everywhere! 

Fact 5: Today, we have a lot of ‘fancy’ kettles, but they’ve all got one thing in common: they all come with a handle. Whether this handle is above the kettle, or to the side, they all have one. And actually, without a handle, it would be virtually impossible for you to lift up a kettle filled with boiling water without hurting yourself! It’s also interesting to note, today we have specialists who specialise in handle making so that we don’t hurt ourselves when making a hot beverage, and that holding a kettle isn’t an uncomfortable activity!  

Fact 6: ‘Pot calling the kettle black’ is an old phrase that is used when someone is saying something about you but they are actually the same. In other words, the person is a hypocrite. It is thought that this phrase came from years ago when pots were black in color and kettles were made from shiny and reflective metal. So, basically the ‘pot’ is just seeing its ‘reflection’.    

Fact 7: We all love to fancify our kitchen and spruce the old place up a bit so-to-speak. One of the easiest ways of doing this, with minimal effort, is by changing your kitchen appliances! Kettles are so easily replaced and can be bought in different colors and materials. Some of the most common materials that kettles are made from are stainless steel, silver, copper, and plastic! It’s so simple to change your kitchen around just by changing the material of your kettle! Try it! 

Fact 8: It was as early as 1922 when electric kettles started to make an appearance on the market next to stove kettles!

Fact 9: Our kettles today generally need to be plugged into an electrical socket to get the power to work. But, and this still happens today, you can find kettles that are boiled on a stove! These are special kettles, so don’t go sticking your plastic kettle on the cooker, because it will melt! The stove kettle sits on top of a cooker-ring and the heat gently boils the kettle for you. It sort of works a bit like boiling water in a saucepan.  

Fact 10: It is typically thought that the word ‘kettle’ comes from the Old Norse word ‘ketill’ which means ‘cauldron’. Hehe, next time you ask someone to ‘Pop the kettle on’ I urge you to ask them to ‘Pop the cauldron on’ for me. It would be amazing to hear about some of the reactions you get back from this!!   

Fact 11: Transparent or clear kettles are a real thing and they work the same as a normal kettle! The main difference is that you can see the water boiling and bubbling! Quite meditative and fancy! 

Fact 12: In Old English, ‘kettle’ wasn’t spelled as ‘kettle’ it was actually spelled like this ‘cetel’. Ohh, English language, how you have evolved! 

Fact 13: In 1955, the now popular Russell Hobbs brought out the ‘K1’ kettle that was the first fully automatic kettle! Considering they’re still around today they did a good job of making this kettle!  

Fact 14: The traditional whistle of a kettle is something that is associated with a stove kettle! Its purpose is to let the tea-maker know that the kettle has boiled! 

Fact 15: The ‘Kelly Kettle’ is a kettle that has been designed to be used outdoors. You find branches or bits of wood and create a fire inside the metal container which, in turn, boils the water inside the container for you. 

Fact 16: Not quite the world’s most expensive kettle, but the world’s most expensive teapot is worth $3 million. So, what do you get for this price? 1,658 D and E color grade diamonds, a handful of rubies (386 actually! WHAT?!), and 6.67-carat Thai ruby. So, who’s for tea? 

Fact 17: The oldest kettle was made about 3500-2000 BC. However, researchers who have analyzed this kettle, that was found in Mesopotamia, don’t think it shares exactly the same characteristics that traditional kettles have had over the years! 

Fact 18: Electric kettles are typically used in countries were electric sockets can produce 200-240 V. 

Fact 19: An electric kettle’s heating element, which is actually inside the kettle, typically needs 2-3 kW of power to boil a kettle full of water. 

Fact 20: The fastest boiling kettle as of 2013 is said to belong to the ‘Tiger Corp’ company. The kettle they created could boil a cup of water in 45 seconds. The ‘Tiger Electric Kettle Wakuko’ would have set you back $180, 7 years ago! 

Fact 21: In America, a kettle is sometimes called a ‘hot pot’. In the UK a ‘hot pot’ would be a meal that would be eaten! 

Fact 22: Some of the biggest kettle sellers are Tefal, Russell Hobbs, Kenwood, Prestige, and Smeg. 

Fact 23: In Russia, a traditional way of boiling water is by using a ‘samovar’. This is basically a large metal container that boils water. 

Fact 24: Around the world, some people use ‘fish kettles’, and no this isn’t an actual kettle as we know it! A ‘fish kettle’ is an oval-shaped pan, that is used for cooking fish. 

Fact 25: Most modern kettles stop themselves boiling beyond a certain temperature! There are two reasons for this:

  1. Once the kettle has reached boiling point there is no need for it to boil further as it wastes electricity.
  2. Not over-boiling the kettle protects the heating element that is inside the kettle.

Just think, if your kettle was over-boiling itself all the time you’d be constantly out buying parts or new kettles.

Fact 26: Just for fun… a ‘kettle’, in a geological context, is actually a hole in the land that occurs because of floodwater or glaciers retreating! Absolutely nothing to do with your kitchen kettle!   

Fact 27: Plastic kettles don’t melt because of the materials that they are made from, polypropylene and polystyrene, for example. 

Fact 28: In America, it is not unheard of for people to cook food on their ‘kettle grill’. Again though, this is not a kettle in the traditional sense, it is in fact, more like a BBQ grill. 

Fact 29: Solar-powered kettles are a real thing! You can take these with you wherever you go and you can rest assured knowing, as long as you have the sun around you, you can make a nice cup of tea or coffee for yourself! It’s actually quite clever because if you were in an emergency and needed water while in a snowy area, you could use the kettle to boil and sterilise the water ready for consumption. 

Fact 30: When you boil water in a kettle, the water boils to a temperature of 100℃. 

Fact 31: As early as 1893 electric kettles have been used! Although, they were nowhere near as good as they are nowadays! These electric kettles made in 1893, were made in England by Crompton and Co, and were sold in their catalog. But, unlike today where the heating element of the kettle is actually in the kettle, years ago they couldn’t put the heating element in the kettle and so they had to make a completely separate compartment for it. This, as you can imagine, was completely impractical! 

Fact 32: ‘Kettledrums’ are musical instruments that are part of the percussion family! Although they have the name ‘kettle’ in their full name they don’t resemble kettles in any way. They don’t look like kettles, act like kettles, and these drums don’t boil any water!


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