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Chef's Choice SmartKettle Cordless Kettle With Temperature Control Review

Home Test of Chef's Choice SmartKettle Model 688

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Chef's Choice SmartKettle Cordless Kettle With Temperature Control Review

Chef's Choice SmartKettle Model 688

Photo © Chef's Choice
A cordless kettle that boils to a preferred temperature? When it comes to green tea, this is a must so I just had to try the Chef's Choice SmartKettle.

Product Description

    Chef's Choice SmartKettle Cordless Electric Kettle Model 688
  • Cordless convenience
  • Auto shut off when water boils
  • Low water warning
  • Electronic triple action boil-dry shut-off protection
  • 1-3/4 Qts; 1.7 liters
  • Push button lid opening; cord storage
  • Exterior water gauge
  • Precision temperature control with LED display in F/C; remembers last temperature setting
  • Water heats directly to temperature set; beep signal
  • Ideal for temperature sensitive teas
  • Keep-Warm feature
  • Efficient - conserves energy
  • High quality stainless steel construction
  • 1500 Watts
  • Concealed heating element
  • Illuminated on/off power switch
  • Cool touch bottom
  • 360 degree cordless swivel; convenient right or left hand use
  • 1 Year warranty
  • More from the manufacturer

How the Chef's Choice SmartKettle Performed

July 10, 2011
The look and feel of this kettle is very pleasing and the brushed stainless finish helps to resist fingerprints, so it's not hard to keep clean. The interior is easy to clean - love the hidden heating element. The swivel base makes access more convenient and the one-hand push-button lid is something all kettles should have. Cord length is more than adequate (around three feet) and you can wrap the excess cord under the base. The handle though a little thick, is still comfortable for my hand. Capacity is more than adequate to fill a teapot and I like the safety feature of the boil dry auto-shut off. The add water prompt works well and the current temperature display is nice to have - eliminates having to reboil if you're satisfied with the status.

This kettle is designed with a factory default temperature setting of 122 deg.F but you can override that to your preferred hot temperature or just set it to a rolling boil (rbL). Expect to take a few minutes going through the manual to understand how to vary the temperature settings because there's a certain sequence to get it right - the temperature must be set or adjusted before you press the On button to start heating. It took a few tries to get that right initially, after that it was clear sailing. There's also a series of signal beeps to take note of.

Heating takes a little longer getting to a preferred temperature when set below the boiling point, than it does set for a full boil. This is possibly due to sensor activity and that tends to delay the heat process slightly. This is a small thing and may not even be noticed by some, unless you're the type that demands quick service. For certain teas and the avid tea drinker, being able to set it to a given temperature is nice to have, even if it does seem to cause a slight delay. This kettle pours very well without dripping - a big plus. I really enjoyed having a precise temperature (167degF) for white tea and less for green tea. If you're an avid instant coffee drinker, you'll appreciate the more comfortable drinking temperature of 190degF.

I also like the Keep Warm mode - goes on automatically if it's ready but you are not. Ignored, it heat cycles to stay at that temperature for about 40 minutes, then goes off to save energy. This cycled heating could give the impression the kettle is confused, but it's just doing what it's designed to do. If you do use the kettle once the temperature is reached, it turns heating off. You can press On again to kick start the Keep Warm feature. Even when off, the display remains on and unfortunately, that's not an energy saver - there's no power disconnect switch, just a heating on/off button. You have to unplug it to fully cut power.

Overall Impression

I love the look, performance and handling of this kettle - the quality is evident and it has some nice convenience features. But for those who just want to boil water quickly and really don't care about the adjustable temperature options, you might find the advanced features more of a hassle. You should just set it for the full rolling boil - it will remember that setting.

On the other hand, if you love tea blends or beverages at their optimum temperature, you'll enjoy the SmartKettle immensely. But do take time to read (and keep) the manual to understand how it works. This kettle would make a lovely gift especially for those who love tea, instant noodles or other hot beverages.

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More About Edgecraft Corporation & Chef's Choice®

If you're not familiar with Chef's Choice®, it's the registered brand of EdgeCraft Corporation, based in Avondale, PA. Since its first product launch back in 1985, the Chef's Choice brand has garnered quite a reputation for its high quality knife sharpeners and the company continues to expand its product lines. The Chef's Choice® brand now boasts an extensive line-up of electric and non-electric sharpeners, high-quality cutlery, food slicers, waffle makers, hot beverage products and more.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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