Electric Kettle Vs Stove Top - The Boiling Battle!

Electric Kettle Vs Stove Top – The Boiling Battle!

Last updated on October 22nd, 2023 at 15:48

So, you want to know about Electric Kettle Vs Stove Top Kettles and which is best for boiling water and which will help you to achieve your goal of making a great cup of coffee.

Coffee requires precise temperatures and excess boiling water is just a little too hot and will spoil your coffee. Unfortunately, a standard electric water kettle or a traditional stovetop kettle lack the control that you need for making an excellent pour-over coffee.

For this, there are rather elegant kettles that will help you to make the perfect pour over coffee and to perfect the important technique of blooming your coffee grounds – and look amazing in your kitchen!

I’ll talk more about that rather unique type of kettle.

What Is An Electric Kettle?

Almost everyone in Europe and the western hemisphere has an electric kettle at home for heating or boiling water. Unlike a stovetop kettle, the electrical appliance performs the function automatically due to it switching off once it has reached the boiling point of 100C (212F) or a preset temperature.

Some interesting figures show that 97% of UK homes have an electric tea kettle. Ownership of kettles is growing worldwide. A fine example is Libya, where in 2013 only 8% of homes owned a kettle and rising to 42% now.

It is worth noting that its rival stove top kettle, is less efficient energy wise as it takes more time to bring the same volume of water to boil as an electric kettle.

A kettle is undoubtedly one of the most common kitchen appliances and consumes an estimated 374 KWh per home per year.

Due to being electric and having an internal heating element, the most commonly sold low cost kettles is a plastic kettle.

I advise you not to use a plastic kettle due to the health concerns of Xeno-estrogens being released from plastic with boiling water.

Much better looking, more elegant and healthier is a glass kettle and a stainless steel kettle. With the glass one, you can keep an eye on the hot water and the boiling process.

Let’s now talk more about Stovetop Kettles.

What Is An Electric Kettle
An Electric Kettle

Read: Do you need a gooseneck kettle for pour over coffee

What Is A Stovetop Kettle?

A stovetop kettle performs the same function as an electric kettle. Instead of having a heating element, they derive their heat source for making hot water from a gas or electric stove, or, if you so wish, a camp fire. They are flat-bottomed with heat-resistant handles which are usually on top of the appliance. Quite often, they come with a steam whistle which goes off when your hot water has reached boiling point.

Typically, stove kettles are made from stainless steel. Other metals used include copper and aluminimum. Due to the external heat source, a stovetop kettle has no preset temperature settings and is thus at a slight disadvantage to an electric kettle when it comes to brewing coffee.

What Is A Stovetop Kettle
A stovetop Kettle

Read: Is a gooseneck kettle worth it?

Electric Kettle Vs Gas Stove Cost

The cost of boiling water on a gas stove or an electric kettle will depend on your location for the direct cost. For here on in this segment I’ll talk about efficiency to give you an idea of the differences. Electricity and gas costs will vary from place to place. Also, a stovetop kettle can be placed on an electric stove.

  • Boiling water in a microwave is approximately 50% efficient. The majority of the energy lost is in converting electricity to microwaves.
  • 70% Efficiency can be achieved from an average stovetop kettle boiling water. This will vary depending on the mark and model.
  • An electric tea kettle has approximately 80% efficiency. This will vary depending on which kettle used and varies from kettle to kettle and design to design.
  • Boiling water in a stovetop tea kettle on an induction stove will achieve around an 85% efficiency.

The greater the efficiency, the less loss there is and cheaper it is for you to heat the water.

Pros And Cons Of Electric Kettle

Let’s now talk about the benefits of electric kettles, the plus points.

  • Electric kettles are multi-purpose kettles. They are versatile devices that you can use for making tea, coffee, boiling water and even to boil eggs.
  • They are energy efficient: Thanks to advances in technology, kettles are becoming very energy efficient and are improving further. I expect these might surpass the efficiency of an induction stove.
  • They are safe: Electric kettles are safe. For many decades they have had an automatic shut off when they reach boiling point. No need to worry about the water boiling away or overheating.
  • Electric kettles boil faster than Stovetop kettles: There is a tendency for water to boil notably quicker with an electric kettle than on stovetops Which is great, as it saves a little time as watching water boil is not the most exciting of tasks!
  • Advanced electric kettles can boil your water to a set temperature: This is great for coffee and tea fanatics who need to make their drinks within a defined temperature range.

Electric Kettles Cons

Not everything is perfect and there are drawbacks to Electric kettles. Let’s talk about those.

  • Electric kettles are not healthy kettles: Kettles made of plastic boil water and overtime can draw in unhealthy xeno estrogens and phytochemicals into your water which are detrimental to your health. Copper, stainless steal and glass kettles are better choices.
  • They can be more expensive to run: This is a little subjective as you may be using an electric induction stove to heat your water. Generally speaking, they are more expensive than gas powered stovetop kettles.
  • They can smell a bit off: Your heating element can rust a little and collect mineral deposits and calcify, making it smell off.
  • They don’t last as long as stovetop kettles: This is not a big issue as electric kettle do last years, and good ones for 6 years and more.

Pros And Cons Of Stovetop Kettle

let’s now talk about the advantages of using a Stovetop Kettle.

The Pros

  • They can be less expensive: Stovetop kettles are less expensive in both cost when buying the item initially and when working out running costs when using gas.
  • They are Easily portable: Try boiling water on a camp fire with your electric kettle!
  • They have a cool traditional Kettle whistle: This is definitely a plus point, for me. You let it boil away and return when the kettle whistles.
  • They are mostly made of materials that are not detrimental to your health.
  • You can take water above boiling point.

The Cons

Nothing is perfect, nor ever will be. Let’s talk about the drawbacks of stovetop kettles.

  • They take longer boil.
  • You can’t select a preset temperature.
  • They are very energy inefficient.

Electric Gooseneck Kettle Vs Stovetop Gooseneck Kettle

That other rather special kettle for coffee is a gooseneck kettle. The type is of course an electric variable temperature gooseneck kettle.

Hands down for making coffee, they are by far the best type of kettle for brewing coffee and tea. Having one of those rather charming looking kettles will help you to have perfect control over your temperature and an even pour over your grounds.

Getting a perfect even pour will help you to extract the coffee oils and flavors evenly and to perfectly bloom your grounds.

The fancy thin spout helps you to do that.

This is something that you will not be able to do with an ordinary electric kettle or a stovetop kettle.

Electric Gooseneck Kettle Vs Stovetop Gooseneck Kettle
A gooseneck kettle.

Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Kettle Vs Stove Top Kettle

Is it Cheaper To Boil Water On Stove Or Kettle?

It’s a good idea to seek out an energy efficient kettle for boiling water as it is good, environmentally friendly and saves you a pretty penny.

It doesn’t matter if you are using an electric kettle, or a gas powered stove top kettle or even if you are using your microwave it takes exactly the same amount of energy to boil one liter of water, the only difference is the time taken.

Why Is A Kettle More Efficient Than A Stove?

An electric kettle is more efficient as the heating coils are in direct contact with the water that is being heated reducing heat resistance.


electric kettles are very well insulated helping them to maintain heat which reduces the time and energy needed for reheating water if you need to reheat it soon after the initial heating.

Do Electric Kettles Boil Faster Than Stovetop?

Yes, and electric kettle will boil water faster than a stovetop kettle. The reason behind this is the heating element being in contact with the water and reducing the resistance of the air and other materials. 

A stovetop kettle will for example have a resistance of the bottom of the pot with the heat source and the heat resistance of the air also. 

Is It Cheaper To Have A Stove Top Kettle Or Electric?

At the time of writing and accounting for the current cost of gas and electricity it is much cheaper to boil your water using a gas stove than using an electric kettle. The cost per cup of coffee is approximately 1.8 cents per cup with an electric kettle and 0.8 cents per cup when heating using a gas stove. 

What Should You Not Do With An Electric Kettle?

The one thing that you should never do with an electric kettle is to heat milk or any other liquid in your kettle. Use your kettle to boil water only.

If you use any other substance you will have difficulties in cleaning it and may even ruin your kettle.

What Is The Healthiest Kettle To Use?

The healthiest kettle to use is made from Borosilicate glass or Stainless steel. If it is a strong robust kettle that you want, make sure it us made from 304 or 316 food grade stainless steel.

Frappé-Ing It All Up! – Electric Kettle Vs Stove Top Kettle

When it comes to the electric kettle Vs Stove top kettle debate the winner is, in all honesty, neither when it comes to brewing coffee. The winner by far is an electric gooseneck kettle for the reason mentioned.

Only if you absolutely must, go for an ordinary electric kettle and ensure it is made of metal or is a non-BPA product for health reasons.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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