For more than one hundred years, KitchenAid has created innovative, high-quality products for the kitchen. Recently, the company introduced a brand-new 1.7L kettle with variable temperature control and a 2-slice toaster, and we take a close look at both in this feature.
The 25th of December is one of the most special days of the year, and billions worldwide will be looking forward to some quality time with friends and family, enjoying the thrill of opening gifts and treating themselves to some delicious foods and drinks.
Preparing a memorable Christmas dinner will undoubtedly be one of the major focuses of the day; before then, there is the not-so-small matter of breakfast, which, alongside the festive television programs, has become a staple of Christmas mornings.
A hot brew and some toasted snacks are excellent ways to prepare people for what’s to come, and KitchenAid’s new variable temperature and 1.7L ketter and 2-slice toaster seem to be the ideal tools for the job.
The New 1.7L Kettle with Variable Temperature Control
A little more than one year ago, we were given the opportunity to try KitchenAid’s Artisan 1.5L kettle with variable temperature control, and we described it as ‘Perfect and Peerless’. Given that the 1.5L kettle was from KitchenAid’s flagship range, we’re not expecting this new kettle to knock it off its perch. However, the good news is that much of what we loved about the Artisan can be found in the company’s latest offering.
The Importance of Water Temperature
Kettles with Variable Temperature Control has been shown to help reduce energy bills, which, given the high cost of energy, is one of its major selling points. Like the KitchenAid 1.5L Artisan kettle, the company’s new kettle, which boasts an even larger capacity, comes with the same handy function.
At the base of the new KitchenAid 1.7L kettle is a sliding lever, which allows users to set the temperature at the following increments: 50°C, 60°C, 70°C, 80°C, 90°C, 95°C and 100°C.
The advantage of being able to set specific (lower) temperatures is not only a money saver, but it also helps with the quality and taste of a drink.
The majority of kettles in the marketplace are designed to heat to just one temperature, 100°C. What consumers might not know is that some drinks taste better when heated to specific temperatures.
For example, NESCAFÉ®, a company that very few would dispute are experts when it comes to coffee, states that when you boil water, oxygen escapes and the taste changes; it recommends using water heated to just 80°C for the most flavourful cup of instant coffee.
Having the correct water temperature is even more apparent when it comes to tea varieties. Using overly hot water on tea leaves can cause a variety of issues, such as the destruction of tannins, which are responsible for the drink’s colour and flavour. On the flip side, water that is not hot enough prevents the tannins from doing their job.
In addition, water that is too hot can produce a thermal shock to tea leaves, which results in a bitter-tasting brew, the last thing anyone would want on a Christmas morning!
The UK Tea & Infusion Association recommends a little over 90°C for black tea and 80°C for green tea, and the ideal water temperature for white tea is 70° – 75 °C.
As you can clearly see, the temperature of the water is one of the most important factors when it comes to making a good brew.
The kettle market is crowded, and it is likely that some would think that having temperature adjustment on kettles, such as the KitchenAid’s new 1.7L version, was a gimmick, as you can see from what NESCAFÉ® and the UK Tean & Infusion Association have to say on the matter, it’s not.
When it comes to looks, the new Variable Temperature 1.7L Kettle is markedly different from the company’s Artisan model.
The new 1.7L model sports a more upright design, whilst the Artisan has a round, perhaps ‘cuter’ shape. The new model is 25.6cm in height and, like the company’s other products, clearly displays the company’s logo.
For our review, KitchenAid kindly sent us a stainless steel-coloured version. However, fans of the brand will be pleased that the new kettle is also available in its iconic Empire Red and Matte Black.
As with the Artisan model, the new 1.7L kettle has a round, sit-on base, which is where the power button is located. The water level gauge is on the side of the kettle behind the large and comfortable handle.
Getting the perfect water temperature is very simple; you just need to slide the temperature control to your preferred setting and press the on button, and it will automatically shut off once the temperature has been reached.
Another nice feature of the new 1.7L kettle is the removable limescale filter, making cleaning it simple. In addition, it is made with a stainless steel single wall, has a non-drip spout, and a hinged push button lid, and as it is without a power cord attached to the actual kettle, it makes life far simpler in the kitchen.
Overall, it is a lovely-looking kettle. Admittedly, it is not quite as pretty as the Artisan, but it does come in at a much lower price, and its larger capacity makes it the practical choice for larger get-togethers.
KitchenAid Design 1.7L Kettle 5KEK1701 Technical Specifications:
- Wattage: 2000 – 2400
- Voltage: 220 – 240 V
- Frequency: 50 / 60 Hz
- Kettle capacity: 1.7L
- Material body: Stainless Steel
- Interior material: Stainless Steel
- Temperature range: 50 – 100°C
- Product dimensions: 25.6 (H) × 21.8 (W) × 16.3 (D) cm
- Net weight: 1.3 kg
- Cord length: 71 cm
The New KitchenAid Design 2-Slice Toaster
Although I am fastidious about what I eat pretty much every day of the year, there are a few days when I can remove the shackles, and they are my birthday and Christmas day.
The thought of sinking my teeth into a hot slice of toast slathered with fresh butter is making my mouth salivate as I write this!
As part of my ‘eat super healthy’ regime, my wife Natasha now makes all of our bread. However, there is a slight drawback to this, and getting a uniform thin slice can sometimes be tricky.
Fortunately, this isn’t a problem for the New KitchenAid Design 2-Slice Toaster, as it has an extra wide slot design. The slot width makes it ideal for toasting a variety of bread, and even muffins and bagels aren’t a problem.
To ensure you reach the ideal crunch level, the toaster has a slider on its side with seven options. It also has five buttons, which include options for reheating along with a defrost option.
Perhaps the option that surprised me most was one specifically for bagels. Each of the five options has a graphic next to it, and the top one (the first) confused me as I didn’t recognise it was two bagel halves.
With bagel mode, which is also the best option for muffins, the toaster only toasts the cut side of the bagel whilst warming the other side. Although I didn’t test it with either food, the company does state that this produces a golden crunch without burnt edges.
Like the kettle, the New KitchenAid Design 2-Slice Toaster does everything you’d expect, plus a little more. It is an all-metal design and feels high quality. To my eyes, it has somewhat of a retro look and, once in place, brings some extra style to the kitchen.
On the front of the toaster, where the toasting options are, is a manual high lift lever, which makes removing toasted items simple. It also has a removable crumb tray, which makes it simple to keep clean.
Having the ability to toast thick bread items and defrost or reheat items is brilliant. Writing about a toaster is a first for me, and like the kettle, it did everything I hoped and more. Then again, I shouldn’t be surprised as, after all, it is made by KitchenAid!
KitchenAid Design 2-Slice Toaster 5KMT2109 Technical Specifications
- Wattage: 823 – 980
- Voltage: 220 – 240 V
- Frequency: 50 / 60 Hz
- Slot width: 2 extra wide of each 3.2cm
- Slot length: 14cm
- Material body: Metal with stainless steel top/ buttons and plastic under base
- Product dimensions: 21.15 (H) × 30.76 (W) × 17.5 (D) cm
- Net weight: 1.9 kg
- Cord length: 95 cm
The new KitchenAid Variable Temperature 1.7L Kettle and the new 2-Slice Toaster have an RRP of £179 and can be purchased via kitchenaid.co.uk.
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