Product Type: Breville kettles
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Breville Lightning Kettle
Member Name: SueMagee
Breville Lightning Kettle
Advantages: A fast, efficient kettle with a large capacity .
Disadvantages: A little loud and bright in operation .
I know that you can get a basic electric jug kettle for a lot less than £26, but this is a well-constructed superior kettle. The first thing that struck me was that there were no rough edges and no chances of catching your hands on protruding corners. In fact the only straight line is the base - the rest of the kettle is a series of curves. As I did the preliminary boils to clean the kettle out I could see that there was no danger of steam escaping other than through the spout. Having tried a cheaper kettle (and scalded my hand) I know that this isn't always the case.
The capacity is impressive at 1.7l. It allows me to fill my pasta pan or the stock pot to a reasonable depth with just one kettle of water. The last time I had visitors I filled the teapot and the hot water jug from the same kettle of boiling water. I hate having to refill and wait for it to boil. If you're into making mugs of coffee then you can do eight in one go - or as few as two. The markings are on the large clear blue plastic window and are in white. At certain angles they are not easy to see and I have once or twice over-filled the kettle and had to pour some water away, but that's a minor annoyance.
When the kettle is full to the maximum it is quite heavy at about 2.5kg - the kettle itself weighs just short of a kilo - but the centre of gravity is low and I've never felt unsafe moving the kettle when full of boiling water. I have felt very nervous when moving tall slim jug kettles, even when they held a smaller quantity of boiling water. There's a non-slip grip on the outside of the handle plus finger indentations on the inside and these mean that you have a firm grip above most of the weight of the water. I have problems with both of my hands and one of my wrists, but I have no difficulty in using this kettle.
When full the kettle boils in 3 minutes 40 seconds and switches off automatically in a further 10 seconds. It's fast, but probably not the fastest. The on/off switch is large and chunky, making it easy to either press with a finger or even just to tap with the side of the hand. No great accuracy is needed. There's also a handy switch to keep the water warm after boiling if you're not intending to use it immediately. After boiling, the water is not allowed to drop below a temperature of 77°C until the keep-warm switch is released. I've found this useful when I'm cooking and don't want to have to stop to boil a kettle or if I want the kettle to boil and stay hot for my coffee whilst I do something else.
The kettle can be filled either through the spout or by lifting the lid. The spout is wide and filling by this method is simple. It's also a very good spout for pouring - there are no drips and it's possible to pour a thin stream of water if it's needed. Filling via the lid is a little more complicated. To open the lid it's necessary to depress the sides and lift the middle. This might sound difficult, but it's simply a knack that needs to be mastered. Where I do quibble slightly is that the lid needs to be shut firmly. If it isn't, steam can escape and this will affect the automatic cut-off when the kettle boils.
There's an anti-scale filter fitted in the spout. I have removed it once to see if it needed cleaning, but, thankfully, scale is not a problem in this area. The filter came out and was replaced easily. For people who do have scale problems an additional advantage is that the 3000w element is concealed in the base of the kettle and does not therefore attract scale. As for cleaning the kettle itself, a wipe-over with a damp cloth is all that's needed.
The kettle has a reasonable, if not generous, length of flex. Mine sits about 20cm from the socket and a small amount of flex has been wound back under the base. The base seems flimsy but has not caused any problems so far. It has a central connector so that the kettle can be swivelled to wherever the handle is needed, be that for left- or right-handed use or because it's more convenient in a certain position when you're cooking.
What don't I like? Well, if the kettle is plugged in the handle stays warm. I'm not certain that this can be considered a benefit, but there doesn't seem to be any way of stopping this waste of electricity. It's also a little, well, obvious, in operation. Once the kettle is switched on red indicator lights shine in the base and the interior of the kettle is illuminated and a blue light shines through. As it's also quite noisy I keep expecting an aircraft to land. These are minor niggles though and ones that I'm quite happy to live with.
The kettle is recommended, particularly if you cook regularly or need to make a lot of cups of coffee at once. I only wish we'd bought it instead of the Dualit a couple of years ago.
Summary: A superior kettle, fast and efficient but a little bright and loud in operation.