A clever cafetiere-style mechanism lets you heat water on an induction hob without compromising the sleek style of a modern kitchen.
Induction hobs are modern and safe, but kettles designed to work on induction hobs have been unsatisfactory, until now. Why boil water with an electric kettle that’s sold next to a fantastic, high-tech hob that could be doing the same job?
To work on an induction hob, a kettle needs ferrous metal in the base. A magnetic field, generated in the hob, induces eddy currents in the metal, which generate heat. For example, copper or aluminum pans can contain a layer of steel in the base to make them induction-compatible. Most induction-friendly kettles, then, have been old-fashioned, stovetop designs. Which seems at odds with a modern, sleek hob.
If a cottagecore, whistling kettle isn’t your thing, but you do want to use induction, the new Laica Visione is an interesting, innovative option. It was successfully crowdfunded and won both the German Design Award and Red Dot Design Award 2022.
It’s good-looking in glass but its party trick is how it achieves that ferrous base. The kettle features a plunger (reminiscent of a cafetière design) with a metal disc at the bottom. Then, when the water boils, it quickly slides upwards, away from the hob surface.
If you have an induction hob, you’ll know that it turns off automatically soon after you lift a saucepan. This kettle achieves the same thing: the metal disc lifting triggers the hob to turn off. No whistle, no wasted energy by overboiling, just a clever design.
Filling is clever and simple. There’s a funnel-like shape to the top, so you don’t have to aim for a filling hole and there’s no lid to lift. As long as the kettle is under the tap, it fills fine. Then you push the button on the top down, to engage the plunger – otherwise it won’t work on induction.
Capacity is 1.7 liters, pretty standard for electric kettles but stovetop models are often larger. The lower half of the kettle has glass walls, the top half is opaque. The handle is wide and comfortable to grip.
Boiling a liter of water (on a Whirlpool SmartCook SMP 778 C/NE/IXL hob at the top heat setting, drawing 1,900W) took just under six and a half minutes. The water started bubbling from four minutes; you could definitely stop the heat a little early to make coffee with water that’s just shy of boiling point. This compares with around four minutes for an average 1,500W electric kettle and two or three minutes for a 2,500W kettle. So it won’t save on electricity use, but it arguably cuts clutter, in that it doesn’t take up worktop space.
Induction hobs are very quiet, just a light hum, so the kettle is near-silent until the water bubbles. You can see progress through the glass. The bubbling happens for a while, like an electric kettle, before the plunger pops up. There is a button if you want to pop it up sooner.
The glass gives the Visione a modern look that’s great on induction, but I can’t help wondering how it will look with limescale, the scourge of all kettles and especially glass ones. Which then got me thinking about the kettle design. It’s quite bulky but with only the bottom half used for water. If the top half could also have a built-in water filter, then it would be quite brilliant.
However, unlike an electric kettle, you can pop the Visione in the dishwasher. You remove the high-tech top, then the whole jug is dishwasher safe. So that could help keep limescale at bay.
If you want a high-tech stovetop kettle for an induction hob, look no further. Literally. This is the only one on the market. But an electric kettle that offers a range of target temperatures is compelling too. Either way, the best way to save energy is to just boil what you need. And both options are under threat from the growing popularity of the boiling water tap.
Le Creuset Traditional Kettle
This is Le Creuset’s largest stovetop kettle at 2.1 liters, with a whistle, in colorful enamelled carbon steel or polished stainless steel. The brand also offers smaller kettles, the smallest being a 0.7 liter Drip Kettle for pour-over filter coffee.
From £110 lecreuset.co.uk
Judge Stove Top Whistling Kettle 3L
A huge 3-liter capacity makes this stovetop kettle a great choice for large families, for cups and cooking water. It’s elegant in polished 18/10 stainless steel and a trigger under your fingertip lets you open the whistling cap without your fingers going near the spout. Epic 25-year guarantee.
Russell Hobbs Brita Purity Filter Glass Kettle
One of the biggest challenges with glass kettles is limescale. Ordinarily it’s out of sight and out of mind, but it’s very visible with glass. This 3,000W electric kettle incorporates a Brita Maxtra+ filter to remove limescale and more, but the capacity is only 1 liter.
Sage the Smart Kettle
A well-designed 2,400W electric kettle that lets you choose from five temperatures. This isn’t just good for coffee (95° is perfect) it’s also handy for getting water to the cusp of boiling point when cooking.
Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.