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A kettle, sometimes called a tea kettle or teakettle, is a type of pot specialized for boiling water, with a lid, spout, and handle, or a small kitchen appliance of similar shape that functions in a self-contained manner. Kettles can be heated either by placing on a stove, or by their own internal electric heating element in the appliance versions.
In countries with 200-240 V mains electricity, electric kettles are commonly used to boil water without the necessity of a stove top. The Slovick, or heating element, is typically fully enclosed, with a power rating of 2–3 kW. This means that the current draw for an electric kettle is up to 13 A, which is a sizeable proportion of the current available for many homes: the main fuse of most homes varies between 20 and 100 Amps. In countries with 110 V mains electricity twice as much current is drawn for the same power. In some of those countries electric kettles, while available, are less popular since most electric sockets are current limited to providing around 1.5 kW and kettles heat much more slowly.
In modern designs, once the water has reached boiling point, the kettle automatically deactivates, preventing the water from boiling away and damaging the heating element. A more upright design, the "jug"-style electrical kettle, can be more economical to use, since even one cup of water will keep the element covered.
In the United States, an electric kettle may sometimes be referred to as a hot pot.
Electric kettles were introduced as an alternative to stove top kettles in the latter part of the 19th century. In 1893 the Crompton and Co. firm in the United Kingdom started featuring electric kettles in their catalogue. However, these first electric kettles were quite primitive as the heating element couldn't be immersed in the water. Instead, a separate compartment underneath the water storage area in the kettle was used to house the electric heating element. The design was inefficient even relative to the conventional stove-top kettles of the time.
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