The Good: Actually boils water?
The Bad: Weird controls, Small capacity, Plastic jug gets hot, Odd taste of water
The Basics: If one does not enjoy weirdly boiled, off-tasting water, pass the Hamilton Beach 45802B Electric Kettle by!
As I consider the various electric kettles I have tried over the last year, few stick out in my mind the way the Hamilton Beach 45802B does. Unfortunately for Hamilton Beach, this is not a good thing. As far as electric kettles go, Hamilton Beach has been largely underwhelming to me; I was not a fan of their Hamilton Beach K1050 Electric Kettle and the 45802B is actually worse . . . by far. The smallest electric kettle I've tried by far, the 45802B is overly complicated for users who just want to boil water and have something to drink. As well, unlike every other (larger) electric kettle I have tried, the 45802B has a plastic jug which gets hot and leaves the water tasting off. It would not surprise me if Hamilton Beach starts going for metal liners or full-metal jugs for their electric kettles, but if they are looking to have a discount line (as opposed to quality) it would make sense why they have not started there.
The Hamilton Beach 45802B Electric Kettle is a squat, jug-type electric kettle that plugs into the wall. This had an initial price of $19.99 + tax, but many sites on-line offer it for less. Given that I am not recommending the unit, I would not recommend consumers pay that much for it. I suppose the niche market for this smaller electric kettle is people who live in apartments with very little counter space or shelf capacity. This is a small unit and with its translucent blue jug, it is hardly stylish. I cringe to think how this would not fit into a nice kitchen done up with stainless steel appliances!
The 45802B Electric Kettle from Hamilton Beach is a one-piece electric kettle that makes the user feel like they are boiling water in a little coffee pot. This is white for the base and blue for the sides of the jug. It is a one-piece electric kettle (though the top comes off for the addition of water). The 45802B Electric Kettle is comprised of white and blue plastic, with a detachable flip top, elongated spout, and a wider base, which conceals the heating element.
The base is approximately six and a half inches in diameter with a cord that plugs into a three-prong wall socket. The cord is only three feet long, but for those who do not need a cord that has to stretch even that far, below the base is a space that allow the user to wind the cord up and contain it under the unit. This is handy and there are no issues (I've had) with keeping the base level after winding the cord under it. The base simply plugs into the wall when one wishes to activate the unit and it has a dial one needs to turn when one wishes to activate the unit.
Here, though, the unit is overly complicated for most users; the electric kettle has a dial with little blobs above it, turned as far clockwise as possible boils the water. The minimum setting brings cold water up to room temperature. These options seem pointless as the only real use I've found for an electric kettle is boiling water. If you don't need the water boiling, you can always turn it off before the water boils or let it boil, then cool for a few minutes before using it to make whatever you needed less-than-boiling water for. The lesser dial positions seem like a waste of energy to me and if one uses a lesser position than the maximum, the water will still boil, it just takes longer. I shudder to think what this would do to the electric bill!
The kettle portion is attached to the base, fused together as a single unit. This has the advantage of not needing to worry about losing any parts to the 45802B. The unit is approximately seven inches tall and has a sturdy blue and white plastic handle that extends back past the limits of the base that makes it easy to grab, hold and maintain control over the electrical kettle. At least, that is the theory. The handle is curved and made of smooth plastic which makes it less stable (the handle is rounded as well) and it easily slips from the hand.
The 45802B electric kettle has a pretty pathetic .95 Liter capacity (in practical terms, this is about one full steeping pot worth of tea!) and that takes approximately eight minutes to come to a very full boil, when filled with initially lukewarm water and turned to the maximum setting.
Operating this is so simple it almost defies explanation: fill with water, plug the unit into the wall socket, turn the activation dial clockwise (it is located on the side of the base of the kettle) and wait. The 45802B does not whistle when the water is boiled, so one needs to pay attention to it. Supposedly, it has a function that shuts it off automatically whenever the water level gets too low, but mine never activated. It is easy enough to turn the dial back to "off," unplug the kettle and pour water from it when it has boiled.
Then all you need to do is pour your boiling water out. Refilling the unit is a snap as the top flips open easily.
Cleanup is also incredibly easy. First, I recommend only using filtered water in the unit. This forever eliminates the need to clean inside because nothing ever builds up inside. Unfortunately, after even limited use, I noticed there were stains inside the 45802B. These do not appear to be stains from the water, per se, but rather from the plastic denaturing. I scrubbed them, but they did not go away, leading us to the conclusion that extended use of this product denatures the plastic over time. The base cleans up with a damp cloth and because of the electric components in it, it should not be submerged in water.
The real drawback I've noticed, though, comes in the fact that the plastic jug heats up a lot - more than some of the metal electric kettles I've owned or reviewed. I suspect this also has a lot to do with why the plastic seems to denature (the element might well be cooking the jug) and the water tastes funny coming out of this.
Even though this is made of plastic and has limited potential to break and it generally cleans up easily, this is easily the worst electric kettle I have yet reviewed and it is quite safe to pass this one by!
For other electric kettles and kitchen appliances, please check out my reviews of:
Krups FLF31W Electric Kettle
Chef's Choice Electric Kettle
Westinghouse WSTBW2 Waffle Maker
For other home and garden product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.