Tea kettles are great tools that come in a variety of different styles and are made from a variety of different materials. There are stovetop and electric tea kettles, and they’re made in everything from copper to cast iron. They’re great tools for heating water either for cooking or making tea, and every household should probably have one in their kitchen.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are using and/or taking care of these tea kettles in the wrong way. Many people confuse them with teapots—pots in which the tea is brewed inside. Tea kettles are different, however, and need to be used in a certain way to avoid ruining them. It also needs to be properly maintained so that it lasts a long time—otherwise, even the best tea kettle won’t last very long. That’s why we’ve decided to talk a little bit about using and taking care of tea kettles.
How To Use A Tea Kettle
We’re going to start things off by talking about how to properly use a tea kettle. For our purposes, we’re going to talk about using a stovetop tea kettle, so if you need information on using an electric one, then you’re going to have to rely on your electric tea kettle’s instructions. Now, let’s go through the steps of making the perfect pot of tea using a tea kettle.
Step One: Fill Up The Tea Kettle & Put It On The Stove
One of the biggest misconceptions about tea kettles is that tea is brewed in them. That’s false. They’re only used to heat tea. That’s why the first step is to place water into a tea kettle and then place that tea kettle on the stove.
Although this seems like a very basic step, it’s worth mentioning that the quality of the water is very important. We recommend using filtered water in the tea kettle. Remember, the higher quality the water, the better tasting the tea is going to be when it’s all said and done.
Step Two: Heat The Water To The Proper Temperature
Once the tea kettle has been filled, heat it until it reaches boiling temperature. On some models, that will be indicated by a whistling sound, but not all tea kettles are whistling kettles, so the consumer might have to keep an eye on it. Once the water has reached boiling, allow the water to sit for approximately 20-seconds. That will bring it to the perfect temperature for making tea.
Step Three: Prepare The Tea To Accept The Water
While the water is being boiled, you should take the time to get your tea ready. For some people, that means placing tea bags into a cup, and for other people that means placing tea leaves into a strainer of some sort.
Step Four: Pour The Water Over The Tea & Steep
Carefully pour the water through the strainer or into the cup and allow the tea to steep. For tea bags, that can be anywhere from 3-5 minutes. For loose tea, that can be anywhere from 5-7 minutes. If you’re using loose tea leaves without a strainer or tea bags, be sure to remove them before enjoying your nice hot cup of tea. You deserve it.
How To Keep Your Tea Kettle In Good Condition
Okay, now that we’ve cleared up any confusion surrounding how to use a tea kettle properly, we want to shift our attention to how the tea kettle should be properly cleaned. That’s because we’ve found that there are quite a few people who improperly care for their tea kettle, so we thought that we’d give some helpful advice.
Cleaning Supplies Needed:
- White Vinegar
- Lemon Juice And/Or Lemon
- Baking Soda
- Mild Dish Soap
Step One: Everyday Cleaning
The tea kettle should be cleaned daily, or at least every other day, to keep it in good condition. To accomplish this goal, you should use a soft sponge and mild dish soap with hot water. Don’t use steel wool on most tea kettles because it can scratch stainless steel or enamel.
Step Two: Regular Descaling
The tea kettle should be descaled every once in a while—particularly if you live in an area with hard water. How often should it be descaled? Well, that depends on the hardness of the water. Some people can get away with it every 6-months, and some people will have to descale once a month.
To descale the tea kettle, add 1/4-cup of white vinegar and two cups of purified water to it. Then it should be allowed to simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes. When that’s done, pour out the descaling solution and then rinse the tea kettle.
Step Three: Heavy-Duty Cleaning
To deal with a tea kettle that’s been neglected and has both rust and mineral deposits in it, you should do a heavy-duty cleaning. Place two tablespoons of baking soda, purified water, and two tablespoons of lemon juice in the kettle.
Bring the kettle to a boil and allow it to boil for half an hour. Do not boil away the water during this process. If the water level falls low, add some more, but boil for the whole 30-minutes. After 30-minutes, dump out the kettle and allow it to cool. When it’s cool, rinse it out and make sure it’s dry.
Step Four: Clean The Kettle’s Exterior
Most of the time, and with most tea kettles, the exterior should be cleaned with mild dish soap and a soft sponge. However, what happens since the tea kettle is often left on the stove, it tends to get grease on its exterior. In these instances, you’re going to want to de-grease the kettle’s exterior.
To degrease a stainless steel or enamel tea kettle, make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar and apply it to the exterior of the kettle. Then use a soft sponge to scrub away grease. If using a copper tea kettle, cut a lemon in half and dip it in salt. You then should use the lemon half to scrub the exterior of the pot. Make sure to thoroughly dry the kettle once it’s been de-greased.