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KitchenAid KEK1222SX Review

A pared down kettle with a sharp, throwback design
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Price:   $80 List | $79 at Amazon
Pros:  Retro look, fast boiling
Cons:  Hard to pour, no temperature adjustment, no temperature holding
Manufacturer:   KitchenAid
By Nick Miley, Michelle Powell and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Sep 9, 2019
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Our Verdict

If you're looking for a modern replacement for your old stovetop kettle, then the KitchenAid KEK1222SX will fit the bill. This kettle is modeled on the classic steam whistle design, offering only two improvements: faster boil time and automatic shut off. So, if you're unconcerned with all the settings and features offered by other models on the market, and you're willing to pay a little extra for the classic look, then this is the machine for you.


Our Analysis and Test Results

The KitchenAid is unique in its class as it sustains the aesthetics of the previous generation of stovetop water heating appliances. The improvements on the classic design are limited but significant. The KitchenAid offers a much shorter boiling interval, the removal of the steam whistle and the addition of an automatic shut off.

Classy and classic. The KitchenAid maintains the old school look.
Classy and classic. The KitchenAid maintains the old school look.

Boil Time


Our boil time analysis is quite simple. We take 4 cups of 57° F tap water, turn the unit on at the same time as a stopwatch and use a digital thermometer to mark when the water reaches 201° F — the average boiling point at our lab's elevation. The KitchenAid's electric heating element brings the water in its reservoir to a rolling boil in a mere 4 min, 6 sec. That's average for the group.


Pouring


Not all kettle spouts are created equal. Our evaluation of pouring is split into two opposing assessments. One is the ability of a model to deliver a smooth, even, and thus, a controlled pour. This is the kind of performance preferred for dripper coffee preparation. The other is a fast but controlled pour as one will do when in a hurry or when making lots of drinks at one time. The KitchenAid excels at the latter but does not do so well at the prior. These discharge characteristics are largely a product of the handle design — which is not in a position to promote a natural pouring angle — and the broad, high volume spout.

Ease of Use Features


The KitchenAid does not offer temperature selection nor a temperature holding option — though it does offer automatic shut-off feature that engages after a boil has been reached. The water reservoir material is stainless steel and the lid covering it is removable. This model has a max-fill line at 1.25L. Finally, this product has a classic kettle-style spout.


Value


We think of value in terms of a product's quality, functionality, and cost compared to other products in its class. In this light, a product that offers higher quality and functionality for a comparable price, or offers similar quality and functionality for less money will increase in its value. The KitchenAid is a quality kettle, yet it offers little in the way of higher-end features. Moreover, it is on the pricier end of the spectrum for electric kettles of this type. As such, we don't consider this product to be a great value.

I'm a little teapot  short and stout...
I'm a little teapot, short and stout...

Conclusion


If you want that classic kettle, and you're game to spend some extra money to capture that look, then the KitchenAid KEK1222SX is the ticket. Just keep in mind that this machine offers just one setting (boil) and auto turn off.


Nick Miley, Michelle Powell and Austin Palmer