Reviews of those most essential items, your kettle and airpot :)

Reviews of the
KitchenAid Teakettle 2-Quart Gourmet Essentials Stainless Steel Kettle , Brushed
BUNN 32125.0000 2.5 Liter Lever-Action Airpot, Stainless Steel

My wife enjoys her coffee (maybe more than enjoys) and I really like my hot tea, chocolate or chai, not to mention a pack of instant soup or oatmeal of one sort or another once in a while. Hot chocky (chocolate), is also a vital part of our two and half year old daughters morning routine. Very Vital! hmmm… maybe a bit of daughter following in mommy’s footsteps. She started off wanting mommy’s coffee but we compromised on hot chocolate. 🙂

With two women in the house and on the boat I am finding that the word compromise is a good word 🙂 Yes luv, and yes dear, also work very well. 🙂

Heating water in the kettle takes a fair amount of energy and time, we came to the realization that we could use about 1/4 the energy to have the same volume of drinks/soups etc.., over the period of a day, if we used an airpot. We now heat water two to three times a day, rather than every hour or two, because of using an airpot. It is also much more hip with today’s lifestyle of instant gratification with a large dash of energy conservation and green living. Hot water on tap any hour of the day or night. If your on watch it takes just a couple seconds to make a cup of something hot as opposed to having to heat water to make it.

The below reviews are the accumulation of about a decade of experience using different products and continually refining what worked and what didn’t for us. There are many products out there that we have not used and I can not comment on how well they would work, but these I have experience with. This model kettle holds exactly the right amount of water to fill this specific airpot, so they work well together that way. To slightly overfill the airpot I have to seriously overfill the kettle, which ends up causing a mess anyway. If you over fill the kettle that much it will bubble out the spout as it is heating and starts to boil.

What to start with “The Kettle”

So I happened across this kettle that we have been using for the last three years on amazon and decided to write a review of it there. Then I thought you guys might find it valuable as we have found it to be a great product at the house and on the boat. As you can see from the below picture it fits the burners perfectly on the Hiller Range for those of you still using the original stove on our boats.

Here is a picture of it in daily use :) It gets a lot of daily use

Here is a picture of it in daily use 🙂 It gets a lot of daily use

I got this Kettle for free from a store that someone had returned it to (Ross, I think). It had been burned, and the store policy was that they couldn’t sell returned kitchen stuff, and someone had mistakenly put it back on the shelf. I really liked the heavy weight of the stainless and the design. So I started working up through the store ranks trying to convince someone to sell it to me for a slight discount due to the cosmetic damage. I am all about a bargain if I can get it, and if you don’t ask you for shure are not going to get it most of the time. 🙂 I finally worked my way up to the manager who told me the policy of not selling returned/used kitchen products, and she didn’t know why it was on the shelf at all. At this point I was alarmed as I wanted it and she wasn’t even going to sell it to me for full price. After a plea or two or three or maybe even four (persistence sometimes works) she firmly told me that she wasn’t allowed to sell it, but if it disappeared out of her sight quickly all would be good since she was going to throw it away anyway. I didn’t argue any more, just said thank you, thank you, thank you, and ran before she could change her mind. If your reading this, thank you again. 🙂 When we got it home I used an aggressive scotch bright pad to clean it to a like new appearance. It took a little elbow grease but it was worth it.

We have used this kettle now for about 3 years. I have overheated and burned it due to forgetting to put the whistle down. Once, it overheated to the point that the plastic spacers between the handle and the body started to melt. It did not deform the stainless body, handle, or whistle at all, and a quick scrub with a scotch brite pad cleaned up the burn marks inside and out till it looked like new (you have to love scotch brite pads). As for the handle I simply tightened the screws to snug it back down to the base; on the now slightly thinner, by reason of melting, plastic spacers. That was at least a year and a half ago. It is till going strong. I have overfilled it hundreds of times and had water bubble through the whistle and it still mostly whistles as long as water isn’t currently flowing through it. 🙂 I will admit that it doesn’t seem to be as loud nowadays as it used to but it still works.

We live on a boat in a salt water environment and I have never seen the first sign of rust on ours like some reviewers on amazon have reported. It has been used with water from the well at our house, that is treated with a water softener and filter, and with municiple water at the dock where our boat is. We filter that water before use for drinking or cooking also. At the house with a reverse osmosis filter there is never any build up of residue over time. At the dock on the boat with municiple water filtered through a seagull filter we do get a bit of residue build up after 3 or 4 months of use, still we have seen no rust either internal or external.

I have used it on both electric and gas stove tops and it works well on either. With gas the handle can get hot if you have a huge burner and turn it on high. Otherwise we can use it bare handed. Like other reviewers have said, if you have an issue with the handle getting to hot to hold, just turn the gas burner down a little bit till the handle is still cool after boiling your water. The handle with its silicone inserts is probably the best handle out of the many kettles I have used. Most of the high quality stainless kettles I have had in the past had solid metal handles, and often had to be handled with a towel, or oven mitt, to pour from as they got quite hot by the time the water was boiling.

So far, out of five or six different brands of kettles, this has been one of the most durable ones I have ever owned. We use it on average 3 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Hey we drink a lot of hot drinks! 🙂 So far that means that we have boiled about 3285 kettles of water in it since we bought 🙂 um-mm.. or should I say acquired it. I am not sure if they still build them like the one I have here but the pictures look identical to ours. Ours is stamped (18/10 Stainless, 2QT/1.9LTR, Kitchen Aid, C Q06, Whistling kettle) on the bottom.

So this is the bottom of the kettle with the manufacturing information stamped into it. I have loved this kettle for the heavy compared to most kettles construction. I have had several kettles that the stainless is just super thin. This has a very decent weight grade of 18/10 stainless.

So this is the bottom of the kettle with the manufacturing information stamped into it. I have loved this kettle for the heavy compared to most kettles construction. I have had several kettles that the stainless is just super thin. This has a very decent weight grade of 18/10 stainless.

On the boat when in use the kettle sits on the stove as pictured above, but as soon as we finish heating the water and it is poured in the pump pot that is hanging to the left, we then hang the kettle from a stainless S hook. See the picture below, it is hanging on the right in the picture below. It keeps the counter tops and stove much less cluttered in daily usage. The kettle is always empty hanging but the pump pot seen on the left in the below picture, is normally full of hot water on its hook, and can be pumped into a cup or bowl while it is hanging. When underway we can use a little bungee to hold the pump pot and kettle against the bottom curtain rail.

Both the pump pot with water in it and the kettle as well as other stuff pictured here hangs from bronze curtain rods.

Both the pump pot with water in it and the kettle as well as other stuff pictured here hangs from bronze curtain rods.

Here is a link to this kettle on Amazon
KitchenAid Teakettle 2-Quart Gourmet Essentials Stainless Steel Kettle , Brushed

Airpot or Pump Pot the Next Essential Ingredient.

You will have noticed the Airpot hanging up to the left in the above picture. It was a long and expensive journey to arrive at that particular airpot. Many years ago, I started using a Stanley glass lined air pot that I purchased at Wal-Mart for fourteen dollars. It lasted for two or three years at the house and gave good service. However the seal at the neck was some sort of putty, and it was getting old, and pieces of it were falling into the interior, also it lost a lot of its efficiency over time. The big monkey in the room issue though was that if you dropped one (or had it bounce off the counter in rough seas, we had bought a second one for the boat) it would shatter and leave you with microscopic glass slivers that went everywhere, as well as a couple litters or quarts of boiling hot water exploding like a bomb. It was a Bad! THING!! Luckily no one was hurt when it happened to us. Today with a two and half year old daughter running around, a glass lined pump pot would give me nightmares.

So the journey started into the land of stainless airpots. I purchased a Stanley Professional Air Pot for our boat that had a stainless liner rather than a glass one. I bought the Stanley as it was the same brand as the cheap wall mart glass lined one that worked quite well for the most part. It worked very well, and we liked it a lot, but something happened to it (don’t remember what right now) that we needed to replace it after a year or two, and we couldn’t find that model again. The reviews for the other Stanley models were not as good as the old one so we passed on them. The next one we purchased was a Trudeau Apollo 2-1/5-Liter Stainless Steel Pump Pot, Satin Finish that we purchased from amazon, we were ultimately very unhappy with this model. We used it for several years, and over time just were on average dissatisfied with it. It didn’t hold temperature as well as I would have liked and finally the end came when for some reason it would start regurgitating boiling water for no reason just sitting by itself on the counter. This was unacceptable behaviour and we fired it. After much reading and research we bought this slightly smaller unit from BUNN, and it is everything the other one wasn’t, It keeps water hot for 8 to 12 hours without fail. I can put hot water in it at 6 or 7 in the evening and it is still hot enough to be (uncomfortably) hot to the touch 12 hours later. I also like that it is slightly shorter than many of the other units we have owned, just a personal preference.

So far we have owned the Bunn Airpot for 6 months and have used it daily. It has been the best airpot we have owned or used over the last decade. However we only have 6 months of history with it so I can’t really comment on durability. It feels and looks like a solid unit to me though and it does get good reviews from other owners.

Bunn Airpot that most of the time can be found hanging in the galley on a stainless S hook from the curtain rod

Bunn Airpot that most of the time can be found hanging in the galley on a stainless S hook from the curtain rod

The link below will take you to this product on amazon where you can read other reviews of it.
BUNN 32125.0000 2.5 Liter Lever-Action Airpot, Stainless Steel

I know this isn’t strictly a boating review, but these are two of our live aboard items that we feel enhance our daily life a lot. They are some of those items that are not flashy, or ooh ahh, but that when we think about them; we see that they add a tremendous amount of comfort, saved labor, and saved cost in fuel consumption for us. Actually this applies every bit as much to our usage at the house as it does to the boat. I would say that the Air Pot also enhances safety on the boat. It is a lot easier to contain hot water in it, as well as to pump out a precise amount into a cup or bowl, while bouncing around under way than it is just pouring directly out of the kettle.


Years later in Oct of 2020 I made the below comments on a forum that was talking about electric kettles and thought that my thoughts might be pertinent to the subject of kettles and their usage. It is only pertinent here based on how we feel this combination has worked 7 years after the above write up was first made.


Better than a electric kettle is just get a good stainless one for on the stove and then purchase a pump pot/airpot that keeps the water hot in it. We do this and it allows hot water for tea or other hot drinks, instant oatmeal, etc to be available from 4 am till 2 or 3 pm when if needed we heat a second kettle of water to go in it for the evening. We also dump the still hot, or warm if overnight, water from the pump pot back into the kettle so that we don’t have to heat totally cold water. Saves energy.

Ok.. in the interest of fairness I can see the electric kettle having a place in a lot of circumstances. Small apt without kitchen etc. I would still add the pump pot/airpot. I can also see where it wouldn’t dump as much heat into the environment when heating the kettle as ours does on a gas stove top. In the summer I try to minimize that type of heat in the house to help the A/C.

If you drink hot drinks all day every day your pump pot will last about 5 years or so. Don’t buy the glass lined ones from sam’s they are subject to the inner liner breaking, If they don’t break, the seal they use at the neck between the glass and outer liner breaks down and gets in the water over time. After trying many models and brands we have settled on one of Bunn’s airpots. It seems to last the longest and hold the temperature of water the best. I think we get about 5 to 8 years life out of one. we haven’t worn out the body of one yet but the plastic pump lever and the inner plastic fitting that has the pickup tube in it degrade over time and become brittle and break. Honestly I don’t think it is even due to cheap parts but to the fact that ours has 220 to 180 degree F water in it all day every day all year round. Over time the heat makes the plastic brittle. In an industrial setting I think most people would be happy with an avg 7 year lifespan. You can get replacement fittings for some of it also though I thought them pricey. For the average person I think it would last 20 years or better if they just pulled it out for parties etc.. I wasn’t happy to spend the 40is dollars for a new one after 7 years. I did though for how well it keeps the water hot and the energy efficiency and convenience of hot water on demand all day long. I just take it for granted that I have 180-220 degree water available all day long while only making 1 to 2 kettles of water depending on our usage.

Here is the specific bunn model we use. It is a slightly wider squatter unit than some and fits will under the overhead cabinets on the kitchen counter so you can use it without dragging it out from under the cabinets overhang.

Don’t use tap water in your kettle. Filter it first. We have a RO filter under the sink and I can not clean our kettle for a year and it is still shiny inside. Using tap water or even bottled water will end up with a film of minerals and other stuff to build up quickly. Though using very clean filtered water will ruin you for using water from other places for tea or coffee. It really messes with the flavor of most hot drinks after you get used to actually using clean water.

The kettle we currently use is my favorite one of all time, it is a large 2qt kitchen aid that is no longer made. If you can find one used I would jump on it. We have been using ours for 10 years and is in better condition today than it was the day we got it. There is a story there 🙂 We predominately have only used it on gas stoves. If you want to see a longer write up that I did years ago on these you can follow the very bottom link to it on my website. It is from when I was writing about using these on the boat we lived on at the time.

Kettle link

Reviews of those most essential items, your kettle and airpot 🙂

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>