A quality gooseneck kettle is ideal for making pour-over coffee and other hot drinks. We tested a variety of models, searching for an easy-to-use, durable option.
Last Updated Feb. 1, 2022. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 22: Breakfast with a Kick
Gooseneck kettles are named for their thin, elegantly curved spouts. They dispense water slowly and precisely, allowing users to hydrate coffee grounds and tea leaves gently. It’s helpful to have this level of control when making pour-over coffee, a brewing method that involves pouring a thin stream of hot water over coffee grounds to moisten them evenly for better extraction. But they’re great for normal kettle jobs, too—anything from rehydrating dried foods to making instant noodles. To find the best gooseneck kettle, we assembled a mixed lineup of kettles that only boil water and adjustable kettles, which enable the user to heat water to specific temperatures. Adjustable kettles are good if you’re into specialty coffee and tea, which require different brewing temperatures for the best extraction. With all the kettles, we timed their boiling speeds, evaluated how easy they were to operate and how comfortable they were to handle, and boiled hundreds of kettlefuls of water to see how the kettles held up to repeated use. We also tested the temperature accuracies of the adjustable kettles. We were looking for a dependable kettle that was easy to use, comfortable to maneuver, and fast.
A few important design factors separated the good kettles from the bad in our tests. First: spouts. Most of the kettles’ thin spouts dispensed water slowly and precisely, but a few were a challenge to use. One model had a sliding door that covered the entrance to the spout and allowed users to choose between three pouring speeds. Some of the settings resulted in flows that were heavy and fast—helpful for tasks that require less precision but too imprecise for pour-over coffee. Selecting the slowest speed was tough: The door was too difficult to adjust and got stuck easily. Additionally, the curved spouts of a few kettles were too straight, causing us to spill water if we accidentally tilted them even a bit. We liked spouts with sharper curves, which were easier to control.
Second, we liked kettles that were large yet lightweight. The capacities of the kettles in our lineup ranged from 27 to about 40 fluid ounces. Our two favorite models each held about 34 fluid ounces but only weighed about 1½ pounds when empty. We liked that they held enough water to make at least four 8-ounce servings of coffee and were light enough that they didn’t tire our hands as we poured from them. We also liked kettles with capacity lines that could be read at a glance. Some kettles’ internal capacity lines were positioned near their handles, making us crane our necks and squint into the kettles’ depths as we filled them. We pre...
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Chase is an associate editor for ATK Reviews. He's an epidemiologist-turned-equipment tester and biscuit enthusiast.
Valerie is an assistant editor for ATK Reviews. In addition to cooking, she loves skiing, traveling, and spending time outdoors.