The 10 Best Water Boilers
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you run a catering business or are stocking your employee break room, hot water on-demand is a must-have. These boilers offer just that and, in some cases, much more, with features including settable temperatures, keep-warm functions, and automatic dispensing. They'll have you enjoying instant noodles, soups and coffees, and, of course, tea in no time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best water boiler on Amazon.
What Happens To Water When We Boil It?
The bubbles you see rapidly rising in a pot of boiling water are pockets of gaseous water molecules making their way to the surface of the water and breaking free.
At some point in your life, you probably had a falling out with a friend. Perhaps you fell for the same boy in science class, or your parents didn’t get along well enough to sustain the childhood alliance. Whatever the cause, you know what it feels like when stress enters into a relationship, how it tests the connection you share with another human being. If we think about this in more metaphorical terms, it can help us to understand what happens to water as its temperature rises to a boil.
Picture, if you will, a room full of children, packed nearly wall-to-wall, far beyond what the fire marshal would ever allow. Every three of these children is a molecule of water, linked at the arms. The oxygen children are always in the middle, and the hydrogen kids are on the outsides. As such, the hydrogen kids each have a free hand. By the law of attraction, these free hands link up with the free hydrogen hands of other nearby water molecules. This hydrogen bonding forms water as we know it.
Now, imagine that the kids are bombarded with good news — every day henceforth is Christmas day, school is cancelled indefinitely, etc. This is like an applied heat source in that it excites the children tremendously the same way that exposure to heat excites water molecules. That excitement sends the children bouncing around the room, putting a lot of stress on those hydrogen-to-hydrogen bonds. Eventually, molecules break away from one another and float upwards, becoming gaseous. The bubbles you see rapidly rising in a pot of boiling water are pockets of gaseous water molecules making their way to the surface of the water and breaking free.
There’s no meaningful difference between the kind of heat excitement you can produce on a stovetop and the heat generated by one of the water boilers on our list. Some of the more powerful models on our list might win a race with the stovetop, however, allowing you to get your water boiling faster than the traditional method. In these more modern boilers, a metal coil is the source of the heat.
That may sound dangerous at first. After all, the last time you took an electrified piece of metal into the bathtub with you, you got to see your long lost relatives for a few minutes before the doctors brought you back to life. Fortunately, these electrical coils are kept away from the water itself, using convection or conduction to transfer their heat to a separate plate or metal tube that touches the inside of the boiler, keeping any potentially hazardous elements insulated from one another.
How To Choose The Right Water Boiler For You
At first glance, it would seem that getting your hands on a water boiler that can boil water is all that really matters. If it can take your water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, what else do you need? Well, there are some very specific differences among the models on our list, and depending on why exactly you need boiling water, some models will serve you better than others.
If it can take your water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, what else do you need?
The clearest dividing line between two camps of water boilers separates them into kettle and dispenser categories. Kettle style boilers looks and feel like the teakettles you might use on a stovetop. The obvious difference here is that these are electric and highly portable. This style can also easily come off its base and follow you into another room to serve your beverages as hot as possible. Dispenser styles, on the other hand, usually remain stationary. Instead of tipping these over to pour them out, they feature buttons on the top that open a spout for pouring.
Kettle styles are a little more at home in the home, where they resemble an item often seen in the kitchen. Dispenser models have a more industrial look that may not be as inviting in the home, but that will serve you well in an office setting.
The next most important factor to consider is whether or not the boiler in question has any temperature settings. Some boilers simply boil water, heating it as much as possible and turning off automatically when that heat is achieved. The advantage of this style of boiler is often price, as they’re the least expensive models available. Some boilers — both kettles and dispensers — may have digital temperature controls. If you require water that is hot, but not necessarily boiling — when brewing sensitive teas, for example — this is a must-have feature. Without it, you can easily burn or overcook certain items.
Two final considerations are warm settings and construction materials. Some boilers have a setting that will automatically kick their heating elements back on if the water starts to cool off. Since you’re dealing with hot liquids, it’s important that your boiler be made of safe materials. Glass and steel options are the best, but if you have to go with plastic, at least make sure that it’s BPA-free.
A Brief History Of The Electric Water Boiler
The first electric water boilers hit the scene toward the end of the 19th century. After tea swept across Europe and took England by storm, British citizens couldn’t get enough of the drink. Since indoor gas lines weren’t terribly common, but electricity was beginning to spread through cities, it held the potential for faster tea brewing.
In 1893, thirsty recipients of the Crompton and Co. catalogue (think Sears Roebuck in the US) could order their very own electric kettle. These remained woefully problematic until around 1922, however, when an engineer by the name of Leslie Large discovered a way to safely immerse the heating element in the water itself.
These earlier models still had one big problem: they kept on boiling until you turned them off. If you left the house with it on, all the water would cook off, and you might just burn the house down. In the 1950s, models emerged with thermostats that would automatically shut off the boiler once your water reached the desired temperature, keeping you and yours cozy and safe.
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