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Steel "camping" kettles on induction hob..?

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Hello! I have just ordered an induction hob for the house and from reading a few comments here and elsewhere it seems that a lot of people who converted to induction, now barely bother using an electric kettle to boil water for a cuppa, because it's quicker to pop a pan of water on the hob. This also creates worktop space as you could do away with the electric kettle. 

I don't want to boil water in a pan though, I want to boil it in a kettle. There are plenty of "stainless steel" camping kettles around, I was just wondering if anyone has experience of using any of them on an induction hob. 
When you search for "induction stovetop kettles" suddenly everything is in the £40+ range, but there are nice steel camping kettles between £14 and £20! 

I know induction is said to be not quite as simple as "if it's steel it will be fine", and it can depend on the hob as well, hence my question. I am looking at a Tatonka and possibly a cheap Chinese-made thing which is more like a cookpot with a spout, plus models from Lixala (another cheapy Chinese brand maybe? Although not particularly cheap!) and a retro Yellowstone brand, for starters. 

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 Siward 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

It SHOULD work, but who can tell.. 

It will be important to ensure though that it has a perfectly flat base, rather than a rim around the edge such as many cheapo kettles designed for a flame have. 

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 Snyggapa 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

As I understand it, steel yes, stainless steel maybe - needs to be magnetic to work on an induction and some grades of stainless are more or less magnetic than others. 

The general test is "will a magnet stick to it". Or better still, ask the supplier

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Typing "induction kettle" into Google seems to produce lots of relevant results, not all of them £40+.

Post edited at 07:50
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In reply to Blue Straggler:

You're spending now much on a new hob, but begrudge a few quid for a kettle and risk damaging it? I'd get one designed for the job.

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 Jamie Wakeham 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Howard J:

Don't think it'll damage either the kettle or the hob - it's just that some stainless ones won't work.

Stainless steel is complicated - some variations are magnetic and some aren't.  Testing with a magnet is reliable but that's only useful if you're buying it in person.

We use a Le Creuset kettle on both our gas and induction hobs - looks like they can be had for £40-ish used, and they look good and last forever.

I've not measured it accurately, but I would imagine that using a kettle on induction will be more or less exactly the same efficiency as a regular plug-in one.  For both of them the major loss is conduction through the walls and that's going to be broadly similar.  Gas will be much less efficient (lots of the heat of the gas never gets into the kettle) but cheaper overall (as gas is 1/3 the price of electricity).

Oh - and yes, the inductor can be quicker than regular electric.  A normal kettle is limited by the 13A connection (so a theoretical maximum of about 3000W, but in practice usually around 2500W).  If you have a dedicated supply to your inductor that can be higher - mine puts out 3700W, so it's about 2/3 the time to boil.

Post edited at 10:13
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 chris_r 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

My bog standard electric kettle switches itself off when it boils. Not sure how one on an induction hob would do that, and as I frequently get distracted part-way through making a brew, that would be a deal breaker for me.

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 wbo2 21 Jul 2020
In reply to chris_r: That.  I've had an induction hob  a long time, and still prefer a standalone kettle

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 kathrync 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Problems I can see with a cheap camping kettle are that it may have a rim at the base or otherwise not be flat-bottomed, or if it is stainless steel it may not have a high enough ferrous content.  In my experience, heavy-based cookware works better on my induction hob than lightweight items such as camping kit tends to be.

I would just try it though - at worst it won't work or won't be particularly efficient.

As someone else said though, I just use my electric kettle.

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

I just wrote a well reasoned post saying that a plug in kettle would be far more efficient.

er..

I then fact checked it, as the internet doesn't need more wrongness, and I was in fact wrong.

An induction kettle can be 85% efficient,  vs 80% for a plug-in!

http://insideenergy.org/2016/02/23/boiling-water-ieq/#:~:text=Most%20of%20the%20energy%20is%20lost%20heating%20the%20air%20around,varies%20from%20kettle%20to%20kettle.&text=An%20induction%20stove%20or%20hot%20plate%20is%20about%2085%20percent%20efficient.

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 Wild Cyclist 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Dan Arkle:

I use an old 6 pint Aga kettle on my gas hob.

At 70% efficiency and gas being a quarter the price of electric, cost wise I win hands down 😀

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 Jamie Wakeham 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Dan Arkle:

I'm surprised that the plug-in and induction are even that different - they're both good ways to get almost all the energy into the kettle.  I wonder if it's that the inductor is faster so there's less time to leak heat through the walls.

I'm also surprised that the difference between those two and the external heat methods isn't greater.  Gas especially loses lots of heat sideways, especially if you use the biggest ring.

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 Iamgregp 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

Maybe the the induction is faster as the part which is heating the water (the base of the kettle) has a larger surface area than the element in the bottom of an electric ketlle? 

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 Jamie Wakeham 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

It's not that - the inductor can be faster because they can have a far greater power.  A plug-in is typically 2.5kW; a wired in hob can be approaching 4kW.

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Thin ferrous pans are rubbish at heating up on induction hobs compared to purpose made induction ones or Le Creuset cast ironware.  I suspect a camping kettle will be the same level of rubbishness.

Post edited at 12:56
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In reply to Howard J:

Sorry, my OP was terribly misleading. It’s not so much a cost issue as a “space saver and try not to have so much STUFF”. The ones labelled as induction stove kettles are all also “pretty” ones that would live forever in a house looking nice in the kitchen. As I am also in the market for a nice camping kettle I was just wondering “out loud” if there is a reason that one wouldn’t work. I guess it is maybe a moot point if I am getting one anyway!

I am, by the way, spending a whole £43.99 on an induction hob. Single zone plug and play VonShef one. Well I’ll probably end up with two, but just one for now. There are lots of complicated and boring (and not in anyway financially motivated) reasons that my move to induction will see me just running a couple of single zone induction hobs. What this thread is about, is keeping one of them a lot of time on the first floor of my house mainly to use for making hot drinks. My house is divided across four levels with the kitchen sort of in a basement, so if I am in my main bedroom (the attic) or home office (first floor) and want a cuppa, I have to go down and up two or three flights of stairs and after 16 years of this, the novelty has worn off. So a beverage station is being created at one end of a sideboard in a first-floor spare room and I figured that as I’ll have the portable induction hobs anyway, it would be nice to have a nice camping kettle that can also be my house kettle. The Lixala one I mention in the OP looks wonderfully multipurpose (basically a small billy can with a spout) and I am in a big phase of finding multi function things that will save space or make a great use of space. It’s why I am swapping a Nissan 350Z for a Citroen C3 Picasso, too 😃

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

>  So a beverage station is being created at one end of a sideboard in a first-floor spare room and I figured that as I’ll have the portable induction hobs anyway, it would be nice to have a nice camping kettle that can also be my house kettle.

Further clarification. Steel kettle to be my “first floor kettle”. I have a standard electric kettle in the kitchen in the basement. 

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 Jamie Wakeham 21 Jul 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Argos Vango stainless steel camping kettle?  £11 and they say it works on induction.

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In reply to Jamie Wakeham:

Cheers 

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Just remembered, I have a big steel urn that is pretty effective at keeping water hot all day! Might see how we get in with that first. Frees up a plug outlet too 😃

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Just remembered, I have a small standard plug-in electric kettle that I bought for travelling! That’ll do. Tiny footprint, low capacity no issue as it is only for one cup of tea at a time, and it means me not buying ever more STUFF! 

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