Modern kettle on stove

How Do You Use a Kettle on the Stove? Temperatures per Tea Type

How do you us a kettle on the stove?’ might sound obvious, but there are many safety precautions and useful tips. From avoiding spills to choosing the right kettle for you, using a kettle on the stove is easier when you follow these guidelines.

Important Safety Tips:

  • Never fill the kettle more than ¾ full to avoid spilling hot water.
  • Use an oven mitt to pick up the kettle off the stove or buy a kettle with a heat-proof handle.
  • Electric kettles cannot be used on the stove. Check that your kettle is suitable for stove top use.
  • Never let the kettle heat on the stove without water in it. This can damage the material.
  • Stick to stainless steel kettles – aluminum and copper can leach unwanted elements into the water. Ceramic kettles should also be avoided, as they can sometimes contain lead.
  • Look for PTFE-free and PFAS-free kettles to avoid potential toxins.
A tea pot and kettle.

Tea Kettle or Teapot?

Often tea kettles get confused with teapots. A tea kettle is what you use on a stove to boil water. Teapots are for steeping the tea leaves and can’t be used on the stove. But they are similar in shape, and both essential for making a great cup of tea. The kettle is used first, to boil the water on the stove. Then you place the loose leaf tea or teabag in the teapot and fill with hot water. Let it steep according to the directions on the tea label then pour a fragrant cup of goodness.

So How do You Use a Kettle on the Stove?

1. Clean

Check if your tea kettle is clean. Whether it is brand new or has been sitting around in a closet, it can always use a good scrub. If your kettle is brand new, give it a clean first before the use. There may be chemical residue or dust from the factory in which it was made.

2. Fill

Fill the tea kettle ½ - ¾ full with water. This isn’t a hard requirement, but a safety precaution. Too little water risks over-boiling the kettle (which could damage the material), and too much water is difficult to pour. The last thing anyone wants is to spill boiling water everywhere. ½ - ¾ full is a nice happy medium.

Tip: Fill the kettle with cold, filtered water for pure tasting tea. Tap water (especially hot running water from tap) may have minerals and chemicals that affect the taste.

3. Heat

Turn the stove burner under the kettle to high heat. It will usually take between 5-10 minutes to boil, depending on the size of the kettle.

Whistling Tea Kettles

For whistling tea kettles, you will hear the whistle when the water has reached a boil. This is the easiest option for those who don’t want to have to wait by the stove for the water heat up. It’s a safer option for easily distractible individuals who tend to forget they have a burner on.

Regular Tea Kettles

If your kettle doesn’t have a whistling mechanism, don’t fret. You can still easily tell when the water has reached boiling by the sound and appearance. You’ll see a steady flow of steam rising out of the spout and the low rumbling sound when the water begins to boil.

4. Pour

Once the water has boiled, turn off the stove and remove the kettle from the hot burner. Before pouring, check the brewing instructions for your tea. Different types of tea require different temperatures of water to get the right flavor.

A whistling kettle

What is the Right Temperature for Steeping?

Fully boiled water is 212 degrees F. Some delicate teas, such as green tea may require a lower temperature between 160-195 degrees F. If the tea requires water that is at a simmering temperature rather than boiling, you can let the water cool down.

Black Tea

For a hearty cup of black tea, use boiling water. But allow the water cool for 2 minutes if you have a very delicate black tea, such as our Secret Village single-origin loose leaf tea. Prepare your loose leaf tea or teabag in a mug or a teapot and then fill with hot water. Steep for 4-5 minutes for a nice, strong cup.

Green Tea

Green tea leaves are very delicate. Boiling water can be too harsh and may cause the tea to taste bitter. Once the kettle has boiled, take it off the hot burner and take off the lid of the kettle.

Allow the water to cool down for 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your loose leaf tea or teabag in a mug or a teapot. After the water has slightly cooled pour it into the mug or teapot. Steep for 1-3 minutes to brew the perfect cup.

Herbal Tea

Most herbal teas can be brewed with boiling water. Place your loose leaf tea or teabag into a mug or a teapot and pour in the hot water. Steep for 7 minutes to make a flavorful cup.

Tip: Loose leaf tea has better flavor than teabags. For loose leaf tea, simply use an infuser to strain the leaves. You can also find teapots and mugs with built-in strainers.

Keep Your Tea Kettle in Great Condition

On a regular basis, clean your kettle with warm water and soap. Mild dish soap works best, especially unscented soaps that won’t affect the taste of the water. Be sure to avoid harsh chemical cleaners that could damage the material or taint the water.

If you haven’t used or cleaned your kettle in a while, you may notice mineral build up. This is formed from the minerals found in tap water. You can minimize the build up by using filtered water and cleaning the kettle regularly.

Choose a Tea to Make with Your Tea Kettle

Now that you know how to use a kettle on the stove, it’s time to pick out some tea! Browse our extensive collection online to find premium black tea, green tea, herbal tea and more. From dainty Cloud and Mist green tea to English Breakfast, you'll know how to make it taste great.