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A kettle, sometimes called a tea kettle or teakettle, is a type of pot, typically metal, specialized for boiling water over a heat source, with a lid, spout and handle, or a small kitchen appliance of similar shape that functions in a self-contained manner. Kettles can be heated either by placing on a stove, or by their own internal electric heating element in the appliance versions.
Stovetop kettles 
A stovetop kettle is a roughly pitcher shaped metal vessel used to heat water on a stovetop or hob. Kettles usually have a handle on top, a spout, and a lid. Sometimes stove-mounted kettles also have a steam whistle which indicates when the water has reached boiling point. In whistling tea kettles, when the steam build up in the container of the kettle tries to escape, it causes vibrations to occur within the chamber. As the speed of the releasing steam increases, the vibrations become louder, causing a whistle. Some whistling kettles have an actual whistle on a cover at the end of the spout.
The most popular of stovetop kettles are made with stainless steel. This is due to the lightweight nature of the kettle, in addition to the bright finish and durability. The crack-resistant nature of the kettle also makes it easier to clean. Kettles can also be made from copper, iron, aluminum, polished chrome or ceramic.
Electric kettles 
Electric kettles are normally constructed of durable plastic or steel (with a plastic handle) and powered by mains electricity.
In modern designs, once the water has reached boiling point, the kettle automatically deactivates, preventing the water from boiling away and damaging the heating element. A bimetallic strip thermostat is commonly used as the automatic shut-off mechanism. The thermostat is isolated from the water in the kettle and is instead heated by the steam created when the water boils, which is directed through a duct onto the bimetallic strip. This allows the thermostat to be coarsely calibrated, which in turn allows the kettle to function normally at a wide range of altitudes. A consequence of this design is that the kettle may fail to deactivate if the lid is left open, due to an insufficient amount of steam being ducted onto the bimetallic strip.
Electric kettles were introduced as means to boil water without the necessity of a stove top.
The first kettles were used in ancient Mesopotamia for purposes other than cooking. Over time these artistically decorated earthenware containers became more frequently utilized in the kitchen. In China, kettles were typically made of iron and were placed directly over an open flame. Travelers used the kettles to boil fresh water to make it suitable for drinking.
The word kettle originates from Old Norse ketill "cauldron". The Old English spelling was ċetel with initial che- [tʃ] like 'cherry', Middle English (and dialectal) was chetel, both come (together with German Kessel "cauldron") ultimately from Germanic *katilaz, that was borrowed from Latin catillus, diminutive form of catīnus "deep vessel for serving or cooking food", which in various contexts is translated as "bowl", "deep dish", or "funnel".
The development of tea kettles was in direct correlation with the evolution of the modern stove.
In the latter part of the 1800s, with the height of the industrial revolution, electric tea kettles were introduced as an alternative to stove top kettles. The first electric kettles had a warming chamber outside of the water source; but this was soon adapted in favor of an internal warming apparatus.
Modern tea kettles include a variety of technological advancements. Some electric kettles are cordless with illumination capabilities. Whistling kettles are equipped with lightweight dynamics and heat-resistant handles.
Kettle gallery 
Kettle on a portable stove at the Museu da Baronesa, Brazil
Swan electric kettle in brass, an early electric kettle at the Museum of Liverpool
Graves kettle, 1984, a post-modern kettle with a bird shaped whistle on the spout
Similar devices 
- A cauldron is a large kettle hung over an open fire, usually on an arc-shaped hanger called a bail.
- A fish kettle is a long slim metal cooking vessel with a tight fitting lid to enable cooking of whole large fish such as salmon.
- A kettle grill is a dome shaped grill with a rounded lid, resembling a cauldron.
- A kettle drum is a kettle (cauldron) shaped drum.
See also 
- Kelly kettle, specialized types of kettles for outdoor use, intended to use fuel more efficiently
- Samovar, a type of urn used for boiling water and making tea in Russia and other parts of eastern Europe
- Tea culture
- Teapot, a vessel with spout, lid, and handle, often ceramic, for brewing and serving tea with water that has been previously boiled
- Teasmade, an English appliance that combined a kettle and a teapot to make tea automatically by a clock
- Tetsubin, a cast iron Japanese pot with a spout
- Windermere kettle
- How Does The Switching System Turn Off An Electric Kettle When It Boils?, Blurtit.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
- T. F. Hoad, English Etymology, Oxford University Press, 1993 (ISBN 0-19-283098-8). p. 252.
- "Electric Tea Kettle". MadeHow.com. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
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