#AtoZChallenge: #Cooking Terms – Kettle

KA Kettle is a vessel used for boiling a liquid or cooking food.  It is usually made of metal and equipped with a lid.  A kettle is often, in modern days used to refer to a tea kettle (or teakettle)

Types of Kettles include:

Similar devices

  • A cauldron:  A large kettle hung over an open fire on an arc-shaped hanger called a bail.
  • A fish kettle:  A long slim metal cooking vessel with a tight fitting lid to enable cooking of whole large fish.
  • A kettle grill:  A dome shaped grill with a rounded lid, resembling a cauldron.

The word Kettle comes from the Middle English Ketel.  It can traced through history to the Old English Cetel back to the old Norse Ketill, orginating from the Proto-Germanic word katilaz meaning kettle, bucket, or vessel.


Photo credit: http://pixshark.com/colonial-kettles.htm
Photo credit: http://pixshark.com/colonial-kettles.htm

Interestingly, the earliest kettles were not used for boiling water at all.  Early kettles date back to between 3500 and 2000 BCE. These were Mesopotamian vessels which were shaped like a kettle and used to cook in.  The first kettles used for boiling water were made of iron and placed directly on the flame.   By the 1800s, copper became common and were used in the production of kettles.

In 1891, the Carpenter Electric Company of Chicago developed and manufactured the first electric kettle.  It almost took twelve minutes to boil the water as the element were placed in separate chambers.

In 1922, the Swan Company created and produced the first electric kettle with an immersed heating element.    This allowed water to be heated quickly and more proficiently.

World War II saw a decrease in the supply of metal for civilians.  As a result, ceramic kettles became popular   In 1956 Russell Hobbs developed the first fully automatic kettle.

Jug kettles became popular in the late 20th century. They have a more upright design and are more economical to use, since small amounts of water, enough for only one cup, can be boiled while still keeping the element covered.



Join me on an A to Z Journey of Cooking Terms throughout the month of April.


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