A few years ago, we purchased the Crofton 2.5-Quart Stainless Steel Tea Kettle. It’s served us well for many years, but age and use have finally taken their toll, and so we’ve been waiting for Aldi to put another tea kettle on its shelves. It finally did, in the form of the Crofton 2.3-Quart Teakettle.
The kettle was originally scheduled to release in late February in our area, but for some reason it was delayed. Perhaps that delay was a sign, because this tea kettle is, unfortunately, inferior to the kettle it’s replacing in a few critical ways.
The Crofton 2.3-Quart Teakettle retailed at the time of this post for $12.99. It comes in assorted varieties; in our store, that consisted of a speckled red and a flower print. (My wife opted for the flower print.) According to the packaging, it is porcelain enameled steel, which gives it durability and high heat conductivity, and has both a stainless steel handle for lifting and a “heat resistant” stainless steel knob. It is suitable for gas, induction, electric, and glass ceramic cooking surfaces, with some qualifications I’ll discuss in a second.
The Crofton kettle comes with a brief manual, which advises on cleaning and use. Prior to use, users are advised to wash in warm, soapy water with a dish cloth or sponge, then dry promptly to reduce water spots. To use, the kettle is to be filled no higher than 1/4 of an inch below the spout (not entirely easy to spot given the dark interior), then place the teakettle on a cooktop burner no larger in diameter than the base of the kettle.
There are a few warnings related to heating water. Some of them, like not letting the kettle boil dry, are universal to all kettles, while others, such as not overheating your kettle on a glass stovetop lest it fuse to the stovetop, are specific to this porcelain construction.
The instructions also call for using mitts to hold both the lid closed and to hold the handle during pouring. This is curious since the packaging claims both are heat resistant, and since the lid does have a small ridge to help keep it closed when attached. Still, both can get pretty warm when boiling so be careful when you touch them, especially for the first time.
These warnings make this kettle a little more fussy to use than our previous kettle, but they’re not automatically deal-breakers. However, a couple of other things did bother us.
One, this kettle has no whistle. It doesn’t alert you when it’s done, so you’ll have to keep an eye on it as it comes to a boil.
Two, and this is more of a problem, the kettle has a design flaw that causes it to drip while you pour water. The spout has a metal cap fits over the enameled kettle body, but the seal between the cap and the spout isn’t watertight. There’s a seam between the two on the inside (I could feel it with my finger), and when you tip the kettle to pour, water runs into the seam, through the space between the cap and kettle … and down the outside of the spout onto the countertop. It happens every time we pour, and it’s hard to make sure the drips end up in the same place as the spout water (which should be in a tea mug), given the location. In our view, this shouldn’t happen.
A tea kettle is a simple enough device that should be hard to mess up, but somehow this tea kettle does. The seam between the spout cap and the kettle body causes the kettle to drip water when pouring, but other annoyances like metal handles that can get hot and the absence of a whistle don’t help, either. It’s got a nice classic look, but that’s not enough for us to overlook the problems. Sadly, we’ll be taking it back.