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I remember when my trusty five year old kettle died. I woke up with a hangover and stumbled down stairs in desperate need of a brew to sort out my aching head. To my devastation it was dead. Not sure why it died but it did. So this left me with two tasks for the day:
1. Nurse my hangover.
2. Buy a new kettle.
As soon as I felt ready I made the long arduous journey to Argos.
Usually I would browse the catalogue but on this occasion I saw the kettle on the shelf. The Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle attracted me due to its large black curvy frame with silver trim. It had an illuminated level measure and switch. Basically it looked amazing.
What is great about the kettle is its size. It has a capacity of a whopping 1.7 litres. I have never needed all this but I hate it when you need to make a round of teas and fill the kettle up to the top only for the water to boil over.
The handle has a great curve that makes it easy to handle (apparently it is an ergonomic handle) so there are no mishaps when pouring into a mug. The lid is stay wells fastens and does not allow any leakage.
It takes around a minute to boil and seems to be faster than the average kettle.
Your plug the base of the kettle in and the main kettle lifts of allowing you not to be restricted by a lead.
It is simply to use. Just fill with water and flick the switch. The kettle boils and turns itself off.
I spent around £25 on this kettle. That is the most I have ever spent on a kettle but I refuse to complain. I use this on numerous occasions every day and I am yet to have a problem. This is a beautiful kettle that boils quickly and quietly. Perfect!
One of the most frustrating things I find is when your kettle dies. It normally picks an highly inconvenient time to do so like when you have just spent 2 hours down ASDA and you're hanging for a cuppa - why couldn't of it died whilst making the pre-shop brew? Anyway, after boiling a pan of water on the hob and making a tea that had a slight taste of last night's pasta sauce I headed down to Argos and came back with a Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle.
So what was the initial attraction to this kettle? Was it the large 1.7 litre capacity? No. Was it the stated 'Rapid boil' technology it employed? No. Ergonomic handle, easy fill, easy pour, 360 degree base and non-slip feet? No. Was it that it lights up blue? Of course. They may have well as called it 'TRON kettle' as that was what I was thinking when I read the description. Ok, it might be a little sad to think something is cool if you stick a blue light on it but that is how a gadget nerd's mind works and for that I make no apologies.
The kettle itself is generally a nice design and looks pretty sleek, it's black in colour which doesn't match anything in my kitchen but then nothing else matches so I guess it fits in well. It boils quickly and is pretty quiet which is a benefit because our last kettle sounded like there was a mini war going on inside it and often drowned out the sound of the TV in the kitchen.
Another plus is that it doesn't leak when pouring, we've had cheap kettles before that you have to pour very slowly otherwise you end up with puddles all around the cups. Top tip: If your kettle has started to pour water everywhere chances are your filter is scaled up and the water is coming over the side of it.
As a tea addict I must use the kettle at home at least 10 times a day so any small imperfections to the design soon become apparent. The only real flaw I can see on this is that the flip top doesn't always flip fully, which isn't really anything to complain about it just means the kettle to tap motion has a split second delay because you have to nudge the lid fully open with your other hand.
Overall, as kettles go this is a good one for the price and will appeal to the geek in you if blue lights are your 'thing'.
When our kettle finally gave up the ghost we needed to buy a black replacement (to match the colour scheme in our kitchen). This Breville seemed to be the only option in Argos and costing £26.99 we thought it would be fine. The kettle itself is a smart, sleek design, only let down with a couple of grey bits of plastic. The unique thing about this kettle is that when you start to boil the water, there is a blue light and when it's done the light turns red. I don't really know what purpose this serves other than looking aesthetically pleasing. I wouldn't choose to purchase this kettle purely for the pretty light, as it really is a bit pointless.
In terms of the technical stuff you can have the kettle stand set up for right or left handed people, something I like. It has a capacity of 1.7 litres, that equals about 8 good cups of coffee/tea. It's quite a high wattage kettle, so it boils faster than other lower wattage kettles. The only downside I've found is that it's quite a bad pourer, which isn't a good thing when you're pouring out boiling water.
I don't think I would buy this kettle again, unless it was the only one that matched my kitchen decor. It doesn't do anything special other than boil water, but makes out like it is an amazing innovation by having flashing lights.
I have recently moved and have been treating myself to a new range of kitchen appliances as the ones I have simply look old and tatty in my brand spanking new kitchen so being perfectly honest here the reason, more than anything, I bought this Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle was that I needed something that fitted in with the colouring and look of my kitchen set up.
Of course I had had Brevile products in the past and had never had an issue with them at all, they being high performing and long lasting items but the main thing here was the look. I mean, you can see for yourself how stylish the whole thing looks from the picture in question qhich shows off the device in all its glory. Sleak, a great vlue light and all together easy on the eye.
Getting it out of the box and using it throughout the past few weeks it does feel robust, well made and solid. I have no worries this will break and even though it cost £29.99 you can feel every penny. Not only does it look good therefore but it feels good.
It is in the format of 99% of modern kettles. A base you plug into the wall, remove the kettle fill it and add it back it the base to boil. Easy. The base I tend to have found is much heavier and weightier than previous devices I have used meaning it doesn't move around much when you are trying to get the kettle back on and it also means no accidents of missing it!
One downside though is the cord which is very short. I know for safety reasons kettle leads tend to be short but this certainly does take the prize for the shortest I have seen. It barely touches the bench from my plug point meaning I have had to juggle my kitchen appliances around in order to ensure everything fits on, not ideal but it has looked okay in the end.
What about performance? Well a kettle is a kettle and you can judge it really on the time it takes to boil. The last Breville kettle I had was one of the quickest boilers I have ever had and this is apparently, as the box states, a "fast boil" kettle and indeed it is. Even when full this knocks shades out of previous kettles I have owned and it means less rushing around on a morning waiting for it to boil and less time waiting on cold nights for a hot cuppa tea!
All in all I have found this Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle easy to use, good looking and high performing and have no real issues other than the length of the extension plug. I would recommend this to anyone and even though it is a tad expensive it is worth it for the way it looks on my kitchen bench.
Also on CIAO
When we moved house last year, Mr Lools and I were keen on updating our small appliances to match our new kitchen and decided to change from stainless steel to black appliances. This included our kettle and we purchased the Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle to match our black Breville Toaster .
***Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle - Black***
The Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle is a black jug kettle with a capacity of 1.7litres (making approximately 8 cups of tea or coffee). The kettle is a rounded jug kettle with a shiny black exterior. The kettle has a water level indicator on the side of the kettle which indicates how much water is inside of the kettle. When switched on by the grey switch under the large matte black handle the water indicator glows blue. As the kettle heats and starts boiling the colour of this indicator changes and this window turns red.
The kettle is described to be fast boiling as it is high wattage (3kilowatt). The base of the kettle is rounded and has a rotational base for right handed or left handed users. The cord is hidden in the base and curled up. This allows you to extend to the necessary length without having too much wire on show.
The kettle has a 1 year's manufacturer warranty.
The Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle in black is available from Argos, Amazon, Curry's Comet and also Homebase. The RRP for the kettle is £34.99 but prices vary between retailers so it is worth shopping around. I purchased this kettle for £29.99 from Argos. I also purchased matching toaster as this was half price if you purchased the kettle therefore for £43 I thought this appeared to be good value at the time.
***Using the Kettle***
I started using this kettle in September 2010 when we moved into our new home. Once unwrapped and out of the packaging I was extremely pleased with how the kettle looked. The shape of the kettle was modern and the shiny black exterior looked great in our kitchen and matched with the other appliances (toaster and fridge) which also were of a shiny black appearance. Although I did like the appearance of the kettle both the one off switch and the lever to open the main kettle lid is made from a matte silver plastic. Whilst these switches are not very noticeable are large I feel the colour and material they are made from let the design of the kettle down as they look a little too plasticy and cheap.
Once the kettle was filled up and boiling I was very impressed with the look of the kettle and really was taken with the illuminated water indicator panel which turns from blue when first put on to boil, to red once the water has boiled and is a large panel on both sides of the kettle. This light up section informs you that you have switched the kettle on but is very gimmicky as it does not add anything to the performance of the kettle!
As mentioned using the kettle is very straight forward. You simply fill up with water through the spout put the kettle back on the base then flick the switch down under the handle to turn it on. The design of the kettle has benefits as the spout of the kettle is quite large therefore the kettle fills up quickly. The location of the switch of the kettle makes it easy to turn the kettle on by accident and I often turn the kettle on when I am cleaning the benches by accident. The kettle does however have a boil dry protection function meaning the kettle automatically switches off if the kettle is empty so if I have turned on the kettle by accident when empty it will just turn off.
The kettle is described to be "fast boil". This is particularly important to me as firstly both myself and Mr Lools are usually in a rush therefore do not have much time to wait for the kettle to boil. Secondly with two young children boiling a kettle to use for milk/ heat up milk in a pan of boiling water is very common and it minimises the occasions when we have children screaming because they are hungry for milk. The Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle boils a full jug of water in around 3 and a half minutes which is pretty similar to other "fast boil" kettles we have owned.
The kettle is described to be "easy fill and easy pour". I would agree with easy fill but pouring water from the kettle is where I have encountered problems. The "easy pour" design of the spout means this section is quite large. With a kettle full of water, the boiled water pours out fine but once under half full is when problems are encountered. Once the kettle is under half full as you pour the water into a cup or a pan you need to tip the kettle quite far over. As you do this boiling water comes pouring out and leaks down the spout and onto the bench and not in the cup or pan like intended. Luckily I am aware of this when using the kettle so I am careful but initially I burnt myself on many occasions. If someone else is using my kettle I often have to warn them of this issue in order to minimizing them burning themselves.
My wooden bench tops have suffered some damage from boiling water continually spilling from the kettle and the area of bench around the kettle is lighter than the rest of the benches. As the kettle continually spills water from it the shiny black appearance of the kettle is constantly watermarked at the front of the kettle under the spout.
As with all shiny black appliances smears and streaks show up very easily so you do need to clean and wipe over constantly, but the constant water spillages means this kettle never looks clean and shiny.
In terms of limescale the kettle is very easy to clean as it comes with a limescale filter which lifts out. In our area we do not seem to suffer a lot of limescale but after 6 months of use I decided to descale this section of the kettle as I was doing so with other appliances in our kitchen.
When it comes to a kettle I must admit I'm not the fussiest of shoppers and have a long list of demands. If it boils quick and looks good in the kitchen without faults then I'm satisfied. The Breville VKJ293 Illuminated Jug Kettle does these things but the fact the hot water spills out when you pour water from this kettle seriously lets the kettle down. The shiny black appearance does look good but because the kettle constantly spills water from it the black exterior becomes regularly marked with watermarks and smears.
For £29.99 this is a simply satisfactory kettle which probably will not be a permanent fixture in my kitchen.
Short name: Breville VKJ293