View Full Version : Kettles, and other kitchen equipment...

6th Feb 2004, 23:07
At the moment I am on my fifth or sixth kettle jug. The cost of repair outweighs the cost of a new one. The amazing thing however is the fact that in ALL of them, without exception, the little ball that tells you how much water is in it failed to float after a few months.
Perhaps it might be our water quality, but even if it is a trifle 'Hard' I would assume (never a good idea) the manufacturers could build in allowance for the fact that this may happen.
The other problem with kitchen equipment is Deep Fat Friers. We are on our third in four years. The little gizmo that moves the basket up and down becomes unstable, resulting at best in a worktop covered with hot fat and chips, at worst a wife covered with hot fat and chips.....

People don't 'mend' things nowadays, the 'get a new one' attitude seems rife everywhere. Cars, for example. In my youth one could get a new water pump bearing for a quid, press it home, ream it out and get another few tens of thousands of miles from it. Now it's a case of, "needs a new pump Guv, that'll be 50 plus fitting."

What tales of inferior engineering in the kitchen have YOU got?

6th Feb 2004, 23:18

Get one of those illuminated ones - no little floaty ball just a large transparent window so you can see how much water there is in it - and it lights up a cool blue while it's heating up ! Bet you never realised you could have so much fun making a cup of tea !

If you're fed up living in a hard water area, the thing to do is collect all the little bits of crud from the kettle and keep them in an envelope. After a year or so when you get your next water bill, send the bits back to them !

6th Feb 2004, 23:28
As it happens I replaced our deep fat fryer yesterday, last one 45 this one 20 from our local Somerfield so I think I will reguard them as disposable.

Anthony Carn
7th Feb 2004, 00:47
The answer is to keep it simple. The less there is, the less there is to go wrong.

One knob is all you need, I always say. :E

7th Feb 2004, 00:50
Had similar problems with a whole series of electric jugs/kettles then about five or six years ago I bought a stainless steel electric kettle by Russell Hobbs. Now, I did not know at the time that this was a "designer" item although the price should have alerted me to the fact or I might have had second thoughts, being very wary of trendy or designer stuff.

Anyway, it has not given a moment of trouble in all that time and although you can't see how much water is in it, it doesn't matter because it will switch itself off if there is not enough. I also like the 360 degree swivel and the fact that the heating element is completely sealed. Very well worth the money and a product worth buying. (Don't have a deep fat fryer to comment on though.)

7th Feb 2004, 01:41
I bought a deep fat fryer about 3 years ago....and once I take it out of the box I'll tell you if it works. And one of these days I'll get around to using al the Le Creuset, Denby and everything I was persuaded to buy......

The microwave convection oven works fine though, though I have the impression it considers only making scrambled eggs and heating M&S meals a bit of a let down.... :\

7th Feb 2004, 02:47
tJ we have had one of these Siemens (http://img.kelkoo.com/shopbot/26801/medium/02/14/64/2146479.jpg) water boilers for years. Trouble free and seems indestructible.

Apart from the environmental consequences, I just plain dislike having to shop for new stuff, so I tend to go for the long lasting quality products. High price usually offset by a long active life. :ok:

Makes our appliances pricy but very user-friendly.

7th Feb 2004, 03:17
PW has a kettle with a disintegrating red lid. Every now and then we'll have several days when bits are found floating in our tea. After a while all the loose bits have gone and it's okay again.

Dunno why they bother with those floating ball things - you can see the water level anyway. :rolleyes:

7th Feb 2004, 04:07
Descaling the kettle with a solution of white wine vinegar every so often works for me.

But Steam Irons, must have bought dozens over the years! :(

Send Clowns
7th Feb 2004, 04:25
Was it Phillips that had a whole laboratory set up, separately from the main design labs, to build in oscelesence? Their cordless plastic kettles would very gradually warp under heat, by design, until they would rock on the base, making and breaking contact thus corroding the electrical contact with sparks. May have been a myth, but it's very believable.

7th Feb 2004, 04:27
spekesoftly, may I recommend number 3 (http://householdappliances.kelkoo.co.uk/shopbot/next.jsp?keyword=steam+generator&type=Iron&catId=144601&category=homeapp&catPath=uk%2FhouseholdAppliances&from=browse&JServSessionIduk=9lgh9y9it2.TIG1uk&page=2) from the top? ;)

7th Feb 2004, 05:11
What? Iron my shirts with a deep fat fryer! ;)

7th Feb 2004, 05:29
The kettle chez SLF gets pretty heavily used, lasting only around 12-18 months before leaking. :(

Last renewal from Argos, was offered 3 years cover for 5 - don't usually go for extended warranties but I think I may get my money's worth here :ok:

7th Feb 2004, 10:06
SC I could well believe that. I have found the Phillips stuff consistently crap over the last 10yrs or so. I totally avoid it now.

I'm with the group who hate throwing away newish stuff due to repair (spare parts) cost. Its unnecessarily wasteful and a nuisance. I'm happy to pay 2 - 3 times the cheapest price of a product to get a high quality, reliable equivalent if needs be.

Am I right in believing that soon the disposal costs of a product will have to be factored into the purchase price of the same (WEEE, I think)? If so it would be interesting to see the effect on the throwaway culture which manufactures seem to promoted / encourage.

While on the topic of appliance manufactures I have found most of the main German brands to be pretty long lasting and good quality (AEG, Siemens, Bosch etc). Moulinex (sp?) is good for kitchen stuff. Conversely at the bottom of the pile (in my experience) is Whirlpool, Phillips, Black & Decker and Goldstar.

Fujiflyer :ok:

7th Feb 2004, 11:12
Ah - Philips!


Recently bought a frying machine made by Mr Philips. The chips were most soggy and took ages to get coloured. So I checked the temperature - supposed to be 190 mph, actually 155. Checked that with a second, digital, device to be sure. 155.

Back to Mr Philip's emporium. Taken for testing, collect in two weeks.

Went back. A Mrs Philips this time produced the machine and said it had tested okay.

Self: "You tested the temperature?"

P: "No - switched it on and it got hot."

I explained, again, that there was no dispute about hot - it was the amount of hot. 155 versus 190. From Mrs Philips, much grumping about amateurs not understanding complex electronic stuff. Suggested a further two weeks.

Didn't like the idea much, so requested I should gain entry to the back room where testing apparently took place. Panic! She promised to get it tested while I waited.

45 minutes later she returned, having practiced her sneer. Explained to me once more that it was heating perfectly and that my thermometer was obviously at fault.

Self: "So you heated it up to 190?"

P: "Yes."

Self: "And the test thermometer read 190?"

P: "Yes. Working perfectly."

Self: "You mean this fryer that's been sitting by my chair for three quarters of an hour worked perfectly in your laboratory?"

P: "Oh! Er... "

A new machine was delivered to Beak Mansion the very next day. Couldn't really be bothered to test it, though.

But I did notice that Mr Miele has a very nice looking frying machine for sale...

7th Feb 2004, 15:21
Just had a controller replaced (35 including labour) on my 14-year-old Hotpoint washing machine - its first fault ever. On enquiring about a 'modern' replacement, the knowedgeable local man who fixed it said, "Don't bother, none of them are as good as the one you've got - this will do at least another fourteen years."

Anthony Carn
7th Feb 2004, 15:55
Of course, the best answer is not to fry stuff -- it's very bad for one.

Reminds me of a tale of woman who visited her elderly mother........

She was mystified to find the old dear cooking an egg in cooking oil......in an old sardine can.

"What're ye doin muther ?"

"Oim cookin an egg !"

"Bot woi are ye usin a sardine can ?"

" Well, tae be sure, Doctor Flaherty told me tae throw away me froying pan !"

7th Feb 2004, 16:21
I'm very intrigued by this Philips frying machine that's supposed to do 190 mph! :p