A microwave kettle is a container designed for boiling water inside a microwave. Often shaped much like a stove top kettle, a microwave version is designed to make heating water in a microwave safe. Coffee and tea mugs, glass carafes and other containers that some people use to heat water in a microwave are not always a good choice, as they may get too hot and cause a burn or boil over. A microwave tea kettle is made from microwave-safe material, is sturdy enough to handle boiling water, and is designed to be cool to the touch.
An electric kettle or stove top model is a common choice for boiling water. With the popularity of microwaves and their fast heating ability, many people now use them to heat water instead. The problem is that not all containers are safe for use in the microwave. Glass is generally safe, but unless the package or piece itself says that it is microwave safe, it probably should not be used in this way.
Many plastic containers are also generally not recommended for use in a microwave unless they are designed for that purpose. A microwave kettle, on the other hand, is built specifically for boiling water in a microwave oven. One of the most important features is typically its handle. Some containers heat up when microwaved, but the handle of a microwave kettle stays cool to help prevent burns.
Another important feature found in a microwave kettle is the overall design. Someone reaching into a microwave to retrieve a kettle of boiling water should be able to avoid any steam coming from the top. The style of the kettle typically is such that fingers wrapped around the handle are not in the line of any venting steam.
A microwave kettle can be made from glass, special plastics, or other substances that stand up to microwaves. Some are clear while others are opaque. One drawback of using an opaque kettle is that unless there are measuring lines inside, there is no way to measure water inside the kettle. Someone who wants a specific amount of water must measure it before pouring it in. It is also difficult to tell if the water is boiling without opening the lid.
Clear versions make it easy to see when the water is boiling. Some styles also have measurement markings that can easily be read on the outside for easier filling. There are even some microwave kettles that whistle when the water boils, like a traditional whistling teapot.