When I moved into my dorm in my first year of university abroad in England, the first thing I did was go to Tesco Superstore to buy myself a kettle. Everyone in my life knows I always have a thermos of hot water in hand – it never fails to settle my stomach and soothe my nerves, especially when I was abroad and homesick. But a kettle can only get you so far. Sure, I could grab those instant oatmeal cups or ramen cups when I got tired of cafeteria food, but I often found myself going into London Chinatown for a plate of BBQ pork rice or a bowl of hot noodle soup, just so I could have a taste of home.
Fast forward *many* years later: the Buydeem Mini Kettle popped up in my work inbox and I was instantly intrigued. Founded by a group of design-minded foodies in the 2000s, Buydeem saw the need to create high-quality multi-functional appliances that are not only user-friendly but also aesthetically pleasing enough to encourage people to lead a healthier lifestyle. Now, the Chinese kitchen appliance brand is known for delivering healthy and convenient cooking experiences for all. Their first product, the Kettle Cooker, was the first multi-functional tea kettle that could also be used to cook, boil and stew food, and it took the Asian Pacific market by storm.
The appliance brand recently launched a mini version that’s travel friendly (AKA perfect for cramped dorm rooms), so I put it to the test to see if it’s as useful as it sounds. Read on to find out everything this little appliance can do.
Like its original-sized predecessor, the Buydeem Mini Kettle Cooker is a multi-functional kettle that can do more than just boil water. With its three temperature modes and cooking time modes, it can make a variety of drinks and foods. This lightweight kettle measures at just 10.79” x 8.43” x 6.85” and weighs about 1.5 pounds. Featuring a glass vessel designed by Schott (the innovative German glassware brand) and pastel green-coloured power base, the mini kettle cooker is really easy on the eyes, unlike the many generic black and stainless steel kettles on the market.
You can really cook with it.
From instant oatmeal to noodle soup to Chinese herbal drinks, I can attest that this mini kettle cooker can do it all (it just takes some practice). It’s the perfect appliance for making easy-to-whip-up one-person meals in dorm rooms or while travelling. It’s also great for taking on camping trips when a bologna sandwich just won’t do. I’ve even used it to make poached ramen eggs and it resulted in the perfect runny yolk. With just a click of a button, I let the machine do the rest. I particularly love making all of my favourite herbal drinks in it when I’m having a bad skin day. With its silicon lid and built-in strainer, it filters out just the drink and leaves the tea leaves and other ingredients behind.
It’s so compact.
This mini kettle is quite light even though it’s made of glass. It also takes up very little room, so it’s perfect for small dorm rooms or your cluttered work desk. And since it’s so light, it’s great to pack into your carry-on and take with you on your travels if you’re someone who gets homesick like me and wants to make easy food and drink to help settle your stomach from the jet lag.
It’s seriously user-friendly.
The three touch buttons on the base of the kettle control the cooking temperatures, the cooking time and the start and stop of the machine. Depending on the type of food or drink you’re making, you can control it by tapping either of the three temperatures or either of the three time modes before starting it. And when the program finishes, the kettle cooker automatically keeps it warm for up to eight hours at 60ºC until you tap to stop it completely. It also has a memory technology, so if you accidentally click stop before it’s done cooking, you can start it up again within 30 minutes to resume the cooking. As I said before, it takes some time to get used to, but the instruction manual conveniently includes the suitable cooking modes for different ingredients and recipes.
It’s safe and efficient.
What I love about this mini kettle cooker is that it doesn’t come with many parts, so you’re not fumbling around. It’s just one device. All you need to do is put in the ingredients, snap the lid on and then plug it in – that’s it.
Things to keep in mind before buying:
The lid gets very hot.
On top of the lid, there’s a very handy handle that makes it easy to pop the lid open. But after a cooking session, it can get too hot to handle, so be mindful.
It’s not dishwasher safe.
Even though it has a silicon cover to block water from getting into the power cord socket, it’s advised to not submerge the whole kettle cooker in water when you wash it. After it’s cooled, hand wash it and be mindful when cleaning the exterior and the bottom of the appliance. Like any appliance, it’ll last longer if you take better care of it after each use.
The size is limiting.
Since it’s quite a compact kettle, the 0.6 litre glass size means it can only fit food items at a certain width and length (read: it can’t fit some of the frozen udon noodles and instant noodles I love). Luckily, the instruction manual details the amount of ingredients you can fit in the glass vessel. (There’s also many easy drink and food recipes included for you to refer to – from bubble tea and mulled wine to rice noodles and porridge). Just remember that these kettle cookers make single serving-sized meals, so don’t plan to invite friends over.
I wish I had one of these mini kettle cookers when I was on my first year exchange in university and throughout my school years to satisfy my Asian food cravings. There definitely would have been less tearful calls to my mom back home! Now that school days are behind me, I can see myself taking this to work and putting it on my desk so I can make herbal drinks and keep them warm throughout the day, or taking it with me in my carry-on the next time I travel. Although the price may seem steep for this mini appliance, in my opinion, the price is worth it for all it can do. If you’re shopping for a new travel-friendly appliance, or a portable kettle that takes up little room on your kitchen counter or your dorm room, Buydeem’s mini kettle cooker is the one for you.