Yes, it does have plastic in contact with the water (not much, but some), plus the lid and spout filter parts. It's still enough plastic that I can taste and smell the chemicals which leech into the water.
Disappointing, because I bought this kettle thinking it might be better than some of the others. As far as I can tell, there isn't a single plastic-free electric kettle on the market (in the US) right now.
Seamless stainless steel inside, no plastic parts below the water line. The lid is still made of plastic, but since it's not in direct contact with the hot water, it seems to be OK. This is the best I have found so far - the water that comes out of it does not have any plastic smell or taste now... note that I did remove the little plastic filter screen (pops out easily). And if you open the lid before pouring, the water will not contact the plastic, though I've found it doesn't introduce a funny taste even if you pour with the lid closed. The main difference, I think, is that the plastic bits are not soaking in the water.
I looked at this model at Target and passed on it because it does have plastic inside. If you don't fill it full, the boiling water might not come in contact with the plastic but there is plastic inside. Because of this I think I am going with the more expensive Breville model.
Thank you so much for posting about the Hamilton Beach CoolTouch kettle, C. Simpson! I've been looking all over for an acceptable one, and that's the best I've found too. Very frustrating. Thanks for taking the time to share your find.
Per C. Simpson's recommendation above, I purchased the Hamilton Beach -- but what's disappointing is that it's listed as "8 cup capacity" (which is technically true), but if you want to boil water (the whole purpose) you can only fill it to the MAX line which is *6* cups. Talk about misleading!
Not exactly, the washer is small but remember the water goes into it and the whole compartment is plastic so your boiling water is definitely in contact with that "window" area and when you pour it all comes out. I'm still using my kettle but if you're determined to have no contact with potentially leaching sources then this isn't a good kettle for you.
You could take off the plastic spout and filter easily from the Aroma kettle. The only other plastic part in contact with water is the small washer that communicates with the water-level chamber. It's really small and there is no plasticky smell to the water so I haven't tried taking it off...
Here's one I've been using in the last year or so that does not have any plastic except in the lid. The lid is removable and when it is removed, there is zero contact with any plastic. I actually leave the lid on while using and don't find any plastic-y odor or taste in the water as result. One minor complaint I have is that the glass kettle developed a tiny crack after about a year's use. However, the kettle is still usable as the scratch cannot be felt (by the fingernails) on the inside or outside of the kettle. I use it on a daily basis. So, I decided to buy another one anyway. The price is very good for the function. I love it. Good luck!
Aroma AWK-161 Clar-i-Tea 1-3/5-Liter Electric Water Kettle and Tea Brewer