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Full Steam Ahead - Air Pots is here to stay! - October 2001 Newsletter


"Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!" For the millions of people who already own electric air pots, boiling water using the regular stove and pot method just won't suffice anymore. The traditional method of cooking food and heating water has been revolutionized by the technological advancements in electrical kitchen appliances like the air pot. Now there's no sense in toiling over a hot stove when you can have hot, piping water in seconds.

With the slight press of a button, electric air pots are designed to dispense hot, steaming water. Ideal for making anything from tea, coffee, and hot cocoa, to immediate hot water for pasta, soup, and rice, to an even more instant Cup-O-Noodles. The popular kitchen appliance takes up little energy in comparison to other types of electrical cookware like microwaves, and even less counter space.

For centuries, various Asian cultures have had diets centered on the usage of hot water. Whether it's boiled rice, noodle dishes, soups, piping hot green teas, and Japanese dishes like shabu-shabu, the constant need for hot water in Asian cooking is apparent. Prior to modern technological advances in electric thermo air pots, and even microwaves or gas and electric stoves, people throughout Asia used various types of clay containers to store the water they boiled and filtered for impurities. The kinds of clay used were so rich in natural minerals and nutrients that they not only enriched the water, but often kept it warm when covered for up to a day. Today, the types of clay once used are very rare, and only found in a few areas across Asia. Chinese Yixing teaware is made of this exceptional clay that retains heat while expelling essential nutrients. While the original clay vessels once used are no longer available to most people, electric thermo air pots make fitting, and more convenient, substitutes.

Although the use of an air pot can both simplify your life and give you more time to do other things, the process of picking out and purchasing the right air pot can be quite confusing. Air pots are available in a variety of sizes, prices, and with a myriad of features. All air pots have a dispensing system that requires little pressure to activate. Most have a button at the top of the machine to press lightly, thus avoiding accidental contact and painful burns. Many new air pots also feature a transparent gauge that displays the amount of hot water currently available in the vessel. De-chlorination filters are another feature found in some, but not all air pots. They work to reduce the levels of natural chlorine found in tap water, along with undesirable scents and flavors caused by the buildup of mildew. Some air pots have a descaling mode that self-cleans the inside of the vessel, so hard water build up does not line the interior of the tank and eventually clog the spout. Although this feature is generally only found in more expensive air pots, it guarantees that your appliance lasts longer. Additionally, a nonstick interior is often easier to clean, and is another option to keep in mind for the same reason. Various residues that collect inside the air pot can eventually shorten its life span.

Other important options in an electric air pot include a computerized temperature control system, which enables the water to remain at a steady temperature, not getting too hot or cold. Although all are designed to keep their contents warm, many designed with computer technology include temperature preference settings, so you can decide how hot your water is kept when stored. As a safety measure, some air pots also have the ability to automatically shut off when empty and display a refill signal, thus reducing the possibility of an accidental electrical fire in your home.

Alternatives to electric air pots are cordless thermal dispensing pots. Often found in cafeterias and coffee houses around the world, these cordless options cost much less than the electric versions, and keep liquids ranging from water to tea and coffee hot or cold for up to six hours. Due to the decrease in retail price, many thermal air pots simply retain the temperature of the liquid stored inside, and lack the ability to heat or cool. A majority of cordless pots come in the same sizes as electric air pots and are made of stainless steel for easy cleaning.

In recent years, a multitude of companies have begun to manufacture electric air pots in addition to cordless thermal pots. The Zojirushi America Corporation is highly revered as one of the nations leading producers of air pots, as well as other kitchen appliances. Panasonic is another manufacturer of high quality air pots, similar to Zojirushi. Gallant, Chuen Gun Co., and Imarflex are producers of lower end electric air pots. In general, air pots designed for the home will hold as little as 2.2 Liters of water, and as much as 5 Liters. They all maintain a temperature ranging from 104 F to 203 F, and reboil at 212 F. When investing in an air pot, one can expect to pay anywhere from $64 to almost $200, depending on the size, brand name, and number of special features. 2.2 liter electric air pots are generally priced between $80 and $110, and thermal pots range between $55 and $65. As the size increases, so does the price. Those capable of holding 3 liters of water may cost anywhere from $110 up to $155, and 4 liter electrical pots can cost as much as $170.

Here at Mrs. Lin's Kitchen, we have only the highest quality of electric air pots available for you to choose from. Varying in size, design, and price, we're sure you'll find something that fits both your needs and your budget. Once you browse through, we're certain you'll find the right appliance among our large and diverse family of products.

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Zojirushi Micro Computerized Airpot(R318)
Micom Super Boiler by Zojirushi(R319)
Electric Dispensing Airpot by Zojirushi (3 L)(R310)
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