Home Gear Camp Cooking with the Kelly Kettle

Camp Cooking with the Kelly Kettle

We have a tradition at my house, every winter we get outside and have some hot cocoa. This gives us a great chance to practice our cooking with the Kelly Kettle . The kids love this annual festivity and it gives me a chance to teach them some outdoors stuff.

Camp Cooking with the Kelly Kettle

The Kelly Kettle is a hollow wall volcano stove. This simply means that all the water is inside the walls of the stove itself. It’s very efficient because all the heat goes up through the chimney and heats your water, very very quickly. I am always amazed by how quickly I can get 17oz of water to boil with the Kelly Kettle. We’re talking less than 5 minutes.How it works

I start the fire in the base by using a homemade fire starter (egg carton, lint and candle wax), put the kettle on the base then start dropping twigs, small sticks or other natural fuels down the chimney as needed.

I’ve been known to use other camp stoves, but if I needed to travel light, or be out in the wild for an undetermined amount of time, I’d take the Kelly Kettle with me, to leverage unlimited fuel, that I can find in the great outdoors.

The Kelly Kettle is very convenient, because if you can burn it, it can be fuel (use your head, we mean solid fuels like sticks, twigs, husks and shells of nuts, dry grasses, leaves). Fuel consumption is very low. I can find a handful or two of twigs and that will be enough fuel, to boil water and cook up a quick meal.

Once really handy accessory is the Kelly Kettle Pot Stand. It allows you to put a pan or cooking pot over the chimney, so you can cook food, while you are boiling water. Sheer genius.

kelly stand
Kelly Kettle Pot Stand

Important Notes Before Cooking:

  • The Pot-support (aka: Pot Stand) is only to be used when the kettle is full with water.  Never use the pot-support if the kettle is empty.
  • The pot-support is only suitable for cooking quick meals such as Noodles / Rice / Oatmeal / Re-hydrated food, etc.
  • Never use the Kettle without Water in it. It’s designed for maximum heat transfer to water, without water it will burn holes through your kettle and may be dangerous.
  • Verify that the stopper is NOT in the pour spout when heating water on the firebase. Once the water boils it will generate intense pressure (steam) which will blow the stopper, liquids and steam out under intense pressure!
  • The kettle’s chimney is very hot. Please make sure to lift the kettle using the handle from the back and not from the top or you will burn your hand. You can use the handle in coordination with the stopper chain to carefully pour hot water from the kettle.

Kelly Kettle company recommends using their own large or small cook sets, but I’ve been able to balance other cookware on it, or over it with sticks or paracord (safety first. These generate a lot of heat). The nice thing about the Kelly cook sets is that they nest nicely inside the kettle saving room in your pack. There is tons of info over at the Kelly Kettle site, but we recommend reading: What type of food can be cooked using the pot-support?

I can tell you that anytime I plan to camp, or if I ever need to bug out, this will be one item that I will make sure is in my pack!