Gear Review Kelly Kettle (Volcano Kettle) Review

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Brokor, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    KELLY-KETTLE-2. kk_50048.

    Never Carry Fuel Again!

    The KELLY KETTLE was pioneered by the Kelly family in Ireland more than 100 years ago. The kettle uses any natural fuel such as bark, twigs, pine cones, and leaves to heat the water inside the double walled chimney. The fuel is at the base and it draws air in through the base hole and the heat will draw more air as it escapes out the top of the chimney with a type of forced convection. This creates a hot jet as air passes through rapidly, making the cooking process quicker.

    American Website: Camping Kettle, Equipment Store - KELLY KETTLE® - Camp Kettle boil water in outdoors fast in extreme weather conditions

    Check for deals here: For Sale - Free Shipping: World Famous Kelly Kettle Camp Stoves!

    Types of Kelly Kettles

    Base Camp (Large): Holds 54 oz., comes in aluminum and stainless steel
    Scout Kettle (medium): Holds 44 oz. Only comes in aluminum
    Trekker (small): Holds 17 oz. and comes in both aluminum and stainless steel *the kettle I am reviewing*

    Time to cook water to boil? It takes me about 3 minutes from time of ignition to boil with the trekker (small) kettle. I can make myself two decent size cups of tea or provide more than enough hot water for a meal.


    Thoughts on aluminum
    : Some people do not want to use aluminum for health reasons, and I certainly do understand this. Regardless, I have tested the aluminum version while in Iraq with the Army, and I could make hot tea in a few minutes and be sipping it and relaxing before the Iraqi soldiers even had their chai stove set up.

    My impressions of the stainless
    : This is a better version if you are intending to be more rough. It's a better pack kettle because it won't dent like the aluminum will, and my aluminum kettle is well dented. The downside is the added weight, but it isn't a large amount of difference (1.3lbs vs. 1.7lbs).

    How to use: Remove the cork, fill with water in the chimney nozzle until full, prepare the base tinder and place the kettle on the base. Add more fuel material through the top of chimney. You can either ignite the tinder before or after setting kettle on the base. Sometimes, I will set the kettle on the base and ignite the tinder, then blow into the base hole for a couple seconds to give it an added boost to catch. The kettle will take it from there. I do not need to add more material for fuel than what can easily fit one time. The water will boil very quickly.

    Add-ons and accessories: I am not going to sign off on these additional features 100% because I do not find the cooking capabilities to be adequate for my needs. However, a cook set could work in a pinch.

    Reliability: I see no reason why the stainless kettle shouldn't last a lifetime. I have had the stainless for only a couple years approximately, but the aluminum for much longer. The aluminum is not as durable, but with care it can last a long time. The BASE for the kettle will need to be replaced! This is because the fire is always burning in the base. Over time, it will wear out. So far, my aluminum base has not worn out, and I have made hundreds of cups of tea from it. Fortunately, you can buy a replacement base at Kelly Kettle any time.

    You can buy either the kettle with base or a kettle/base with cook set combo. I would check for sales and special promotional offers, but the prices are reasonable for the level of quality. *IMPORTANT* -- always thoroughly wash the kettle, inside and out when you first receive it new. The metal particles, dust and residue from manufacturing can be nasty. I usually utilize Thermos cooking, and the kettle will boil my water in a few minutes so I can add the water to my Thermos with my rice or soup mix, then I can prepare my tea and finish setting up my hammock. I will have my camp set up and a hot meal waiting for me in no time.

    My overall rating
    : :5s: (5 stars)

    The Kelly Kettle is the only kit I go to in the field to make hot water.
    3M-TA3, stg58, Marck and 11 others like this.
  2. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    I've got the Stainless Base Camp and love it... good stuff... forgot what the all copper kettle like this is called... but ordered it from Australia... it's a beauty ... something like 2-3 gallons... These things work amazingly well... not the most compact puppies... but they boil water fast...
    Good post @Brokor
    HK_User, Ganado and Brokor like this.
  3. KAS

    KAS Monkey+++

    i have one .. havent had a chance to use it yet but it is pretty cool...
    i believe there is another thread on here about it ..
    thats were i learned of it !!!
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member


    It's a great question that was recently raised. In my day pack for general hiking, I like to just pack a standard kettle in its original bag, some tea and perhaps a dehydrated meal.

    DSC00011.JPG It all fits on one of the main compartments, no problem.

    As for the big bag, like the bug out bag, I would generally pack the full kit (kettle + cook set). I utilize the desert camo butt-pack from an old bit of gear I had since it stores everything nice and tidy. Take a look at the pictures, you will see how much can fit inside this kettle stored away. I keep a pot holder (an MSR holder instead of the basic holder from KK), the cook set, a cleaning sponge, extra tea supplies, spices and a net bag, and a wire brush for cleaning.

    DSC00015.JPG DSC00014.JPG DSC00013.JPG DSC00012.JPG

    All of this fits inside my outer compartment on the BOB, and even that can be detached with the opposite side compartment and turned into a day pack.

    (Tasmanian Tiger Pathfinder German Military Main Pack)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
    stg58, 3M-TA3, Pathfinder and 6 others like this.
  5. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Great pics @Brokor most folks don't realize how much room is inside that kettle for packing other items...

    Was driving me nuts all day.... and finally remembered...
    The other humongous kettle I have is a copper thermette from New Zealand... not Australia... duh...
    Here's a link to their little ones... the big one is a special order... and takes a while...
    Thermette - The Ideal Quick Boiling Picnic Kettle
    Motomom34, kellory and Brokor like this.
  6. Shaunda

    Shaunda Fairy Monkey of the Forest

    This is the stove we plan to take when we set off on our adventure but we are having trouble getting it in Canada without mail ordering it.
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Yes, Canada is a bit strange that way. Keep us updated on your progress, and good luck!
    Shaunda likes this.
  8. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    When I was a kid in Minnesota we had a German POW work on the farm. His war ended early somewhere in the desert around Libya I think.. I don't remember if it was him or someone else at that time said that the Germans couldn't figure out why where ever the Australians went there were these weird round burn marks on the ground. They finally caught an Australian soldier and he explained that they put fuel on the ground under their pot and lit it to brew their tea. Sounds like a Kelly kettle to me and a little thing like no wood would not stop them from brewing their tea. I am sure someone from down under can explain the history of it all to us.
  9. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    The Swiss Volcano works well too.
    Brokor likes this.
  10. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    These things are cool. I gifted my nephew one of these with a compatible molle pouch from CTD years ago, got them all for a steal. Brand new, too. He's a Boy Scout and loved using it.
    kellory likes this.
  11. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    New to Kelly Kettle, the hobo stove (especially for Trekker kit)

    The hobo stove addon (small) is for the Trekker model, and will nest inside the base when stored. It is the perfect companion to the Kelly kettle, and I personally believe it will replace the need for additional accessories, making cooking in the field more expedient and efficient.

    Currently, the U.S. Kelly Kettle website is being updated for these smaller Trekker hobo stoves *edit -the site now has the hobo stoves in stock as of 11/14/2015*
    Pathfinder and Ganado like this.
  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Great review, great information.Question- approximately how long does it take for it to cool? Sometimes with hiking one wants to refuel & go.
    Ganado likes this.
  13. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    It cools down really quick when empty. The aluminum is a bit faster, of course.

    If you take into account making a normal camp fire or using a folding stove with fuel you bring along, in the time it takes to tear down and clean up, the kettle has long cooled.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  14. HK_User

    HK_User A Productive Monkey is a Happy Monkey

    For short stops often fuel tabs are a great idea. Warm faster, burn up quick and cool down fast.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  15. mysterymet

    mysterymet Monkey+++

    I think you talked me into getting one of these things to try.
    Brokor likes this.
  16. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I would like to hear from everybody who uses a Kelly Kettle, if possible. Even if you are only interested, please respond here and let me know why you are holding back, any reason is good enough.
    Mindgrinder likes this.
  17. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Ideally, I want a biolite as a primary and 2x Kelly Kettles as backup/general use.
    2 is 1 and 1 is none.

  18. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Yeah, I'd like one. But there are lots of tools I would LIKE to have, and I have had to prioritize.
    Brokor likes this.
  19. Rocky Road Lerp

    Rocky Road Lerp Monkey+++

    On my list of "I need" things. I'm just still in the phase where I gotta get it passed the boss. Fortunately, my psy-ops normally wear her down after a couple years begging.:LOL:
    Brokor likes this.
  20. Tobit

    Tobit Ham Extra Class

    Definitely on my list as well, I should have bought the one Bear was selling.
    Brokor likes this.
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