Kelly Kettle

For many years we have been using an enclosed wood burning kettle to produce hot water for our tea breaks. They often create a lot interest from our hosts and passers by so here is a bit more information about our experience.

The kettles are variously known as Kelly Kettles, Volcano Kettles, Storm Kettles and Ghillie Kettles. Kelly Kettle and Volcano Kettle are trademarks of Kelly Kettle Co., Storm Kettle is used by Eydon Kettle Company and Ghillie Kettle by Ghillie Kettle Co.

The various manufacturers explain that the history of these kettles starts during the 1890's in the west coast of Ireland where they were used by inland fishermen. The design doesn't seemed to have changed much since then.

Their base models seem to be nearly identical (so much so that I initially wasn't sure which one we have). They all do smaller versions. They also have pans and accessories so you can cook other food on the kettle or base. The Ghillie Kettle's unique selling point is a whistling cap. All of these kettles are available through Amazon.

We have two Storm Kettles. They are light weight, so easy to transport, and use fuel we can find on site. This is a lot easier than the gas bottle and burner we used to carry around. Using a renewable fuel with no transport cost gives a nice warm green feeling.

The Storm Kettle has 1.5 litre capacity, which is 4 or 5 cups of tea. Our two kettles provide tea for the first wave of volunteers but once there is a fire going can quickly boil more water for the rest.

The wood we find on site it isn't always dry so getting the fire lit can be a problem. We have long needed some form of bellows so we don't have to kneel in the mud and blow the base of the fire. I recently found a BBQ Fan which is ideal for blowing air through the fire to get it started.

Want to see one in action? Watch the official kelly kettle video!