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#19607 - 09/28/03 12:46 PM Soliciting kettle comments from UK readers

Elsewhere I mentioned that during the post-hurricane blackout (folks we conversed with at the restaurant where we dined last night were out for 8 days.. and for some others this was the second time, having lost power for days just a couple of weeks earlier) I came to the conclusion that we needed an easy, quick non-electric way to make coffee and tea short of breaking out and filling the kerosene stove... especially for mornings where that's the only need (usual, for us), and we suspect the power won't be out for long. To that end, based on pleasant previous experience, I bought a small stock of Esbit tablets, a stove and a spare (they're cheap).

Recently, though, I came across references to "Storm Kettles" and "Kelly Kettles" that , though designed for outdoor use,seem like they'd be a very efficient indoors using (non-toxic) Esbit tablets for fuel. I found one reference to using them with "hexy" tablets, which I think are similar.

The "Storm Kettle" seems rather expensive (over here), the one retailer I've found selling them for just under $100 USD. The "Kelly Kettle" looks to be a bit cheaper, at around $70.

These devices seem to be almost unknown on this side of the pond- anyone from the UK care to comment on them? Is one better than the other? Any tips on usage?

Thanks in advance.

#19608 - 09/28/03 01:02 PM Home made soda can stove

And denatured alcohol. They are cheap/free, fuel is plentiful and cheap, and it works better then esbit or fuel tabs. If you go to any search engine on the web and type in, homemade alcohol stove, you will get all the plans you need. Chris

#19609 - 09/28/03 02:38 PM Re: Soliciting kettle comments from UK readers

I personnally don't have any experience with them, although I have seen them on sale here. However I do know that Shwert owns one and is a great fan. I'm sure he post a reply <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />.

#19610 - 09/28/03 04:30 PM Re: Soliciting kettle comments from UK readers
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I have two; one an old copper unit made in Ireland by a tinker long ago and the current Kelly. I can't use the antique, on account a member of the "gentry" came over and lives in it according to family lore. The contemporary Kelly is excellent. Pouring the water can be awkward, with or without the wee people. <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> There is only one maker of kelly's in G.B. so just find the best price. Aside from the importer in Washington State, I know Lee Valley tools carries them.

#19611 - 09/28/03 05:29 PM Re: Soliciting kettle comments from UK readers
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...

This type of boiler is reputed to be very efficient in contemporary tests by various agencies working in 3rd world countries. I have no personal experience with them.

#19612 - 09/28/03 07:43 PM Re: Soliciting kettle comments from UK readers

Chris, thanks for the response.

I will examine any I buy closely to make sure they're not inhabited.. though no doubt few of the little people would find the aluminum (sorry- aluminium) versions to their taste.

I had stumbled across these instructions for pouring and handling:

"To pour the boiling water, lift it by the handle and tilt it using the cork chain. There is a bit of a knack to it - pick up the handle bail, supported with your fingers to maintain a 90 deg angle to the chimney until you are off the fire, then let swing like a bucket handle. Grab the cork chain and lift the base to pour the water. Just do not lift straight up off the fire or you will experience the heat!"

Here :


>>There is only one maker of kelly's in G.B. so just find the best price.<<

That's certainly true per se, but there's also the very similar but not (I don't think) identical "Storm Kettle":


And both manufactures (if there are two) seem to produce two sizes of the things, but no two on-line sources seem to agree on what those sizes are. For the "Kelly" version alone, I'm seeing everything from 1 pint for the small and 2.5 pints for the large, to 1 quart for the small and 2 quarts for the large.


Very confusing.

#19613 - 09/28/03 10:47 PM Re: Soliciting kettle comments from UK readers
Casual_Hero Offline
new member

Registered: 11/19/02
Posts: 134
Loc: England & Saudi Arabia
Just a word of caution...

Hexy tablets, or Hexamine Tablets to give them their full name, as used in British Army Cookers are very poisonous in confined spaces (though I always thought that they smelled nice <img src="images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />)

In the end, all you have left is style...

#19614 - 09/28/03 11:02 PM Re: Soliciting kettle comments from UK readers

I've heard that.

I had a store of those once, but I kept hearing how toxic they were, and they went far past their expiration dates, so I got rid of almost all of them without using them. I've also heard the the ash/residue is toxic.

Though behaving similarly, Esbit tablets at least claim to be non-toxic, unless actually consumed. I know that generations of kids have used them to power their working-model steam engines, and I don't recall anyone even considering moving them outdoors before firing them up.

#19615 - 09/29/03 08:43 AM Re: Soliciting kettle comments from UK readers

never used one myself, know of people who have. they like them. don't know if it might be cheaper to buy from the uk and import them, or buy in the US. depends on postage i suppose. two places that sell them here are attlebrough accessories and bison bushcraft try either of these two suppliers.
all the best steve

#19616 - 09/29/03 06:59 PM Re: Soliciting kettle comments from UK readers
Schwert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/13/02
Posts: 905
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I have the small (one pint, 20 oz) version of the Kelly Kettle. It is a very nicely made and efficient boiler.

I have posted a combined review at OldJimbos site


Overall, for emergency use (coffee making after a hurricane <img src="images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> ) I would recommend the larger kettle over the smaller. I am going to buy the larger one someday. I really like the small fire, poor fuels, quick boiling aspects of these kettles. They are not cheap, but worth the money IMO for their unique operation.

Here were the only US outlets I could find at the beginning of the summer. Lee Valley best price on the small, Garrett Wade best for the large.





And the parent company


Make sure you note that some of these are the one pint (small) version and some are 2.5 pint (large) versions.

I think the Garret Wade large with accessory kit is the best value I have found in the US. Lee Valleys small is the best value for that model. UK prices, shipping and VAT etc would be a good alternative to research.

Edited by Schwert (09/29/03 07:11 PM)

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