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How to Use the Kelly Kettle

The Kelly Kettle® is easy to use and will boil water in 3-5 minutes outdoors, in any weather, using any fuel....making it a vital piece of equipment for Camping, Picnics, Emergency Preparedness or for anyone who enjoys the outdoors.

It is essentially a double-walled chimney with the water contained within the chimney walls.  Once the kettle is filled with water, simply start a very small fire in the base, set the kettle on the base and drop additional fuel down the chimney (natural fuels such as twigs, leaves, grass, paper, dry-animal dung, etc.).  The large internal surface area of the chimney heats the water extremely fast so, very little fuel is required.  The fire is all safely contained within the fire-base and the chimney of the kettle itself so, a) strong wind and rain does not interfere with the fire and b) the kettle is safe to use in many areas where open fires are not suitable. Within a matter of minutes, the water will come to a rolling boil.  It really is that simple!

Step One - Add WaterStep One - Add Water
Add Water
Step Two - Add FuelStep Two - Add Fuel
Add Fuel (Tinder, Kindling, Fuel - in that order)
Step Three - Light UpStep Three - Light Up
Light Up
Step Four - Let the Air InStep Four - Let the Air In
Let the Air In
Lift From Fire BaseLift From Fire Base
Once Boiled (typically 3-5mins), Lift From The Fire Base
Step Six - Remove WhistleStep Six - Remove Whistle
Remove Whistle
Step Seven - PourStep Seven - Pour
Pour & Enjoy!
Step Eight - Send PicsStep Eight - Send Pics
Send Pics

Follow these steps when using your Kettle:

  • Fill the kettle with water to approximately 15mm (0.5”) below the water spout. (Never use the kettle without the water chamber being full).
  • If using the green Kelly Kettle whistle press it GENTLY into the water spout of the kettle now, before lighting the fire. Ensure the arrow is pointed down toward the ground as this will direct any escaping steam safely downward. DO NOT press the whistle all the way into the spout as we want to easily remove the whistle when the water has boiled. Note: It is not necessary to use the whistle. For over 125 years there was no whistle and if you prefer the peace and quiet of nature, leave the whistle out and simply watch the water come to the boil within a few minutes. By watching the water, you can actually tell how much more fuel (if any) is needed to boil the water - so you can save fuel that way also ;-)
  • Place the fire-base on level ground. Build a fire in your base with TINDER (dry grass or leaves / newspaper / cotton wool / etc.) at the bottom and KINDLING (thin dry sticks / pine cones, etc.) above. Then gently place the kettle (with water) on the fire-base. You can now drop small dry pieces of FUEL down the chimney top.
  • Face the air hole of the fire base into the wind for extra draft. Light the tinder through the air hole(s) and drop additional fuel down through the chimney top as required (keep the twigs, etc small).
  • When the water boils, use your two hands to grip the wire handle and hold it at an angle of 90 degrees to the main body of the kettle. Then lift the kettle clear of the base. NOTE: the wire handle will be cool to touch. Please see picture.
  • When boiled, remove the kettle from the fire-base and allow a moment for the water to settle. Remove the whistle by holding the handle of the kettle with one hand, then using your other hand, place your index finger in the split ring and your thumb on the opposite side of the whistle. Gently lift whistle away.
  • Use handle and chain for pouring.
  • If more water is required, simply allow the kettle to air cool for a minute or so before re-filling it with cold water.  Place it back on the fire base, re-fuel the chimney and it will be boiled again in minutes! 

And send us your pictures of where you are using your gear :-)

Kelly Kettle InstructionsKelly Kettle Instructions


  • Avoid filling the water chamber to the very top as water will expand when heated and may overflow.
  • Never place the kettle on the fire unless the water chamber is FULL. Do not allow the kettle to boil dry. Using the Kettle with little or no water can cause the upper part of the chimney to overheat and perhaps split, voiding your warranty.
  • Never hold the handle above the chimney when the kettle is lit as it can result in a burn for the user.
  • Never use the kettle with the Orange Stopper or Cork inserted (older models) as boiling the kettle with ANY obstruction in the water spout can result in a serious burn for the user or others in proximity. The steam must be allowed to vent from the boiling kettle.
  • Always keep children away from the kettle when in use.
  • Never touch the outside of the kettle nor fire-base when in use as they will be HOT.
  • Use surplus water to extinguish fire. After use, allow time for all items to cool fully before storing away.

Note: Do not store water in the kettle. The Kettle is not designed to replace your water bottle and should be carried upright when filled with water. Empty the kettle of all water after use and store in a dry location. When in storage, the whistle should be left out of the spout to allow air to circulate through the water chamber.


NOTE: A few small leaks may occur at rivet points (Aluminium Kettles) or the bottom seam when new, however they will usually seal themselves after several uses.
When using your kettle for the first time, boil some water and throw it away to clean the water chamber.

Because of its ease of use, speed, reliability and the availability of FREE fuel everywhere....the Kelly Kettle is an essential piece of camping equipment for Scouts, Fishing & Hunting, Kayaking, Emergency Preparedness or simple, fun family picnics. Make the Kelly Kettle part of your family's Camping tradition today!

Kelly Kettle - Outdoor Life Enjoyed™