Nature's Secret Larder - Kelly Kettle - Review


Bushcraft Blog

Kelly Kettle - Review
5th June 2009

Kelly Kettle Review


Enter this code KELLYNSL and get £1.00 off your kettle! Go to and enter the code at the checkout. Please note this only applies for the kettles (not Kelly Kettle accessories)

Remember, Greenman have the best UK prices!

As you should all know by now my reviews leave out the technical jargon and concentrate on what matters most, the performance! Here I take a look at the Kelly Kettle and give you my honest thoughts.

The Kelly Kettle is the original outdoor cooker/kettle. There are several copy-cat designs on the market now, but if you want the best, then get the original Kelly.

The kettles come in three sizes, Small (1 pint), Medium (1.75 pints) and Large (2.5 pints). I will review them as one, as they are all exactly the same, other than size, obviously.

 Kelly Kettles / Volcano Kettles will boil water in 3 to 5 minutes depending on the fuel you're using. You can use any natural fuel, such as twigs, pine cones, leaves, grass, etc. Each is made from aluminium. They are essentially a double-walled chimney with the water contained in the chimney wall. 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 (twigs, leaves, grass, paper, etc.) down the chimney (yes as simple as that).

The large internal surface area of the chimney heats the water very quickly. When the water boils, hold the Handle at an angle of 90° to the Kettle - then lift the Kettle clear of the base.

To pour, lift it by the handle and tilt it using the cork chain (supplied) If additional water is required, simply refill the kettle with water and place it back on the base when the fire is still burning.  Refill the chimney with fuel and you can look forward to a second kettle full of boiling water within a matter of minutes.

How a Kelly Kettle Works

Fancy a fry-up? That’s no problem either. Each kettle can be used with the cooking kit (sold separately).

Small Cooking Set

Large/medium cook set (fits both sizes of kettle)

The cook set can be used in two ways:

1. When the water boils, remove the kettle from fire base and place Grill Pieces onto the fire-base. Then simply place your Pot/Pan on the Grill pieces for cooking, adding additional fuel to the fire base as required. Fuel can be inserted through the air hole in the side of the base.

2. Using the Pot Support (sold separately) certain foods can be cooked quickly over the chimney of the Kelly/Volcano Kettle as it boils thus ensuring maximum fuel and time efficiency.

During transport, this Cook Set stores neatly inside your Kelly Kettle ensuring maximum space saving.

The Kelly Kettle has been used all over the world, under all kinds of circumstances. They are ideal for camping, bushcraft or fishing. They are great fun just to use in your back garden too.

The best part is that they are carbon-neutral, as they feed from fuel which is provided by nature, making them ideal to take on any adventure; it saves on gas bottles or liquid fuels, which take up space and also pose a small risk if being carried in a bag or car. 

I often use a Kelly kettle. The small option is best if space is at a premium, or if it’s for single use, although the larger options will be better for small groups, etc. 

Build 10/10
Price 10/10
Performance 10/10
Overall 30/30

CONCLUSION – It’s not all that often I give a perfect score, but these are built so well for the price, and perform like a dream, that I had no choice but to rate them this highly. If you love the outdoors, and spent lots of time under the stars then one of these is simply a must.

Enter this code KELLYNSL and get £1.00 off your kettle! Go to and enter the code at the checkout. Please note this only applies for the kettles (not Kelly Kettle accessories)

Remember, Greenman have the best UK prices!


Kris on 08/10/10

Hi Melody,

Any form of fire will pose a risk if a woodland has as a high peat content below the leaf litter. It’s a good idea not to have a fire of any kind in these areas as fires can spread without knowledge as they slowly smoulder underground. This said, the Kelly Kettle would provide one of the safest forms of fire as it’s contained, but obviously there is still heat transfer. Ideally fires or anything hot should be used on a solid surface, such as a stony river side. Another tip is to brush away leaf littler in a small area of woodland and remove some of the soil to see if it has a deep layer of solid mud beneath, you would always remove the leaf litter in woodland before having a fire anyway, and then scatter the cold ash afterwards and return the leaf litter.

If you check what the soil is like, be careful not to disturb wild plants/bulbs or the mycelium of fungi (dusty looking white threads).

I hope this is of some help.

melody on 05/10/10

I was looking for the answer to Simon Reynold's question. In a forest, does the kelly pose any risk.
Would any risk be reduced to no risk by placing the kelly in a small hole.

Kris on 21/09/10

The Stainless version is currently only 48.95 at

Haden Daniels on 21/09/10

I've had a 1 pinter for ages - dead easy to carry around in a rucksack. You get a carry bag included with the kettle so the stuff in your pack doesn't get dirty. This week I bought a stainless steel version (3 pints) for over night camps and picnics - even better than the aluminium version - much stronger.

Ian Turnidge on 18/05/10

the kelly kettle is also very good for brew stops when you are out on a open canoe trips on rivers.

Robin on 09/03/10

Carbon neutral implies that no extra carbon is added to the system by burning fossil fuels. Burning wood releases the stored carbon back into the atmosphere but it's carbon that was there anyway, relatively recently (within a hundred years)

k on 22/01/10

I believe the theory is that they produce such a small amount of C02, that the usually green environment they are used in absorbs the C02 produced.

anonymous on 22/01/10

They are not carbon neutral as they produce CO2 from burning wood. However they are better than most, and much better thn gas or oil based stoves/kettles.

simon reynolds on 19/09/09

In a strict fire zone would the kelly pose any risk?

A lan Taylor on 15/09/09

Superb piece of kit!! I've the 2.5pt & the 1pt for when I'm on my own. Wouldn't be without it for camping or just bimbling about in the woods or the beach.

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