Originating on the west coast of Ireland in the 1890s, the Kelly Kettle was first used by fishermen to quickly boil water, and the design has remained mostly unchanged since its creation. Three years ago the company decided to expand to additional markets, launching Kelly Kettle USA.
According to the history of the Kelly Kettle explained on its website,
Lough Conn [Ireland] is famous for its free rising brown trout and fresh run salmon from the River Moy system. The lake provided (and still provides) ample fuel for use in the kettle, where washed up twigs, sticks, and dried grass were easily available. On wet and stormy days, the local angling guides would keep watch for the small pillar of smoke on the lake shore, which indicated that a colleague already had a ‘brew’ on. A hot cup of tea or soup awaited anyone who landed and the Kettle would be repeatedly boiled as additional boats laden with anglers arrived.
Tradition dictates that both the angling guide (Ghillie) and his guests (usually two anglers to his boat) together would gather dry tinder for the kettle from the lake shore. Then, the Ghillie will set about boiling up the kettle, which always amazed guests as it works even in the height of a storm. The Anglers will then be offered their fresh tea from the Kelly Kettle and in return for his hospitality, the Ghillie received lunch and perhaps a drop of whiskey from the anglers.
The Kelly family still offers Boat Hire and Gillie services on Lough Conn to this day.
The Kelly Kettle’s claim to fame, as one may infer, is the speed in which it boils water.
“There are three sizes made in either stainless steel or aluminum,” said Glen Muir, who was exhibiting the Kelly Kettle and its fast-boiling power at last week’s Open Air Demo at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. “You put the water inside the kettle, and there’s a double wall, so it heats up quickly. The small one holds about 19 fluid ounces and boils in about three minutes.”
A pot support and cook set are also available, enabling the user to cook at the same time they are boiling the water. The kettle has remained true to its original intent of using all natural fuel such as sticks, twigs, or pinecones.
“Once exclusively used by anglers, Kelly Kettles are now being used by all types of outdoor enthusiasts such as explorers, kayakers, hill walkers, car campers, scouts, gardeners, or as a vital item in wilderness survival kits,” the website stated.
With the expansion of the products, kettles are now also sold in Canada, the U.K., Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, Zambia, and Australia. For more information on Kelly Kettle USA, visit their website for a full list of buying options.
Image by Ariel Black