How Do I Choose the Best Camping Kettle?

Terrie Brockmann

For some camp cooks, the Dutch oven is the most important kettle, but for many people the camping kettle is the most versatile camp pot. Knowing what to look for in a good outdoor teakettle is important. When you choose a kettle, you should consider the type of camping you will be doing, the type of cooking you enjoy the most, and the kettle's features. These important factors will help you determine which style of outdoor teakettle will be most beneficial. One of the most pertinent factors is the metal composition of the teapot.

Most camping kettles are made of aluminum or iron.
Most camping kettles are made of aluminum or iron.

Most camping kettle manufacturers use aluminum or stainless steel for their outdoor cooking equipment, but others offer cast iron, steel alloys, or titanium. Each type of metal has advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before buying a kettle. One alloy, halulite, is lightweight like titanium and requires less fuel to bring the water to a boil. Halulite is a hard-anodized alloy that is one company's special formula, but other companies are developing new alloys and designs to improve outdoor cooking equipment. This is one reason a person should research the newest products before making a purchase.

Kettles should be suitable for campfire cooking.
Kettles should be suitable for campfire cooking.

Most companies sell the traditional style of teakettles. Other companies offer new designs. One patented design of outdoor teakettle has a unique design that allows the fire to vent up through the middle of the pot. The uncommon pot has a base that fits over a small fire to protect the fire from adverse elements like wind, rain, or snow. This pot uses very little fuel to bring the water to a boil.

Safety is one of the most important factors that you should consider when choosing a camping kettle. A good outdoor teakettle will have heat-resistant handles that lock in the upright position when in use. Some teakettles with folding handles are not safe because the handle allows the teakettle to sway while you are pouring hot liquids. Another safety issue is the lid design. You should choose a tight-fitting lid that remains in place when you tip the pot and that is easy to open without burning your fingers.

When choosing outdoor cooking equipment, you should consider the type of camping you prefer. If backpacking is your sport, then choose lightweight equipment that packs easily. Often backpackers prefer to use a camping kettle that has a large lid, a folding handle, and a short lid handle or a ring that folds down. A large lid allows you to pack other items inside the teakettle while traveling. Short lid handles and rings may pose a safety risk; therefore you should take precautions when using them.

Your camping style affects the amount of storage space and the type of storage that you have. Whether you camp with a tent, recreational vehicle (RV), or mobile home will affect the type of camping kettle you need. Some people who have an electric hookup prefer electric teakettles, while others rely on a campfire or camp stove for cooking. When buying a teakettle, you should make sure that it is suitable for campfire cooking. The uneven heat of the fire may melt plastic parts on some teapots or cause them to warp.

The size of the camping kettle is another consideration. If you use the teakettle to heat water for a crowd or for washing and rinsing dishes, you may need a larger pot. Some people prefer to use smaller teakettles and even choose teakettles that double as a cook pot, bowl, or drinking cup.

The cost of the teakettle is another factor that you should consider. Generally, aluminum outdoor teakettles are the least expensive. Search for bargains at sport stores or online, such as through auction sites and sporting goods companies.

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