Selecting the Best Kettle For a Woodstove

So the woodburning season is returning to us here on the homestead.  As such, we are becoming more dependent upon the woodstove to heat our water, especially with the lack of sunlight to give us the electric option for boiling.

It also is much easier to get going in the morning if we can have a warm drink quickly.  That’s why we are big on really good quality thermoses.  It lets us carry over the hot water from a previous fire into the time it takes us to build the next one.

Even so, we quickly become in tune with the quirks of our fire related implements, and one of them that stood out for us this fall was how much less quickly our “potable water” kettle was boiling on the stove, compared to our “dishes” kettle was.

This was a bit off-putting, especially after all the brainpower that we had put into selecting these kettles previously.

It was quickly evident what the difference was.  Although the potable kettle had a base that wasn’t lifted off of the stove by the rim, it DID sport a raised inner surface that obviously reduced the surface area in contact with the stove considerably.  Bleargh.

Wait!  This isn’t’ a good design for maximum contact!

Another complaint with the kettle was that it had obviously developed a leak around the spout that was discolouring it significantly.  Sigh.

You can see the drip line from a leak.

Yesterday Kenny and I decided to unbox several kettles and carefully examine their base.  We were quite pleased to find the enameled Kitchen Aid brand had a completely smooth base.  It went into the cart.  Then I noticed they had the same kettle in stainless steel.  I thought that this may be a better fit for our other stainless kettle, but examining the base of it revealed the cursed dimple!  Very surprising that identical kettles should sport subtle differences.  I resumed purchase of the enameled kettle.  It was more than twice the price of previous kettles I had been purchasing (always the house “no name” brand types…), but fast, hot water is worth paying for sometimes, and hopefully this one would last three or more times what we have been experiencing.

Nice looking.  I can assure you it feels sturdier!

Last night it boiled up the water quite quickly, and at the very least matched the stainless steel model we still are using for “washing up” water.  I think Donna was happy with it – she liked that it was enameled inside and out.  No seams to collect any sort of detritus.

Now THAT’S a great looking bottom!

This morning she did point out that the lid was tight – I may be able to bend the tabs that hold it in place, or maybe it’s just a well fitting lid.  At least the kettle feels more substantial than the others we have had that seem to twist and wear when we remove a tight lid.

Also, this morning I believe I noticed that it is silent until it begins to whistle.  This is very different from the other kettles we have owned, and a revelation if it continues.  It may tip me towards replacing the other kettle too!  Normally the entire time that a fire is going, we hear the kettles creaking and a sort of “white noise” – only not relaxing – more annoying!

In any case, hopefully we soon will have figured out all the proper things to watch for in cookware for a woodstove.

Quiet but powerful.

Aren’t you glad I wore pants while taking these pictures?

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