Can the kettle be used without water in the chamber?

No! Never use the kettle without the water chamber being full.

It is physically impossible to melt the chimney if the kettle is used correctly and full with water when in use.  If you use your Kettle without water in the chamber or allow it to boil dry, then you run the risk of overheating the inner chimney wall and melting the chimney (aluminium models) or causing one of the weld joints to pop open (steel models).

Stainless Steel Kettles: We have no recorded cases of any of our Stainless Steel kettles melting. However, if you boil a Steel Kettle dry or use it without water, then you may:

  • Overheat one of the weld joints on the inner chimney and cause them to pop open - rendering the kettle useless! We typically see this happen near the top where the chimney narrows.
  • A tell-tale sign is that the once circular chimney flue has taken a strange oval or 'eye' type shape.
Unfortunately it is not possible to repair a kettle when this happens but you can continue to use the kettle by filling to below the leak point. Obviously the capacity/volume of water within the kettle will be greatly diminished but you should be able to boil enough water to get you by!

Aluminium Kettles: These have a lower heat threshold than Stainless Steel kettles. Please look at the pictures below which are of Aluminium Kettles that have been used without water or allowed to boil dry.
The tell-tale signs that an Aluminium kettle has been boiled dry entirely consistent and are:

  • The inner chimney cracks & bubbles up (early stages of overheating)
  • The inner chimney wall has either melted through completely or become so brittle that you can easily stick your finger through it!
  • The warning labels on the outside of the kettle have bubbled up, singed and perhaps disappeared altogether from the kettle! This is an extreme case - see bottom right picture.

NOTE: Our 2 year anti-leak warranty does not cover mis-use and does apply if the kettle is boiled dry!

So, keep the kettles filled with water at all times.  Warranty Cover will not apply if the kettle is mis-used. 

The Kettle should ALWAYS be FULL WITH WATER.

NEVER use the Pot Support over an empty Kettle nor allow your kettle to boil dry as it will overheat the inner chimney and may ruin your kettle. If using the pot-support over the chimney, remove any accessories (Pot, Support, etc.) from the Chimney top as soon as the water comes to the boil. Then remove the Kettle from the Fire-Base. You can then continue to cook over the fire base using either a) the grill pieces which come with our Cook sets or, b) the Hobo Stove cooking accessory.
For longer, slower cooking items place the 'Hobo Stove' accessory on to the fire base of your Kettle to create a highly effective, stand alone, wood fired Camp Stove.

Click HERE to learn how to correctly use the Kettle.