We've bought a BTCV Brewer Kettle
from Tim Jones at Appropriate Development Consultants. The kettle burns
small twigs very efficiently, and can boil water for 10 people in about 10
minutes (including gathering the fuel).
We used to use a gas ring, but the kettle is
quicker and lighter and it doesn't use fossil fuel or contribute to
the greenhouse effect.
1. Get ready
Find a flat bit of dry ground that won't burn
Collect an armful of dry twigs, which must be no
thicker than a pencil. The best place to find really dry twigs is on dead
trees: twigs off the ground are usually too damp to burn well.
Scrunch six or seven pages of a broadsheet
newspaper into balls.
Pour water in through the spout of the kettle
until it is full to just below the bottom of the spout (this is to allow
room for expansion as the water heats up).
2. Build the fire
Fold a sheet of newspaper into quarters, so that
it is about a foot square.
Lay the square on the ground.
Pile the balls of newspaper into a little
pyramid on the square of newspaper, then put the kettle on top, so that it
covers the pyramid.
Post a few twigs down the hole in the top of the
Arrange the handles of the kettle so that they
are not touching the sides, and so that the top handle is not vertical.
This is to stop the handles getting burnt.
3. Heat the water
Poke a lighted match through one of the holes in
the base of the kettle, and set light to the balls of newspaper.
When the paper is properly alight, post more
twigs down the top of the kettle. They should burn up very quickly.
Keep feeding the fire through the top of the
kettle: the twigs will burn very quickly, and the fire will go out very
soon if you stop.
The fire burns best if you break the sticks into
3-4" lengths, and if you use a long stick to push them to the bottom of
the kettle chimney.
The water will boil in five to ten minutes. Be
careful when it does boil, because scalding water and steam sometimes
sprays out of the spout.
If you can, it's best to wait until the fire has
died down completely before lifting the kettle.
The kettle works best when burning dry rosebay willowherb on a warm, breezy day.
kettle works worst when it is burning soaking wet twigs on a cold,
damp, still day.