Turkish Samovar The Kelly Alternative

Paul Pinkerton

I finally had to accept the passing of an old friend. My beloved Kelly Kettle that has been with me since the earliest days of my bushcraft journey is beyond repair. We have been through good times and bad together, but she always produced a warm glow and a hot brew. So with a heavy heart I decided I needed a replacement kettle. Firewood doesn’t grow on trees, well ok it does but I get through a lot of wood a year. If I’m on my own or teaching a small course a fire just to boil a few liters of water can be excessive.

Once again the the power of the internet brought up lots of suggestions. Then I had a chance encounter with a chap volunteering for the National Trust. He suggested I try out the Samovar. After all, everyone has a volcano kettle and I fancied something a tad different.

Manufacturers Description:

– Traditional Turkish Samovar
– Usable with wood/kindling or coal
– Has metal handles
– Has a hot water tap
– Samovar is used to boil water and brew tea using the teapot on top
– The top compartment can be removed so that the bottom part can be used as a BBQ
– Keep heat for a long time
– It is very useful in tents, campers, boats, etc.
– The combustion controlled through the cover. Close the cover when you want to continue burning. Because samovar goes to sleep
– Use this for heating and hot water supply for washing up even shower!
– Offers you a unforgettably tasty tea and hot drinks. An essential piece of camping kit if you like a hot cuppa, soup, coffee etc.
– can easily ignite and use in balconies, verandas or gardens.
Made in Turkey
-Water reservoir volume: 4 liters (150 oz)
-Total weight: 2 kg
-Chimneyless Height: 13 inches (33 cm)
-Diameter: 10 inches.


Another eBay purchase. $30 with $20 postage from Turkey.

The average price of a volcano style kettle with a 2.2-pint capacity is around the £50 price bracket and the idea of 4 liter kettle was appealing. I like my coffee.

The Samovar arrived fairly promptly directly from Turkey. The eBay seller mainly sells van heaters so is used to packaging products. I was quite amused reading the various German descriptions of heater parts used to wrap the kettle. For transport the little tap is not attached to the body of the water heater so be prepared to rummage for a couple of tools to attach it using the leather washer provided.

The tap is a little small. I may change it at some point, although I have had this stove for a year now and I haven’t yet so it doesn’t annoy me that much. Filling your cup takes a while due to the narrow diameter of the tap.

First impressions of the Samovar were good. It had suffered a slight dent in transport but nothing to worry about.


It comes with instructions. Although they are not really necessary.

The Samovar isn’t a Kelly Kettle it has a door on the side of the fire box for adding fuel. So you get the fire going and add small kindling from the side. I found the first couple of uses getting a sustainable fire a little tricky. That was more user error than a faulty stove design. I don’t have those issues now.

I still put wood down the chimney, but as it’s off center, it doesn’t really lend itself to this type of use. Once a decent fire is going in the burner dropping in sticks does help keep it going.

The water heater is pretty good boiling 4 liters of water in around 10 minutes. If you’re after instant hot water then use a jet boil. Bushcraft is about the process as much as the end result.

I like the samovar. It’s not bombproof. The metal is stainless but to reduce cost and weight it’s fairly thin. The overall package is a little bulky, but it’s not designed for packing through woodland. It’s great as a camp or workshop kettle running on your off cuts of wood and shavings. You can buy extra flue pieces to make it a more permanent water heater.

Cooking a few sausages.

Ø Fast Delivery
Ø Relatively inexpensive
Ø 4 liter Capacity
Ø Good size firebox for heating and cooking.
Ø A little flimsy
Ø No handles on the water tank.
Ø Bulky


If you’re looking for a water boiler with a good sized fire box, I think the Turkish Samovar Tea Kettle is a good buy. I am happy with mine it has been used on various courses for the past 12 months and looks pretty much the same as the day I bought it.
I have added a couple more dents to it as it has fallen out the van a couple of times. The tap drips slightly but as I’m outside and it’s very slow it doesn’t upset me enough to change it.

Would I buy another? I think I would possibly buy the larger version and keep in situ, but for small group brew stops during breaks it works really well and does warm my shelter nicely.


by Wayne of BushcraftUK

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jack-beckett is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival