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Will any tea kettle function on a wood stove top?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by zan78, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. zan78

    zan78 New Member

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    We have a wood stove with a cook top area, and would like to find out whether any old tea kettle will function safely on it.

    My main concerns are whether it should be a certain material (or not a certain material), or if it doesn't matter at all. And whether I should invest in a trivet to place between it and the cook top.

    We also have a staub enamel coated cast iron dutch oven that I'd assume would be ok to slow cook on top of it if we ever wished? Seems it's made of the same materials that stove top steamers/humidifiers are made of.

    My instinct tells me if a kettle is designed for electric or gas stove tops, then it must function nearly the same on a wood stove (and I suppose glass would be a no-no since it could shatter being placed on an already hot surface), but thought it best to double check with others here who have done this before, thanks!

    edit to include:

    I forgot to mention…every site I look at to purchase a kettle specifically for wood stoves says not to use for water consumption, only for humidity. I called a couple companies as well yesterday to verify this and ask why. None of them knew particularly why funny enough, but they all said that the cast iron kettles for stoves that they sell are not to be used for boiling water for consumption.
    I did find a nice stainless steel kettle at plow and hearth’s site, but its 4 qts, much larger than I’d like. So hoping any old kettle will work instead. I suppose some are made with a heavier base to withstand sitting dry without getting damaged - like the one at that site.

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  2. gandrimp

    gandrimp Member

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    Im pretty certian anything will work, except for the glass you mentioned.

    I have gone to the extreme of using what I have found to work very well.

    I have to refill it everyday and will use nearly 1/2 gallon a day. I got it a

    few years ago and it had a pretty red outer shell, but that has been removed.

    The lid has been removed and misplaced. The contents were enjoyed over

    a few days period.



    Its a folgers coffee can :lol:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2014
  3. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

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    I realize you are talking boiling water........and so on that note.........sure......just use a durable material and have at it. It'll work.

    We tried (or rather, the WIFE decided to try) to cube up some potato's and boil them on our wood stove, back when we first got it. Took FOREVER!! (Even tried changing cooking pot materials).

    So we bought a wood stove COOK stove for cooking.

    -Soupy1957
  4. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    We used teapots in the past for humidifiers eventually on the older non-jacketed stove they would burn out from the heat. then again sometime they would violently boil over too.

    As far as the occasional use that you plan I bet that would be fine, just don't fill the teakettle up all the way.
  5. drozenski

    drozenski New Member

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    Go to your local wood stove store and pickup a cast iron kettle.. It will never over heat and get damaged and the water never gets to the point of super boiling. i love mine.

    Just dont leave water in it over the summer/sprin/fall when not burning. I learned the hard way on that one and had to buy a new one. It filled it with rust.
  6. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Well, along with what everyone else has said, I do have my steamer on a trivit = so far no 'spot' from where the pot/steamer sat on my stove.

    [​IMG]
  7. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    If you want to humidify, cast iron works great - converts much more water to vapor without boiling than a regular non-cast pot/kettle.

    For quickly boiling water (for tea, coffee, etc.) any old tea kettle seems to work fine for me - copper bottom the fastest.
  8. RoseRedHoofbeats

    RoseRedHoofbeats Feeling the Heat

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    Oh, what a cute Dutch oven! I want one with a horse on it! =P

    If you get a kettle that's anything but cast iron, get a trivet for it. Other than that, knock yourself out.

    ~Rose
  9. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    You can use anything. The stove surface is simply a source of heat. Over the years we've had every type pan and pot on our stoves. No different from any other type stove. As with any heating, a thin, cheap pan can more easily scorch foods, but that has nothing to do with the heat source being a wood stove.

    Obviously, if your stove surface is porcelain or enamel, you must be careful not to scratch it and cooking atop it might not be the thing to do.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We always have water on the stove but just in a simple pan; not cast, but cast is better.

    We also do a fair amount of cooking on our stove. There is rarely a day goes by during winter that some type of food isn't on the stove. Had some more bean soup yesterday. Delicious! Wife has also made apple butter and also uses the stove even to warm things.

    Because ours is soapstone, we always have some small soapstone blocks (called boot driers) on the stove. Any pots and pans that get sit on the stove also has 2 small blocks under it to keep the top from scratching. In turn, I like the boot driers for....drying boots. I also like to put them into a pair of gloves. During winter is when I cut our wood and I always take an extra pair or two of gloves with me. I put the soapstone blocks in the gloves and wrap them up to keep them nice and warm. It is a dream when your hands get cold and you suddenly have a nice warm pair to put on! I get these boot driers from Woodstock.
  11. Magus

    Magus New Member

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    I purchased a "drinkable water " cast iron tea kettle. The problem is...it seems to be rusting from the inside.

    Maybe I need to cook it before using it.
  12. zan78

    zan78 New Member

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    This is actually part of the reason for my question - I forgot to mention...every site I look at to purchase one of these says do not use for water consumption, only for humidity. I called a couple companies as well yesterday to verify this and ask why. None of them knew particularly why, but they all said that the cast iron kettles for stoves that they sell are not to be used for boiling water for consumption. I did find a nice stainless steel kettle at plow and hearth's site, but its 4 qts, much larger than I'd like. So hoping any old kettle will work instead.
  13. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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  14. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    You can get porcelain coated cast iron dutch ovens for this. I bought 2 from Wally's to bake bread in, but they would work well for water on the stove. You should still season any area on the pot not covered by the porcelain though.
    We have a couple pots on the stove with spouts, and keep them about half full most of the time to humidify. Very difficult to keep it any more than about 30-35 %.
  15. zan78

    zan78 New Member

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    lol this made me laugh. Not a bad idea!
  16. 120inna55

    120inna55 Member

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    I received this one for Christmas. It works great, but I can tell you why it can't be used for consumption. Even after washing it and having several refills, the water comes out black as if it's mixed with ash. Here's a short YouTube video I just put together to demonstrate: Vogelzang TK-02 Despite this, it is exactly what I was looking for because out of the box it has the appearance of being old and heavily used complete with large pores and cast imperfections.

    Attached Files:

  17. Mcbride

    Mcbride New Member

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    I got a huge, very old, cast iron pot at a garage sale many years ago, that i use.
    I think it cost me a whopping $4 and it works great.
    Its BIG, and really heavy.
    I fill it from a plastic bucket daily.
    A tin material will wear out a dn leak before too long.
    This thing looks made to last 200 years.
  18. zan78

    zan78 New Member

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    thanks for sharing the video! I wonder what causes the black? It used to be tradition in Asia to drink tea from cast iron kettles, and that the iron/rust that formed inside was not hazardous to health - but it never caused black water like that. It's too bad they don't make these suitable for consumption, though I suppose it would not be often they'd be used that way by most people.
  19. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Basically you can place anything that will hold water and not melt from the heat........pots and pans, tea kettles etc. I have a cast iron evaporator but would never use the water out of it. As for cooking, we lost power for 11 days a couple of winters ago...kids got a kick out of making pasta, soup and other dinners on the wood stove.
  20. 120inna55

    120inna55 Member

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    Oh, I'm sure it can be done, but not without increasing the price. The thing that makes cast iron cookware possible is seasoning which is basically creating an oil barrier. Introducing constant heat and water would negate any "seasoning" by causing the pores to swell and dislodging the oil. I would imagine the only way to have a cast iron humidifier with the dual purpose of heating consumable water would be to glaze or enamalize the interior.
  21. natel

    natel New Member

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    Does anyone know how well an enameled steel kettle would work? I'm looking at getting a nice Le Creuset tea kettle unless I can find a cheaper alternative that would work well for consumable water.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    No reason it should not that I know of.
  23. area_man

    area_man Member

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    Take your cast iron tea kettle and use a wire brush to remove rust all the way down to the metal all through the piece. Coat inside and out with vegetable oil. Many people say to use bacon grease, but for the purposes of establishing a seasoning, use vegetable oil. Whatever they have on sale should work fine for this. Set your oven for 400 degrees, put your tea kettle in there, and let it think about things for an hour. It should smoke a little. When you take it out, use a flashlight and make sure there's a shiny black finish on the inside. If it's spotty, repeat. Once you have a nice seasoning it shouldn't rust. You will wind up with mineral accumulation due to the mineral content in water. When the water boils it leaves behind all the non H2O that will form a crust on your tea kettle inside. I would not use a humidifier tea kettle for drinking water because of the minerals in the kettle.

    If you want to keep the kettle clear of minerals you'll need to brush it out with a nylon bristle brush.

    I picked up a cast iron tea kettle a few weeks ago for humidifying the air, and it seems to work. I haven't had a bloody nose since filling the kettle.
  24. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    iron is a mineral you need in your diet
    too much can be toxic
    boiling water or tomatoes in cast iron can transfer a large amount of iron out of the pan into the water or food.
  25. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    You can boil water in a styrofoam cup in an open fire so you can place anything on the stove and it will not burn(past the water line). Not that I recommend a styro container on your stove, just saying.

    For the original question: x20 or so - any metal pan, pot, container will work just fine. If you run it dry be careful when adding more water.

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