In my two previous posts, we reviewed the Kelly Kettle (read my Kelly Kettle review) and then the cook set and pot support (read my cook set and pot support review). Today we've got one more accessory to look at-- the Hobo Stove.
Hobo stoves date back to the 1920s and the Great Depression. Originally made from a #10 can (usually a coffee can), the Kelly Kettle Hobo Stove is made from stainless steel. Like the Kettle itself, it works in all weather conditions and can use any type of solid fuel--twigs, pinecones, etc.
The Hobo Stove weighs 6 ounces, and has a pot support measuring just over 5 inches wide.
For storage, the Hobo Stove fits inside the fire-base...
...and the cook set stores inside that. Kelly Kettle recommends only using the Hobo Stove with the stainless steel fire-base, since you could overheat the aluminum base and ruin it.
We lit a fire with just a small handful of sticks and twigs, and quickly had some good flames going.
With the small opening in the fire base, the two pieces act as a rocket stove, producing very hot flames with very little smoke. As the flames die down you can add more fuel through the opening or through the top, if you're able to easily move your cook pan off. Because you're burning small pieces of wood, they can burn down very quickly, so you need to keep a good eye on your flame and add more fuel as necessary.
You can use any kind of pan that's suitable for open flame on the Hobo Stove; we decided to use one of our cast iron skillets.
We used a little bit of olive oil and started grilling our veggie sausages.
We had enough heat coming off this small stove that they cooked in just a few minutes.
We grilled them for about 1-2 minutes each side, and they turned out perfect.
Now, it may be a little difficult to maintain a low heat on the Hobo Stove. In our tests we either had roaring flames coming out the sides, or no flame and just embers. I think that if you needed a low heat you'd be better off using the Kelly Kettle with the pot support.
All together, the Kelly Kettle and all accessories weigh 3 pounds, 12 ounces, so it's not really something you'd take on an extended backpacking trip. But for a situation where you have a base camp, or for off-grid cooking in a small space with minimal fuel, it works wonderfully.
The Hobo Stove is a perfect addition to the Kelly Kettle, especially since it doesn't take up any extra room in the carrying bag. Combining all three pieces together (the Kelly Kettle, cook stand and Hobo Stove) gives you the ability to cook just about anything in all weather conditions using just a handful of fuel.