When you are camping, the most common way to boil a kettle is to use gas. Whether it’s a normal gas burner, a stove that’s a part of your camper trailer or something like a jetboil, gas is generally pretty efficient and fast at boiling water. However, a lot of people want to know whether there’s such thing as a 12V kettle, and how they perform.
The truth is that yes, you can get 12V Kettles, and they can many come with cigarette plugs on them, or occasionally Anderson plugs. However, if you look into it a bit further you’ll soon realise that they are nothing like the kettle you’d have at home, and the reason is simple; you need a lot of power to heat water with electricity, and when you try and do it off 12V power its almost impossible.
A lot of 12V kettles will take about 30 minutes to boil, which while they do work, its rather pointless with such a long time frame. Of course, if you are happy with waiting that long, or you only want to boil tiny amounts of water it might suit your purposes, but a lot of people who buy them end up putting them up for sale, or in the bin.
Who makes 12V kettles?
Waeco make their own 12V kettle, as does Jaycar and a number of other manufacturers.
Boiling a kettle quickly with 12V
The only way you’ll boil a kettle quickly on 12V is if you do it through a big inverter and battery system, and run a normal 240V kettle. This can be done with a decent lithium battery system, and a large inverter (2000 – 3000W) but you are looking at a fairly expensive setup just to be able to boil a kettle.
We’ve moved to an induction cooktop, which requires a decent lithium battery system and big inverter. The only way you can boil water quickly with electricity is to use a lot of it, and that it does. We chew through about 15aH to boil water for hot drinks in the morning, but it does it in a few minutes, not half an hour!
The ultimate conclusion is pretty simple; whilst you can get a 12V kettle, and you can run a 240V one off an expensive battery system, the simplest and best solution is to stick with what’s been tried and proven over the last few decades; boil a normal camping kettle with gas, or over the fire.
If you want something super fast, compact and well reputed, get a Jet boil and be done with it.