A kettle is a device used for boiling water, today mainly used for the making of hot drinks (tea or coffee), and some food items such as freeze-dried instant noodles, or powdered soup / sauce mixes.
Before homes had running hot water, kettles would be used to heat water for bathing.
There a two main types of kettle - those powered by mains electricity, and those powered by an external heat source (such as the top of a gas cooker, or an open camp fire). Kettles powered from a car's cigarette lighter socket also exist, as does a type known as a Kelly kettle, traditionally used by fishermen from the West of Ireland but becoming increasingly popular for outdoor use. The Kelly kettle is powered by its own self-contained fire inside the metal casing which fits over the top.
A fish kettle is an elongated pan used for poaching fish.
Alternative Uses of the word
- A "Kettle" is also a term used by Railway enthusiasts when referring to a Steam Locomotive.
- "The pot calling the kettle black" is an expression that notes a person is guilty of the same flaw he is pointing out in someone else.
- "Kettling" (from the verb "to kettle") is a form of crowd control employed by various police forces which involves corralling protesters into an enclosed space and holding them there for an extended period of time