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Help adding ball valves to my kettles

I would like to add ball valves to my kettles but stuck on wither if it will work. Most of my kettles are the basic stainless steel with thin walls and I have one really nice kettle with think walls. Will the the thin walled kettles hold up to the drilling and insertion of a wieldless ball valve or am I better off upgrading all of my kettles to the likes of my thick walled kettle for the extra strength?

I looked at the DIY projects and should have a grasp of it all but want to make sure the kettles will be okay before I start poking holes in them.


Having a thin wall is a pro and con. Pro is that the curved wall will conform better when you tighten the flat nut of the ball valve. Con is the wall will flex a lot when you try to open the ball valve. I thought about adding one but it seemed like more work than it was worth. I might just wait to buy a pot that is made with a ball valve instead of trying to add one. IMO a step drill is expensive if you don’t already own one. I’ve seen a lot of issues with them leaking too. The seals are finicky. I’m all for DIY but didn’t like my odds with this project.

I drilled and added one to a bayou classic 9 gal ss kettle. I don’t know the specs on the kettle but it was cheap and I wouldn’t consider it heavy gauge. Works fine. Just make sure you don’t drill it out any larger than absolutely necessary and remove any burrs from the edges and it should work fine.

I followed the basic instructions at: to install a valve (and a water heater element) in my Bayou kettle. I used the parts specified but deviated from their instruction by using a hole saw, not a punch. It’s inexpensive, works great, and doesn’t leak.

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