Most helpful positive review
196 of 204 people found the following review helpful
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
on August 21, 2010
This unit is a sturdy Hi/Low burner for outdoor cooking. It comes with a 20 lb regulator and a 4-foot braided SS hose to be used with a 20lb propane cylinder. The only assembly required is to attach the hose to the burner by sliding the cone shaped spring through the end of the hose and the air control shutter and screwing it into the burner. The instructions do not mention the spring. It acts as a tension washer; place the larger end towards the air control shutter and the smaller end towards the hose.
The welded steel frame of this burner is painted black to protect it during shipping. The paint will burn off the first time you use the burner so it is best to place a large pot of water on the burner for about an hour and let the paint burn off before you start cooking. You could coat the frame with cooking oil to reduce rust; I just keep mine the carton. As stated, this burner is intended for outdoor use only so DO NOT use inside garages, under decks, or on wooden decks especially if you are heating oil for deep fat frying.
Pay close attention to the lighting instructions. Shut off the main value on the propane tank and the shut off valve on the hose. Close the air shutter valve to the lowest setting. Use a long-nosed propane BBQ style lighter from underneath the burner. Open the tank valve, and with the long-nosed lighter already lit, crack the hose valve ¼ turn counterclockwise, and wait until you hear the burner light. Adjust the air shutter for a blue flame. Open the hose valve for a hotter flame if desired. Be careful, the flame is hard to see on sunny days. If the flame goes out, shut off the hose valve and wait a few moments for the propane to dissipate before re-lighting. The low settings are a bit tricky to achieve. If you picture the off setting being at 12 o'clock then the 10 o'clock setting will be low and 11 o'clock will yield a simmer setting. On windy days, the burner is prone to go out at these lower settings despite the built-in windscreen. I have found the best way to check to see if it is still lit is to turn it up so it is easy to see the flame then turn it back down. Remember to use oven mitts and wear shoes.
I have seen this burner rated at 175,000 BTU's on other websites (not Bayou Classic) and some of the reviews here. This is not true. A BTU is the amount of energy needed the raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. This unit is theoretically rated at about 55,000 BTU's and in real life it produces about 40,000 BTU's. Here's what you need to know. On a 70-degree calm day, I was able to bring 9 gallons of water in an 11-gallon pot to a rolling boil in 35 minutes. To test steam production I used the same pot filled with 3" of water and had lid-lifting steam in 8 minutes.
This burner is useful for boiling water for cooking, brewing or for steaming lobsters, clams, corn, and sterilizing canning jars. It is great for heating peanut oil for deep-frying. I throw a couple of old enameled BBQ grates on top of the burner when doing soups stews etc. I ordered this item from Amazon requesting free shipping and received it in just two days. It arrived packed inside two cartons so there was no shipping damage. This item is a great valve based on what it can do for such a low price. I down-rated it to 4 stars because of the lack of information in the instructions about installing the spring.
Update September 2011 - I went down to the beach to steam some corn and could not get the burner to light properly. I tried reassembling the gas line but still couldn't get a strong flame. Cobwebs in the venturi? - Bad Regulator? - No, I forgot the proper lighting sequence (tank value off - regulator valve off - hook up gas hose - open tank value FIRST - then crack regulator value and light). If you do not follow this sequence there is a safety devise that prevents the gas from flowing. If this happens to you, do the following to reset the devise. Close all valves, remove the hose from the propane tank, open the regulator valve (you can hear the device reset), close the regulator value and reattach the hose to the tank and start the lighting sequence as above.