Bayou Classic KAB4 High Pressure Banjo Cooker Review

Bayou Classic is at it again with their KAB4 High Pressure Banjo Cooker. Bayou Classic aims to provide the home brewer with a wide range of home brew equipment and products to choose from. And like all of their products, the Banjo Cooker is designed with the brewer in mind.

The design is similar to their SS84 Stainless Steel Brew Stove, however, it is much different in appearance. Operationally it is the same but many of its features have been modified to accommodate different brewers’ needs. It is still meant for outdoor brewing and all-grain set ups but it offers some upgrades that may peak your interest.


General Features

burners for home brewingThe KAB4 High Pressure Banjo Cooker is of high quality and efficiency. It is designed to last a long time as an outdoor cooker. It has a high BTU output and is intended for those brewing up to 30 gallon batches.

To support the weight and width of larger kettles, the Banjo Cooker is made of cast-iron. This is a very strong steel that won’t bend under the weight of a kettle with a maxed capacity. It also has a wide frame that measures 17-inches and sits just under 10-inches from the ground. A low center of gravity ensures a stable working environment.

The 210,000 BTU output is regulated by a 30 PSI regulator that is attached to a 4-foot hose. The hose can be attached to any standard propane tank and is stainless. Because of the higher PSI and BTU output, the Banjo Cooker can bring large batches up to a boil in a very short amount of time. This will reduce your work time and ensure that you are able to keep the temperatures you need in cold weather.

The burner is protected by the cast-iron frame that surrounds the flames. Rather than being exposed, the flames are set into the burner so the frame doubles as a wind resistor. This will also help to regulate the flames and keep the wort up to temperature.

Pros

  • Cast-iron
  • High-pressure
  • 30 PSI regulator
  • Brews up to 30-gallon batches

Cons

  • Narrow Supports
  • Sits low to the ground
  • Difficult to regulate low temp

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Shortfalls

bayou classic burner reviewOne of the best features of this burner is the high BTU output. It is very efficient and necessary to bring larger batches with heavy grains to a boil and keep it there. However, this is also my biggest complaint. The heat output isn’t as easy to regulate as you would expect.

In some cases, I have found it difficult to not over boil and burn the grain. This issue is compensated somewhat by the distance between the burner and the top of the frame. It does help to reduce the amount of heat directly on the bottom of the kettle and it reduces the chance of scorching.

I’m also not very fond of the leg design. The narrow supports aren’t an issue if you are on hard ground like a porch or driveway. However, I like to brew in my back yard as I have easy in and out access to the kitchen. Because of this the heavy weight of the kettle and burner push the legs into the ground and in some cases I have had to adjust the burner during the boil to maintain stability.


Recommendation

I highly recommend Bayou Classic’s KAB4 High Pressure Banjo Cooker. It makes quick work of batches up to 30 gallons and is built to last. The cast-iron is solid and the welding is strong.

The 4-foot hose is convenient so you can keep your fuel a safe distance away. It is also long enough to reach the tank if you decide to place the burner on higher ground.

Overall, it is easy to use, store away, and is viable for many occasions. I have no doubt that you will enjoy your experience with this cooker and will appreciate the price at which Bayou Classic provides quality homebrew equipment.

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