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, KAB4 banjo cooker is much different in appearance. Operationally it is the same, but many of its features have been modified to accommodate different brewers’ needs. KAB4 is still meant for outdoor brewing and all-grain setups but it offers some upgrades that may peak your interest.
Bayou Classic KAB4 Cooker: General Features
The KAB4 is an efficient, high-quality, high-pressure banjo cooker. 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 solid 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.
Bayou Classic KAB4 has an output up to 210,000 BTU, it is regulated by a 30 PSI regulator that is attached to a 4-foot hose. The hose can be connected 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 short amount of time. This will reduce your work time and ensure that you can keep the temperatures you need in cold weather.
The KAB4 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 fire and keep the wort up to temperature.
- 30 PSI regulator
- Brews up to 30-gallon batches
One of the best features of the Bayou Classic KAB4 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 not to overboil 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 Bayou Classic KAB4 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 backyard 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 had to adjust the burner during the boil to maintain stability.
- Narrow supports
- Sits low to the ground
- Difficult to regulate low temp
Bayou Classic KAB4 Cooker Review: The Bottom Line
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 Bayou Classic KAB4 cooker and will appreciate the quality of this homebrew equipment.