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Old 01-06-2007, 03:31 PM   #1
McCall St. Brewer
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Default Now we're cooking with gas!

As I mentioned in another thread, yesterday was my first time using my new Backyard Classics turkey fryer that Santa picked up for me at Walmart.

Best thing about it? Instant heat regulation! Alas, my kitchen stove is electric, and I am forever frustrated by being unable to quickly raise or lower the heat. With the turkey fryer I found that a potential boilover could be instantly averted with a quick twist of the regulator knob.

A quick review? Works pretty darn well, and is an absolute bargain for the price. The stand is very sturdy and steady. The aluminum pot that comes with it is actually pretty nice. I was a little worried about the noise that others have mentioned with turkey fryers (jet engine?) but with a little bit of experimenting (remember bunsen burners in high school chemistry) I was able to adjust the regulator and air flow to get a nice efficient blue flame with very little noise coming from the burner.

It took a little longer than I expected to get everything up to a boil (I'm sorry, but I didn't time it). I think next time I'll start with warmer water and see how that works.

The one concern I may have is propane usage. I started with a tank that was very heavy and by the end of my boil it did feel noticably lighter. Propane has become expensive now. How many batches do people get from one tank? I got a chiller to save on the cost of ice and by doing 5 gal. boils I probably will no longer need to buy bottled water any more, but will the cost of propane just cancel all that out and more?

Bottom line: I was very happy with the fryer. (So was SWMBO. She positively detests the smell of brewing and claims it gives her migraines and nausea and....).

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Old 01-06-2007, 04:18 PM   #2
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You should get at least 6 or 7 brews from a tank, I think. Maybe more. I recommend keeping a spare full at all times.
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Old 01-06-2007, 04:54 PM   #3
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I'm assuming you're doing extract and full boils? The 5-6 is probably accurate but when it's chilly out you're using more propane to compensate. Better efficiency as the surrounding temp is higher. As for AG, I probably only get 3 per tank. A lot more water to be heated. 2 tanks is key! I have one for brewing and the other on the grill.
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