A few weeks ago I got a shiny new kettle, but there was a problem. The kettle overhung the "safety ring" on my old burner by a couple of inches on all sides. In addition, the added weight of the new kettle made the burner stand sag a little and wobble a lot. Probably fine, and I did both a test boil and actual brew on it without incident. The wobble made my wife nervous however, and she authorized/ordered the purchase of something sturdier.
I ended up buying a camp chef burner that fits the new kettle quite nicely. As an added bonus, it heats up much faster than the old burner. 6.5 gallons of "out of the faucet" temperature water (fairly chilly here in Nebraska) to a boil in 40 minutes or so. A savings of 20 minutes at least over the old burner, which I suppose at 30,000 btu (old) vs. 60,000 (new) shouldn't be surprising.
As a second bonus, the burner seems to handle being low on fuel better than the old one. As fuel became low, the old burner seemed to gradually produce less heat. This was always irritating as I inevitably ended up doing a brew or two on a low tank and dealing with increasingly long boil times.
The new one seemed to go full-force-ish and then simply run out of fuel. I brewed this afternoon on a tank that I knew was getting low. I had a roaring flame/full boil until all of a sudden the tank was empty and the flame went down to almost nothing. The best part was I only had a minute or two left on the boil, so no problems at all.
The moral of the story: a much larger/heavier kettle may require a new burner, and so far the camp chef seems like a good one. I wonder, however, if my perception of a longer full-blast run time is accurate. Does anyone know if some burners (regulators?) dwindle and others go full force until running out of fuel? Is this a side-effect of the higher btu rating? Difference between propane tanks? Figment of my imagination?
Thanks for reading a long story with a short question.