Originally Posted by TopherM
Just reread that you are doing stovetop brewing. Note that MOST stovetop electric elements CAN NOT get full volumes for a 5 gallon batch to a boil, so you are probably stuck with partical volume if you are going to stay on the stovetop. Some of the more high-end electric and gas stovetop elements can handle bigger volumes, but not many.
If you plan on expanding in the future, you may want to think about an outdoor burner.
I have considered an outdoor burner, but my high BTU burner on my gas kitchen range gets 7 gallons to boil in about 30-45 minutes. I'm sure I can do it faster with a propane setup, but I'm willing to put up with a slower boil time and be in a clean kitchen.