Review: Bayou Classic KAB6 Bayou Cooker
Bayou Classic makes a large line of cast iron burners. The SP10 High-Pressure Outdoor Gas Cooker is cheapest and smallest in the line. The SQ14 Single Burner is slightly more expensive than the SP10 but is comparable. The KAB4 Bayou Cooker is one step below their biggest burner. The KAB6 Bayou Cooker is the largest of their cast iron burners. They also make the SS84 which is a stainless steel burner with a windscreen.
The Bayou Classic KAB6 Bayou Cooker is the one I chose as it was rated for the most weight. It’s rated for a giant 162 quart stockpot. I figured it could hold my 16 gallon bayou pot with no chance of a hot wort flood from tipping off the burner. It is rated at 30 PSI to really put out some heat. The cooking surface is around 22 inches so it fits most larger pots.
The burner really does put out a lot of heat. On my first brew I nearly melted my shoe so keep it far away from anything flammable or meltable. The propane consumption isn’t too bad as you can turn it down once you get up to temperature. Beware a of full blown open valve as it can freeze up a propane tank. I haven’t had a freeze up yet but on after my last boil made the propane tank felt like it had been dipped in liquid nitrogen.
The burner is built quite structurally sound. The frame is consists of a solid painted metal. The paint is absolute trash as it will burn off but don’t worry as the metal seems to hold up fine without it. The burner consists of a nice cast iron. The cast works well producing an even blue flame at the right air to gas mixture. The platform for the pot consists of four L shaped bars. Small pots below 10 gallons won’t safely sit on the bars. The gas hose and shield seem solid enough to survive any missteps.
Wind resistance is a huge enemy here! I’ve tried to brew on fairly calm days and would still have the flame blow out. Luckily my backyard works well with my fence blocking the wind. Build a sheet metal heat shield or stick to a wind free zone. There really is nothing worse than fighting the wind on brew day.
The controls on the KAB6 are pretty good. The valve to adjust the gas has a good range of fuel usage. A small metal plate sits at the bottom of the burner for air mixture control. The air flow plate has a learning curve to get the right air to gas mixture but is easy enough to adjust. Do beware because at full blast the air flow plate can become warm but honestly you should only be playing with the gas valve once your up to that temperature.
The burner would work great for certain foods. Steaming should go fairly well with a steamer bottom and the right amount of water. Most soups would also work out fine. I wouldn’t try to use this for a chili or thick sauces as it would be easy to burn the bottoms without constant attention. I’d never need to make such a big batch of food but my experience with wort gives me a general idea of how this would go with food.
Overall the burner will provide you with a much better experience than that cheap turkey fryer burner. You’ll both be able to save gas and safely brew large batches. Honestly if money is no option go for a Blichmann or electric system. If you have a budget like mine then stick with one of the Bayous for now.
- Solid cast iron burner
- Safely holds bigger pots
- 30 PSI regulator
- Good on fuel consumption
- Paint will burn off immediately
- Won’t fit smaller pots
- Prone to wind blow outs