Portable Gas Burner
I saw these in Chinatown. The label specified these were for cooking outside or in restaurant kitchens only.
Has anyone used one of these? Do they get hotter than the gas burner on an ordinary gas stove? (I'm hoping yes.)
Tales of any experience cooking on one of these would be welcome.
They use aerosol size butane canisters, and have interlock mechanisms that insure the canister is properly installed. Despite the label, they are regularly used in homes, particularly in Asia, but also in the USA. I've seen them used for food demos in large Asian groceries (instead of electric hot plates). In Asian homes (and restaurants) they are used at the table for hot pots, cook-at-the-table soups, and grilling meat (on steel, ceramic or stone hot griddles).
They are not hotter than home gas stoves, so would not help with high temperature wok cooking.
I've used one for years in a catering business (double burners) and in my home for parties
(single burner) They do not get hotter than a regular gas burner so no help for the wok, but
they are great when you need additional "stove" capacity. Mine came from a kitchen supply store in a mall, but I'm sure they are available in big restaurant supply houses for maybe less
$$...my single burner was around $60. The butane canisters are pricey, but burn for about an
hour at top heat, so I don't know if that's a deal killer or not. I love having the extra burner for parties and family dinners.
If you want to cook with a wok, look a BTU ratings. Most ranges/cooktops are around 12K tops, a few 16K or 22-23K. Chinese restaurants use 125-250K BTU burners. They have portable outdoor burners that are high BTU, but it seems like a whole other technique than cooking on a home range. I am hoping this summer to learn to use a high powered burner to stir fry. You can search youtube for videos of people cooking on various wok burners. A real burner only needs a few seconds to cook the food. There are many that take awhile and you can see the difference.
The real deal-
For the other thread I found a Iwatani Cassette-Feu (Japanese brand that pioneered these butane burners) that is rated at 15,000btu. More commonly they are 8000btu.
One problem with these burners when camping is that the canister gets cold as the fuel evaporates, and heat production drops. That's less of a problem when used inside.
Turkey fryer burners are 40,000 btus (probably more, but I've seen them in this range). I've never used them as a burner so I don't know if it would work. They use a standard propane tank.
I would hate to be without my portable gas burners. I think the labeling "for outdoor or restaurant use only" is CYA on the part of the manufacturer; I've never observed this and never had a problem. I use them frequently both at home and when traveling. I also used them for cooking classes and catering but that was a long time and another story ago.
My family used to live in the LA area and after the last big earthquake, my mother insisted on having an emergency kit in her car. I bought her one of these and she happily drove it around for years.
paulj is dead on correct with his advice to buy the butane canisters at an Asian grocery store; they're muchmuch cheaper there.