I want to purchase a burner for all grain brewing. What are the qualities that I should look into for each product to compare them against each other?

I will be brewing indoors in my apartment if that makes a difference.

For example, I assume the higher the BTUs, the better. The quicker it takes to boil a certain quantity of water, the better.

What should I look for when purchasing a burner?

  • 6
    Using a propane burner indoors is an invitation to disaster. Please don't do it.
    – Denny Conn
    Oct 19, 2014 at 17:46

3 Answers 3


Whoof... I would not recommend doing a full boil inside an apartment if you can possibly avoid it. You're basically putting a gallon or two worth of water into the air. Things will get muggy quite quickly.

Presuming you can't get a natural gas hookup, you'll be restricted to butane burners; propane gives off too much carbon monoxide. Even with a butane burner, I'd advise you to buy a CO detector if you don't already have one.

(As an alternative, you should consider electric heating elements. Personally the idea of doing the boil in a plastic container weirds me out, but I know a lot of people use that approach, and there's a definite convenience advantage.)

Beyond that, yeah, the only real issue is BTUs. The only other thing I'd pay much attention to when buying a burner is windproofing, and of course that won't be an issue indoors.


As mentioned, BTUs are your primary issues. "Turkey Fryers" are very popular and kick out enough power.

Side concerns would be storage. Gas bottles, burners and pots take up a LOT of space. Keep that in mind then purchasing the items. Gas bottles should not be stored indoors.

Please follow COMMON SENSE and your local rules and regulations regarding the use of gas.

Side Note: Make friends with someone who stays on the ground. Brew on their patio.


BTUs relate to fuel consumption, not necessarily the "power" of the burner.

  • 2
    BTUs are generally calculated in terms of fuel consumption, but they do quite literally measure the power of the burner.
    – Sneftel
    Oct 19, 2014 at 18:41

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