After years of preparing paellas on a kettle barbecue, spending time waiting for the coals, then hoping they don't die out before the paella is cooked, and cleaning up the ashes later, we made up our minds to buy a gas ring burner. We scoured the internet, evaluating the Spanish-made sets. Then, we purchased this economical Char-Broil burner and tripod set for half the cost. We've found it to be easy-to-assemble, sturdy and very convenient.
It even came with everything needed to cook - a gas hose, valve, regulator and paella pan. After assembling, attach to a propane tank and it's ready to use.
The Bottom Line
This Char-Broil gas burner earns a five-star rating, based quality and price.
Ignition: Match Light
Height: 32.8 inches
Width at Tripod Base: 32 inches
Width of Cooking Burner: 18.5 inches
Fits Paella Pans from 16 - 22 inches
Heat Output: 30,000 BTU
Shipping Weight: 25 lbs
Net Weight: 15 lbs
The gas burner includes two independently-controlled rings to provide even heat, eliminating spotty cooking. The smaller ring is 8-inches in diameter and the larger is 16-inches. The burners are made of porcelain-coated steel tubing. Each ring is perforated with many small holes, creating an even ring of fire. The heat output is 30,000 BTUs. A metal windshield surrounds the burners and extends below the burner, as well.
The stand is a sturdy, metal, painted tripod, which makes a stable base. Each leg has a large plastic foot to improve stability and prevent the legs from sinking into soft dirt.
How it Stacks Up
Price - This set compares very favorably to the sets, and individual parts we found in local retail stores and online web retailers that specialize in Spanish food.
If purchasing the burner, tripod, hose and regulator separately, they can cost upwards of $225. Sets in stores and online also carry price tags of $150-200, and most do not include the regulator. At the time of publication, this Char-Broil set was available for approximately $100 including shipping, a paella pan and thermometer.
Quality - The burner, controls and tripod are of good quality and we have found no defects, and no wobbling after assembly.
Windshield - The windshields are sometimes included in sets, or can be purchased separately, and usually only surround the burners on the sides. The windshield included in this set also extends across the bottom under the burners. This can help prevent the fire from blowing out if there are strong wind gusts. It will also catch food that spills or falls out of the pan, and should cleaned after each use.
Portability and Storage - Some tripods are designed with a set of wheels, similar to charcoal barbecues. This set does not come with wheels and must be picked up and carried, but since it weighs only 15 lbs, it is easy to move or transport. The burner set should be stored under cover - in a garage or shed, or securely covered with a tarp.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for use, care, maintenance and storage.