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The Iwatani products are made in Japan. Today we are looking at 2 of their butane gas burners so that it might help you decide which these products fit better for your purpose. Both of these gas burners are portable and can be used indoors and out.
They both have impressive BTU ratings (BTU = British thermal unit, the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit) and are small enough to carry around with you if you’re travelling or use on the dinner table if you’re entertaining.
Iwatani ZA-3HP Overview
The Iwatani ZA-3HP is a small portable gas burner which is suitable to use indoors as an extra burner or outdoors as your main cooking appliance when camping. The ZA-3HP is a butane gas stove which uses a gas canister installed in the side of the burner and can deliver 12000 BTU/H of heat.
It’s only 14 x 11 x 4.2 inches and light enough to move around easily. It comes with it’s own carrying case to protect it from damage. The drip tray with the pan supports attached to it can be removed for easy cleaning.
It’s easy to install the gas canister in the housing at the side by laying the canister in with the small gap at the top lining up with the flange on the connector. There is a lever on the front of the unit which you press down to engage the canister. Now you can close the cover and you’re ready to cook.
The cooker has a Piezo-Electric Ignition to light the gas so you don’t need to worry about having a lighter on hand, just turn the knob all the way on and it will create the spark to light the gas. Just set the flame at the right level for what you are cooking and you can start. The pan supports have ridges to keep your pans steady and you can use pans up to 10 inch diameter with ease. The butane gas canisters that are used can be bought from Amazon.com in packs so you always have some gas to hand. Check out our full review of the Iwatani ZA-3HP here.
Iwatani 35FW Overview
The Iwatani 35FW is a single gas burner. It is powered by butane gas via a canister system. It’s super high powered and can burn at 15000 BTU/H and sports a solid brass burner.
It definitely looks like a solid piece of kit with the body made from aluminium and it comes with it’s own carrying case to keep it in perfect condition. The cooking area is easy to keep clean as the top is removable. The pan supports are slightly angled so can easily hold a wok in place if you want to buy it to do some stir frying.
The size of the unit is 13.3 x 11.9 x 3.7 inches with the space for the butane canister on the right hand side of the burner. You only need to lift the lid to install the canister. There is a cut out at the top of the canister that matches with the connection point. You don’t need to lever it into place as it is magnetic so as you move the canister into place the magnet will pull it in for a secure connection.
This 35FW has an automatic safety stop so that if the pressure of the increases to a point of becoming unsafe it will shut of the gas flow which will douse the flame. There is a simple to use control knob on the front of the unit, it isn’t marked with numbers but it is marked with various shades of red so you can see which is the hottest level and it has got a simmer point marked to help you. Obviously when you have a visible flame you tend to judge it by sight anyway.
You won’t need any matches or lighter to light this burner as it has a Piezo-Electric Ignition, you just turn the knob all the way on to engage the ignition then when the gas is lit you adjust the burner to the required level. This burner is certified for indoor and outdoor use and it comes with a double windbreak to make sure that it isn’t affected too much by wind outside when cooking. There is a raised lip around the top of the burner as part of the body of the unit and a raised ring which has the pan supports attached which also stops any draught from affecting the efficiency of this cooker.
Iwatani ZA-3HP vs 35FW
Both of these burners are made in a similar fashion and are roughly the same size. They both use the same type of butane gas canister and both have ignition capability so it’s easy to light. They both have removable drip trays so they are easy to keep clean and have their own carrying case.
So what is the difference between them.
The 35FW has a double windshield built in for better heating outdoors, it also has a magnetic connection for the canister rather than a lever like in the ZA-3HP. The 35FW also has a higher BTU level which means quicker boiling. The downside of course is that the price of the Iwatani 35FW is more than double the Iwatani ZA-3HP.
You have 2 very capable butane gas burners here to choose from. The price might be a deciding factor if you don’t need the extra power capability of the Iwatani 35FW. Also if you don’t want to use it outdoors then the windshield might not be an important factor for you. The Iwatani ZA-3HP is our recommendation, although it has less BTU’s it’s still higher than others on the market so for a cheaper price you’re still getting a good quality powerful burner.