Stir Frying on a gas grill?
Recently, I've been messing around a bit with various stir-fry recipes (if you could call "tossing some stuff in a skillet" a recipe, that is) and so far, I've found the results somewhat uninspiring. I'm beginning to think that part of the reason for this is that I just can't get enough heat to properly stir-fry on the stove (electric burners), so I've now turned my attention to the gas grill. I've made a couple of attempts using the side burner, but So far, the results haven't been a whole lot better there. I think part of it may be the equipment (I've been using a cast iron skillet, I'd like to get a proper wok but I'm not sure where I'd put it) but I think it might still come down to a matter of just being a few BTUs short. Any suggestions as to what might make this work out better?
For one, a proper wok is much, much thinner than your cast iron skillet. Therefore it can heat much quicker and to a much higher temperture which is exactly what you want for stir frying. Many of the new grills are putting out 50,.60,70 thousand BTU's which should be more than enough. Even the side burners are in the 12000-15000 BTU range, about the same as my Garland pro range. You will need to put the wok right on the fire and let it get smokin' then you'll see some serious stir-frying.
My in-laws jury-rigged a propane tank to a rounded metal base so the wok fits inside. My husband's uncle makes great stir fries and pan fried food. He does it in the back yard. It's something like this:
I just found this which is what they've done:
I actually saw the Good Eats episode where Alton set up a propane burner (of the type normally used with a turkey frier) set up for a wok. I don't know if such a setup would be practical for me (I'm in an apartment, and I don't know where I'd put that either,) but maybe if I get a real wok I'll see what I can rig up. Some looking around at websites shows that some of the grill makers now sell cast-iron griddle attachments for the grill, although I didn't see one for the model I have. It sounds like my best bet would be to take the grate off the side burner (not sure how I'd do it on the main burners, given the layout of the grill) and put a wok on there with a wok ring . I'll have to mess with this some more, and report back.