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Apr 24, 2008 08:15 AM

wok in charcoal grill?

My kitchen remodel is a couple of years away, and I'm currently cooking without ventilation in my tiny house. I've pretty much given up using my wok, since the house gets filled with smoke and grease, not to mention the incessant blaring of the smoke detectors.

Now that the great New England spring weather is here, I'm interested in trying my wok directly on the coals in my charcoal grill so I can get a little bit of carmelizing, if not some wok hay. I use hardwood charcoal, which burns pretty hot. Does anyone have any experience using a wok on a grill? Any thoughts appreciated.

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  1. It works very well. Just be sure you realize you're dealing with heat that's WAY hotter than your stovetop can crank out, and be sure the wok is stable, preferably flat-bottomed.

    1. You might want to wear welding gloves or something to protect your hands. Also, some kind of support ring for the wok would make your life easier, and prevent the wok from disturbing the charcoal pile. Like this -

      1. Cooking in a wok that's in direct contact with hot coals is *exactly* how it's supposed to be done. You'll be amazed at the difference the extremely hot bottom center makes. Just remember to keep tossing the food in the wok, you really can't let it sit moe than a few seconds if the wok is properly heated.

        1. I have had fantastic success using a wok over lump charcoal in a Japanese "shichirin". basically a round, bucket shaped brazier made of an earthenware material. It actually has 3 rounded protrusions on top that are perfectly designed to support a round bottomed pan like a wok. Pretty much the kind of heat source the wok was designed for and has been traditionally used for millenia.

          1. Use a nice big charcoal chimney starter with about half a quart of charcoal -- very efficient/ I have done this on rainy camping trips when I got fed up with the pathetic cook stove in the cabin and it was to wet for a proper cooking fire.

            The big Weber chimney is more stable than the cheaper smaller ones. It works fine to sort of wok and sit or squat or you can stack some concrete blocks and put a piece of patio block on top to make an impromtu fireproof table.

            Use a wok with a one loop handle and one pot style handle so you can move it around.