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got a jet engine to wok, now what?

j
jedovaty Jul 14, 2012 05:12 PM

On an impulse, I walked into a random strip-center grocery store that took up about 700 sq ft while driving through a local, heavy Vietnamese neighborhood (??? lots of Phat and Ho signs everywhere, I couldn't stop giggling immaturely), and amongst all the flies, I walked up to a lady with glasses behind the register. I asked her about wok burners, she didn't really understand me, leaned over to a patron and the two grunted with each other. The lady nodded, motioned me to follow her, went to the back, pulled out a kind of dusty box amongst a bunch of other boxes, and showed me a propane-based burner, made in Taiwan. 35 Dollar she said. I looked it over, and in addition to flaking "paint" (??), saw a bunch of rat #1 and #2, which explained some of the rust. $25 I said, and pointed at the.. uh... "patina". We settled on $30 cash.

It plugged right into my bbq's propane tank, I opened the valve, and lit a match.. holy.. let me write that again.. holy crap. I set my wok on it... it smoked in under 5 seconds flat. The sound is pure awesome.

I'm relatively new to wokking, and so far have learned how to get by on my wimpy western stove.

I don't know how to use this thing... most internet recipes, etc, assume a wimpy stove.

Help?! :) I have these ingredients currently in my fridge:
Chicken breast, garlic, galanga, baby bok choy, green beans, shitake mushrooms, bell peppers, kale, carrots, celery, fish sauce, soy sauce, mirin, and plenty of regular spices and fresh herbs in my pantry.

Do I just cook like normal? Protein on oil, take out, veggies on oil starting with longest cooking and ending with aromatics, then return protein and wrap up with sauce? I'm guessing I can now do more than 1/2 portion size in my 14" wok... I'm scared.

  1. a
    Alan408 Jul 24, 2012 10:22 AM

    Don't know if this has been addressed. Do you know if the stove is plumbed for propane vs natural gas, might explain the pilot/hard to light.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Alan408
      j
      jedovaty Jul 24, 2012 10:38 AM

      I'm pretty sure it's for propane. It came with tubing and regulator that reverse-thread screwed right into my tank. The pilot is like a jet... it would be nice to get it working, so I could turn heat source on and off while cooking to save my arms a bit...

      I can take a picture later if needed.

    2. j
      jedovaty Jul 24, 2012 09:23 AM

      Oooo i found this - I could do it, too if I need to reseason:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGXGJD...

      The question I have: how come the oil didn't spontaneously combust when he put it in like it did in mine? Quantity? His wasn't to heat yet after washing it with water?

      2 Replies
      1. re: jedovaty
        Chemicalkinetics Jul 24, 2012 09:32 AM

        <The question I have: how come the oil didn't spontaneously combust when he put it in like it did in mine? Quantity?>

        Three things can greatly affect the chance for flash combustion. First, temperature. Second, oil grade. It is possible that your wok was much hotter than his when you poured your oil into the wok. It does not mean your wok jet engine is more powerful. It simply means your wok was heated to a higher temperature. You can do this even for a weak electric stove. However, this is not likely to be the explantion here. Second, the difference in oil. For example, it is much easier to combust extra virigin olive oil than to combust peanut oil. Usually, Chinese restaurants use very high smoke point oils -- which means they are not as easily lite up. Third, yes, quantity also matters. Interestingly, if you put very little or a lot of oil, it decreases its chance to combust (for different reasons).

        <His wasn't to heat yet after washing it with water?>

        I don't get this question.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
          j
          jedovaty Jul 24, 2012 10:01 AM

          I used grapeseed oil, and I used very little. I think the fact that he dumped about a cup of oil in (vs my tablespoon or so) probably has something to do with it, as well as the temp of the wok was lower having just been washed with water - this later part is harder to gauge, we don't know the temp of the washing water. Mine was bare metal on highest burner setting for 30s with a tiny amount of oil. That makes sense.

          It's all talk, anyway, after that fire, I'm not jumping out of my skin to try it again.

      2. Kris in Beijing Jul 18, 2012 09:40 AM

        A nice blog to read. This page is a really nice description of street-style. I know you aren't hunting "authentic," just "Really Good Wok Food."

        http://thefoodsage.com.au/2011/11/20/...

        1 Reply
        1. re: Kris in Beijing
          j
          jedovaty Jul 18, 2012 10:53 AM

          Excellent link, thank you!

          I definitely want to try noodles and rice, but need to get my wok seasoned properly again. Shouldn't take long with this new burner :)

        2. j
          jedovaty Jul 17, 2012 10:42 PM

          All righty, attempt #2 showed a lot of progress, and the meal was considerably better today (gf was pleasantly surprised)! Very encouraging!

          I began with a lower heat, and built up as I added ingredients, and didn't both removing any. This seemed to work very well, nothing burned, my veggies all came out with good textures, the protein wasn't dry but done and moist (wasn't quite as good as last time, continue reading). I made two mistakes:
          1. didn't start hot enough, so when I added protein, I didn't get that sudden, immediate sear which gives great flavor
          2. I had vinegar and lime in my sauce which pretty much killed the wok's seasoning on contact when added at the end, so right as I started the final tossing, everything began to stick. I grabbed the spatoola, and finished with that instead. Duuuhhh.. I know better!

          Bummed about the seasoning, as it was pretty cool -- everything was flipping and flying out and back into the pan without sticking (and I used minimal oil). Barely had to use the flipper flapper thing.

          As I moved through the veggies and increased the heat, lots of the ingredients' water basically vaporized on contact with the pan. Now I get the point of the high heat - very different from my past "stir fry", things would braise a bit in their own juices.

          Removing the wok from the burner proved quicker to control heat than reducing the burner, possibly due to the chilly evening.

          Final note: I'm not sure I like my specific wok from an ergonomic standpoint. The handle is short, gets hot, and my hands fatigued quickly from holding it. Or maybe it's the height of the stove on my bbq, like CK suggested.. gotta work out a better way to do this!

          5 Replies
          1. re: jedovaty
            Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 11:33 PM

            <1. didn't start hot enough, so when I added protein, I didn't get that sudden, immediate sear which gives great flavor>

            Ah.

            <2. I had vinegar and lime in my sauce which pretty much killed the wok's seasoning on contact when added at the end, so right as I started the final tossing, everything began to stick. I grabbed the spatoola, and finished with that instead>

            Yike. I have been there.

            <Removing the wok from the burner proved quicker to control heat than reducing the burner>

            Exactly. You got the idea now. In addition, if you really want to cool the foods fast, then you can remove the wok from the burner, AND start to toss the foods within wok. By tossing, you are essentially remove the foods from the hot surface, and you also speed up the cooling of the wok.

            <it's the height of the stove on my bbq, like CK suggested>

            Yeah, it looks to be too high.

            <Now I get the point of the high heat - very different from my past "stir fry", things would braise a bit in their own juices. >

            Actually you can try to mimic this with your home stoves, just put less foods in your wok. If necessary, stir fry in two batches instead of one batch. This way, you can avoid the "steaming" and "braising" effects.

            Thanks for your updates.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              j
              jedovaty Jul 18, 2012 07:27 AM

              Yes, that's how I had been doing it for the past couple months. The trouble: sweet spot not only caused too much smoke, only allowed about 1/2 portion at a time. And there was the racket with the ring banging against my stove. The high heat output of this afterburner let's me do larger portions, and also truly get all that liquid out.

              Before any of this, I had borrowed one of those very heavy "viking" woks from my parental unit. The results, while not stir fry like this, were still tasty; I would get the excessive juices and braising/steaming, and use those to my advantage. I returned it because I couldn't tell whether the item was non-stick, which I've been slowly moving away from.

              I want to install one of these on the back of my car.

              1. re: jedovaty
                Chemicalkinetics Jul 18, 2012 07:38 AM

                <The high heat output of this afterburner let's me do larger portions, and also truly get all that liquid out.>

                True, true....

                <I want to install one of these on the back of my car.>

                ? Are you try to have a tailgate stir fry party?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  j
                  jedovaty Jul 18, 2012 10:53 AM

                  No. I want to be like batman.

                  1. re: jedovaty
                    Chemicalkinetics Jul 18, 2012 11:12 AM

                    Oh....... now I get it. Ha ha ha. I was thinking something very different. Thanks.

          2. Kris in Beijing Jul 17, 2012 04:55 PM

            For my birthday in 2009, I was given a "back alley cooking class" in Beijing.

            A super-generic wokking recipe:
            1) with a papertowel or the like, lightly grease the wok before heating
            2) heat, add your oil slowly down one side
            3) season the oil with garlic and whole spices. Expect them to nearly burn. Fish them out, reduce the heat.
            4) add the most "moist" ingredients next -- this will probably be veggies; toss
            5) add chopped protein when the contents of the wok seem dry
            6) stir with really long chopsticks occasionally until the meat "looks done"
            7) mix 1/4 cup cold water with corn starch [or yam or potato or other dried veg starch]
            8) sprinkle 1TBSP superfine sugar over what's in the wok
            9) add the corn starch slurry to the top of the food, stir once to distribute
            10) turn off heat, let sit a minute or two.
            Enjoy!!

            12 Replies
            1. re: Kris in Beijing
              Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 05:15 PM

              Is that a recipe for seasoning a wok or is that a recipe for a dish? The first part (about tossing veggies) definitely looks to be seasoning, but the rest is not so clear to me.

              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                chefj Jul 17, 2012 05:19 PM

                Looks like a generic recipe for a woked dish.
                Though I would add proteins before veg.

                1. re: chefj
                  Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 05:26 PM

                  I see. So maybe the veggies -- toss means transferring to a dish, and not dumping into trash can. Now, that you mentioned it. I do agree it does look like a generic stir fry procedure. However, like you, I add proteins before vegetables, and there is a reason for doing so.

                  I am a bit surprised that this Bejing class taught to use corn starch slur because this technique is much more popular in Canton than in Bejing.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    chefj Jul 17, 2012 05:36 PM

                    He did say "Back Alley Cooking Class"

                    1. re: chefj
                      Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 05:43 PM

                      Still, I would think it would still be Bejing back Alley style. :) Anyway, it is not important.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        Kris in Beijing Jul 17, 2012 06:11 PM

                        Hey, look at all the commentary!! Yay!
                        Yes, this is a cooking, food recipe, not wok-tempering instructions : )

                        Attempted clarifications:
                        4) add the most "moist" ingredients next -- this will probably be veggies; toss
                        Toss-- as in "move around" I can see the confusion since there were instructions to fish out the nearly burnt spices.

                        One thing I left out--
                        #4.5 Push veggies up to the sides of the wok; add protein to the hottest area, the bottom

                        Back Alley-- I didn't want to get into the "definition of HuTong" debate but did want to imply a rustic/casual approach.

                        Why would you add protein before veg? Maybe I should have said something about piece sizes? Meat = small and/or thin.

                        1. re: Kris in Beijing
                          Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 06:17 PM

                          <4) add the most "moist" ingredients next -- this will probably be veggies; toss
                          Toss-- as in "move around" I can see the confusion since there were instructions to fish out the nearly burnt spices.>

                          My fault. Thanks for clarification.

                          <Why would you add protein before veg?>

                          Because it is more manly?

                          In my experience, it works out better. It is actually quiet common for professional chefs do this as well.

                          http://youtu.be/ehgnv3lNg5E?t=11s

                          This allows the chefs to be able to drain the oil after frying the meat.

                          In my case, I find the meat stick less if I stir fry the meat first as opposed to cooking the vegetable first.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            Kris in Beijing Jul 17, 2012 06:30 PM

                            Not to be quibbly... but a dish with rice WILL have a different add-ingredient order.

                            And, I suppose I "could" claim that rice is a "more moist" item than the protein.

                            Oh -- as I'm a Ms., perhaps I wasn't thinking of the "more manly" option!!

                            1. re: Kris in Beijing
                              Chemicalkinetics Jul 17, 2012 06:36 PM

                              Anyway, in my case, I almost always add meats before vegetables, and often add the most moist ingredient last.

                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              j
                              jedovaty Jul 19, 2012 05:47 PM

                              CK linked to this video:
                              http://youtu.be/ehgnv3lNg5E

                              I've watched that video several times while researching wok cooking over the past months, and holy cow that guy uses a lot of oil to begin with relative to my own cooking. Even after he drains it out. Is one supposed to use that much with such a high powered burner?

                              Another interesting point: you can see him turning the heat on and off through the process. Coool.

                              1. re: jedovaty
                                Chemicalkinetics Jul 19, 2012 06:54 PM

                                Yes. That is a nice video, isn't it?

                                Yes, people have comment that he used a lot of oil. I think that is normal for a lot of restaurants. They do drain the oil through first, and then they often drain the oil from the food again. I have a perforated scoop.

                                http://www.wokshop.com/HTML/products/...

                                They do use more oil for high powered burners, but I also think it is just a style. You can use more oil too for your home kitchen.

                                Yes, the turning heat on and off is important, which is why mentioned above that "When restaurants do it, they turn on and off the flame." -- on Jul 15, 2012 05:21 PM

                                <you can see him turning the heat on and off through the process. Coool.>

                                Yes, and Chinese professional kitchen even have knobs which can be turn on and off by the chefs' feet or knees..

                2. re: Kris in Beijing
                  j
                  jedovaty Jul 17, 2012 10:23 PM

                  Interesting. I'll give it a try from part of 3 through, errr... well, maybe once I'll try through 10. I don't like cornstarchy/potatostarchy/yamstarchy sauces; I'm not after authentic :)

                3. i
                  INDIANRIVERFL Jul 15, 2012 10:56 AM

                  Over kill is normallly better than underkill. As you gain experience with different proteins and vegetables, you will develop a system of settings for each use. As your valves age and start to tighten up, you should get a much finer control on your settings. Depending on your upper body strength, look into a much larger cast iron or carbon steel wok. Heat distribution is a tad slower, and you can finish cooking stuff on the side of the wok, versus taking in and out.

                  I borrowed a friend's kitchen to cook up Dale's chopped chicken for a party last month. Took an hour longer than usual as my very large wok could only handle a few pieces at a time and never got hot enough to properly crisp the chicken. Edible but not up to my expectations.

                  Once you've woked the propane wok, you'll never waltz with the ring again.

                  1. s
                    Shazam Jul 15, 2012 10:32 AM

                    Wow, that thing is awesome. I might have to get one myself.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Shazam
                      j
                      jedovaty Jul 15, 2012 10:38 AM

                      I really wouldn't recommend it - way too powerful and dangerous. Only reason would be huge portions, lots of people, you need to boil gallons of water or oil very very quickly, or you can't afford an extra $20 to purchase a safer, lower BTU commercial wok burner.

                      In my first attempt, I had the burner near max, oil smoked and turned to fire almost immediately upon pouring into the wok.

                      Admittedly, it is helluva fun. :D

                      1. re: jedovaty
                        s
                        Shazam Jul 17, 2012 04:28 PM

                        Gee, you're just teasing me now :P

                      2. re: Shazam
                        j
                        jedovaty Jul 15, 2012 10:58 AM

                        Here's a video my gf caught when I tried to put the grapeseed oil in:
                        http://tinyurl.com/72oay4h

                        See how dangerous?

                        ((begin scotty impersonation)) Cannot handle that much power, captain! ((end impersonation))

                        1. re: jedovaty
                          Chemicalkinetics Jul 15, 2012 02:21 PM

                          Yeah, you overheat it. Ha ha ha. When restaurants do it, they turn on and off the flame. So although they have very powerful thermal output like you do, they don't leave it on all the time. Anyway, as you know, the thermal output is important, but only one of the many important aspects of Chinese cooking.

                      3. Chemicalkinetics Jul 14, 2012 07:52 PM

                        You can cook like normal except of course the timing should be shorter. You should also able to cook more food at at a time. The amount of food you should put in a wok is limited by a few things, such as the power of your heat sauce, the size of the wok and your ability to toss the food using a wok. Your jet engine pushes your first limitation higher, but you still have two other limitations.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                          j
                          jedovaty Jul 14, 2012 08:26 PM

                          Yes; I can toss and stir pretty fly in my 14" ajido, but it's going to take some time to figure this out, like hill food said above, trial and error.

                          What I don't like about this method: so many dishes, and prep time takes long (even if I'm decent with the knife), and have to setup everything outside. Given the slow startup, not sure how often I'm going to do this. In theory, should be quick, but practice, I'm kind of lazy!

                          How do you others do this so often? Just find your own system?

                          1. re: jedovaty
                            Chemicalkinetics Jul 14, 2012 11:10 PM

                            <I can toss and stir pretty fly in my 14" ajido>
                            ? I meant how much food you can put in a wok depends on several factors. One of which is your ability to toss the amount of the foods.

                            <setup everything outside>
                            I can imagine setting up everything outside is a pain. And you cannot make correction on the fly. For example, you realize that you really want to add another green onion. Now what? Run back to the kitchen? I doubt it. Whereas in your own kitchen, you can chop up something really quick in a few seconds. Yeah, I don't think I would like the situation you are in -- by setting outside, unless you have a kitchen outside.

                            I think you will also find the wok is sitting too tall. If you don't know what I am talking about, you will soon find out. :)

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              j
                              jedovaty Jul 15, 2012 08:26 AM

                              Ah, got it. I'm guessing I'll be able to do more than 1/2-1 portion with this setup, which is all I could do on my stove; in my efforts last night, I did about 3-4 portions at once, and the chicken actually came out "right", but the veggies and sauce will need work. My favorite part is that I don't need a wok ring, tossing was much, much easier and quieter without ll the banging (my stove is made from some coated metal).

                              You are right; at 6' height, I was shrugging up just a bit in holding the wok and my stir-fry "varecha" (I don't know how to translate that word to english, but it's what my mom and I call all wooden spoons and stirring devices; it's got a wooden handle, long pole, then the flat flappy area).

                              I'm going to go out on a limb and not recommend it for most people: home users cooking for 1-4 people don't need this thing, and I will say, probably shouldn't get it; it's too powerful, and ridiculously dangerous.

                              The 35k btu stoves will be safer and better.

                              1. re: jedovaty
                                Chemicalkinetics Jul 15, 2012 08:39 AM

                                <You are right; at 6' height, I was shrugging up just a bit in holding the wok and my stir-fry "varecha">

                                It would be worse if you are shorter. I think you are talking about wok spatula or wok chuan.

                                http://www.amazon.com/Wok-Shop-16-Chuan-spatula/dp/B00012F40S

                                I recommend looking into wok huan.

                                http://www.amazon.com/14-Wok-Hoak-lad...

                                Not this particular above of course, just for illustration.

                                <I'm going to go out on a limb and not recommend it for most people>

                                I won't either. :) It is powerful, but the setup just not what Chinese cooking is all about. Ask your mom, and she will know what we are talking about.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  j
                                  jedovaty Jul 15, 2012 10:31 AM

                                  Ah, yes, it's the spatula that I have. I have seen that ladle in the restaurant supply store, just don't know how it would be used? I've seen it in videos, but it looks rather cumbersome, though would be useful is using liquids or rice-dishes. I just dump stuff out on a plate. What I need is a cover in case I get flames again.

                                  My family is not Chinese or any other type of Asian, so it's unlikely they know what Chinese cooking is all about :) I was trying to reproduce some restaurant dishes at home, and the very small portions and high smoke gave me the desire to go for a bigger burner and outside. I actually wanted a different burner, but this was very cheap and immediately available so impulse purchase worked out. Now to learn how to tame it...!

                                  1. re: jedovaty
                                    Chemicalkinetics Jul 15, 2012 02:18 PM

                                    <I've seen it in videos, but it looks rather cumbersome>

                                    It can be. It has its advantages and disadvantages.

                                    <My family is not Chinese or any other type of Asian, so it's unlikely they know what Chinese cooking is all about :)>

                                    Hey, just because your family is not Chinese, it does not mean they don't understand. What are you trying to get at. :P Just kidding. Well, your mom is likely to be shorter than you, so you will find the tall setup very comfortable.

                                    Have fun with the new stove. Good luck.

                        2. hill food Jul 14, 2012 07:22 PM

                          whoa you're hardcore. (and I'm jealous)

                          trial and error, trial and error.

                          1. k
                            kaleokahu Jul 14, 2012 07:20 PM

                            Hi, jedovaty:

                            I, too, have pimped my wok burner (like 180,000 btu--I think it alters the Earth's rotation).

                            1. OUTSIDE.
                            2. Away from any structure you won't mind replacing.
                            3. LONG propane hose.
                            4. Attach stove to a STABLE metal or masonry table.
                            5. ALWAYS mistrust the stove's valves/NEVER leave the tank valve open after cooking.
                            6. Learn to dive and roll.

                            Knock Yourself Out,
                            Kaleo

                            12 Replies
                            1. re: kaleokahu
                              j
                              jedovaty Jul 14, 2012 08:19 PM

                              Thanks for the safety tips :)

                              Here's what my first setup looked like, I'll probably need to pull the bbq out a bit. Funny how the burner dwarfs the wok.

                               
                              1. re: jedovaty
                                k
                                kaleokahu Jul 14, 2012 09:17 PM

                                Hi, jedovaty:

                                That looks like a pretty stable design. What are the multiple control knobs for, concentric rings of jets?

                                I'm usually not Sam Safety, but these rigs can be scary. Here's another bit of advice... If you don't have a pressure regulator on the TANK end of the hose, get one. Don't just buy the first one you see, otherwise you will only un-pimp the rig with a too-wimpy BBQ regulator. What you need is an *adjustable* regulator that is btu-rated high enough for your highest desired hob setting. After your trial-and-error period, set the tank regulator to the *lowest* setting that will attain your "highest" (sane) heat with the stove valves WIDE OPEN. Even if all this saves you are your eyebrows, it is worth it. Seriously, unregulated tank pressure + wide-open stove + unsuspecting helper = disaster/tragedy.

                                It bears repeating: LONG HOSE. Look at your photo, and envision a grease fire enveloping the tank. If this happens, you will shit yourself (and your ass will be all that is left uncooked).

                                Aloha,
                                Kaleo

                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                  j
                                  jedovaty Jul 14, 2012 10:52 PM

                                  Cool, thanks. The burner came with an adjustable pressure regulator, I like your idea toning it down -- probably more so protection for myself, I won't let anyone touch my BBQ after what happened last year.

                                  I don't think I'm going to have any use for something so powerful anytime in the near future, but it's been a fun experiment. I may end up getting a 35k btu propane stove instead (think catering), might be safer, a little smaller, etc.

                                  The knob on the left controls the main burner. The knob on the right controls some thin brass line that runs from the knob section up to the burner. No idea what this is for - originally thought it might be a pilot light, but I couldn't get it lit. Any ideas?? I can take a pic if needed.

                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                    j
                                    jedovaty Jul 15, 2012 08:18 AM

                                    Here's a closeup of the brass line. No ide what it is - but if I open the valve, it shoots propane out too hard to allow it to "flame".

                                     
                                    1. re: jedovaty
                                      Sid Post Jul 15, 2012 09:17 AM

                                      It's a pilot light for the main burner.

                                      1. re: jedovaty
                                        k
                                        kaleokahu Jul 15, 2012 09:19 AM

                                        Hi, jedovaty:

                                        Chances are, the brass line is a pilot, but then again, pilots aren't usually valved that way. Have you tried closing the R valve all the way and just barely cracking it open to light? Another thing is that good pilots have some sort of thermal cutoff, so that if the pilot flame goes out, NO gas will be delivered anywhere; to enable gas flow to the main burner, a thermocouple has to be heated by the pilot for a few seconds. But you just light off the main burner without waiting, right?

                                        Can you give us a close-up of the jets themselves?

                                        Aloha,
                                        Kaleo

                                        1. re: kaleokahu
                                          j
                                          jedovaty Jul 15, 2012 10:26 AM

                                          Here you go. Sid wrote it's a pilot light, I guess that makes sense.

                                          I just can't get the thing to light, even when slightly cracked open, the stream is way too fast and blows the flame out.

                                           
                                          1. re: jedovaty
                                            hill food Jul 15, 2012 07:01 PM

                                            a 'choke'? (after 20+ years I'm getting reacquainted with 2-stroke engines and such - they are NOT my friends) but it may well have to do with the air flow into the flame. just guessing here. start off high and immediately reduce if it is.

                                            1. re: jedovaty
                                              a
                                              acgold7 Jul 15, 2012 10:48 PM

                                              Here's what I picture when I think of a wok burner...

                                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/jm3/2644...

                                              1. re: acgold7
                                                k
                                                kaleokahu Jul 17, 2012 07:00 PM

                                                Hi, ac:

                                                I'm no authority on true wok burners, but this type of array is what I seem to see in all the commercial units I've looked at lately.

                                                Aloha,
                                                Kaleo

                                                 
                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                  j
                                                  jedovaty Jul 17, 2012 10:43 PM

                                                  As long as they make the cool afterburner sound, I'm game :D That's the best part about this whole experience!

                                                  1. re: kaleokahu
                                                    a
                                                    acgold7 Jul 18, 2012 11:05 AM

                                                    Yes, those are definitely the newer cooler (hotter) ones. I remember the older 300,000 BTU burners with like ten concentric rings that shoot flames to the ceiling when the wok itself is removed. Now I think they max out at about 160K.

                                    2. chefj Jul 14, 2012 05:59 PM

                                      Most of the techniques are the same just faster ( much faster) and it is a good idea to start simple till you get a feel for it. You may want to be a little more generous with the oil at first as well.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: chefj
                                        j
                                        jedovaty Jul 14, 2012 06:58 PM

                                        You weren't kidding about moving much faster.

                                        I put the thing on high, waited about 20-30 seconds, and dropped my grapeseed oil in (I don't have peanut oil). Within about 3 seconds, it lit on fire. Turned the heat off, waited for the flame to die down, cleaned out the black gunk, and tried again, at about 1/3 the power.

                                        When the chicken was seared but not done, I removed it, and then went to oil + veggies, added chicken back, sauce.. and, well *shrug*. It was "okay". The chicken was very tender, but everything else was, well.. just okay; some items burned a bit. A lot of smoke during veggie phase. Need more experience, but prep really takes a lot of time compared to the old way I used to do it.

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