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hzrt8w's wok and burner shopping project

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#61 sheetz

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 11:55 PM

Baking works well but I think you would have to remove the wooden handles first.

#62 hzrt8w

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:09 AM

Baking works well but I think you would have to remove the wooden handles first.

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Yes. That's what they told me. The straight wooden handle can be twisted off. However, the wooden "helper handle" cannot be taken off. They said just wrap it with wet towels and then wrap the towels with aluminum foils. Bake for 20 minutes a time. Re-smear the oil on the wok (and cool the wet towel with cold water, re-wrap it). Bake again. Repeat the baking process 3 times.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#63 sheetz

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 02:32 AM

I also prefer to use lard as the seasoning fat as I feel it coats the metal better than cooking oil does.

#64 _john

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 03:21 AM

I also prefer to use lard as the seasoning fat as I feel it coats the metal better than cooking oil does.

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I agree animal fat is far superior to vegetable oils for wok seasoning.

#65 Ben Hong

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 07:12 AM

[/quote]

A bossy Chinese mother-in-law can come in very handy in these types of situations! :biggrin:

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[/quote]


How very true. When both were alive, my Eldest Aunt and my mother would strike fear in all of the Chinatown shopkeepers. :laugh: They would verbally draw and quarter anyone who dares to be "difficult".

The woks with the long wooden handles held by a heavy steel loop will have the handle twist and rotate, a dangerous situation.

I season woks with veg. oil and over a wok burner (outside), at least twice when new. (I need to get more experience and to learn the more minute nuances of woks and steel because I cannot tell the difference between seasoning a wok with veg. oil or animal fat).

#66 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 07:18 AM

I must confess I DO use soap for washing my woks. I soap with a soft plastic scrubbie, rinse, wipe dry, then wipe down with oil on a paper towel. Maybe they are not as "seasoned" as what you all try to achieve, but there's been no complaints about my food. My family and friends know enough to "never look a gift horse in the mouth!" :raz:  :laugh:  :laugh:

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I do too, but I use a wok brush instead of a plastic scrubbie.

Ah Leung, I tried “1-866 436 5701” (bake), but it didn’t work. :laugh:

So I think you should bake. I inherited my wok from my sister, so it was already somewhat seasoned, but when I got new cast iron skillet, I read that baking is better for the reasons stated previously. As for animal fat, I don’t usually have it around the house, but just out of curiosity, won’t lard leave a little residual flavor? Not that it’s a bad thing.

I'll have to also get Grace Wong's book so I can learn more.

edited to add: P.S. Not that I'm not learning anything here.

Edited by I_call_the_duck, 19 April 2006 - 07:20 AM.

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#67 jo-mel

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 07:30 AM

Does anyone dare try those numbers?

I've only used the burn method so can't compare, but the top of the stove seems easier. (to lazy me)

About the wok rim --- I see you have the wok sitting on the smaller opening, so that it sits higher over the heat. If you invert it, so that the wok sits on the wider opening, the wok will be closer to the heat source -- if you want hot heat. The smaller opening is good when you want a lower heat. Some cook-book authors have mentioned this, but one says to use the wider opening on an electric stove.

Any thoughts on this anyone?

I have several wok rims and don't use any of them. The grates that my stove uses over the burners are slightly concave if I turn them over. So the wok sits nice and close to the flame. Check yours.

The bamboo brush I have now sits gathering dust. I've used it, but now I just use my plastic Tuffy mesh thingie. I get better pressure on tough spots with it.

Any pictures of the cleaver?

#68 Hest88

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 08:42 AM

Congratulations! My precious, 15 year old wok is also carbon steel. My brother actually seasoned it for me and gave it to me as a present. (I'm thinking he did it on the stove instead of baking it, being a Chinese chef.)

I also use a plastic scrubber thing, and sometimes a copper one, which I find I can use more pressure with than the bamboo brush.

I have several wok rims and don't use any of them.

I use mine only when steaming or making soup. I've learned to compensate even when using my round-bottomed wok on an electric burner.

#69 eje

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:33 AM

...
I have several wok rims and don't use any of them.  The grates that my stove uses over the burners are slightly concave if I turn them over. So the wok sits nice and close to the flame. Check yours.
...

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Both the burners on my stove on either side sit in a single fairly deep trough, so I can't really use a wok ring. I do wish I had a wok ring that fit over the burners properly and securely. For better or for worse, I just balance my wok on top of the stove grate.

I've got a similar spun carbon steel wok of the same size that hzrt8w just purchased. You do have to watch the long handle. I always check to make sure that it is tightened before I start cooking.

Since it's the hottest thing I've got, my next goal is to try stir frying over lump mesquite on the charcoal grill. Of course, the danger is, I might burn the wooden handles right off my wok, if I'm not careful.

I've never heard of baking a wok to season and have always just used the vegetable (usually peanut) oil I cook with. I do bake my cast iron pans to season them, though. I guess it is more of an unattended process.

edit - typo

Edited by eje, 19 April 2006 - 10:05 PM.

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#70 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 10:34 AM

I've tried inverting my wok rim, but it wobbles just as much as if I weren't using it, so I have to take the middle grate (really unnecessary) off my stove if the wok is to rest properly. I tried not using it, but I'm too uncoordinated to cook without it.
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#71 Dejah

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 11:14 AM

Those of you who use the wok rims, I assume have gas stoves. I have only had electric stoves in my homes, so the flat bottom woks are what I have used in direct contact with the element.

As for seasoning, I have baked and nearly burnt the "ear" of one wok as I didn't think to wrap and wet! :sad: It survived tho'.

The other wok, I just used it for deep frying for the first while, and it seemed to do the seasoning job. Nothing sticks!
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#72 Transparent

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 01:50 PM

Ohh, I'm glad I caught this thread. I'm looking foward to more pictures post seasoning. :D

Actually, my parents are in the market for a new wok. We have a 14" cast iron cantonese wok with the tiny metal handles. We're thinking of upgrading to a 16 incher. We don't do the pow action, so there would be no loss between carbon steel and cast iron.

The most important thing is the wok hei. Which imparts more? Cast Iron or Carbon Steel? Upkeep isn't really important when the wok is used two, sometimes three times daily.

The carbon steel wok does look a lot more rounded. A wok shovel wouldn't work so well, eh?

#73 andiesenji

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 02:05 PM

Here is a different style wok ring.

However you can also go to a metal shop - take the wok along - and have one made of iron that has just 3 legs so it will rest steady on the cooktop. It is just a ring with 3 legs welded onto the bottom of the ring and they will make it at the height you want so the wok is at the correct height from the burner.
It would look similar to this one made for the DCS range only with three legs instead of 4, but you can have 4 legs if you want.
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#74 Dejah

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 03:17 PM

The carbon steel wok does look a lot more rounded. A wok shovel wouldn't work so well, eh?

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I always use a wok shovel (wok chahn) for stir-frying, and tongs when I need to separate noodles, etc.

That colander looks huge, tho', Ah Leung! :unsure:
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#75 wonderbread

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 03:22 PM

wonderbread:
How much does your cast iron wok weigh? Is it as heavy as a 10 inch cast iron fry pan?

Ah Leung:
I wondered about the burners you showed in your posts. To me, they also looked like the replacement burners for my "wok tables"  :unsure:

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Nope, not as heavy as an American cast iron. I also at one point had the single-handled, round-bottom wok made of the same material, and I could shake and toss the ingredients inside.

#76 Toliver

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 04:34 PM

The most important thing is the wok hei. Which imparts more? Cast Iron or Carbon Steel? Upkeep isn't really important when the wok is used two, sometimes three times daily.

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I wouldn't think cast iron would develop wok-hei in the same manner that the carbon steel wok would. I think about my mom's cast iron skillet that she's used for over 50 years. It's is so well-seasoned that it's virtually non-stick but it doesn't have any sort of wok-hei to it at all, or none that I can discern.
Are there any cast iron wok owners out there reading this discussion who can provide some testimony about their pan's wok-hei?

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#77 trillium

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 05:14 PM

Before big wok and giant burner, we did all our stir-frying indoors. We used an ancient matte finish Le Creuset 12 inch frying pan and our fancy big All-Clad stainless saute pan. We got plenty of wok hei in our greens, it just took a little different technique (fearless preheating on HIGH and smokin' oil). I think you can get that taste with many sorts of pans and I wouldn't think a cast iron wok would be harmful. Some of the wok hei wars seem like testosterone fueled dueling and less about getting dinner on the table, if you know what I mean. We went the outdoor route mainly because we already had the burner for beer making and it's useful to cook outside for ventilation reasons.

If you check out the Chinese cooking class I did for eG years ago, you can check out the greens for yourself.

regards,
trillium

#78 Dejah

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 08:26 PM

Some of the wok hei wars seem like testosterone fueled dueling and less about getting dinner on the table, if you know what I mean.  We went the outdoor route mainly because we already had the burner for beer making and it's useful to cook outside for ventilation reasons.
If you check out the Chinese cooking class I did for eG years ago, you can check out the greens for yourself. 
regards,trillium

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Couldn't have said it any better, Trillium. :laugh: :laugh: Thanks for this!

Forgotten about your Chinese cooking segment. It was great to visit it again.
Dejah
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#79 Ben Hong

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 08:41 PM

Trillium, good post, resonates with good common sense.

Wok hei is that je ne sais quoi quality that a lot of cooks strive for, but seldom achieve consistently. I think that it is over rated, although I am appreciative when it is done. But we should not obsess about it. Besides, that quality start to dissipate as soon as the food leaves the wok and by the time it is presented especially in a restaurant, *poof* it is gone. Who the hell wants to eat next to a wok? :laugh: :laugh:

#80 hzrt8w

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 08:54 PM

[...] Who the hell wants to eat next to a wok? :laugh:  :laugh:

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That would be extremely yeet hey, super Yang. Instant sore throat. Guaranteed!

Edited by hzrt8w, 19 April 2006 - 09:15 PM.

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#81 Dejah

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:02 PM

[...] Who the hell wants to eat next to a wok? :laugh:  :laugh:

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That would be extremely yeet hey, super Yang. Instant soar float. Guaranteed!

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Instant soar float.

BAD Ah Leung! :angry: :laugh:
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#82 hzrt8w

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:14 PM

[...] Who the hell wants to eat next to a wok? :laugh:  :laugh:

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That would be extremely yeet hey, super Yang. Instant soar float. Guaranteed!

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Instant soar float.

BAD Ah Leung! :angry: :laugh:

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Oops! How did that happen? :laugh: :laugh: My mind thought of one thing and the fingers typed another.

Instant sore throat.

Edited by hzrt8w, 19 April 2006 - 09:15 PM.

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#83 hzrt8w

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:24 PM

How very true. When both were alive, my Eldest Aunt and my mother would strike fear in all of the Chinatown shopkeepers. :laugh: They would verbally draw and quarter anyone who dares to be "difficult".

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I could have brought my MIL along to pick the wok. Unfortunately she's the "inward" type. She would only mumble a lot to herself and then walk away...
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#84 hzrt8w

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:26 PM

Ah Leung, I tried “1-866 436 5701” (bake), but it didn’t work. :laugh:
[...]
edited to add:  P.S.  Not that I'm not learning anything here.

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Really? That number should work! :laugh:

Your statement is double-negative. [English teacher Dejah Dai Ga Jeah hat on] No, no... No, no!
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#85 C. sapidus

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:28 PM

I give our carbon steel wok a quick stove-top seasoning after each use, and it is amazingly non-stick. I use whatever oil is handy, usually peanut oil. Seasoning only takes a few minutes, and our wok is remarkably non-stick Gratuitous yet blurry wok picture:
Posted Image

We can remove the center grate on our cook top to make a built-in wok ring. This stabilizes the wok wonderfully, but the flame pattern heats the sides of the wok more than the bottom. This makes stir-frying tricky. As an experiment, tonight I cooked with the wok on top of the grate rather than removing the center of the grate. What a difference! The bottom of the wok was much hotter, and the food cooked much more quickly. Tomorrow I’ll try using the wok ring for stabilization.

Woks are great fun. I enjoy the leisurely preparation, lining up all the ingredients, then the burst of frantic activity culminating in a (usually) delicious dinner.

Ah Leung, I look forward to your future pictorials. I will be very interested to hear your views on the similarities and differences between cooking with a wok versus using a skillet.

Bruce

#86 Dejah

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 10:24 PM

Ah Leung, I tried “1-866 436 5701” (bake), but it didn’t work. :laugh:
[...]
edited to add:  P.S.  Not that I'm not learning anything here.

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Really? That number should work! :laugh:
Your statement is double-negative. [English teacher Dejah Dai Ga Jeah hat on] No, no... No, no!

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Good try, Ah Leung, but THAT statement is grammatically correct even tho' it has "not" in it twice. :biggrin:
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#87 hzrt8w

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 10:53 PM

Does anyone dare try those numbers?
[...]
Any pictures of the cleaver?

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What's wrong with those numbers? They are American Idol voting numbers. You would have voted for Chris Daughtry or Paris Bennett if you had called. :biggrin:

Okay, slight detour from our path... but hope this is useful:

Posted Image

My new "bone chopper" cleaver sitting on my chopping block. I reserve it for chopping chicken (mostly) and other meats/bones only and will not use it for day to day chopping.

What's a "bone chopper"? The knife is heavier than regular cleavers. It gathers momentum from your swinging motion. With a sharp edge, the pressure is extremely high. Major benefit: it cuts chicken bones (leg bones, wings, ribs) into halves without causing broken bones - which is a major nuisance eating chicken Chinese style, as we don't use knifes at the dinner table - nothing but a pair of chopsticks (and a porcelain spoon). The cut surface should be straight and smooth. You also should have a soft (relatively) chopping block to hold the chicken while chopping. The block can absorb most of the momentum from the cleaver and not damage its sharp edge. A little bit like a shock absorber.

I love this bone chopper. I tried it out last night chopping a soya sauce chicken (also bought in San Francisco) and it worked out great! When I buy Cantonese BBQ items, if I don't eat them right away it's best to store them whole in the refrigerator (BBQ pork, chicken, duck, etc.).

Edited by hzrt8w, 19 April 2006 - 10:54 PM.

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#88 hzrt8w

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 01:12 AM

Ah Leung, I look forward to your future pictorials. I will be very interested to hear your views on the similarities and differences between cooking with a wok versus using a skillet.

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I know from past experiences that I could not make certainly dishes very well. Examples are:

- Salt and Pepper Shrimp
- Stir-fry Seafood (e.g. Surf Clams) with Yellow Chive
- Sauteed Shrimp and Scallops

And the list can be long. The problem has more to do with a more intense heat source than wok versus skillet I think. And of course a wok will further enhance the concentration of extreme heat at the very tip (bottom) and moving ingredients in and out of the "hot spot". Though I have used my skillets for the past 20 years and obtained self-satisfactory results, I think I can take my skills to the next level with the installment of a wok and soon a more intense heat source.


At this point, I am leaning towards using animal fat and the oven-bake method. I hope to get an even tan on the wok from it. I plan to buy some pork fat to prepare the lard. Or does anybody think the commerically available lard in cans is sufficient to do the job?
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#89 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 06:48 AM

Ah Leung, I tried “1-866 436 5701” (bake), but it didn’t work. :laugh:
[...]
edited to add:  P.S.  Not that I'm not learning anything here.

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Really? That number should work! :laugh:
Your statement is double-negative. [English teacher Dejah Dai Ga Jeah hat on] No, no... No, no!

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Good try, Ah Leung, but THAT statement is grammatically correct even tho' it has "not" in it twice. :biggrin:

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Whew! I realized that it was a double negative, but that is what I meant. Thanks, Dejah! :smile:
Karen C.

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Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

#90 I_call_the_duck

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Posted 20 April 2006 - 07:03 AM

OK, back to the original topic.

I LOVE that cleaver. And the chopping block. I'm going to have to convince my husband that I need (yet another) chopping block, but maybe I should do that once I get over my fear of chopping off a finger or two when attacking poultry, as I mentioned in a previous post. When I buy BBQ products, I have the experts do it, and by some miracle, it actually makes it home without me sneaking a piece or two (especially if it's duck). Actually, I just ask the guy to chop chicken or duck-- I'd rather do the roast pork myself but last time I forgot to ask to leave it whole. Oh well.

I digress again. I also love that colander. It looks big enough to lift an entire fish.

Ah Leung, have you decided which dish you are going to cook first to christen the new wok?
Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany





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