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infernooo

Wok burner advice needed

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Hi everyone,

My flamethrower - oops I mean wok burner has finally arrived! I got a friend living in Thailand to send it to me via snail mail (sea mail) and a month later, its here!

I've been trying to recreate that taste that appears to only be obtainable from the huge gas powered woks in chinese & thai restaurants/takeaways. This elusive "wok hey".... and now I can confirm that I am able to get similar results... sure the marinades and sauces are kept secret, but thats just a process of trial and error... now that I've got the equipment there is no stopping me :). Last night I made a dish similar to that known as "ants climbing trees" - a mixture of stirfried pork mince, soy, rice wine, bean thread noodles with some tobanjiang (chilli bean paste) and other assorted sauces and ingredients. I cannot describe the difference between cooking on this and my stove top wok burner (which is not bad at all, it puts out about 20000 btu according to the manual). Instead of the mince oozing out water and liquid and it almost boiling in its own juices, the second that the water/meat juices come out, they _instantly_ evaporate, so that even with a tiny amount of oil, the mince is being stirfried not boiled. Due to the high heat, the meat gets this unique flavour that was never present with my stovetop wok burner, and it gets that beautiful caramelised colour too.

The only problem is that you have to have EVERYTHING ready and you have to be extremely quick handed... leave something for 5 seconds without stirring and its burnt... put the sauce in and turn around - by the time you turn back again it has evaporated and the sugars in it have burnt. Its all about speed and when you get it right oh man, its beautiful.

Anyways enough raving on... I have tried to take photos, but either I have a really crappy digital camera, or flames are VERY hard to capture properly. I tried it at night and during the day, with and without a flash, with and without lights on... so I have included the best shots I could get. All I can say in addition is that these photos do not do the flame justice. The SOUND of the flame is scary enough on its own, sounds like someone has cut open a huge city-wide gas pipe and your ear is right next to the high pressured gas rushing out. And the flame itself is completely blue when its set to the highest, and about 1.5 feet high.

This little baby uses a high pressure regulator and runs off LPG.. at its peak, it is putting out 120000 - 125000 BTUs (per hour).

Day shot of the wok burner in action on "Medium-high" setting:

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Night shot of the wok burner on "Medium-high" setting:

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Night shot of the wok burner on "Medium" setting:

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Night shot of the wok burner on "High" setting... notice the blue flame wrapping around the wok.

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Night shot of the wok burner on "High" setting... notice the blue flame wrapping around the wok... futhermore, notice the wok actually glowing orange because it is so hot (this shot is about 20 seconds after I turned it on)

gallery_22943_2022_21735.jpg


Edited by infernooo (log)

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infernooo: That is a very nice burner! It matches your name! :biggrin: I envy you. I hope your kitchen fan can handle the extra fume generated by cooking with this thing. :biggrin: Wherever I live, I always have to replace the regular kitchen fan with the Taiwanese made kitchen fan specially designed for Chinese cooking. :smile:


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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Thanks! I plan to start trying some of the amazing-looking things you have been cooking in your threads in the Chinese subforum...

Luckily I do have a very good exhaust fan, but the problem is the heat is too intense and the exhaust fan too low (its a standard overhead cooktop exhaust fan), so I pretty much have to cook outside or in the garage or anywhere that has a high roof clearance (this thing could melt the paint on the roof if its too low!).

Edit: haha I can't believe I mispelled "wok" in the thread title.


Edited by infernooo (log)

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Yeah, the low roof may catch on fire too from the flame when you dash in cooking wine into the burning wok. I just saw an episode of "Yeung Can Cook" yesterday. He visited some restaurant kitchens in Taipei. The burners they showed looked very much like yours in picture #3. Looks really like the after-burner on a F-15 jet! :smile:


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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I don't know about anybody else, but I'm jealous. Do you have to stir your sauce ingredients together in advance to prevent them from evaporating too quickly? (I usually sauce my stir-fries by shaking in what feels like the right amount of the various condiments, which works well on a regular home stove setup.)

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Beautiful!!! Man, that burner looks like a giant burner cup for an MSR XGK stove!

Wow, I would love to have a go at that burner!

Thanks for sharing!


"Live every moment as if your hair were on fire" Zen Proverb

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Malawry: I sure do! if I put them in one by one then things turn ugly pretty quickly!

For example, the sauce for the noodle dish I made the other night has:

1TB light soy, 1TB rice wine, 1/2 ts salt, 1/2 ts sugar, 1/2 ts sesame oil, 1 cup chicken stock.

The only thing I put in separately was the rice wine because it just feels right to put it in the "dry" wok and cook it out like you would brandy in a western dish. If I were to put the soy or sugar or sesame oil in by itself it would burn almost instantly... but all mixed together with the chicken stock it works quite well! I have about 2-3 seconds of stirring and the sauce has already boiled.

So I guess its advantages (the heat) are also the disadvantages as it reduces the ability to adlib (you can turn the heat down... but wheres the fun in that!? :) ) and you really do need everything ready. I think a good intermediate result would be to have it on full-bore, do the stir frying, then lower the heat for the sauce... this way you could taste it and correct the seasonings or anything that seems missing.

Either way, thanks for the kind words everyone! I will ask my friend if they are easy to buy/ship (I dont think they are intended for home/domestic use).

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Wow... that's pretty amazing, I must say. I have a Patio Wok, which is an outdoor propane-driven wok burner that cranks out 49K BTUs. I never -- I mean, never -- set it at its highest. I can't imagine what you'd need 100-120K BTUs for: reforging the wok itself? Yeesh!


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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This simply reaffirms my belief that until I own such a burner, my life is incomplete.

Well done infernooo.

ah Leung, i'm planning to stick mine outside with a couple wind breaks thus mitigating the need for internal fan upgrades. i'm more worried about raising the temperature inside (open plan kitchen and living) than anything else.


"Coffee and cigarettes... the breakfast of champions!"

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Wow, that is nuts. I must have one as well. Are you currently fueling it with propane or from your gas line?

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Propane... which is fine with me as propane burns hotter... but I must say that this thing eats through the tank of lpg pretty damn quickly even though its using very high pressure!

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Wow, that is a beautiful thing. My kitchen won't be able to handle one of those things. I'm going to have to remodel before I can even use one of those things.

Dear Santa, I'd like a wok burner for Christmas. While you're at it, I'll need to remodel my kitchen so if you can find it in your heart of hearts, I'll be very happy. I've been a good girl this year. Thanks.


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

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So, uh, not to be a shill, but did that baby set you back much?


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Wow! I want one, too! Just have to figure out where to put it.

I couldn't possibly put it inside without setting the house afire.

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If planning to use indoors, I suggest that you peruse your local Fire Codes and contact a Fire Inspector. Flames that are not contained in NFPA approved equipment are considered 'Open Sources of Ignition' and if you have any property or personal damage or injury, your Homeowners Policy will not cover you and no one but yourself is liable for damages. Best to take a cold shower and use approved equipment indoors. Most municipalities also have ordinances about outside burning and these should be consulted also.

The concept is certainly appealing to those of us that Wok and want to Wok authentically but common sense and safety must prevail. -Dick

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I had one like that a few years ago. You simply cannot use it indoors, a Wok on it will soon fill your house with smoke. Outdoors, though, and it's wonderful. Now that I had one, I can't imagine cooking Chinese without it.

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So, uh, not to be a shill, but did that baby set you back much?

It cost AU$180, so about US$140 not including shipping (which wasnt too horrific considering it must weigh around 50 pounds). I jumped at the opportunity because the ex-leased wok burners from restaurants were selling for around AU$1500 for single jet burners with similar output levels.

If planning to use indoors, I suggest that you peruse your local Fire Codes and contact a Fire Inspector. Flames that are not contained in NFPA approved equipment are considered 'Open Sources of Ignition' and if you have any property or personal damage or injury, your Homeowners Policy will not cover you and no one but yourself is liable for damages. Best to take a cold shower and use approved equipment indoors. Most municipalities also have ordinances about outside burning and these should be consulted also.

The concept is certainly appealing to those of us that Wok and want to Wok authentically but common sense and safety must prevail. -Dick

Very wise idea, after first turning it on I realised that outdoors was my best bet... the heat coming from the flame is just too intense for the roof inside my house (even though it is not very low), and because of a lack of an exhaust fan that is high enough Avumede - you are right, the wok starts smoking almost instantly, and last night I used it just to sear a steak in a big cast iron skillet.... I got a steak-house sear in about 5 seconds each side, popped it in the oven to finish - perfect! But it did leave a *lot* of smoke behind.


Edited by infernooo (log)

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Even outside, you need to be careful of trees, overhanging eaves and the like. I wouldn't go near one without a big fire extinguisher and a pot full of baking soda handy.

Nevertheless, I want one, NOW! Maybe two.

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So, uh, not to be a shill, but did that baby set you back much?

It cost AU$180, so about US$140 not including shipping (which wasnt too horrific considering it must weigh around 50 pounds). I jumped at the opportunity because the ex-leased wok burners from restaurants were selling for around AU$1500 for single jet burners with similar output levels.

That's not bad at all. Is there a manufacturer's or a brand name and maybe a model number? Do you know if one can be bought via mail order? If not, do you know where one can be purchased in Thailand? (A fellow faculty member travels there every year.)


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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I'm soooo jealous! I like how your pics show the flames wrapping around the entire bottom of the wok, as they should. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who believe the heat is supposed to be concentrated only in the the bottom of the wok in order for food to be pushed to the side and kept warm. They undoubtedly have watched one too many late night infomercials. :rolleyes:

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nice inferno, infernoo.

I looked into this too for my house, the restaurant supply said to try the chinese food joint, they might be able to hook me up somehow, all that the supply store sold were these big stock pot stand alone burners, which would probably be high enough btu, but not concetrated enough, and about $1000, which was more that I was willing to pay for a stove, though the induction Kenmore at $1500 makes me second guess my Kitchen Aid close out model. I saw that Thompson (Thai Food) guy had some nice burners in his restaurant (Sidney?) that had a nice removable insert for his round bottomed woks. That was bad ass. Anyway, propers to you, now we expect full reports of anything and everything attempted.

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Firstly thank you to the person who corrected my incorrect spelling of wok in the title :), I tried to change it but there doesnt seem to be an option once someone has replied.

Alex: I will check it out for you and give my friend a call, I'm sure if the company knew that quite a few people wanted them there would be no problem having them shipped.

Sheetz: Couldn't agree more! Instead of everything sitting in the bottom/middle of the wok, I can swirl it around the edges and the heat is just as fierce around the sides. So the food is always cooking and I can cook larger amounts more evenly (there isnt a bottom layer getting overcooked and a top layer not being cooked at all).

Coquus: I went through the same thing... I was going to go for a commercial chinese wok stove, but I realised I would have problems getting it installed by a gas guy (he would have to be slipped some $$ to look past the illegal/dangerous aspect), but the main problem was where to stick the thing as it is huge! As you have seen they have water constantly flowing over the metal surface to cool things down and I wouldnt have enough room for it.

Its hot here today (91 degrees F), but as soon as I get the chance, I will definately be cooking up a storm and trying to take photos (or get someone else to take photos to avoid things burning :) ).

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OK I called my friend, and he said the company that manufactured them has stopped making this particular model & he only has 2 left (he originally bought 5 for various friends but 2 bailed out).. I will get him to call the company and ask if they have any surplus or outlets that they have previously sold to who may have stock left.

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Oh great! Another thing I must absolutely have! :laugh:

I wonder why the company has stopped making this unit? Compact, efficient, only US$150... what gives? Does it melt it's fittings or gaskets after 100 hours? Not profitable? Seems like it could still make us all happy at $250.

I've been waiting for just such a tool. Hat's off to you, infernoo!

I suppose to make the installation legal, and therefore insurable, one would need a dedicated exhaust hood array with a dedicated extinguisher line - basically a commercial restaurant apparatus, only in miniature... [quietly adding up remodeling costs] :rolleyes:


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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Your Wok burner is nothing more than a Propane device and appears very similar to a 'Turkey Fryer'. You can purchase a 185,000 btu/hr or more burner from the following USA source http://www.bayouclassicdepot.com/propane_g...rner_29_ctg.htm .

Purchashing a product made in Thailand that has not gone any type of US certification is fraught with danger. These southeast asian countries simply do not have safety standards comparable to the USA and you will also keep the money in the US.

BTW, there is no way that one could be able to install this device in a residence legally. There is also the chance that if you did install this device in your residence that you would be certified 'Insane'!

Lastly, the orange color coming from Wok is an indication of the very high temperature of the Wok. The temperature is probably starting to affect that wok structural integrity becuase as mild steel heats, it loses its strength. The physics are understandable to anyone who saw the World Trade Center collapse. The steel columns lost thier ability to support load because they were heated by the fire from the jet fuel. You run the risk of the wok simply blowing a hole in the bottom and the contents falling into the flame with resulting flame. The more i think about your use of this device, the more it looks like an accident waiting to happen. Be careful.-Dick


Edited by budrichard (log)

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