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Wok burner advice needed

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After reading several threads about cooking in a wok I invested in a 32,000BTU burner from the wok shop. The instructions are next to nothing. Does anyone have one of these?

My first attempt was not what I expected. As soon as I put the oil in I had 2 foot flames. The burner doesn't show high or low and I can't see the flame but can certainly hear it. Sounds like a jet plane. Tried turning the knob both ways and it seemed to really roar in one direction so I turned it in the other and the flame went out.

Things cooked really fast, too fast. A little charred was the chicken but edible.

Also, on the regulator is the thingee that you turn for the air intake? How do I adjust that.

Would really love to learn how to use this but need some help. Anybody, please!

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After reading several threads about cooking in a wok I invested in a 32,000BTU burner from the wok shop.  The instructions are next to nothing.  Does anyone have one of these?

My first attempt was not what I expected.  As soon as I put the oil in I had 2 foot flames.  The burner doesn't show high or low and I can't see the flame but can certainly hear it.  Sounds like a jet plane.  Tried turning the knob both ways and it seemed to really roar in one direction so I turned it in the  other and the flame went out.

Things cooked really fast, too fast.  A little charred was the chicken but edible.

Also, on the regulator is the thingee that you turn for the air intake?  How do I adjust that.

Would really love to learn how to use this but need some help.  Anybody, please!

Be sure your homeowner's fire insurance is up to date.

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After reading several threads about cooking in a wok I invested in a 32,000BTU burner from the wok shop.  The instructions are next to nothing.  Does anyone have one of these?

My first attempt was not what I expected.  As soon as I put the oil in I had 2 foot flames.  The burner doesn't show high or low and I can't see the flame but can certainly hear it.  Sounds like a jet plane.  Tried turning the knob both ways and it seemed to really roar in one direction so I turned it in the  other and the flame went out.

Things cooked really fast, too fast.  A little charred was the chicken but edible.

Also, on the regulator is the thingee that you turn for the air intake?  How do I adjust that.

Would really love to learn how to use this but need some help.  Anybody, please!

Be sure your homeowner's fire insurance is up to date.

Don't have it inside. Outside on a stainless steel table away from everything.

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After reading several threads about cooking in a wok I invested in a 32,000BTU burner from the wok shop.  The instructions are next to nothing.  Does anyone have one of these?

My first attempt was not what I expected.  As soon as I put the oil in I had 2 foot flames.  The burner doesn't show high or low and I can't see the flame but can certainly hear it.  Sounds like a jet plane.  Tried turning the knob both ways and it seemed to really roar in one direction so I turned it in the  other and the flame went out.

Things cooked really fast, too fast.  A little charred was the chicken but edible.

Also, on the regulator is the thingee that you turn for the air intake?  How do I adjust that.

Would really love to learn how to use this but need some help.  Anybody, please!

Be sure your homeowner's fire insurance is up to date.

Don't have it inside. Outside on a stainless steel table away from everything.

Finally figured it out. Evenn if there is no roar it is still lit and you can easiy cook quickly at that temperature. I put the oil in a cold pan and wait for it to shimmer before cooking. Have had no flareups since. Wow what a difference higher heat makes in the taste of your food. Love using it.

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After reading several threads about cooking in a wok I invested in a 32,000BTU burner from the wok shop.  The instructions are next to nothing.  Does anyone have one of these?

My first attempt was not what I expected.  As soon as I put the oil in I had 2 foot flames.  The burner doesn't show high or low and I can't see the flame but can certainly hear it.  Sounds like a jet plane.  Tried turning the knob both ways and it seemed to really roar in one direction so I turned it in the  other and the flame went out.

Things cooked really fast, too fast.  A little charred was the chicken but edible.

Also, on the regulator is the thingee that you turn for the air intake?  How do I adjust that.

Would really love to learn how to use this but need some help.  Anybody, please!

I had a very similar first experience. My guardian angel was really looking out for me -- the patio umbrella was just far enough away from the 3' high flames to avoid a complete disaster.

Still looking for the perfect side table and a really good spotlight (we tend to start cooking after dark), but the higher heat is making a wonderful difference in flavor.


Life is short. Eat the roasted cauliflower first.

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I always have a wok lid handy whenever cooking with a wok, to put out potential fires. I've had it happen indoors on a stove... scary.

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After reading several threads about cooking in a wok I invested in a 32,000BTU burner from the wok shop.  The instructions are next to nothing.  Does anyone have one of these?

My first attempt was not what I expected.  As soon as I put the oil in I had 2 foot flames.  The burner doesn't show high or low and I can't see the flame but can certainly hear it.  Sounds like a jet plane.  Tried turning the knob both ways and it seemed to really roar in one direction so I turned it in the  other and the flame went out.

Things cooked really fast, too fast.  A little charred was the chicken but edible.

Also, on the regulator is the thingee that you turn for the air intake?  How do I adjust that.

Would really love to learn how to use this but need some help.  Anybody, please!

I had a very similar first experience. My guardian angel was really looking out for me -- the patio umbrella was just far enough away from the 3' high flames to avoid a complete disaster.

Still looking for the perfect side table and a really good spotlight (we tend to start cooking after dark), but the higher heat is making a wonderful difference in flavor.

I just bought my stainless steel outdoor table at Costco. It's 49 inches long. Just the right amount of space for the burner, and all the prep bowls, and other ingredients needed .

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After you gain confidence with the burner, you may choose to purchase a 14 foot metallized hose and a 0-30 psi pressure regulator that will fit in between the hose inlet and the burner body intake. Some might say this is overkill; others feel a measure of safety in having the gas tank as far away as possible from the flame, as is the regulation for food booths at outdoor farmer markets & such.

There are times of stress and hurry when things may happen or overturn close to the burner, especially for an amateur chef handling flaming oil, for instance. So a little extra insurance in the shape of a hose that is less prone to damage and a greater distance may be something to consider. Your local propane dealership [full service] or Cajun fryer mail order places stock such things.

A heavy duty wire mesh ring/collar to prevent wind/air movements from affecting the flame may be very useful, even important. It must be made to fit securely around the full circumference of any wok that you may be using and to bear its weight. Therefore, a metal sheet with holes punched in it will be better.

This brings us to the types of woks you will be using and how securely they will be resting. The type of "fast stove'' burner that you got is just that, a naked burner, aluminum or copper/bronze. It requires to be nested within a superstructure for best results and maximum safety.

You may want to decide what your cooking style is : with handled woks, pao style, as in Northern China and preferred in some Thai take-outs or the stationary, larger woks used by Cantones style restaurants.

Go to GALA restaurant equipment supply & woks to see the varieties offered. For the PAO style, even a 14 inch would tax many home cooks, once the food weight is taken into account and an 18 inch Southern/fixe style wok should be the safe upper limit for these smaller burners without a supporting collar. Even that is pushing the limits way too much. Hot oil & hot food are very dangerous and deceptively heavy.

Home cooks trying to achieve wok hei seldom realize how great the fire issues are (and how capable they are of hurting the cook & bystanders) without a specialized range hood, water taps and all the back ups available to a restaurant stove [not the least of which is a very experienced operator who does this 8 hours every day].

Even spattering of hot oil-water can spoil a party, when friends crowd around to watch. Childrens' eyes are at wok level! This might seem too upsetting to hear but it only takes a single accident. I have seen a host get very, very severely burnt by frying oil while entertaining: entertaining involves a range of mental & physical activities, DISTRACTIONS & pleasures NOT simultaneously conducive to serious wok cooking. What seems easy in the case of Thai street vendors, a certain type of omelette swirled from on high into hot oil or charred flat noodles for example, has taken years of constant, strenuous practice and painstaking mise en place. Not easily replicated on a pleasant occasion!

Finally, you may notice oxidized materials builing up in the burner holes if the boy is aluminum. Even otherwise, it may be useful to check the body and holes for any encrusations or obstructions over time.

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Woo! Inaugurated my new toy tonight: got me a Big Kahuna—

WokJetBaby.jpg

According to some sources this guy is over 50,000 BTUs (the packaging doesn't actually say) and DAMN it looks and sounds like a jet afterburner. Took under a minute to cook dinner tonight (Spicy Garlic Eggplant from Grace Young's "The Breath of a Wok") so I think I'm off to a good start. Anyone else getting one of these puppies for Christmas this year?

Edited to add: OK, actually the BTUs are listed on the back of the box: it says 65,000.


Edited by Chris Hennes Added correct BTUs (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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The Big Kahuna is becoming harder to find - I bought mine from Amazon in '05 for $49.95. My only problems with it: the wind protection could be better; and the pressure regulator that came with mine creeps open during use, so the flames get bigger and bigger. I notified Eastman of the problem and they sent a free replacement that has a timer on it - very funky. I hope they don't discontinue the Big Kahuna - it's a great product.


Monterey Bay area

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Have you tried fried rice in it? I'm not a huge fan, but fried rice fresh out of properly seasoned wok over a high flame - that's worth eating.

Not only tasty, but practical too.


Edited by ojisan (log)

Monterey Bay area

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I actually made fried rice tonight using last night's leftover rice, and again using a recipe from Breath of a Wok. Action shot, courtesy of my wife:

Wokking.jpg

I like fried rice pretty much everywhere, but this was indeed superlative. It was also gorgeous: the recipe is one from Ming Tsai and includes some lop chong (Chinese sausage), which give nice flecks of red along with the green from the scallions and the yellow from the eggs. Alas, we didn't slow down to take a photo of the finished dish: it went from the wok to our plates to our stomachs in short succession :smile:.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Now that's a Big Kahuna you got there! The flame distribution looks excellent, better than the rig I have.

Do you have an infrared gun thermometer so you can tell us what the temp is on that wok when you're ready to cook?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Sorry, no IR thermometer, so I can't translate those BTUs into actual heat transfer. A wok hits the smoke point of peanut oil in 3-4 seconds from a room-temp start when it's on high, if that tells you anything.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris A: note in Chris H's pics that there are two bolts. The burner is cast in two pieces (upper/lower), making it easy to clean out, which you'd appreciate if you've ever gotten spider webs in a gas tube.


Monterey Bay area

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I'm not new to woks and not new to outdoor cooking, but I am new to wok burners. If I'm looking to buy soon, is the Big Kahuna (presumably with carbon steel wok, not stainless) the general-consensus choice for serious outdoor wok cooking nowadays? Are there other models I should be looking at?


John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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I bought a separate, much smaller wok to use with mine, I think 22" is just too large to deal with, but the burner itself is great. No issues so far, but I've only used it a half dozen times.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris, did your burner come with a wok? I know they used to sell the burners without woks, but I wasn't able to find one when I searched recently -- all I see are the burner-plus-wok kits, which seem a little overpriced for what they are.


John Rosevear

"Brown food tastes better." - Chris Schlesinger

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It did come with a wok, but I swear the thing is just gigantic. My big concern is cleaning it since it is far too large to fit in the sink: 14" is still big, but much more manageable. And I agree about the price... this was a gift :smile: .


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I agree - 22" is way too big. I use a 16" carbon wok, and feel 18" is the ideal size for this burner. 14" feels too small.

The diameter of the burner, measured at the outer holes, is only 4". If you flip the rack over to use a pot, the max. pot diameter is 16.5"


Monterey Bay area

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