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Quevun

How practical is stir frying with charcoal?

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I read that charcoal is capable of generating high heat close to that of a wok burner so it can be used to make very good stir fries.

 

I have never done a barbecue before so I don't know how do charcoals work, but common sense tells me that charcoal burns much longer than the few minutes of cooking time of a stir fry.

I tried googling around a bit but failed to find any mention of this issue.

 

Is there some way of making charcoal stir frying practical for everyday use?

Perhaps by extinguishing and reusing the charcoals every time?

Again, I have never dealt with charcoal before so I don't know if that is possible.

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Use natural hardwood charcoal, it burns very hot and fast, and does work really well. It's not an every day thing unless you're cooking outdoors every day.

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Posted (edited)

If you have a Big Green Egg or a similar knock-off there is a wok insert which would get plenty hot seeing you can get the internal temperature up to 700-750F.  Then, when you are finished, just choke off the air and the charcoal goes out without further burning.

 

The chef in the video is a riot.  Best quote when the oil caught on fire "oh, is that normal?  I don't care, it's fun."

 


Edited by Okanagancook (log)
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Or like this in a Weber

20120610-stir-fry-grill-wok-01.jpg.6012382de8bdad9560ff08161473a545.jpghqdefault.jpg.396038e671ced96c6ca68242e472a166.jpg

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I've seen charcoal powered woks for stir frying in SE Asia - they typically have some kind of fan contraption that makes the charcoal grill turn into a jet engine... I'll post some pics in a bit.

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I used to have one of these propane units.  It got really, really hot but you could adjust it.  Sounded a bit like a jet engine but not like in a commercial kitchen.  Propane I believe gets hotter than natural gas.  But, it's not a charcoal fire as per the original question.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fryer-Steel-Stand1-Gas-Stove-Propane-Burner-Portable-Outdoor-Camping-Cooker-NEW1/123042696469?hash=item1ca5ea8d15:g:UT4AAOSwUWBauUhC

 

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Charcoal can get hot with air blowing. Very hot!  hotter than hot.

 

I made this simple furnace to make a few knives. Not only that it melt the steel, it actually melt the cement tiles into glass.

 

It can vaporize your wok and stir fry. :-)

 

 

dcarch

 

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Lump charcoal in a Weber charcoal chimney works quite well, especially with a cast iron wok.

The wok must sit on pieces of metal or the like so as not to hamper the draft.

 

 

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Just now, DiggingDogFarm said:

Lump charcoal in a Weber charcoal chimney works quite well, especially with a cast iron wok.

The wok must sit on pieces of metal or the like so as not to hamper the draft.

 

 

What a terrific idea.  Small amounts of charcoal required with little waste also.   

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Buy yourself a Weber chimney starter. Fill it just above the top vent holes. Buy those weber wax fire starters and light one underneath and wait 15 minutes. You can put your Wok right onto that Chimney starter and trust me, it will be plenty of heat to stir fry. And best part, a 18lb bag would last a long time using this method.

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3 minutes ago, FeChef said:

Buy yourself a Weber chimney starter

 

What a great idea! xD

 

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38 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

What a great idea! xD

 

Im not sure if you are doubting this method, or if you are being serious? If your doubting, i will get my Chimney starter roaring hot and put my black steel Wok on it and use my IR meter to guage the temp. I will tell you right off the bat, its going to read off the charts hot.

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4 minutes ago, FeChef said:

Im not sure if you are doubting this method, or if you are being serious? If your doubting, i will get my Chimney starter roaring hot and put my black steel Wok on it and use my IR meter to guage the temp. I will tell you right off the bat, its going to read off the charts hot.

 

Please look up-thread.

 

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2 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

Please look up-thread.

 

I put it right on the rim. Its almost like it was designed for it. Its actually dangerously hot. lol

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1 minute ago, FeChef said:

I put it right on the rim. Its almost like it was designed for it. Its actually dangerously hot. lol

 

Yeah, it does work very well.Works best for me with some adjustments.

 

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12 minutes ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

 

Yeah, it does work very well.Works best for me with some adjustments.

 

Maybe the size of the wok makes a difference as well. Mine is not as large as some that ive seen in chinese takeouts.

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Thanks guys, all very interesting especially with summer coming up.

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27 minutes ago, FeChef said:

Maybe the size of the wok makes a difference as well. Mine is not as large as some that ive seen in chinese takeouts.

 

Yeah

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I might have missed it, but nobody seem to have answered my main question.

 

So let me reiterate more clearly.

 

Since charcoal still burns long after you finish stir frying, do all these charcoal go to waste?

Or is there a more practical/economical way to do this?

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5 hours ago, Quevun said:

I might have missed it, but nobody seem to have answered my main question.

 

So let me reiterate more clearly.

 

Since charcoal still burns long after you finish stir frying, do all these charcoal go to waste?

Or is there a more practical/economical way to do this?

Not with the big green egg - you shut the lid and air supply off - charcoal is there for the next time.

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Important: Never use charcoal fire indoors. CO kills silently.

 

I have an outdoor fire pit I use. After I don't need the fire anymore, I empty everything into a metal can with a tight lid. The ember soon extinguishes. The next day, I use a sieve to separate the ash and leftover charcoal.

 

The ash makes a wonder fertilizer for your garden.

 

dcarch 

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3 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Not with the big green egg - you shut the lid and air supply off - charcoal is there for the next time.

 

Yeah, you can do that with the lowly, $30, Weber Smokey Joe.

There are many ways to snuff out charcoal.

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