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[FF] In Pursuit of More BTUs-wok cooking, searing, big boils

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Jul 22, 2019 - 7:06:56 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

11447 posts since 5/24/2005

I have finally decided that with all my cooking equipment, indoors and outdoors, I don't get the heat generation that I desire at times. Fast high BTU output, for wok cooking, skillet searing, boiling large volumes of liquid, etc.

So I have been looking at the options for a propane fuel single burner on legs: short or taller or adjustable. How much BTU output rating should I be looking for? Do you have any particular burners you like?

Also, I have been looking at oils for searing and wok'ing, for higher smoke temps. Seems avocado oil, peanut oil, and refined olive oils get you to the 450 and some over 500*F smoking range.

Brad

Jul 22, 2019 - 10:25:22 AM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

15574 posts since 6/5/2008

I've abandoned peanut oil, I'm tired of the taste. Something with no flavor really, like Unico vegetable oil.
Most olive oil is diluted with rubbish oil. EVO is hard to find, Australia and Chile have the strictest laws about oil composition.

A sheet steel wok with a bit of a flat bottom on an electric stove element is as hot as I'll ever need.

For flame, I have a big single burner in a tripod for a lobster pot. I don't like it. Heat is OK hot enough.
The burner has a cupped bottom that can and will catch oil spills.
What I'm looking for is a commercial gas ring that I can run off a 20# propane tank.
Some fish stores have a few in the back for cooking crabs etc.

Jul 22, 2019 - 10:45:13 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

11447 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Brian T

I've abandoned peanut oil, I'm tired of the taste. Something with no flavor really, like Unico vegetable oil.
Most olive oil is diluted with rubbish oil. EVO is hard to find, Australia and Chile have the strictest laws about oil composition.

A sheet steel wok with a bit of a flat bottom on an electric stove element is as hot as I'll ever need.

For flame, I have a big single burner in a tripod for a lobster pot. I don't like it. Heat is OK hot enough.
The burner has a cupped bottom that can and will catch oil spills.
What I'm looking for is a commercial gas ring that I can run off a 20# propane tank.
Some fish stores have a few in the back for cooking crabs etc.


I have seen in my search, some commercial "type" gas rings for a 20# tank, and claim they can achieve a propane guzzling 100,000-200,000 BTU, and sound like a nearby jet engine.  Many buy to cook a big wort batch in the 10 gal or larger batches.   I am ok with that, as long as it can be throttled back for some low heat needs.  Brad

Jul 22, 2019 - 12:45:07 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

15574 posts since 6/5/2008

I'll be in the best fish shop in the city later this week.
I'll ask them for details on their burners.

Jul 22, 2019 - 1:20:38 PM

figmo59

USA

29122 posts since 3/5/2008

youtu.be/ENtUSrL9QJo

This one.. ;0)

Jul 22, 2019 - 1:32:46 PM

Banjo Lefty

Canada

1605 posts since 6/19/2014

I can get over 1,000 F in my Green Egg. Don't see why I'd want to, of course, but it's there. It takes about ten minutes to get up over 600 F with the vents wide open, which is all I need to sear steaks 2 minutes per side, then drop the temp to a more comfortable 350 - 375 F and finish 'em off. Of course, if I'm smoking chickens or brisket, then I keep it around 250 F.

Jul 22, 2019 - 1:56:55 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

15574 posts since 6/5/2008

You will need the heat to stir-fry whole crabs and lobster chunks.
I see the bigger gas rings as good heat for the big 18" - 24" woks.
Western kitchens and western stoves of all kinds are never designed for this.

I'm also beginning to believe that the size and shape of the stove opening has a lot to do with how effective the heating will be. Maybe time to collect and cut stone for some sort of an outdoor wok bench?

Jul 22, 2019 - 3:19:14 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

11447 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Brian T

I'll be in the best fish shop in the city later this week.
I'll ask them for details on their burners.


Please keep us posted, for sure. Brad

Jul 22, 2019 - 3:21:11 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

11447 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Brian T

You will need the heat to stir-fry whole crabs and lobster chunks.
I see the bigger gas rings as good heat for the big 18" - 24" woks.
Western kitchens and western stoves of all kinds are never designed for this.

I'm also beginning to believe that the size and shape of the stove opening has a lot to do with how effective the heating will be. Maybe time to collect and cut stone for some sort of an outdoor wok bench?


Cool!

Jul 22, 2019 - 3:23:07 PM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

11447 posts since 5/24/2005

One feature I desire is a control knob at the burner, not the other end at the tank.
Guess I could put a control between the stove connection and the propane hose? Brad

Jul 22, 2019 - 4:10:49 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

15574 posts since 6/5/2008

I've got tank hoses with the control knob right at the grill.
The knob is sort of shielded ( or a pair of them, down the front.)

On the lobster pot, I think I want the control near the tank.
The pot frame and the burner itself throw off a mighty amount of heat.
Same big burner that I run in my biggest smoker BBQ (ex-4 burner grill).

Jul 22, 2019 - 4:28:45 PM
Players Union Member

Chris Meakin

Australia

2365 posts since 5/15/2011

From 1990-1996 my wife and I owned and operated The Wok and Roll Takeaway in Darwin.

The chief cook (my wife) used a turbo wok cooker - a gas cooker that cooked a meal in 40-50 secs.

Is that the sort of thing you're after?

My wife cures the wok when new by putting a kilo or two of salt into the wok, then really heating it, nearly red hot. I can get more details if you like?

Jul 22, 2019 - 4:37:51 PM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

15574 posts since 6/5/2008

Thanks Chris: the turbo wok cooker would be very useful.

My oldest 2 woks (1971?) were bought in Chinatown, Melbourne OZ.
Little Collins St, if my memory serves.

I stole the 3rd one from a lady who seemed to have little interest in using it.
Thicker steel and slower to heat but cooks away up the sides.

Jul 22, 2019 - 5:52:25 PM
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bubbalouie

Canada

12531 posts since 9/27/2007

I bought one of those turkey fryers at Walmart.  They are around a 100 bucks with a few accessories. They take a 20 pounder.

i only cooked one turkey in it. The best cook was a low country boil. 

A guy sold me a 5 gal. bucket of dungeness crabs. 14 big crabs!

We boiled them up with corn on the cob, red potatoes, onions, kielbasa , fresh prawns, clams & mussells (in succession) all in the same pot with a container of Old Bay.

We covered the picnic table with butchers paper & served with buns, coleslaw & squirt bottles of garlic butter.

The one annoying  thing about the cooker was it had 15 min. timer & you had to be there to keep resetting it.

It's a good thing that was invented after a few guys burned their decks off while frying turkeys!

Jul 23, 2019 - 6:36:41 AM
Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

11447 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Chris Meakin

From 1990-1996 my wife and I owned and operated The Wok and Roll Takeaway in Darwin.

The chief cook (my wife) used a turbo wok cooker - a gas cooker that cooked a meal in 40-50 secs.

Is that the sort of thing you're after?

My wife cures the wok when new by putting a kilo or two of salt into the wok, then really heating it, nearly red hot. I can get more details if you like?


I am curious on the wok "cure" technique?  Brad

Jul 24, 2019 - 2:17:35 PM
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1991 posts since 4/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by bubbalouie

A guy sold me a 5 gal. bucket of dungeness crabs. 14 big crabs!

We boiled them up with corn on the cob, red potatoes, onions, kielbasa , fresh prawns, clams & mussells (in succession) all in the same pot with a container of Old Bay.

We covered the picnic table with butchers paper & served with buns, coleslaw & squirt bottles of garlic butter.


We used to do a similar recipe every year at BG a local festival. 33 gal galvanized trash can over a something like a 6 or 8 inch gas burner fired by a propane tank on our camp trailer & a long hose.
 We set the tables w/ red & white checkered tablecloths, real glass wine glasses, & next to the flat ware, each place setting had a rock,,,to break open the lobster claws.

You're right. Western kitchens are not able to cope with a wok! Everything is, at best, a compromise.    

Jul 24, 2019 - 2:38:04 PM
like this

14199 posts since 12/2/2005

quote:
Originally posted by figmo59

youtu.be/ENtUSrL9QJo

This one.. ;0)


I was worried for a moment when I saw that cat....

Jul 24, 2019 - 3:37:09 PM

figmo59

USA

29122 posts since 3/5/2008

quote:
Originally posted by eagleisland
quote:
Originally posted by figmo59

youtu.be/ENtUSrL9QJo

This one.. ;0)


I was worried for a moment when I saw that cat....


Now ...that's funny... :0)

Jul 25, 2019 - 2:52:39 AM
likes this
Players Union Member

Chris Meakin

Australia

2365 posts since 5/15/2011

quote:
Originally posted by rinemb
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Meakin

From 1990-1996 my wife and I owned and operated The Wok and Roll Takeaway in Darwin.

The chief cook (my wife) used a turbo wok cooker - a gas cooker that cooked a meal in 40-50 secs.

Is that the sort of thing you're after?

My wife cures the wok when new by putting a kilo or two of salt into the wok, then really heating it, nearly red hot. I can get more details if you like?


I am curious on the wok "cure" technique?  Brad


Brad, definitely do this outside, not inside the house. The burning oil and salt can be a little overpowering. We have fairly large diameter woks, 50-58cm diam, and made of fairly thick metal. Pour in cheap vegetable oil to about 5"-6" depth. When the oil is hot enough to be smoking, pour in around 2kgs of table salt (less for smaller woks). Tilt the wok on a slant sufficient for the oil/salt mixture to nearly meet the edge. Keep rotating the wok slowly on high heat, so that you're coating the entire inner surface of the wok. Do this for up to an hour. The wok will become dark blue. Let it cool. Discard the salt mixture, wipe the wok clean with paper towels. Never wash it in soapy water, just plain hot water. We prefer the woks with two metal handles. Maybe check out an Asian Emporium in town for better quality woks.

Any more questions, ask away, happy to share the knowledge.

Jul 25, 2019 - 7:12:47 AM
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Players Union Member

rinemb

USA

11447 posts since 5/24/2005

Thanks for sharing that technique for preparing a wok. Brad

Jul 25, 2019 - 10:28:34 AM
Players Union Member

Brian T

Canada

15574 posts since 6/5/2008

I really enjoy how they come up with better non-stick than teflon after a few years.
I can't use big woks as my stove elements aren't far enough apart.

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