Electric Woks?

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DawnT
Double Chili Cheeseburger
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2010/05/09 02:46:34 (permalink)

Electric Woks?

I'm stuck in a no gas zone of the city. There is no natural gas lines in the area and we are prohibited from having a BBQ tank larger then 25lbs. on residential property. Businesses a few hundred feet from me are exempt from that restriction and can have large tanks. We've had to adjust to using a glass flat top and do anything that requires serious heat outside. We have a high pressure burner that's in the upper 40K BTU range that we do everything from frying to stock pot outside if we need the heat with a 25lb tank. While I've been considering getting a very high pressure burner in excess of 140K btu for wok cooking, that too may soon be illegal thanks to idiots torching their houses and back yards with stupidity when trying to deep fry a turkey stoned drunk. Either way, I'm soon buying an Asian bowl type gas burner to accept a wok and stock pot outside. Indoors however I'm looking at getting an electric wok. The common wisdom has been going with the Breville 1800 W unit that has a non-stick coating. The next tier is the Cuisinart or another that uses a non stick surface as well. My experince has shown that anything non-stick had a max lifetime of 2-3 years if you treat it with extreme care. after that it's a throw away. There doesn't seem to be any raw aluminum units that would heat quickly, but there is capsule or aluminum ply bottom in stainless like the Presto. These aren't cheap and I'm wondering if any of you have any of these stainless woks and how good they are. I'm not expecting the searing heat that you would need to do good stir fry, but I would want to know if these units at least approximate a typical home gas burner below 12K btu with a round bottomed carbon steel wok on a ring with gas. The Presto 5900 looks like a good compromise. Anyone with a better suggestion?
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    RodBangkok
    Cheeseburger
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    Re:Electric Woks? 2010/05/09 03:07:55 (permalink)
    It's just not proper stir fry without very high temps and very short cooking times, I really don't think you can get anything that compares as well with a basic old carbon steel wok and a flame thrower for a burner.  About 30 years ago I was given a Calphalon Thick aluminum wok, beautiful construction with a very nice dome lid.  Probably the most worthless piece of cooking equipment made with regards to its cost.  You can never get it hot enough, the aluminum just conducts too much heat away.  Only reason I kept it is it works great for making popcorn!   As far as non stick surfaces, they do not stand up well at all to extremely high temperatures.  Your outside burner idea is the best, as if you do really high temp wok cooking you either need a very good vent hood, or do it outside anyway.
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