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High Heat Wok Cooking Problems


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High Heat Wok Cooking Problems

KungPao | | Nov 28, 2011 02:09 PM

I purchased an outdoor turkey fryer type propane burner that I use to cook with my carbon steel wok on very high heat, I've had very hit and miss results. Thusly I'm turning to the hounds for tips and tricks with cooking on such high heat. Heres a little background info to help yall figure out what I'm doing wrong.

- 60,000 BTU flame output on burner (usually cranked to 3/4 power while cooking)
- Carbon Steel Wok (purchased from Wok Shop and seasoned multiple times in oven with lard)
- Peanut oil used for most stir frys.
- Cleaned with just water (no soap)
- Coat with a little peanut oil in between uses.

My problem is that when I go to whip up a stir fry my food gets a residual dark brown color to it. A bunch of black flecks of what I assume is bits of the patina also seem to cover the food. I'm not sure if this is coming from the actual patina flaking off or if these are burnt spots from cooking over too high of heat. I've given up on trying to use chicken in my stir frys because of how un appetizing it looks when completely covered in the brown/black flecks and liquid.

The smokey flavor or 'wok hei' is definitely there, no complaints in that department.
I'm still working on perfecting my actual technique of having both proteins and vegetables cooked properly but this is the basic technique used;

-Wok on till oil is smoking lightly
-Proteins until seared on outside then removed and set aside
-Aromatics (IE garlic, scallions etc)
-Vegetables in order of cooking length requirements (longest time first, shortest last obviously)
- Proteins back in to finish cooking
- Sauce (usually oyster sauce based brown sauce)
- Wok Off.

I've tried scrubbing a bit harder with a soft sponge in between uses and it doesn't seem to help with the amount of discolor the food gets. I feel if I scrub any harder the actual patina may come off. Should I be blanching my vegetables before cooking? Any tips on basic technique, and discoloring issue will be much appreciated.

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