Impoverished chef - underheated Wok


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Impoverished chef - underheated Wok

danbob | | Jun 6, 2009 09:16 AM

Hello all. This is a GREAT board! Glad that I found it. Please forgive me if this has been discussed before and I simply could not find the topic. This is my first post.

Question: Can somebody PLEASE tell me why my new idea will NOT work? Safety, practicality, cooking ease, etc.?

I switched to doing lots of Chinese cooking about a year ago for health reasons. I have a great wok, but my little LP gas range is woefully underpowered. I can't even stir fry enough veggies and tofu for myself in one batch. Worst, I'm limited to a 20-inch range because of my small mountain cabin. All my electricity is from solar and wind, the nearest electric pole is 12 miles away, so electric or induction burners are impossible. There is no natural gas service here.I need some real HEAT under that wok.

I have been looking at commercial / pro / prosumer high-heat 20-inch wide options and they are scarce and expensive. A Wolf 15" cooktop where my 20" range is now, but where do I find a 20" wall oven to go below? Can't do without an oven. I could expand to 24" or even 30" with great expense in hacking up my nice countertops and cabinets, then easily spend $2k+ on commercial or pro-sumer equipment. Not quite in my budget here....

My first thought was to use one of my Cajun Cookers I use for brewing beer and mead, but 110,000 BTUs is quite a bit more than I need to cook for one human and a large dog. But my propane range has max 10k BTUs output from each burner, and that's reduced even more for high altitude (8,200 feet elevation)

Is there some reason this idea will not work or is dangerous? PLEASE let me know if you think it is a problem......
I already have a 30,000 BTU "outdoor" propane burner for camping and flyfishing trips:
I am building a platform to which this burner will be secured, that fits over the top of my wimpy 20" Sears range. A large metal plate, with the burner legs actually tapped for threads and bolted into the steel plate. When done, the thing will weigh over 30lbs and be near impossible to tip over. It will fit snugly over my current range top.

And, I can't see how a single 30,000 BTU "outdoor" propane burner will put any more carbon monoxide into the air in my kitchen than running all 4 of the wimpy 10,000 BTU burners on the range would....none of them draw outside air, and none are vented outdoors. I do run CO detectors all over the house since my refrigeration and water heating are propane also.

Does this sound crazy, or have I found a way to get a nice high-heat Wok burner that sits on top of my crappy little Sears range?

If it works I'll tap into the kitchen propane line with a quick disconnect and valve; for now I'll be trying it all on a portable 20# LPG tank to see if the idea is valid.

Comments and warnings welcomed!


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