Top 10 Tips for Mastering Wok Cooking at Home

Posted: March 10, 2017

Wok cooking like a pro at home is a technique that can be challenging for home chefs. Many professional ranges in today’s market do not reach the power needed and require a wok ring, preventing chefs from placing their wok directly into the flame.  One of the major benefits of having a professional-style gas range with an open burner system with high, even heat is the ability to wok with restaurant quality results at home.

Whatever type of stove you are using, check out these tips and tricks on how to wok like a pro at home.  This is a technique that is great for quick weeknight meals or more sophisticated weekend spreads – either way you are guaranteed a delicious meal in under 30 minutes.

 Tip #1: Choose the right size wok

Picking the right size wok is important. You want a wok that is no larger than 16 inches; otherwise it can be hard to maneuver. With BlueStar’s Platinum Series putting out 25,000 btus of heat, you need to make sure your wok is made of iron or steel.

Tip #2: Complete prep all ingredients before cooking

Always prep all ingredients thoroughly before you begin cooking. Wok cooking happens very quickly leaving you no time to cut additional ingredients or pull something from the fridge.

Tip #3: Place Your Wok As Close to the Heat Source as Possible

High, even heat is critical for the best results with your wok.  With an open burner system like our RCS, Nova Series, Precious Metals or Platinum Series, no wok ring is required. You simply remove the top grate and are able to place your wok directly into the flame. This stabilizes the wok and more importantly creates better results with direct heat.

Tip #4: Properly season your new wok.

Start with a cup of salt, put over high heat (crank up the heat as far as it will go), and toss for 20 minutes.  Then use a fat or oil with a high smoke point to finish the seasoning.

Tip #5 Preheat wok before each use

Always preheat your wok before every use. Add oil and wait until the wok begins to smoke. This will open the pores of the metal and seasoning, releasing the flavor stored in the wok.

Tip #6: Use high smoke point oils

For wok cooking, it’s best to use oils with a high smoke point such as grapeseed oil or peanut oil.  Olive or vegetable oil has a lower smoke point and could burn your food and impact flavor.

Tip #7: Use proper ventilation

Wok cooking gets really smoky so proper ventilation is a must. Pairing a BlueStar hood with high CFMs and baffle filters with a BlueStar gas range is perfect for clearing smoke.

Tip #8: Power, Power, Power

The key to wok cooking is direct contact between the bottom of the pan and controlled, high heat like the BlueStar 25000 BTU open burners. This will allow you to stir fry meat and vegetables very quickly to produce a crisp, fresh flavor.

Tip #9: Never fill past half way mark

Never overfill your wok past the halfway mark. You need room for displacement of food, and also it allows your ingredients to cook quickly and evenly.

Tip #10: Keep food moving

You’ll notice in wok cooking that the chefs are always keeping the food moving. This is important to the finish because by stirring and moving the ingredients you allow for reduction in the sauce to adhere to the protein and the food won’t get overcooked. Continuously move your pan or use a utensil to move the ingredients.

Bonus Tip: Clean after use and proper wok storage

Clean your wok immediately after use with hot water and a sponge. This will protect the patina and preserve the seasoning of the wok. If the wok is likely to be left in storage for more than a week, use a brush or paper towel to cover the wok with a layer of oil or lard that will protect it. The best oil to use is peanut oil or canola oil, because they are inexpensive and have a high smoke point.

Integrated wok cooking with open burners creates a new level of ease and performance when trying to master the perfect stir fry for your family. Following these tips and tricks will allow you to wok cook like a professional chef in your home.   To learn more, check out this Tips video:

To build your own range capable of wok cooking like a restaurant range, check out our BYO tool.

Check out our favorite wok recipe: Mongolian Beef from Chef Paul Marshall

Mongolian Beef

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 pound sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain
  • 16 medium green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

Preparation:

  1. Combine first 8 ingredients, stirring until smooth.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a large seasoned Wok over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger, minced garlic, and beef; sauté for 2 minutes or until beef is browned. Add green onion pieces; sauté 30 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture; cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly.

 

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