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Old 01-13-2007, 11:12 AM   #1
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Stirfrying

Which is best ...gas or electric? I am purchasing a new stove and being able to stirfry is my main concern.

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Old 01-13-2007, 11:25 AM   #2
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wylie, gas is by far the best for stir-frying. The idea here is that you need a very high heat in the frying pan or wok for a rather short time. In the case of gas, the flame touches the bottom of the wok easily and transmits heat over a larger area of the bottom, ie. the area that the flame touches. In the case of electricity, contact between frying pan/wok and electrical heating element must be good as well as even. Good contact needs a perfectly flat and as wide a bottom as possible. However, this is not how woks are shaped. Even contact means that heat should not be provided along a line or spot which by necessity would need to be overheated in order to heat the whole wok as this could cause localized burning.

In Asian cooking, where stir-frying is used extensively, at least in professional establishments, heating is always provided by gas and in addition, the gas line is outfitted with a gas pressure regulator that allows more gas to flow to the flame, thereby making it possible to heat evenly and to a very high temperature very quickly, which is the essence of stir-frying.
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:30 AM   #3
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Boy - you have absolutely NO idea of the size of the can of worms you've opened with THAT question!!!!

In my opinion (& there will probably be about a hundred of them here in a very short time ), it doesn't make ANY DIFFERENCE!!! Choose whichever type of range you prefer cooking on.

I've cooked on both, but have NEVER like gas. Have been successfully making several-course Asian meals on electric stoves using woks for 30+ years without a hitch. I also stirfry with my wok (& its ring) on my relatively old-fashioned coil element electric range approx. twice a week, & the results are always PERFECT!! It is definitely NOT TRUE that you can't reach the proper heat level to properly stirfry on an electric range.

My only caveat is that when we were looking for a new electric stove, all of the ones with the flat glass tops specifically advised AGAINST using both woks & cast-iron cookware on them. this was back in 1997, so things may have changed since them, but it's worth a heads up if you like the glass-top electric ranges.

Again - buy what you're most comfortable with. You'll be able to efficiently stirfry regardless.
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:31 AM   #4
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Ditto what boufa06 said!!

Get the highest rated BTU burners you can find on your new Gas range!!
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Old 01-13-2007, 11:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Boy - you have absolutely NO idea of the size of the can of worms you've opened with THAT question!!!!

In my opinion (& there will probably be about a hundred of them here in a very short time ), it doesn't make ANY DIFFERENCE!!! Choose whichever type of range you prefer cooking on.

I've cooked on both, but have NEVER like gas. Have been successfully making several-course Asian meals on electric stoves using woks for 30+ years without a hitch. I also stirfry with my wok (& its ring) on my relatively old-fashioned coil element electric range approx. twice a week, & the results are always PERFECT!! It is definitely NOT TRUE that you can't reach the proper heat level to properly stirfry on an electric range.

My only caveat is that when we were looking for a new electric stove, all of the ones with the flat glass tops specifically advised AGAINST using both woks & cast-iron cookware on them. this was back in 1997, so things may have changed since them, but it's worth a heads up if you like the glass-top electric ranges.

Again - buy what you're most comfortable with. You'll be able to efficiently stirfry regardless.
Breezy, further to that can of worms, do you stir-fry using an electric stove because you just happen to have one and/or you dislike gas, or because you have tried stir-frying both ways and your experience showed you that stir-frying using electricity gives equal or better results to stir-frying using gas?
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:01 PM   #6
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Boufa - I use an electric stove because I prefer it. In fact, I had my gas stove disconnected, removed, & replaced with an old-fashioned coil-element electric range when we first moved here back in '97 because that's what I wanted.

I don't like the smell of gas. Gas folks will probably disagree with me strongly, but I have ALWAYS been able to tell when people have a gas range as soon as I walk into their kitchen. I simply don't like it. I also don't like the safety aspect of it. With all the new development in Northern Virginia, I've lost count of all the gas explosions. I don't want to add to the tally. Granted, our gas stove was hooked up to a propane tank rather than a commercial gas line, but I could still smell the gas, & couldn't WAIT to have that tank removed & my electric range put in.

Plus, I was raised & taught to cook on a coil-element electric range & simply like it, even after having cooked on gas stoves (I used to do some catering on one) for quite some time. In addition, if a coil element burns out or has some other problem, they are unbelievably cheap to replace & you can do it yourself - no repairman needed.

So to answer your question in summation - lol - I stirfry using an electric stove because I like it. I've stirfried on gas stoves as well, & found absolutely NO difference in the finished dish compared to the exact same dish stirfried on an electric stove (remember - I'm talking coil element here - not glass top).

This is why I said - just go with what you're most comfortable with. The results will - in my opinion - be the same.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:08 PM   #7
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Breezy, ok, I get it.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:23 PM   #8
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I bought a single burner chinese wok stove from The Wok Shop. Puts out 32k BTU's. Only problem is, I can only use it outside as it puts out unbelieveable amounts of heat. I love using it when it's beautiful out, or I'm at work (sometimes I fire it up for a quick dinner on the welding table). I use round-bottomed northern-style "Pow" carbon-steel woks (hand-hammered).



At home I just have an electric stove. I much prefer gas for burners, but I make do with what I have (It's included with the apartment). I use a flat bottomed carbon-steel wok, but I'm looking into high-walled carbon-steel frypans which offer even more burner contact with a high-heat, smooth, seasoned surface. You just have to get as much contact as possible with the element, make sure the pan is very hot, and don't try to cook too much food at once.

The chinese stove is the best though. The flames are like rockets, curling up the sides of the wok and into the pan itself. When I toss the food the flames lick in and ignite oil/wine aerosols in the steam. This is important when you strive for that restaurant quality "Wok-Hay" flavoring. I do get good results at home though on the electric stove.

- Just don't buy any of those woks that you plug in like a crock-pot. Those things should be melted into paper weights!
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:38 PM   #9
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You can cook great meals, stir-fry or other, on any kind of stove.

Modern electric stoves are very high output. They put out as many or more BTUs than all but a few gas stoves.

If you prefer to cook on gas or electric, buy whichever one you want. Once you learn how your stove cooks, you will be able to turn out meals of equal quality on either.

I prefer gas and use a flat bottomed wok.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
I bought a single burner chinese wok stove from The Wok Shop. Puts out 32k BTU's. Only problem is, I can only use it outside as it puts out unbelieveable amounts of heat.

- Just don't buy any of those woks that you plug in like a crock-pot. Those things should be melted into paper weights!
Nicholas, I am surprised that such a stove is available for home use! As unbelievable as the heat emitted may be, it would be a far cry to that emitted if you manage to set your house on fire by using it indoors.

Don't melt the electrical self-heating woks yet! They can be ideal gifts to friends and DC members alike!
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