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Old 02-22-2004, 09:26 PM   #1
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New Wok Owner - HELP!!!

Ok, I was very excited to get my first wok (carbon steel, round bottom, ring with gas stove). I followed the directions to season it properly. My first attempt was a chicken stir fry with onions, garlic, mushrooms, peppers. The recipe called for stir frying the chicken (1/2 " strips) first. I preheated the wok and then added the oil as suggested and then put in about half of the chicken. About 30 seconds later, the chicken was swimming in its own released water. The chicken pretty much boiled rather than fried :( What did I do wrong? After I boiled the chicken and removed it, I started stir frying the mushrooms but the same thing happened. They gave up a lot of water and and the frying just didn't happen. Anyway, I was very disappointed. Anyone know what is happening? I'd appreciate some advice. MS :?

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Old 02-22-2004, 11:16 PM   #2
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Well, first off I wouldn't use the ring. I would put that wok directly on a high flame so the liquid will be evaporated quickly. The object in stir frying it very high heat and keep the food moving.

That's really the only thing I see in your post that stands out as the culprit. Hope that helps.

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Old 02-27-2004, 10:02 PM   #3
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It's the heat source

I got this tip from Alton Brown's Good Eats show on food Network. It was the squid episode.

He noted that the burners in chinese restaurants operate at a higher termperature than your home range.

He recommends (doing this outdoors) using the burner element from one of those deep turkey fryers that are the recnt trendy cooking gadget.

I'm sure you can pick up cheap, used one at a rummage sale, garage sale or Ebay.

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Old 07-15-2004, 09:46 AM   #4
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The problem is not enough heat, as the others have said. Is your wok a round bottom or flat bottom. The traditional shape is round, but that does not work well for the home cook in the US as our home stoves do not produce enough heat. The suggestion of using the heat source from the turkey fryer is right on!
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Old 08-30-2004, 01:32 AM   #5
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You can do it, but it will take time.

First off, use the ring, but turn it with the wide end up. This will get the wok closer to the heat. The ring will help contain the heat to just around the wok. Depending on your cooktop, you may find wrapping the ring in foil will work even better. Don't do this if you think the buildup of heat will damage the top of your cooktop.

Heat the wok until it's smoking. Add the oil and wait until the oil starts to smoke too. Toss in a handful of meat and stir fry. Keep the meat moving. Remove and fry another handful. Add more oil if needed. Keep doing this until all the meat is cooked.
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