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I recently got myself a high-power wok burner, like the ones they use in professional Asian restaurants. Cooking with it is a ton of fun, but sometimes I find myself overwhelmed by the heat output. The wok is getting too dry, the seasoning is burning off, stuff starts to stick like crazy, and so on.

Are there any books/video guides/websites on specifically cooking with high-power wok burners? I know there are many Asian cooking channels on Youtube, but the ones I found just cook, and don't explain any theoretical basics.

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  • Just found this thread: forums.egullet.org/topic/… Pretty much exactly what I'm asking, but unfortunately there's nothing useful in there, just some of the usual nonsense aka »it's a matter of experience and can't be explained in theory«.
    – MaxD
    Jun 7, 2020 at 0:39

3 Answers 3

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+100

You're in luck -- there was a paper earlir this year than analyzed the physics of making fried rice by professional Chinese chefs:

My take away from that was that you have to flip things fast when you're dealing with high heat -- three times per second.

Almost every list that I've seen of wok cooking recommendations calls for re-seasoning at the beginning of your cooking. Most go into wok selection and what's needed to initially season a wok. Some discuss prepping all of your food in advance, as when you're cooking with that sort of heat, taking a minute to chop up the next ingredient means you've already burned what's in the wok.

Here's a small sampling, although not all are specifically about high heat cooking (except maybe for the one that's from a manufacturer of stoves, so it seems a little spammy):

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  • Most of the links I already came across while googling, unfortunately rather generic stuff that doesn't mention any of the problems I'm encountering. The paper looks awesome though, looking forward to read it when I have time. How did you find it?
    – MaxD
    Jun 7, 2020 at 20:58
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    @MaxD : I have no idea. I used to be an admin & webmaster on Fark.com, and have a rather strange background (civil engineering, library & information science, computer programming / system administration, and I support solar physicists) so I read a lot of strange websites.
    – Joe
    Jun 8, 2020 at 15:09
  • Oh, and I also saw that NewScientist had an article last month that might be of interest, but I no longer work for an institution where I have access to it: sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0262407920308654 . (access is only $2, so it's more affordable than most science journals, but you should check your local library, and if they don't have it, ask about ILL (Inter-Library Loan))
    – Joe
    Jun 8, 2020 at 15:14
  • Don't know this site too well, but if I click the »Get Access« button on the top left, it says 30$ for me. Also, if the summary feels it's necessary to mention that ingredients should be prepared in advance, it's probably way too basic for what I need anyway.
    – MaxD
    Jun 8, 2020 at 15:20
  • @MaxD : and this is why I hate scientific publishing. They often have different pricing depending on where you are (country & institution), giving discounts to the richer / more prestigious places because they want you to read it and cite it, so other people will then pay to get access to it. If you're going to spend $30, you'd probably get more detail from Grace Young's book : amazon.com/dp/B003IYI70A
    – Joe
    Jun 8, 2020 at 15:34
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Through an endless clicking odyssey, I finally discovered this youtube channel.

It has both explanations and flawless English subtitles, and is by far the most useful resource I've seen so far.

This channel is also great, although not as helpful because there is just the cooking without any explanations.

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To add to the existing answers, J. Kenji López-Alt published The Wok: Recipes and Techniques in 2022; it collects similar information from the above in book form. (López-Alt is one of the authors of the Serious Eats page in the accepted answer.)

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