My Condo only has an electric stove, an no gas lines. I was looking to get a portable propane burner for a wok, so that I could effectively cook (I use it daily). Is this something that is safe to do inside? I've seen things like this use professionally, but as I do it personally and for family, I wanted to be sure the danger wasn't unreasonable for a non-professional chef


3 Answers 3


It can be safe - people use gas burning stoves inside on a regular basis.

The one thing you must do is ensure that there is adequate air-flow in your kitchen so as to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide. This is as simple as leaving a window partially open when cooking.

Another concern would be how stable one of these is on your bench/work surface. Placing a large pan on top of a small foot-print stove will make it decidedly top heavy, so you should get one that is either low and flat (much like a regular cooking stove in a kitchen; e.g. this one) or one with feet that limit the movement/tipping capacity (e.g. this one). I have no affiliation with either product and make no claims about their ability to cook things, other than that MSR is a reliable outdoors brand. After all, you don't want your cooker to tip over and set your kitchen on fire or cause you to get burned from the hot food/pan and/or from the flame.


It is unlikely that a portable propane wok burner is safe for you to use inside. Portable propane burners are ones similar to this model, or one of these. They are high-powered burners that produce a lot of exhaust, and as such can only be used outside or with restaurant-grade ventilation.

However, portable butane wok burners, like this one, are designed to be used indoors. They require only an open window, or a regular consumer-grade stove hood, or honestly just a drafty apartment, as ventilation to use. I have an Iwatani myself, that I use for wok-frying.

  • Most camping portable burners run on either methane (large tanks) or propane (canisters) in my experience - including the one linked in my answer. They will be suitable for small woks, though probably need the flat-bottomed ones rather than a full arc.
    – bob1
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 8:06
  • Yeah, but who wants to use a camp stove at home? Stoves designed for the countertop are much more useful.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 17:25
  • And ... most of the time when someone says "propane wok stove" they're referring to one of the high-power burners. At least, in North America and Western Europe; it's possible that other kinds of propane stoves are more common elsewhere.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 17:27

I've got a gas stove in my apartment but the BTUs it puts out cannot match a full on restaurant quality wok needed to get that signature 'Wok Hei' smoky flavour (Cantonese transliteration: 'Wok Breath')

I've used a propane torch as a cheap hack to get that authentic flavour alongside a carbon steel wok as described here:


For minimal equipment required, this hack works surprising well

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