I have spent the last 10 years living in South East Asia and have visited such countries as Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Taiwan. The one common denominator in all of these places is the wok. Asian cooking is a many varied art-form, and depending on what country you are in, the use of the wok can change. Outdoor cooking is such a normal thing to do throughout most Asian countries. Even during torrential downpours in the tropics, you will see a cart with a wok underneath a tarpaulin still catering to the local crowds.
The thing that you will notice when reading this article is the versatility of the burners listed. You don’t have to stick to using just a wok, and you can vary your cooking styles by using any large pot that your recipe asks for. You can jump from deep-frying chicken to slow-cooking a brisket or even making a simple soup; the options are many and varied and will only be limited by your imagination. We hope that what we have put together will not only encourage you to try your hand at outdoor wok cooking but also in bolstering your decision about which is the best outdoor wok cooker to purchase.
The King Kooker people seem to have done their homework when they launched this beauty onto the market. With its perfect amalgam of power, dimensions, and price, the King Kooker 24WC Heavy-Duty Portable Propane Outdoor Cooker has achieved many accolades from reviewers across the globe.
Once you have taken it from its box, probably the most difficult part of the assembly process, it will only take you 15 minutes to piece this remarkable 24-inch high cooking apparatus together. The 50,000 BTU burner heats up the 18-inch wok in no time at all, making all of your cooking a breeze. There are some well-thought-out standard features like the built-in wind guard, ensuring that the flame won’t blow-out when the wind picks up, and the recessed wok ring, preventing unintentional wok-tippage.
As mentioned before, the 3-inch burner with it 54,000 BTUs will give you a brilliant concentrated flame that produces incredible heat. Cooking Asian food is what this cooker was built for, and it exceeds all expectations when putting it to the test. The 18-inch wok comes in at 1.8 millimeters thick, so it can withstand any heat treatment you dish up to it. And there is plenty of cooking surface to play with, so the size of your family’s appetite won’t matter.
Make sure that when you are assembling your cooker, you clean off the protective layer of rust-resisting resin that will be protecting the wok in shipping; this must be done before you start on jour culinary adventures.
This unit is one of the best budget cookers on the market and comes with regulator and control knob for adjusting the gas flow, but you will need to use an external lighting source, as the King Kooker 24WC Heavy-Duty Portable Propane Outdoor Cooker doesn’t come with an onboard lighting system. If it is going to be your first experience using a wok, then this unit is going to be a great place for you to start.
Wisconsin-based Eastman Outdoors, Inc. has been around since 1995, so they know what they are doing when producing their range of outdoor cooking products, and the Outdoor Gourmet is certainly a feather in their cap. Just the pride that they take in manufacturing high-quality goods really shows through in the very well-accessorized unit. Admittedly, this unit will cost a little more, but the results are well worth the initial investment. If you are a home-foodie that loves to entertain, then this wok is the one for you. The amply sized 22-inch wok can handle 5 pounds of noodles quite easily, so feeding 15 to 20 people will be a doddle. The Eastman Outdoors Carbon Steel Wok Kit is suited for the home chef as well as the professional.
Stir-frying, deep-frying, boiling, it doesn’t matter, The Eastman Outdoors Carbon Steel Wok Kit extra-wide wok will protect you from any fluid splatter they may occur. Another one of the clever design features on the unit is the 3 independent adjustable legs; this makes for easy use on any uneven surface or for any operator’s height.
Then, there is the burner. This well-engineered 65,000 BTU ring has multi-tier flame angles, which give you a very even heat coverage on the base of your wok. The heat adjustment is also very impressive, especially when you don’t need an aggressive flame and simply want a gentle simmer. Did I mention the accessories that the Eastman people have thrown in? Well, it comes with an AccuZone thermometer and a set of good-sized stainless steel spoon and spatula, everything that you will need to cook up a storm.
Another of the impressive features of The Eastman Outdoors Carbon Steel Wok Kit is its portability. The whole unit, when assembled, only weighs 25 pounds, so hardly any effort is required when re-positioning it; this, along with the adjustable legs also make for easy storage, and it will fit neatly into the trunk of any car should you want to picnic or just party at a friend’s.
Now, here is a clever piece of marketing; let’s take our best-selling wok kit, strip it naked, and then, give the consumer the choice of accessories to go with it: surely a killer idea! Well, that’s exactly what the Eastman powers-that-be decided to do, and so the Eastman Outdoors Portable Kahuna Burner was born. This simple idea now allows you, the customer, to use whatever combination of accessories you desire. This not only reduces the cost of the unit but also allows you to customize your cooker to your own specific requirements. Now, like its big brother, this little gem gives you the same 65,000 BTUs to play with, generating enough heat to satisfy the most experience wok user. If it is the crispy-ness of Asian cooking that you enjoy, then what better way of achieving this than by using your own combination of wok and heat source that suits your likes and needs.
The Eastman Outdoors engineers have used the same adjustable leg combinations as the Gourmet Kit, so the Kahuna is suitable for use in all different terrain combinations. If you like outdoor cooking and camping, then this unit is just as comfortable as if it were placed onto an even surface. In full stretch, it comes in at an impressive 26 inches tall, so even the most vertically enhanced user will feel comfortable. Even at those heights, the well-designed legs will remain stable and take the worry out of any tipping or spillage issues you may have. The hose and regulator that comes with the Kahuna are of the highest quality, the adjustment on the regulator being precise and stress-free, and they have been designed to resist whatever Mother Nature can throw at them.
This 12.5-pound unit is certainly lightweight, so movability is a dream, and once you have finished cooking, it will break down into a very compact size, making storage a problem of the past. The Kahuna is the ideal companion for your next camping trip, RV holiday, or makeshift party in the backyard. It may be compact in design, but it is a giant when it comes to performance. You want the perfect stir-fry, then the 500 degrees cooking temperature needed won’t be an issue for the Eastman Outdoors Portable Kahuna Burner, an imagineer’s ultimate tool for any wok cooking fantasies.
Since 1949, the Stansport Company has been making camping and cooking equipment for customers all over the States. This Los Angeles-based company has lived by the motto, “We make camping fun,” and now have extended this philosophy to the practice of outdoor wok cooking. As the name would suggest, The Stansport Single Burner Camp Stove was primarily designed for camping and extreme outdoor use, but the home chef will find it suits the neighborhood back yard just as comfortably as the roughest camping site. It is another of those outdoor wok burners that aren’t going to break the budget, even as it performs as well as any of the more expensive brands.
Once you have assembled the unit, you will notice just how high it is. Standing at a height of 31 inches, it is the tallest outdoor wok available on the market today. This is extremely useful to the taller chef, and because it allows the burner to be higher than the average table, it is safer when in close proximity. This unit is also very economical when using its maximum output of 54,000 BTUs. The Stansport Single Burner Camp Stove can last up to 15 hours on a standard propane tank; now, that’s a lot of stir-fries. One of the interesting little features of this unit is the fuel-to-air level adjustment on the regulator. This simply lets you control the temperature with ease. As we all know, high-temperature cooking does not have the issue of oil-jumping, so getting to operating temp as quickly as possible is a bonus.
This unit is probably one of the toughest cookers around. The solid steel frame is not only sturdy but strong, allowing the use of even the largest cooking vessels. It comes with an 18-inch wok, and a built-in wind guard to protect your flame while directing it up toward the heating surface. If you are a bit rough with your equipment, then you will have no problems whatsoever when it comes to storage or transport of the Stansport Single Burner Camp Stove because it is built tough, built to last. If it’s a starting point you are looking for, and you don’t want to commit to the big dollars, then this is going to be the best investment you will make for a while.
Strictly speaking, a disco disk cooker is not really a wok cooker, but one of the exceptions to the rule is the Laguna Grills D-001. Made from the best quality steel, this heavy-duty unit is a piece of cake to assemble. The Laguna people say that once you have placed the box on the ground, you should be cooking in less than 30 minutes. One of the best things about the cooker is that you are not restricted to wok dishes; its versatility is definitely an advantage. The combination disco-wok is a tremendous 3/16th of an inch thick, almost guaranteeing a lifetime of use. The surface dips to a usable 5 inches, so there should be no concern for spillage. While it is not a traditional wok, you can always buy one as an accessory if needed, and it is a very user-friendly cooking surface.
Standing at a little over 26 inches tall, it is the ideal height to be used as a table-top cooker. If you are craving a taco breakfast or fried rice lunch, this unit will have you covered for whatever your taste buds are yearning for. The robust and durable steel frame can handle the largest of pots, making your cooking adventures as versatile as your imagination. And unlike some of its thinner competitors, the thick plate will not warp or buckle under whatever heat you decide to use. The burner is a full coverage burner, but at only 24,000 BTUs, you are probably not going to get the heat out of it that you will get in some other brands.
The Laguna Grills D-001 Disco Disk Cooker is extremely well-suited to the camper or hunter that needs to travel as frugally as possible. Your next fishing trip could become so much more relaxing with this tidy unit in tow. This may not be the cheapest cooker you will buy, and there aren’t any little extras thrown in, but it is extremely well-made and is certainly one of the most versatile on the market, an impressive combination that makes it well worth considering when it comes time to experiment in the art of outdoor-gastronomy.
Okay, stand back; this little beast is going to give you 160,000 BTUs of usable flames; yes, that’s right: 160,000 BTUs. This makes the PowerFlamer Outdoor Wok Burner probably the leading exponent of high-heat technology available to the home chef at a very reasonable price. That incredible BTU rating means that this high-tech torch will get you to cooking temp in no time at all. We know how important a red-hot-wok is, and this is the device that will get you to temp quicker than any of the others out there. Made from commercial-quality materials, just its appearance makes you feel that it has something special to offer. PowerFlamer has done away with the traditional rubber hose and replaced it with the far superior braided stainless steel hose that won’t give you any of the UV damage issues that the rubber hoses suffer from.
The regulator is fully adjustable and will couple with a regular-sized propane tank for your ease of use and accessibility. With such a high heat output, it is only reasonable to expect the propane usage to be a little high. When operating at full heat, the PowerFlamer Outdoor Wok Burner will only last for 3 to 4 hours, so it is not the most economical burner on the market, but where it fails in gas usage, it will make up for in time. Of course, not every meal that you create will need temperatures as hot as hell, so when used economically, your propane can last quite some time.
The PowerFlamer Outdoor Wok Burner does not come with a wok, so you will have to buy one as an extra. This is, of course, not an issue for most experienced wok uses, as many will have their own favorite that they love to cook with. Supplied is a 13-inch wok adapter ring, so you have the option of using woks from 13 inches to 18 inches, an ample range for the average home economist. If you have decided on this unit as the one for you, then don’t expect anything pretty. It is the ultimate professional burner for home and comes as a no-frills package with a proven pedigree.
Three good ol’ boys from Texas had an idea one day in a garage that was to eventually give us the Texas Wok Disc Cooker, also known as the “Cowboy Wok.” This extremely heavy-duty, amazingly portable unit has put the word “versatile” ack into the outdoor cooking vocabulary. A home-grown and locally made product, it may be a little expensive, but it is full of features and is definitely built to last. This adaptable unit is exceptionally easy to use due to its portable design. The combination wok/disco disk will give the feeling of owning a truly internationally inspired cooker. From Asian fare to Latin delights, it will handle them all with ease and agility.
From the powder-coated steel frame to its ergonomically designed height, the Twok Grill Texas Wok Disc Cooker is not only aesthetically pleasing but extremely strong and resistant to what the elements can dish out. If you treat your toys rough, then this beast is well-suited to you. Who would have thought of labeling the control knob on an outdoor cooker? Well, the Twok Grill boys have, making flame height adjustment possible at just a glance. Controlling the heat under the supplied 22-inch cooking surface is simple, allowing you to fry, stew, or boil freely and efficiently using the fully adjustable dual-ring burner; talk about cooking-the-dream!
What makes the Texas Wok Disc Cooker unique from a lot of others available is the all-in-one design. The propane bottle and burner are all housed in the same single-wheeled frame, making the movement of the unit a breeze. The speed at which you can bring it to the cooking area, then pack it up when finished is second to none. The 55,000 BTUs of heat is more than enough to satisfy even the fussiest of food-freaks. Twok Grill is also offering a 5-year warranty, so you know that good ol’ American know-how and support will be there backing your purchase from Day 1.
The Kajun Kitchen Wok Kit is on the low-cost end of the scale, but don’t let the low price tag fool you. This versatile cooker is an extra-stable unit that is not only good for stir-fries but any wok styled culinary feats. The large support ring that is attached is well-suited to support the 18-inch supplied wok or any decent size pot or vessel that you may want to use. The stand is well-designed and very sturdy and features extra feet, providing a combination of balance and stability that is a huge confidence booster for the novice as well as the seasoned outside chef. The burner is definitely built for the long run, being made from solid cast iron, but be aware; it is susceptible to rust, so inside storage is highly recommended.
The supplied hose and regulator make for easy heat and flame adjustments and give you a healthy distance from the propane bottle to the burner itself. But the one thing that seems to be overlooked is the absence of any wind guards, an oversight that hopefully, the Kajun Kitchen people will fix in future models. What this basically means is that you are a little restricted to what areas you can use the cooker in. Obviously, it needs to be out of the wind. The wok, though thinner than some competitors, is suited well for most of the cooking requirements that you will need. The pair of integrated handles make for easy transportation of the wok from burner to table. And the capacity will allow you to cater to many, but it will still fit into a normal sink for cleaning.
Kajun Kitchen has produced a budget-driven cooker with enough versatility to suit the part-time wok chef that only has the passion for Asian food once in a while. The Kajun Kitchen Wok Kit will probably not be the last outdoor cooker that you will buy, as once you have experienced the fun of cooking surrounded by nature, you are more than likely going to up-grade to a superior unit as your confidence increases. This unit has all of the standard features without the bells and whistles of top-end brands and is a definite proposition to your start-up outdoor cooking requirements.
More To Know
The wok as we know it today originated in China about 2,000 years ago, not as long as some would imagine, and has become the mainstay in Asian cooking all over the world. Even Western restaurants and households have adopted the wok for use in everyday cooking. This unique but simple cooking vessel has many uses and can be used for dishes ranging from simple stir-fries to complicated Asian-based recipes that will have your mouth watering and your palate wanting more.
The Western passion for outdoor cooking such as barbecues and grills has now extended its feelers into the world of Asian cuisine and has come up with a collection of outdoor wok burners at differing price ranges to suit the needs of any would-be chef’s requirements. The ultimate purpose of a wok is to supply a lot of heat in a very short time to a concentrated area. This is ideal for searing and extremely fast cooking. The speed of the wok also helps to retain most of the goodness in those freshly picked vegetables that you are about to turn into a culinary delight for all of the senses.
What we have endeavored to do here is give you a list of the best outdoor cookers on the U.S. market today. You will see terms like BTU, (British thermal unit) retaining rings, and wind guards, all of which will make sense to you once you start to read our reviews. We won’t get too technical and will try our hardest not to favor one brand over another. This is just a guide to help you in your decision of what outdoor wok burner is best for you.