Wok Info Page
Wokking is a fun alternative to the typical grilling and barbeque cooks. With little effort, it can be a healthy cook too. Here are some basic pointers to get you going.
Two things to Google:
- seasoning a wok; and
- wok recipes.
Round bottom woks are best, as they make stirring easy and distribute the heat evenly. Thin carbon steel is the best metal for woks. Thin carbon passes the heat quickly and provides even temperatures into the cooking zone. Cast iron absorbs energy (heat), so it is not the best vessel for wokking. Stick with thin carbon steel woks. Our woks are the one thing we import from Asia.......just makes sense to us, given the history of wok cooking!
With recipes, there is an order for adding ingredients during the cook. Generally, the first is oil, then aromatics when the oil is hot. From there, it is what cooks the longest - proteins, hard veggies to soft veggies. Veggies that add flavor, like onions, go in early. Veggies like peas and sprouts, go in last. Carrots and water chestnuts are hard, so in the pool (wok) early. There are some tools you'll need:
- Our Spider or Woo (with lower ring) work best for holding a wok in the cooker. We don't recommend the wok rack as most are aluminum. Ceramic grills can get hot enough to melt aluminum. The Spiders and Woo Rings are fabricated with Stainless and won't melt.
- a wok rack holds the wok outside the cooker, remember round bottom woks roll side-to-side;
- a good pair of gloves for hand protection when handling the hot wok. Wokking is a fast cook with much movement.
- utensils to move, stir, the cook. We do not recommend wok ladles or spoons. The kind with the wooden handle tips. All they do is scratch off the seasoning and the wood tips seem to always fall out. We recommend a wood spoon while wokking and a small, rounded, slotted spoon for removing the food. The slotted spoon can be metal but rounded, no sharp edges.
- Not many of the typical wok cooks require a wok cover, basket or specialty tool, so unless you are a wok veteran, no need to hurry out and purchase these items.
- We see a big vessel and think, one big cook is better and faster than a couple small cooks. Not so, it's better to do two small wok cooks than one big wok cook.
- We don't take the time to cut the ingredients up into small, uniform pieces. Simply - small means a quicker cook and uniform means a quality result. Investing in a little extra prep time will pay dividends with the finished dish.
Building the fire is straightforward. All you need s a good steak fire, something in the 550 to 600 degree dome temperature range. Remember, at these it possible to flash the cooker - remember to burp when opening the dome. When wokking, the dome is typically open, as you are actively engaged in the cook. Plan accordingly with the lower vent setting and your personal protection.
You might want to spend a little time reading up on the differences between smoke and flash points of cooking oil. Did I mention, you might want to spend a little time reading up on smoke and flash points of cooking oil. Just have a plan ready encase the oil (vapors) ignites. Remember, putting water on burning oil is never a good idea.
When ready to wok, it's best to have everything at the cooker. Wokking is a fast cook, so have what you need at arms reach. Also, have a work spot near the cooker - a place to set the wok when the cook is done and you are ready for plating.
|If you wok often, then you might consider picking up a bundle of hot dog boats. They make great dishes to hold the separate ingredients prior to wokking. The boats are cheap and at the end, just toss 'em for easy clean up.|
Oh, and there is more than Asian flair to wok: how about Italian........shrimp scampi
Rig vs. Woo
So, you've wandered around the site and just can't decide which set-up matches your cooking style. Here are a couple key differences between the Adjustable Rigs and Woo Rings. We broke it down between Large and XL sizes.
Large size - 18" - 20" cookers:
- The main cooking grid height for the Large Woo Ring is near the felt line. For the Large Adjustable Rig, it’s 1.5 - 2.0 inches above the felt line. For direct grilling (roasting) purposes, both are an improvement over grilling at the fire ring. Some prefer the Woo at felt line, as it is a break point with the base and dome. Others prefer the Rig's higher dome location as it provides slightly better temperature control over the cooking grid.
- The Adjustable Rig offers more set-up options for multi-level cooking. So if you plan to do big cooks, the Rig is a better choice than the Woo.
- Both the Adjustable Rig and Woo set-up for low & slow, BBQ, cooks with ceramic stones. Note one exception, the PSWoo Ring can hold the Big Green Egg® ConveGGtor (platesetter).
- Both the Woo and Adjustable Rig are not difficult to use. The learning curve on each is quick.
- Both offer options to go higher in the dome with and Extender and grid.
- The Adjustable Rig has the greatest potential for grid surface, over 1000 square inches. Not sure what you’d do with all that space, but it’s worth mentioning.
- The Spider works best with the Adjustable Rig, as they were designed to work together.
- Since the Adjustable Rig’s main grid is above the felt line, it is easier to add wood chunks and chips to the lump.
- Some Woo's have handles to grab and lift the entire set-up in or out. The 5" plus tall Rigs lift out with the entire set-up intact.
Let it be said, you don’t need both, the Adjustable Rig and Woo for your large 18" -20" grill. Only reason to have both is if you own multiple cookers and want to play. If you are still in doubt on which one to order, then we recommend:
- If you plan on doing traditional grilling and barbequing on a small scale, the Woo is all you need. Maybe add the extender/grid for a little diversity.
- If you are a grilling and barbequing enthusiast or plan on getting creative with your cooking, the Adjustable Rig, Extender and Spider are for you. The Rig and Spider are more versatile than the Woo pieces.
- If you own the Large Big Green Egg® ConveGGtor (platesetter) and want to continue using it, then the PSWoo will work best.
- Most cost effective method is the Woo. Most versatile is the Adjustable Rig.
XL Big Green Egg®
- The XL Woo positions the XL grid a smidge below the felt line.
- The XL Adjustable Rig does not use the XL grid. The Rig positions our 16"x20' Oval or 20" Round Grids three inches above the felt line - domes sweet spot.
- For direct grilling (roasting) purposes, both the XL Woo and XL Rig are an improvement over grilling at the fire ring. Some prefer the XL Woo at the felt line, as it is a break point with the base and dome. Others prefer the XL Rig's higher dome location as it provides slightly better temperature control.
- The XL Adjustable Rig offers more set-up options for multi-level cooking. So if you plan to do big cooks, it’s a better choice for the XL Big Green Egg®.
- Both the XL Adjustable Rig and XL Woo set-up for indirect cooks (platesetter like) by adding our 17.5" ceramic stone.
- The Sliding Grid system is an option for the XL Adjustable Rig only.
- Both the XL Woo and XL Adjustable Rig are not difficult to use. The learning curve on each is quick.
- The XL Adjustable Rig can sit atop the XL Woo/XL grid set-up for super high dome cooks.
- The XL Adjustable Rig can sit atop the Big Green Egg® ConveGGtor (platesetter) for super high indirect cooks.
- The XL Adjustable Rig has the greatest potential for grid surface, over 1,150 square inches. Not sure what you’d do with all that space, but it’s worth mentioning.
- The XL Woo includes the Spider as a lower ring.
- The XL Spider is an option accessory for the XL Adjustable Rig.
- The XL Woo will hold our 16" or 19" wok.
- Since the XL Adjustable Rig’s 20" grid is above the felt line, it is easy to add wood chunks and chips to the lump.
- The XL Spider works with the XL Rig. The XL Woo has the Spider function built-in.
Unlike the Large, it is worthwhile to own the XL Woo and XL Adjustable Rig for your XL Big Green Egg®. Reason being, the XL Rig can sit on the XL Woo/XL grid set-up. It's a convenient way to get the entire XL Rig above the felt line for easier food/grid handling. Here are a couple quick recommendations:
- If you plan on doing traditional grilling and barbequing on a small scale, the XL Woo and 17.5" Round Ceramic Stone will give you more options than the Big Green Egg® ConveGGtor.
- If you are a grilling and barbequing enthusiast or plan on getting creative with your cooking, then the XL Adjustable Rig and XL Woo Combo is the best choice.
- The XL Rig and XL Woo can be used together.
- If you own the Big Green Egg® ConveGGtor and are looking for a way to raise the grid on direct cooks, then the XL Adjustable Rig does sit atop the ConveGGtor/xl grid.
- Most cost effective method is the XL Woo. Most versatile is the XL Adjustable Rig and XL Woo together.
The best indirect (bbq) set-up for a simple one grid cook (brisket, chicken, couple racks of ribs or butts) is the XL Adjustable Rig, 17.5" Ceramic Stone and 20" Stainless Grid. That is: Best set-up any ceramic grill, any size, any manufacturer!
1. You need a level work surface (outside the cooker) where the Adjustable Rig, Woo Ring, Spider, Flip Ring and other pieces can be set for prep work or emergencies. So, a little pre-planning goes a long way.
2. Burning fuel (lump, wood or charcoal) can flash (flashback) through any cooker opening (lower slider vent, top vent or felt opening). Prior to attempting any searing, blackening or other cooking techniques on the Spiders Adjustable Rig, Woo Ring or Flip Ring, it is important you understand the dangers and safety procedures surrounding a flashback. If you have flashback questions or concerns, contact your ceramic manufacturer or dealer. Remember, flashbacks can happen through the lower slider vent opening, so keep children clear of the lower slider opening at all times.
3. The pieces in a heated cooker are hot and dangerous. It is important to use adequate protection to safeguard yourself against injury when handling hot items. Adequate personal protection is also required when reaching into a heated cooker.
4. When lifting a loaded Adjustable Rig, Woo Ring, Flip Ring and other pieces remember to keep the set-up level, so the pan, grid(s) or food do not slide off or spill. To lift a loaded Adjustable Rig, Woo Ring or Flip Ring set-up out of the cooker, wear hand protection, slip your fingers under the top ring, (position fingers so the set-up balances in your fingers or palms), grab tightly and gently lift up and out of the cooker. Move cautiously to the landing area.
5. Only remove the Spider, grid on Spider, pan/skillet on Spider when the cooker has cooled to ambient temperatures. Do not remove the Spider, grid, pan or skillet during a high temperature (>300 degrees Fahrenheit) cook. The cooker can flashback. The dome thermometer or remote sensing probes positioned above the fire ring are not an accurate measure of the temperatures in the fire ring and firebox. The temperatures in the fire ring and firebox can be much higher. Adequate hand protection is required when removing heated items from the cooker.
6. The melting point of aluminum is approximately 1200° F. Lump can burn over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. So, it is possible to melt aluminum pans during a cook. We do not recommend using aluminum pans directly over the lump, on the Spider or grid, during high temperature (over 300 degrees Fahrenheit) cooks. Even though the cook temperature is as low as 300 degrees, the lump is burning much hotter. We recommend using a ceramic piece or fire bricks under aluminum pans.
7. The top ring on the Adjustable Rig and Flip Ring is cut way between the front two brackets, so it is possible that a front loaded grid on the top grid can tip forward. Care must be taken not to front load a grid atop the Adjustable Rig or Flip Ring.
8. Respective Big Green Egg® cast iron grids do fit atop the Woo, Adjustable Rig and Flip Ring. Unlike the Stock porcelain/Stainless grids, the cast iron grids do not have an outer ring to sit over the Woo Ring, Rig or Flip Ring’s top ring, so care must be taken to keep a cast iron grid properly positioned across the Woo Ring, Rig and Flip Ring’s entire top ring.