Portable Stir-Fry Range

If you love a good stir-fry, you know that it can be a challenge to make on your stove at home. Engineer gourmet and Youtuber [Alex French Guy Cooking], in collaboration with [Make:], whipped up a portable range capable of making delectable stir-fry.

There are three major problems when it comes to cooking stir-fry: woks are typically unstable on normal burners, those burners don’t tend to heat from a center point out, and they usually aren’t hot enough. [Alex]’s 12,000BTU portable stove is great for regular applications, but doesn’t cut it when it comes to making an authentic stir-fry.

To focus the burner’s heat, he cut and bent a stainless steel baking ring into the shape of an exhaust nozzle — not unlike a jet engine — and lightly modified the range to accommodate the nozzle. He also added a larger baking ring with air flow holes for the wok to rest on. Two down, but there’s the issue of it not being hot enough.

So, why not use two butane canisters to double the output to 22,200 BTUs!

After a few modifications to the portable stove and it was able to accommodate a second burner neatly within the original. And, in the interest of making the stove as safe as possible, [Alex] insulated the second canister’s housing, made some modifications to the starter and added a suction cup to keep it from shifting during the spirited stir-fry cooking process.

[Alex] has also made a second video showing proper stir-fry cooking technique for those of you who have been salivating since you started reading. Just grab your tools and away you go. Or have your robo-cook take care of your meals for you.

19 thoughts on “Portable Stir-Fry Range

  1. Talented guy, and that work space is awesome. The design is well thought out, for a hack, and he is responsible enough to point out that it is not without it’s risks.

  2. The design looks the part.. but I can’t help thinking that every street vendor in Asia manages to stir fry without having to resort to metalwork and doubling up on the gas. I’m in India at the moment, and I’ve seen kerosene, LNG, LPG, charcoal, wood.. but nowhere have I seen shot-gunned gas. I presume like the bumble bee flying, they manage to stir fry because they don’t know that they shouldn’t be able to…, ;¬)

    BTW – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3317037/Indian-chef-dips-BARE-HANDS-searing-200C-cooking-oil-fry-street-food-doesn-t-suffer-burns.html
    .. don’t try this at home children…..

      1. Right, right, what I meant was:

        Of course we use stupid units here in the US.
        Is the rest of the world so beholden that they’re using something as stupid as BTU/hr instead of watts???”

        1. Because Watts still isn’t calculable just from the input units, you’d have to memorize some constant to use every time. So it is still all black magic and there is no benefit at all.

          With most units there are big benefits because you no longer have to remember conversion constants.

          In any case, 12000 BTU ~= 3517 W/h

          My wife is a Thai chef and we eat a lot of stir fry, we both stir fry at home on an electric stove. The real trick is, when using a western-style electric stove, you use a western-style saute pan. You just use a wide spatula to stir instead of a large spoon. That way you get the heat into the food at the correct rate. The reason they use a wok is that they’re traditionally cooking on unregulated stoves, they need the narrow bottom to reduce heat transfer. His nonsense in the video about “you can NEVER get it perfect” is just silly. Nothing in life is perfect, so you’ll never get it perfect either way. You can, however, get it exactly the same in a flat pan as in a wok, it is just a different set of wrist motions; you have to stir with the stirring tool, instead of by lifting the pan. If you’re any good, you can achieve the same amount of stirring, and if you’re not, it still wasn’t perfect was it? Excellent stir fry doesn’t come from the pan, it comes from the correct amount of heat, the correct amount of movement, and the correct amount of time. And that changes not only with a different pan, but just from one box of broccoli to the next.

          1. >”Because Watts still isn’t calculable just from the input units”

            Which input units? If you buy propane in US customary units, it’s still 91,547 BTU per gallon, or 21,591 BTU per pound, or 2,516 per cubic feet non-pressurized, at 60 F. Those look very much like constants to me, and how do you even measure the gas consumption of your hob?

            >”In any case, 12000 BTU ~= 3517 W/h”

            W/h is not a unit.

    1. Here in Australia, proper gas stoves for kitchens quote MJ/h (electric ones use W, so you need a calculator to compare)… just had a quick look at some camping gear and they quoted BTU. I guess it’s just whatever the manufacturer puts on the box.

    1. A sloppy and inaccurate way of saying 1 kilojoule.

      Much in the same way that a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise 1g of water by 1 degC (give or take), a BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise one pound of water by 1 degF. Which is to say: stupid.

      Nonetheless, we use them in calculating heating or cooling power everywhere.

      1. Cooling power is calculated in tons of refrigeration.

        It’s the power to melt a short ton (907 kg) of pure water at 32 F in 24 hours, roughly equivalent to 12,000 BTU/h or 3.5 kW.

      2. What is stupid about having a well defined measure of energy?. If I had a pound of water and a thermometer, I could easily use this. Using SI units is also fine, but didn’t Joule himself originally report the ratio of the mechanical equivalent to heat energy in foot-pounds per BTU?

        1. Because it’s not well-defined. It’s an approximate number, that’s a function of the exact temperature of and air pressure around the water. So now you can tautologically refine it until it’s exactly the amount of energy needed to raise one (gram/pound) of pure water from 15°C (or whatever it works out to exactly) to one degree (celsius/fahrenheit) warmer, or you can just use a not-stupid unit in the first place

          Much like how the calorie has a dozen different definitions, and the only one that’s actually useful is the one that’s defined in terms of joules, BTU has a dozen different definitions, and now you have to know which stupid variant the person is talking about instead of just using joules!

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