This mobile outdoor wok station brings the experience of cooking in a professional Chinese kitchen right to your outdoor deck or patio!
Inventor Gerald E. Bradfield of Glens Falls, NY has created a portable cooking station for creating that special flavor associated with true Chinese cuisine outdoors!
Chinese food is a favorite of many, but since Asian dishes are typically prepared in a wok, the ability to cook outdoors is limited. Most people commonly associate cooking outdoors with a grill, however, cultural tastes run wide and there are a variety of foods from different cuisines that can be enjoyed outdoors as well. Since a domestic range does not usually provide adequate heat for Asian cooking, Inventor Bradfield has taken the core performance traits of a commercial range and built them into a portable easy-to-use cooking station.
This mobile outdoor wok station brings the experience of cooking in a professional Chinese kitchen right to your outdoor deck or patio! Now, with ThunderWok, the necessary heat needed to create that special flavor associated with true Chinese cuisine is easily obtainable! Its high BTU burner can be configured to run on either propane or natural gas.
Want to learn more about ThunderWok? Contact us NOW for additional information or for manufacturing, retail, wholesale, distribution, or licensing opportunities!
About The Inventor
At 4 oclock on a typical afternoon on upper Bay Street in Glens Falls, a spicy aroma permeates the air with metallic pungency. The sweet spot is on the sidewalk right outside of my favorite Chinese take out place. The aroma smells something like charred green onions and smoky garlic. It is the aroma of carbon steel woks releasing their opaque essence from foods fried repeatedly in them over extreme heat. On Bay Street, the familiar fragrance is a signal that chefs are getting ready to cook.The mere thought of those searing woks and the spicy redolence they exude makes me want to cook something. When heated to just the right temperature, a seasoned wok smells good all on its own.
My name is Gerry Bradfield and I am the inventor of ThunderWok. I have always been fascinated by the Asian chef and Asian cuisine. If you are an Asian style cooking enthusiast as I am, then you know that the smoky wok essence I just described is something known as wok hei, or wok hay. Translated literally into English, wok hei means wok thermal radiation, or metaphorically, wok breath. Wok hei is imparted into nearly every dish prepared by the accomplished Asian chef. A good Asian chef is often measured by his ability to achieve it. That special flavor we all love in our favorite Chinese restaurant dishes comes from wok hei. Unfortunately, wok hei is the ghost that eludes us when we try to prepare our favorite Asian dishes at home. This dilemma puzzled me for many years, until I discovered that in terms of heat, even the most powerful domestic cooking appliances lack the output capacity to deliver real wok hei. Commercial wok ranges have BTU ratings in excess of 100k BTU. The typical burner on a household range averages only about 15k BTU. Since inadequate heat was the source of my frustration, my first thought was to go out and buy a more powerful stove, but I quickly discovered that state and local building codes limit the maximum performance standard of an indoor domestic range to 29k BTU. My only other option was to consider outdoor alternatives. I made sketches and drew up a list of various parts I would need. Some of the parts were available as pre-manufactured components while others were fabrications of my own design. Assembling them in a way that was aesthetic, structurally sound, and ergonomically efficient was not an easy task. I hit snags along the way and made adjustments to my original design which necessitated starting from scratch a number of times before I finally completed a working prototype. Impressed with both its appearance and performance characteristics, I gave my creation the name, ThunderWok.
ThunderWok was not born overnight. During the years prior to its conception, I made countless unsuccessful attempts at duplicating the flavor of professionally prepared Chinese dishes at home. I tried virtually every combination of bottled stir fry sauces, exotic spices, flavored oils, imported rice, Asian noodles, and different styles of woks. I shopped at the Asian market and bought Asian condiments. I read articles and tried recipes. The result was always the same, uninspiring homemade stir fry. My dismal adventures in trial and error also included experimentation with various wok rings and other hardware. I bought one of those cast iron burners that Asian street vendors use. It provided adequate heat, but it was unstable on a table top, and if I used it mounted on a tripod there was no water, no place to put utensils, condiments, or food, and no place to drain either water or oil. It was also easy to burn food. The first time I made fried rice with one of those burners it tasted like burned pop corn. Cooking on the device also required a variety of tables, pots, and other paraphernalia. Thats fine for a street vendor who is cooking all day long, but for a home chef like me it just wasnt worth the effort. I wanted a device that was as simple to use a standard outdoor barbecue grill, and one that could mimic the experience of cooking in a commercial Chinese kitchen. I wanted something that was easy, authentic and exciting!The ThunderWok concept was built around critical observations of both local chefs in commercial kitchens, and Asian chefs across the world through books, articles, and repetitive viewing of innumerable videos on educational channels and on you tube. I included key features in its design like a wok filler and oil pot. Even the main gas valve or knee valve is the exact same valve/handle assembly used on commercial wok ranges. I also studied the technical drawings of commercial Chinese ranges, noting optimal dimensions for height, ergonomic utility, and performance characteristics relating to both propane and natural gas. I designed the device so that an accomplished Asian chef would feel right at home using it. My idea was to bring the experience of cooking in a commercial Asian kitchen to the deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen of the Asian cooking enthusiast at home.
ThunderWok is impressively powerful. It has a BTU rating of 125k BTUs per hour using propane. With that kind of power at your finger tips, it is important to focus on the fact that you are cooking food, and not preparing to taxi down the Tarmac. Power is wonderful, but it is useless without proper control. Chinese cooking is an art, and technique is key in harnessing the heat available to the chef during the cooking process. One technique used by chefs is flipping food over a direct flame, which prevents food from burning by reducing surface contact with the wok. Flipping is taught in Chinese culinary schools, and proficiency in the technique is the hallmark of an accomplished Chinese chef. Working with ridiculous ease, there are Chinese chefs who routinely flip food over Tartarean heat in woks that are 3 feet in diameter ! Dont let that scare you away. ThunderWok is designed for woks 12 to 14 inches in diameter, and it allows you to practice flipping at the ideal height with the flame turned off using dried beans or uncooked rice. Once you have mastered this skill you will impress your guests with more than just the flavor of the food you prepare for them. There is however, far more involved in good Asian cooking than flipping alone.
The Chinese culture preaches balance. The use of heat in cooking is no exception. ThunderWok can deliver the necessary heat to create superior Asian dishes, but it must be managed judiciously. There is a fine line between a smoky aromatic essence in food and acrid bitterness. A good Asian chef knows how to walk that line. Getting the most out of your ThunderWok experience will take a bit of practice, but with a little patience you will be surprised at the results you can achieve.I designed ThunderWok to help bring out the Asian chef in you. The only thing missing is your imagination. Youll find yourself woking all the time !
Good luck on your adventure !