I relish a challenge. Recently I cooked a Vietnamese meal using a wok in our kitchen. My wife said “that’s something you probably couldn’t cook using a Big Green Egg.”
Challenge accepted! Find out how to do wok cooking on a Big Green Egg with this simple guide.
Which Wok to Use
The Egg will be very hot in the fire ring, likely higher than 260°C/500°F, which is the maximum recommended temperature for most woks with non-stick coatings. So to be safe, go with a wok that is carbon steel and season it yourself. There are some good videos on YouTube for this.
Setting Up For Wok Cooking
I set up my Minimax Big Green Egg like this:
The stainless steel grid was between the firebox and fire ring. On top of this I placed a hob ring to support the wok.
I lit the charcoal, closed the dome and waited for the temperature to 175°C/350°F. I opened the dome, put the carbon steel wok into the centre, and closed the dome so it rested on the handle of the wok. This was to heat up the wok as quickly as possible.
Cooking and Stir Frying
After three minutes the wok was at stir fry temperature. To test this, throw a couple of drops of water onto the base, if they instantly sizzle, the wok is hot enough. I opened the dome, tossed in the ingredients and proceeded to cook.
The wok was hot all over and stir frying was simple. This works for stir frying meat and vegetables. If the wok is getting too hot (the oils start spitting), close the bottom air vent a little.
In the setup above, the wok is very hot, which for stir frying is great. However some recipes (e.g. Vietnamese orange chicken with lemongrass) have a stage after stir frying with sauce that needs to simmer, rather than boil.
After stir frying I removed the wok and added a rig into Egg:
The raised platform was a stainless steel grid for a mini Egg raised 4in/10cm above the stainless steel grid with bolts. I also partially closed the air vent in the base of the Egg to reduce the airflow and therefore heat. I then placed the wok onto the rig and let it simmer away.
I did try it with the wok at the level of the fire ring using a spare stainless steel grid but it was too hot for simmering. It needs that height above the coals, at least for a Minimax.
The Ceramic Grill Store sells products that support wok cooking for the Big Green Egg, check out their website for more information.