Top 5 Wok Burners – What to Use for Sizzle Cooking in 2019?

Wok burners. Why do you need them?

If you love cooking outdoors and are serious about Chinese cuisine. Or if you simply like the convenience of a wok, such as a more even heat distribution and lower oil consumption, then you absolutely need a wok burner.

What is it, what are some of its benefits and how it can help you prepare your favorite dishes?

Let’s find the answers to those questions!

Top 5 Wok Burners – What to Use for Cooking in 2019?

What Is a Wok Burner?

A wok burner is a propane burner used for heating up a wok. In fact, it’s no different than a typical burner – what’s important is whether it can fit the wok and provide it with enough heat to cook the food. In fact, the two most basic criteria that you should look at are the said size and BTUs – British Thermal Units.

Another decision you’ll need to make is picking between different types of fuel – propane vs butane vs liquid. However, as all of the reviewed wok burners are propane-powered (just like the majority on the market - it lights instantly and burns clean), I believe you don’t have to dwell on this too much. While propane is not as efficient as liquid fuel in a colder climate, it works better than butane and is usually more accessible and affordable.

The next thing to consider is wind resistance, which depends on both the burner and wind conditions. Sadly, there’s no universal measure for that so all comparisons are based exclusively on my observations and the observations of other users.

Why is wind resistance so important? Most burners can easily boil the water or heat up the wok when the flame is set to high. The problems start when you want to simmer or cook anything on low heat. Good wind resistance will allow you to cook outdoors regardless of the wind conditions. Naturally, as long as you don’t try to cook during a hurricane.

One last minor thing to consider is portability. How portable your burner is will depend on numerous conditions:

  • The legs that it’s using. - Whether they can be easily detached and attached back without any tools. Keep in mind though that you don’t want a burner the legs of which can be detached too easily as this can be dangerous. More about that in one of the reviews.
  • Its weight. - Naturally, the lighter it is, the better for portability. However, you don’t want it to be too light either as the burner could collapse – especially when there’s a strong wind blowing and the wok is full of food.
  • Ease of setup. - How easy is it to connect the hose and the propane tank? This one usually doesn’t come with any significant drawbacks – just make sure that the hose isn’t loose or doesn’t get detached too easily.

In general, your choice of a perfect burner will depend on whether you want to travel with it (and do it occasionally) or are looking for something sturdy to stand in your backyard and be used almost daily or every week. Naturally, as wok burners are burners that can be used for other purposes too, let’s look at whether cooking with one is a good idea.

Are Wok Burners a Good Choice for Wok Cooking?

Are Wok Burners a Good Choice for Wok Cooking?

The simple answer is yes – as long as it’s not a gas stove burner. Instead, it’s better to invest in a separate burner which can easily produce even 10x the power of a gas stove burner. Plus, it can usually fit a bigger wok and can (and often have to) be used outdoors. How does it work?

Most burners come with a special wok ring which can be used to support the wok and keep at the right height.

The majority of them is made from cast iron, which ensures sturdiness and longevity but there are some that are made of stainless steel. 

How to Cook on a Wok Burner?

Cooking on a burner doesn’t really differ from cooking on a typical burner. The only difference is the power and the fact that you can use them outdoors. The principles are also similar:

  • First, make sure that you don’t overcrowd the wok. You shouldn’t put too much food in the wok because it may not cook evenly so unless you keep mixing it all the time, you’ll be left with a mix of undercooked and overcooked food. Instead, try to split the food into smaller batches which can be put aside on a plate once you finish (or get a large wok).
  • When cooking outdoors, try to shelter the burner from the wind. This is important when you set the flame to low – as some burners blow out easily even during a light wind.
  • When using an indoor wok burner, ensure there’s a source of fresh air in the room (however, none of the reviewed burners should be used indoor as they produce relatively strong fire).
  • Most woks will require you to use at least a bit of oil. When doing that, choose peanut oil over vegetable oil. Peanut oil has a much higher smoking point so you can get the wok hotter before throwing the food on it. Never use olive oil – it’s healthy but only with a cold meal.

Choosing and Cleaning Your Wok Burner

Most maintenance issues are caused by the fact that not all people know how to clean wok burner jets properly. There are a few simple steps which you need to follow for the best results:

  • First, let the burner and all of its elements cool down before you touch them.
  • Next, secure propane source and detach the hose (and sometimes the regulator) from the burner.
  • To clean the jets, you can either use a paper clip, a dental pick, or a soft thin brush. Simply put either of them into the jet’s opening and slowly manipulate it to loosen any debris. To get rid of it, turn the jet upside down dynamically.

Place a thin brush into the gas stove jet's opening and slowly manipulate the brush within the opening to loosen any debris. Dispose of the debris by carefully turning the jet upside down inside a trash can. Of course, you might also want to clear other elements such as the wok ring or the legs – detach them and clean with warm water and a delicate sponge with a bit of soap.

Top 5 Wok Burner Reviews – My Personal Favorites

Safety Reminder: None of these is an indoor wok burner. They can only be used outdoors.

There are many different things which I took into consideration when I was choosing the best outdoor wok burners. Naturally, all of them require the basic security measures such as CSA certified regulator and high-quality hose, which securely attaches to the tank, ensuring no gas leakage.

Then I carefully reviewed multiple different burners and picked a winner for each of my pre-selected categories. One more thing to remember – anytime you’re cooking using a propane wok burner, always have a fire extinguisher with you. No matter if you are using an indoor wok burner or an outdoor burner.

Bayou Classic SP10 Single Burner Cooker

The first in my list is a budget wok burner that’ll suit anyone either getting their feet wet. It’s also an excellent choice for those who cook occasionally and are looking for a low-cost option. And the good news is, it’s not as weak as it might seem.

Low Price, Decent Results

Even though it’s the least powerful of all burners reviewed (just 57,000 BTUs, almost half of what the next in the list offers), it still achieves decent results. 

Naturally, you won’t be able to put a huge wok filled with food or water on top of it and expect the water to boil in just a few minutes.

But it’s still a perfect choice for casual cooking (Chinese food, steaks, chicken) – especially considering its affordable price.

What I Like about this Wok Burner?

  • Sturdy and can hold a lot of weight. Surprisingly, it’s still sturdier than many more expensive burners – which means that it can hold heavy woks, filled with lots of food!
  • Plug and play once you check it. It comes ready for action. Naturally, you need to carefully check this propane burner before you connect it to prevent any leakage and make sure you are safe.
  • Will hold different sizes of pots. You can use it with a wok as well as with other types of pots and pans with it – naturally, as long as they aren’t too big for its size.

And What I Don’t Like?

  • Poor quality control. One of the reasons why I emphasized you should check it very thoroughly is the poor quality-control that some of its buyers have reported. Basically, they received a burner with a blocked hose. As this can be very dangerous, you must check the hose carefully before the first use.
  • You absolutely have to check the regulator. The same was reported about its power regulator. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all wok burners and the percentage of issues is very small – nevertheless, considering you’re using real gas to produce flames and cook, the burner needs to be clean and work flawlessly.
  • Burns off the paint the first time you use it. This one is a common flaw of many burners – most manufacturers paint the burners with a paint that gets burned during the first use. Make sure that you use it outdoor when it does!
  • Flame tends to blow out during regulation. Because the burner is on the low-end when it comes to power, its flame tends to blow out when you try to adjust it. This is true even when there’s no strong wind outside.

This adjustable high-pressure burner has everything you might need – wide-set legs that ensure stability, convenient regulator and enough power to cook simple meals. On top of all that, it comes at a great price – if all you need is affordability and simplicity, hit the button below to learn more about this wok burner:

Gas ONE Outdoor Gas Cooker

Let’s jump right to the other end of my list quality-wise – right to a high-end Gas ONE 200,000 BTU propane wok burner. On top of its power, it’s worth noting its great portability – however, I believe it’s the power that distinguishes it from its competitors.

A Serious Burner

If all you care about are reliability and power – this is your burner. Made of cast iron, it’ll cook any dish you might be thinking about – and the strong flame will produce enough heat even for a sturdy, thick wok.

Gas ONE Outdoor Gas Cooker

What I Like about this Wok Burner?

  • Works great even with big, 17-inch woks. On top of that, you can use it for pots and anything else you might think of – as long as it fits it size-wise.
  • Heats the wok really fast. Naturally, depending on how you regulate it – but at 200,000 BTUs, the burner is really powerful and has no problem heating most pots and woks.
  • Great quality for the price. While it’s not the cheapest burner, considering its power and manufacturing quality, it’s worth every penny.
  • Durable frame. You don’t have to worry that the wok will fall on the ground due to its weight. The durable frame of this burner is very sturdy and reliable. Naturally, you should always be careful – especially when cooking on a burner as powerful as this one.
  • No tweaking required to get started. Just check everything, connect, and you’re ready to cook your first meal (well, almost – see drawbacks for details).
  • Works great even during cooler weather. Because it’s so powerful, this outdoor burner will work great even during cold weather. Keep in mind that it might use more propane to heat the same meal.

And What I Don’t Like?

  • Quite loud. It’s powerful and you can hear it (sadly). While the noise will not ruin your experience, it’s hard to ignore it – especially when you adjust the flame to high.
  • The paint smells bad. Don’t cook on it right after you get it. The frame is painted with an (in my opinion) toxic paint and the smell is terrible when you first use the burner. That’s why you should first burn the paint before you even think of cooking.
  • Shipped returned products. Some of its buyers reported receiving used products – make sure that you check it carefully for any signs that it could have been already used.
  • Low flame gets blown out easily. While it’s really powerful once you set the flame to high, even a mild wind won’t have any problems with blowing out a low flame. This makes cooking on it tricky during windy weather (but it’s a common problem for other burners too).

Thanks to its sturdy and durable design, it’ll serve you for years to come.

If you like to prepare big feasts and invite people over for dinners, this propane burner is worth the money and will make your cooking much easier.

To see how others are using this powerful burner and what they think about it, hit the button below:

Gas ONE Outdoor Gas Cooker
Goplus Outdoor Camp Stove

The third in my list is a middle ground between power and price which can also be used as a stove for a complete outdoor (portable kitchen). Better even if you have a stainless steel pan.

Choose the Power

This outdoor wok stove is available with one, two or even three burners – however, I’m looking for a propane burner – so my focus is on the 100,000 one.

Goplus Outdoor Camp Stove

What I Like about this Wok Burner?

  • Durable cast iron. I like how sturdy it feels and looks. Considering that you’ll be using the burner to cook food in a wok, sturdiness is one of the top priorities – you don’t want everything to collapse in the middle of cooking.
  • Easy temperature adjustment. The regulation in this burner is very convenient and the temperature is easy to control.
  • Safe to move around. Thanks to its sturdiness, you don’t have to worry that the legs will break or detach in the least expected moment.
  • Can be turned down low for simmering. The flame, even when low, doesn’t get blown out easily what makes simmering with this burner more comfortable compared to similar models.

And What I Don’t Like?

  • 100,000 may be not enough. Even though it’s still almost twice as much as the first burner, I am a big believer that if you want to cook outdoors, you should do that in a convenient way – and nothing makes wok cooking more convenient than a strong, steady flame.
  • The 225,000 BTU upgrade is a sum of three burners. While you can choose between three different power levels, you’re really choosing a wok stove with one, two or three burners.

If you’re looking for a general-use propane wok burner that comes at a reasonable price and offers great simmering experience and enough power for casual cooking, you’ll enjoy cooking with Goplus burner – hit the button below to learn more details about it:

Goplus Outdoor Camp Stove

Best Wok Burner #4: 
Bayou Classic KAB4 High Pressure Banjo Cooker

Best for: Heavy Wok

Bayou Classic KAB4 High Pressure Banjo Cooker

Sometimes you might want to prepare a real feast. In this case, you will need a big, heavy wok that will fit all the food you want to prepare for your guests. That’s where Bayou Classic comes in.

Large Cooking Surface, Sturdy Design

At 16” cooking surface, this 10” cast-iron burner works great even with a big wok (up to 100-qt capacity, and minimum 14” in diameter). All that thanks to a sturdy, 12.5” tall welded steel frame designed to hold heavy pots and woks full of food.

What I Like about this Wok Burner?

  • Powerful yet silent. This propane burner offers the power of up to 210,000 BTUs – and, compared to a few equally powerful burners, it’s a lot less noisy.
  • Minimal heat loss. Its design ensures that the heat loss is minimized – naturally, as long as you’re using big skillets that cover the burner evenly.
  • Heavy, sturdy, fast. It’s sturdy enough to hold even a cast-iron wok loaded with food. It doesn’t wobble and is very stable. On top of that, thanks to its really powerful burner, it boils the food really fast when at full blast.

And What I Don’t Like?

  • Fragile regulator. Be careful when regulating this wok as some of its users have reported that the regulator is pretty fragile and can get damaged or frozen.
  • Check your package. Similarly, make sure that you check the package thoroughly once it arrives – some of the customers reported receiving damaged goods.
  • Burning paint. As is the case with almost all other propane burners – you need to first let the paint burn before you can use it for cooking food.
  • Hard assembly. It’s definitely not a “plug and play” burner – it takes some time to put it together but once you do it, it won’t disappoint you.
  • Blows out in low temperatures. Another common issue, especially with powerful propane wok burners which focus on offering high-temperatures and strong flames is that they often blow out in low temperatures. Sadly, Bayou is guilty of the same thing.

If you love your cast iron wok and need a burner powerful and sturdy enough to accommodate your big and heavy skillet, you can’t go wrong with Bayou’s – especially considering how evenly it distributes the heat when used with a large wok.

Gas One B-3600H Propane Outdoor Burner

The last in my list is, in my opinion, the best portable propane wok burner – which, at 200,000 BTUs, will offer you enough power for cooking no matter where you are!

Camping, Fishing…wherever You Want!

It’s light, easy to put together and fold when you need to transport it.

It doesn’t take much space what makes it a very convenient choice when all you want is just throw it into a car and go spend some time outdoors.

Gas ONE Outdoor Gas Cooker

What I Like about this Wok Burner?

  • Great portability. As said above, if you can’t live without your wok and love cooking with it anywhere you are, this portable burner will serve you great no matter if you go camping or fishing.
  • It can save your holidays. Thanks to its size, it’s also a great choice for an “emergency” burner.
  • Powerful. At (almost) 200,000 BTUs, it’s pretty powerful considering its portability.
  • Convenience. Removable and adjustable legs are great both for traveling with it, as well as storing it at home (takes a lot less space).
  • Sturdy – Just like the majority of high-quality burners, it’s made of cast-iron, what ensures great durability and resistance to high-temperatures.

And What I Don’t Like?

  • Doesn’t burn close to 200,000. Sadly, in my opinion, the advertised 200,000 BTUs is a bit higher than its actual power. Still, that’s more than enough for casual wok cooking.
  • The paint smells really bad. This plagues all the other burners – so I could not ignore it here (just burn it the first time you use the burner before you start cooking the food).
  • Carefully check the package. Wok burners can be very dangerous when damaged or connected incorrectly. As some customers reported receiving it damaged, make sure that you carefully check your package.
  • Poor quality legs. Its portability is great but, sadly, the legs lack quality what can be dangerous – especially if one of them breaks when the wok full of hot liquids and food is on the burner.

Unfortunately, even though it’s portability is excellent, I’d probably consider choosing one of the other four burners – you don’t want it to fall down with all your hot food in the wok.

However, feel free to go to its product page and read more its advantages and disadvantages:

Gas ONE Outdoor Gas Cooker

Before you pick the right propane wok burner, it’s important that you go over all the available choices carefully. This is because a low-quality burner can be dangerous.

But, that’s why I write reviews such as this one. If you already know which burner best suits your needs, simply go to its product page.

And if you haven’t decided yet which one to choose, scroll up back to the table and pick your favorite one.