Creating great Asian-style cuisine has two fundamental requirements; that the heat is high and evenly distributed. A good outdoor wok burner ticks both of these boxes while also catering to the unique shape of the wok. It is difficult to replicate the results of a burner with your ordinary kitchen or outdoor stove which is why we took the trouble to review the 6 best outdoor wok burners that you can get for your next stir fry and other Asian-inspired cuisines.
Feel free to jump right to the Buying Guide at the tail end of this outdoor wok burner review to get a sense of what you should be looking out for when choosing your ideal burner.
1. Eastman Outdoors 37212
2. Gas ONE 200,000
3. Bayou Classic SP10
4. Eastman Outdoors 90411
5. Stansport Single Burner
Eastman Outdoors 37212
A professional chef would feel at home with this burner, the included accessories will get you started as soon as your stir fry arrives.
- Cooking Area: 22 Inch Dish
- Weight: 25 pounds
If you don’t mind paying extra for professional grade outdoor cooking equipment then the Eastman Outdoors 37212 Outdoor Steel Wok Kit is a perfect choice.
The adjustable legs are convenient if you are tall or want to switch quickly from stir fry to boiling. The unit is lightweight and ideal for transporting and storing away at a moments notice. The wide leg base design makes the unit stable on uneven ground.
A professional chef would definitely feel at home with this burner. The added accessories including the carbon-steel wok and stainless steel wok spoon and spatula mean you can get started with your stir fry as soon as the package arrives.
The main issue is the protective coating in the wok can be difficult to remove. You cannot scrub it off, rather heat the empty wok until its properly seasoned. Overall this is a great outdoor wok burner.
- High heat output
- Adjustable legs to get the perfect height
- Essential cooking accessories included
- Protective coating on wok may be difficult to remove
Gas ONE 200,000
Great wok burner with high heat output, best for experienced chefs. If you are a novice cook the BTU output will be under-utilized.
- Dimensions: 15.5 x 15.5 x 12 inches
- Weight: 28 pounds
- BTUs: 200,000
With an output of 200,000 BTU, this Gas ONE Heavy-Duty Outdoor Stove is the closest you will get to a professional wok burner. This model is surprisingly affordable especially for the output and solid construction.
It is also versatile and great for turkey fry, beer brewing, cooking steaks, and most indoor/outdoor cooking so it is easy to see why it made it into the Best Value section.
Great as this Gas ONE model is, we don’t recommend it for novice cooks. 200,000 BTU is overkill for most cooking and it is likely this unit will be under-utilized if you only need a wok burner. There is also a high chance of accidents with this kind of heat output.
The paint coating also can’t withstand the high heat and will begin to chip almost immediately. We’d recommend this if you need a durable, affordable, and versatile outdoor burner that you can use for all your cooking needs.
- Durable and sturdy construction
- High heat output
- Versatile – great for cooking and brewing
- Paint burns with high heat – may initially produce harsh odor
- Heavy unit for a portable burner
Bayou Classic SP10
This is an inexpensive outdoor burner and the windshield is a nice touch that is sure to improve the cooking experience.
- Cooking Area: 14 inch in diameter
- Weight: 13.8 pounds
- BTUs: 59,000
The Bayou Classic SP10 Single Burner Cooker is by far the most affordable choice in this list. This burner is more popular among beer brewing circles but it works just as well as a wok burner.
It weighs 13-pounds so it is easy to transport to tailgating parties, camping, or any outdoor excursions where you might need a cooker.
The wide leg design offers great stability on uneven ground while the 1-piece welded steel frame is durable both of which are ideal for outdoor equipment. The paint does, however, burn off but this is ‘normal’ since most paints aren’t designed to handle high temperatures.
Overall this is an inexpensive burner and the windshield is a nice touch that makes cooking while exposed to the elements that much easier.
- Includes windshield
- Wide –leg design makes burner sturdy on uneven ground
- High heat output
- Does not include accessories
Eastman Outdoors 90411
Great value for money and more likely to satisfy all your outdoor cooking needs. The main criticism is the spot welds on the leg sleeves may not be able to handle rough usage.
- Dimensions: 12 x 18 x 6.5 inches
- Weight: 12.3 Pounds
- BTUs: 65,000
The Eastman Outdoors Portable Kahuna Burner doesn’t quite compare to the Gas ONE heat output but 65,000 BTU is still plenty for all your wok cooking.
The adjustable and removable legs are a nice touch. You can adjust the height to set the ideal cooking position or remove the legs entirely for easy and compact storage.
This Eastman is much lighter than the Gas ONE 200,000 BTU Heavy-Duty Stove and a far more practical choice for a portable burner. The burner also pairs nicely with lobster pots, fish pots, and cast iron pans if you like to change up your cuisines.
At about the same price as the Gas ONE, this Eastman is still great value for money and more likely to satisfy all your outdoor cooking needs. The main criticism is the spot welds on the leg sleeves may not be able to handle rough usage over time which comes with the territory.
- Versatile – works well with various style woks and pots
- Adjustable height to find the perfect cooking position, removable legs for compact storage
- Spot welds on the leg sleeves (bead welds tend to hold better long-term)
Stansport Single Burner
The Stansport Single Burner Camp Stove costs a little more than the Bayou Classic SP10 and performs just as well. As a simple wok burner, this Stansport does its job efficiently.
- Dimensions: 21 x 21 x 31 inches
- Weight: 17 Pounds
- BTUs: 54,000
For a little more than the Bayou you get accessories including a regulator, heavy duty hose, stainless steel wok, wooden spatula, and a wooden spoon and a thermometer. The costs can add up when buying the accessories individually making this option the best in the budget category.
The flame wind guard is a nice addition which seems obvious for an outdoor burner but not always included in the design. It also weighs 17 pounds so it’s easy to transport.
The main downside is the wok may take significant elbow grease to clean out the rust proofing and stuck bubble wrap before using.
- Good heat output
- Multiple useful accessories included
- Bubble wrap and rust proofing can be difficult to clean from wok
King Kooker 24 WC
The King Kooker 24 WC Portable Propane Outdoor Cooker is less than half the price of the Eastman 37212 but still compares nicely to the latter.
- Dimensions: 18.5 x 18.5 x 8 inches
- Weight: 16 Pounds
- BTUs: 54,000
This King Kooker comes with a recessed top ring that holds the wok securely in place and also works nicely with a frying pan.
The unit is easy to set up and with a wok, wooden spoon, and wooden spatula and recipe book included you can get right to cooking. The burner is light-weight at 16.4 pounds perfect for mobility.
On the downside, removing the protective coating in the wok takes some elbow grease. The legs are also a little short. Still, this King Kooker 24WC is a great choice, especially for the price.
- Good heat output
- Cooking accessories and recipes included
- Short legs can make the burner uncomfortable to use
Wok Burner Buyers Guide
How do they work?
A wok burner, as the name implies, is a type of burner specifically designed to be used with woks. A wok may be used with a variety of cooking methods including stir frying, deep frying, braising, steaming, roasting, and stewing.
Outdoor burners are often adapted to deal with the unique challenges that come with cooking outside such as wind.
Why Would You Need A Wok Burner?
Why can’t you just use your usual outdoor cooker/burner with a wok? The answer lies in how cooking with woks actually works. These pans are popular in Asia and are unique in that they require cooking with extremely high heat.
The typical restaurant wok burner has anywhere from 20,000 BTU to 50,000 BTU and sometimes as high as 250,000 BTU. For reference, the typical home stovetop has an output of roughly 6,000 to 11,000 BTU. You cannot replicate the results of a wok burner with your outdoor stove.
Under normal conditions, the pan cools once raw food is added. It takes a while to recover the optimum temperature for stir fry and most Asian cuisines. A wok burner allows the pan temperature to recover quickly while also speeding up the cooking process.
The wok burner is also specifically designed to direct extremely high heat, evenly, over the large cooking surface area of the wok. The typical stove wastes a lot of heat and cannot evenly heat the wok especially at the sides.
How to Choose an Outdoor Wok Burner
Now that you are confident that an outdoor wok burner isn’t a waste of money if you already have an outdoor cooking stove, there are a number of important features to keep in mind when choosing the burner.
Stir fry and most Asian cuisine require high-temperature cooking otherwise the food becomes soggy with oil or cooks in its own juices rather than frying. Aim for at least 40,000 BTU to have the best chance of recreating your favorite recipes.
Lower-priced outdoor wok burners tend to come with fewer accessories that may be necessary and cost you more out of pocket.
Consider such additions as spoons, spatulas, thermometers, or any other accessories that you might have to purchase separately. It’s more convenient and often cheaper to get everything you need for an outdoor stir fry all at once.
The material that the wok burner is made from directly affects its durability. Cast iron, stainless steel, and carbon steel are all durable materials. Cast iron does tend to make the equipment heavy but is highly resistant to heat damage.
Carbon steel tends to be the least durable and may be more prone to rusting so make sure it has a high-quality coating before making this choice.
Like with everything else on the market, price shouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker as long as you are getting value for money. Cheaper wok burners tend to be less durable, have fewer features, lower BTU output and may need to be replaced more often although this may not always be true.
Factoring price is more of a judgment call after comparing all the factors and checking whether the pricing is justified.
Finally, outdoor cooking equipment should ideally be reasonably light-weight and compact enough to carry and store away easily. With that said, aim for at least 12 inches high to maintain good airflow, stability, and comfort while cooking.
Tips for Cooking With a Wok
Following a recipe may not be enough to get the perfect results especially if you are new to this type of cooking. Cooking with a wok is different from the typical stove-top or oven cooking so here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your outdoor cooking experience;
Heat the wok up before pouring in the oil. Be sure to coat the pan evenly with oil (by moving it around) before adding the ingredients.
Season the pan before adding your ingredients. Discoloration on the pan from spices is a good thing and adds flavor and depth to your cooking as the wok ages.
Use oil with a high smoke point. Canola oil and groundnut oil are both great choices.
It is worth taking the time to decide what you expect from your outdoor wok burner before making a final decision. If your only concern is getting a functional unit at the lowest price then the Bayou Classic SP10 suffices.
Gas ONE 200,000 BTU Heavy Duty Stove is a great choice if you need maximum heat on a versatile unit while the Eastman Outdoors 37212 Outdoor Steel Wok Kit is the overall best choice all things considered. Each of the options reviewed here is a great choice that you are sure to be happy with in any case.