Mesubim and Chinese food intersect at the new test kitchen. The Marrone kitchen is powered by a 24kW burner that gives enough fire to reach those extreme temperatures needed. It’s all about achieving indescribable flavors that help in defining great wok cooking. Those intense Maillard reactions on food surfaces combined with the soya bean oil helps reach extremely high temperatures. Those temperatures produce unique flavor compounds that are only found in wok cooking.
The chemistry only works if the burner has enough power to bring the surface of the wok to peak temperatures well above the boiling point of water. You need to drive off the water as steam and that takes a tremendous amounts of energy.
It isn’t those BTU ratings which do not really matter when it comes to the pros. What does matter is the intensity of the power delivered to each square centimeter of grill surface. This is the heat flux from a grill, and it is what does the searing and cooking. The rest is jargon for shopping.
So one of the key ingredients to wok cooking is water produced by the evaporation in foods when subjected to the high heat. Take for example the typical stir fry. When cooked it releases water, and the water quenches the heat of the wok it instantly lowers the temperature. This is one of the reasons a professional wok also both power, and hot water at the wok station.
The two serve different purposes but in general the idea is to maintain the metal hot and ready at all time. Any cleaning with cold water would cause the metal to cool off and the foods would stew instead of stir and fry.