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tao oven, thailand The Tao Charcoal Burner
Found in most Thai homes, the "Tao" is a small and convenient way to cook outdoors, and it doesn't make much mess. Used for generations, this clay oven is now more efficient than ever thanks to a new design which has captured the interest of Thai academics and government officials who are promoting it as a great way to reduce fuel consumption. Using very little charcoal, this cooker produces enough heat to stir-fry small or large woks, boil water, or barbeque meats. We're importing this from the innovator who is credited with the improved design.

The Tao (say "dtao") has an empty void at the base, and a section in the middle to hold the charcoal. It lights quickly, the top of the cooker is very hot. The new design has a smaller opening at the bottom. The top is designed to accommodate multiple sizes of pans or pots, and prevents less heat from escaping (older models, shown below, had inefficient large gaps at the top).

Made by hand, a clay insert is set into a metal bucket. Then sandy dirt is pushed between the metal and clay using a special wide tool that resembles a chisel. A 2" tall base is fastened to the cooker. Finally, concrete is used to seal it all up. The result is a heavy-duty oven that you will enjoy for years. 11" height, 12.5" top width, 6.5" base width. Made in Thailand.

Saveur Magazine recommends this burner in their October 2013 issue.

In Stock and Ships Within 2 Days. Also see new Tao Grill below.

Tao Charcoal Burner
Comment from Customer Andy in Missouri. "I ordered the tao cooker a couple weeks ago, and love it! So far we've used it for steaks and stir fry, and have also found that it works well for making s'mores as the coals are dying down (you can also warm your hands over it while making s'mores). It uses much less charcoal than a traditional grill, and it's easy to get the charcoal started without lighter fluid. I just use a bit of paper and some twigs from the yard, then throw the coal on. Overall, a great way to cook and a lot of fun to use. Thanks!". Submitted Sun Sep 18 2011
Comment and Photos from Customer Paul in Laguna Niguel CA. Really like the Tao barbecue!  If I were to ever become homeless and had to live out of the trunk of my vehicle, this would the first item I’d be sure to have.  So conservative on charcoal amount and put a great deal of concentrated heat. It’s so ‘old world’ basic, but very well built. Just a pleasure to use (and I’ve used many types). Here are some pics:
using tao burner
cooking with charcoal burner
brass wok on tao burner
The Tao Oven Is Handmade and May Not Arrive "Perfect"
We've shipped hundreds of Tao to customers across the United States. Every unit is double-boxed and protected with strong cartons and a special packing technique.

The top rim of the cooker has a relatively thin layer of mortar connecting the clay oven with the steel bucket. Despite our best efforts at packing the unit, sometimes it will arrive looking like the picture at left. Small pieces of the mortar may break off and/or show cracking. If this bothers you, buy a small package of mortar mix from a local hardware store, and apply it to the rim of your oven, this will seal it back up (or just leave it alone, as it won't effect the use of your oven). Don't hold the bucket and tip it upside down.

No two are identical and there will always be some minor flaws.

The clay oven itself is most important, it will withstand years of use. The oven may have minor superficial cracks as well, but this will not effect your oven.

We stand behind the product and will replace any shipment that arrives damaged, but keep in mind it is a handmade oven with some inherent imperfections.

From our customer Chuck in Eugene OR. "I just saw your bit regarding cracks in the tao. I ordered one of these last year. When it arrived, I was taken back by how cheaply it seemed to be constructed. After one use the clay liner and the mortar at the top both cracked. I was pretty disappointed. My feeling at the time was, I would pay at least twice as much for a well constructed burner. Why did the makers seemingly skimp so very much?. I actually considered building my own. Not being one to complain much, I didn’t write to complain.

Now, after having used it for a year, I can honestly say, this thing rocks. Nothing else, gas burners included evens comes close to working as well with a wok. You need more BTU’s, put a fan in front of the air intake. I would recommend one of these burners to anyone. The cracks and other flaws have little if any effect on the utility of these burners. I have even come to appreciate the appropriate level of workmanship afford the construction. It gets the job done in a splendid fashion with no overkill. I love it. Fantastic bargain, in my opinion. "

From our customer Orlando Candelario in Central Texas. Hello to everyone at ImportFood. I received my Tao cooker and street vendor wok this past Saturday, and I'm beyond thankful. I hovered over the tracking information sent to me by Jerry as if I was tracking Santa Claus on radar. I patiently waited for the FedEX guy to show up--and when and he did, I think I may have scared him. Come to think about it, yeah, I spooked him, because the look of amazement, and possibly shock, as he watched a grown man run up to him with a silly grin on his face, he was quick to put down my package and retreat in his vehicle as if being chased by wild big game. I scooped up my boxes, tore them open immediately, and I have to say; I was just like a kid during Christmas morning.

The Tao cooker was intact. No cracks, no blemishes. Amazing craftsmanship, the wok was packaged just as good and was flawless. I took a bunch of pictures and forwarded them to all my family and friends--they're envious, I just know it. I want to extend my thanks to everyone involved in this venture. The whole process felt very personalized, which is a great feeling. This is an amazing addition to my kitchen ware and I can't wait to cook for my family and friends. Thank you again!

NEW STYLES: Tao Charcoal Burner

We are happy to offer some new "modern" designs of the Tao burner, made to the same heavy duty standards by the same manufacturer. These are shorter, with a unique shape, the quality is exactly the same (thick clay, strong metal container, lined with dirt and sealed with concrete). The shorter Tao are apparently more difficult to make so the price is not much different than the larger traditional Tao.

The charcoal sits about 2" above the base of the burner, and an open vent allows for air flow up. Use a few sticks to light your charcoal (8 or 10 briquets is all you need). Simply place a pot, or your bbq grill, on the burner and start cooking.

Made by hand, a clay oven is set into a metal container that is completely shaped and fastened by hand. Then a special black sandy dirt is pushed between the metal and clay using a wide tool that resembles a chisel. A thin layer of black mud is coated on the top surface (this prevents heat from escaping). Finally, concrete is used to seal it all up, and it's banded across the base. The result is a heavy-duty oven that you will enjoy for years.

We recently saw a similar style of oven at a local import store, made of a thin light clay, having no internal insulation, the weight just a fraction of our heavy duty Tao burner.

Round is 10.5" diameter, 5" height, 13 lbs weight
Oval is 15" long, 9.5" across center, 6" tall, 19 lbs weight

Made in Thailand.

$55.00 Tao Charcoal Burner, Round
$60.00 Tao Charcoal Burner, Oval
new oval tao
grill for tao burner
NEW Grill for Tao Charcoal Burner

We now have a newly-designed grill for the Tao charcoal burner.

Imported from Thailand, comes in a plastic bag with the bold Eagle On Globe logo shown, the size is perfect (covers the top of your Tao just right). The grill opens up and locks shut, 1" thick middle section, so you can flip your meat by simply turning the grill over.

The grill is 10" x 10", the handle is 10" (total length with handle 20"). Sits 1" tall.

grill for tao burner
grill for tao burner
We used the Tao cooker to season a new wok, requiring very high heat, with excellent results.
Feature: Flank Steak Crying Tiger and Larb on a Tao Burner. Summertime Thai cooking at it's best. We love the flavor of flank steak, oddly one of the least expensive cuts. On a 900 lb black angus steer, you'll be lucky to get just two decent flank steaks, yet you can find this rare cut in good butcher shops for a price lower than more common steaks. Some people say flank is tougher, thus the lower price. We think flank offers the most delicious flavor, and it's a perfect match for spicy Thai food.

Flank is the perfect choice for the Tao Burner. We had fun yesterday cooking two flanks over just a dozen hot briquets. After the meat was cooked we served it two ways: with a simple home-made spicy "Crying Tiger Sauce" and sticky rice, and as Larb.

To get the best flavor, cook your meat over charcoal. Although we like flank steak best, there are other cuts that work great such as those with a thick ring of fat. As the fat drips onto your charcoal, you'll hear pops, and see fire rising up (this where the name crying tiger comes from).

First Recipe: Crying Tiger Beef, "Seua Rong Hai"

Ingredients / Beef & Marinade
1 flank steak (usually weighs about 1 lb or a bit more)
2 tablespoons of thin soy sauce

Ingredients / Dipping Sauce
1/2 teaspoon corriander seeds
4 cloves garlic
15 fresh Thai chiles
5  tablespoons lime juice
5-7 tablespoons fish sauce
1-2 tablespoons sugar

Coat your steak in the thin soy sauce and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Some chefs like to add a bit of fish sauce to this, but we like to use just soy sauce. Barbeque your steak over charcoal.

To make the crying tiger dipping sauce, first pound the corriander seeds in a mortar and pestle until it becomes powder. Add garlic and chilli pound until  roughly smooth then stir in lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Stir until blend. Adjust the taste to your flavor. Serve this dipping sauce on the side with fresh cucumber, green beans etc and sticky rice.

Second recipe: "Beef Larb"

Ingredients / Beef & Marinade
1 flank steak (usually weighs about 1 lb or a bit more)
2 tablespoons of thin soy sauce

Ingredients / Larb
2 tablespoons sliced shallot
2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons roasted rice powder (khao koor--see below)
2 tablespoons coarse ground Thai chile (be sure to use real Thai ground chile)
3 tablespoons lime juice
2-3 tablespoons fish sauce

Coat your steak in the thin soy sauce and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Some chefs like to add a bit of fish sauce to this, but we like to use just soy sauce. Barbeque your steak over charcoal.

Make your khao koor: Heat a medium sized wok or skillet at medium/high, and add a couple of tablespoons of uncooked jasmine rice. Keep in movement until the rice starts to turn golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Grind to a fairly coarse powder in a spice mill, or a mortar and pestle, or a pepper mill or a good clean coffee grinder (all of these work well but keep in mind that a coffee grinder tends to grind too fine--the powder should retain some "texture").

Put your cooked beef into a mixing bowl. Add the larb ingredients except the mint leaf, and mix well. Taste and season as desired. You might want more or less ground chile and/or fish sauce, etc. Serve with fresh green beans, and freshly-steamed sticky rice (or if you prefer you can use Thai jasmine rice). Serve with mint leaves on the side, to be eaten with the beef.

The usual way to eat this is to get a small ball of sticky rice in the fingers and use it to pick up a little lawb, then eat it with the raw veggies. You can also use a fork and spoon as a lot of Thais do.

You might also like our recipes for: Larb Gai (chicken), and Kaeng Sai Mai Rong Hai (Thai curry without tears).
Special Feature: Crying Tiger Beef Made By Street Vendor in Kanchanaburi Thailand. Here we take you back to the streets of Thailand for a look at Crying Tiger prepared on the sidewalk using a Tao charcoal burner, and fatty beef.
Thai BBQ Sparerib Mix, Use It with your Tao Charcoal Burner

A nice flavor for the barbeque enthusiast. This has an exotic Thai/Malaysian flavor, not spicy and a bit salty. As shown below, we slow-cooked a lovely pork rib over charcoal on the Tao barbeque, with good results.

Recipe: dissolve contents with 1/2 cup water and marinade spareribs for 30-40 minutes. Add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and mix well. Barbeque meat on grille until done.

Made by premium Lobo company in Thailand, they also make other high quality ready-to-eat mixes here.

Ingredients: salt, paprika, lactose, whey powder, dextrose, wheat flour, spices, msg, soy sauce powder. No colorings or preservatives added. Product of Thailand.

Buy 1 pack, $1.49
Special offer, 5 packs $5.79
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