Tao Charcoal Burner - Made in ThailandAdd to cart$108.00
Extremely useful and frankly a real conversation piece.
We carefully triple-box every oven to ensure safe arrival, and we usually ship this just once or twice a week so please note it may take a bit longer than expected to get your oven.
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 barbecue 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.
Also see new Tao Grill below.
Charcoal Goes Inside Here
Street Vendor Wok
Tao Fits A Wok Perfectly
Strong Handle Swivels
Grill On Top
Clay Oven Before Set Into A Pail
Back Side - No Window
Adding Sandy Dirt
Old Inefficient Tao
"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!"Andy, Missouri - September 18, 2011
"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."
Paul, Laguna Niguel CA
Using the tao burner
Generated some great heat for stir-fry
Later we boiled some water for tea
"Hi, Just wanted to say this burner is awesome! Thanks! ."
Chris, New Haven CT
Tao in New Haven CT
Tao in New Haven CT
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.
"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."Chuck, Eugene OR
"I recently ordered a charcoal wok burner from you guys. I realized you were located in Boise when it arrived to fast. I just wanted to tell you that we love this product. I took it camping up north near McCall to mushroom pick for morels, and this burner was a CHAMP as cooking mushroom stir fries. I was using a gas burner (small) inside until now and I could never get the heat right. This burner can get screaming hot and its totally changed the way I cook Thai and Chinese foods. If you ever do lessons on Thai food I would be very interested. I want to see more of how to use these products."Joe H, Boise ID
"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!"Orlando Candelario, Central Texas
NEW Modern Tao Burners
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.
Add to Cart Grill for Tao Charcoal Burner - Out of Stock
Grill in Action
Grill in Action
Surf and Turf
We used the Tao cooker to season a new wok, requiring very high heat, with excellent results.
How to Season Your Wok
Seasoning a steel wok is simple, and very important because it gives your wok an all-natural non-stick coating. Food glides over the surface of a properly seasoned wok without sticking at all. This is a smoky process, so you'll need to have good ventilation or do it outside.
Cleaning. Start by thoroughly cleaning your wok. Our street vendor woks come with a sticker right in the middle of the cooking surface, inconvenient but not difficult to remove. Peel away what you can, then use fingernail polish (acetone). If you don't have any around the house, you can buy a bottle for about $1. Acetone is an organic solvent, excellent for cleaning your wok the first time. Pour 1-2 tablespoons directly into the wok and swirl it around, then scrub with a paper towel or rag. Thoroughly clean both sides of your wok this way, removing all dirt, oil and residue. Next wash it with soap and water, and wipe dry. Now you have a bare, perfectly clean steel wok ready to season.
Seasoning. Put a few tablespoons of peanut oil in your wok, and as it heats up, swirl the oil around to coat the entire inside of the wok. Let the wok get really hot (so the oil smokes), then use a folded paper towel to wipe the oil around the sides of the wok. Hold the paper towel with chopsticks or tongs. Keep doing this for a few minutes or more, pulling the wok away from the heat occasionally to wipe the oil around. Dump any remaining oil out.
Put a tablespoon or two of oil back into your wok, and add several cloves of garlic. Using garlic and/or shallots is a great way to season your wok. Put it back on the heat, this time tipping your wok so the heat goes directly onto the side of the wok. Keep spreading the oil around, and rotate the wok so the entire inside surface becomes blackened. Throw out the blackened garlic.
With 1/2 cup of oil in a dish, dip folded paper towel into the oil and start seasoning again, over medium/high heat, wiping the insides of the hot wok with oil. You can repeat this half a dozen times. After 30 minutes or so, the entire inside of the wok is nice and brown/black. This coating is essentially carbon, and is no risk to your health. Congratulations! You've created a homemade nonstick surface, naturally.
Our Thai Street Vendor Wok sticker says the following in Thai language: 1. For the first use. Roast your wok by turn it over on top of the fire for 10 minutes keep moving until all turn to dark gray evenly. 2. Clean and wipe dry then roast your wok same way above for 20 minutes until the wok color change to dark brown. 3. Clean and wipe dry.
Care. Never scrub your wok with a scouring pad, as it will remove the seasoning. Just use water and a mild sponge after use, and wipe dry. Restaurant chefs simply pour water into a wok after each dish is prepared, bring the water to a quick boil, wipe the wok with a bamboo brush, dump the water and start the next dish. If your wok is used infrequently, wipe the dry wok with vegetable oil and this will prevent rust in storage.
Wok Seasoning Tips from Ronald in Holland. Ok, I'll try my best English here. Obviously I didn't buy a wok set from these guys because I live in Holland. Then again I recognized the brand they sell immediately. It's slightly thicker than China wok sets. Go ahead and buy them if your serious about cooking. By all means you won't regret it. Don't ever think you have a wok burner in your home similar to what street vendors have. That's where the thicker carbon steel is a plus. Fortunately I have a stove with a reasonable large burner but I never lower the heat, instead I take the wok away from the heat for short moments. (Never touch the controls!)
About seasoning: Use detergent only once with hot water to remove oil residue etc. Flush/rinse and set your gas-burner to the max and leave it this way. Now really burn-in your wok. Making sure the flames hit every corner (if any) on your wok. Typical colouring should appear (OCC exhaust type) when you think you're done, continue until the steel turns nearly dark, and turn of the heat. Now moisten? (slightly wet) a paper towel with good quality sesame oil or if you're allergic to that, sunflower oil. Rub the inside of your wok with this towel, it should smoke a lot. That's it you're done. Cleaning: Bamboo brush and hot water, goodbye Mr. Muscle and other crxp!. Enjoy!
Do I need to tell you more. Yes I'm afraid so. Get yourself 3 woks! 1 for sweet and sour dishes. 1 for spicy either meat or fish dishes. Finally 1 for egg/omelet dishes and only for that!. You can use your meat/fish; wok for noodles and or rice recipes just as long as you remember to make it piping hot!
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.
Flank steak on the Tao charcoal burner
Sliced, with spicy crying tiger sauce
Served with sticky rice, sauce over the beef
BBQ flank steak larb, with mint leaves & green beans
Crying Tiger Beef, 'Seua Rong Hai'
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 cooking two flanks over just a dozen hot briquets.
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).