Tips & Common Mistakes when using Iwatani Stir Fry Gas Stove

To all new Wok Stars who’ve purchased my Wok Star Kit with round bottom cast iron wok and ready to start your wok journey using an Iwatani Stir Fry Gas Stove, here are two 15 second videos and photo tutorials that will pivot you into  Wok Stardom! 

For those who don’t realize your electric stove is one the main reasons for ruining your stir fry resulting in soupy veggies and chewy meat, this little Stir Fry Gas Stove is the answer!!!  It will transform your whole experience with wok cooking!

I must say however, that it’s also important to have the right wok, techniques and using good brands so you experience success.  It’s not just one thing, that’s why I put this Wok Star Kit together.

If you have any questions about this Iwatani Stir Fry Stove, leave a comment and I’m happy to answer them.

I explain all the reasons why this is the perfect solution for wok cooking under A Note About Your Heat Source.

See how I use this setup on top of my electric stove and leave it out at ALL TIMES so it’s convenient, accessible and practical? If you keep putting it away and you don’t see it, you won’t use it.  So, what’s the point of having it, right?


Here are some unusual places Wok Stars have used their Wok Star Kit and gas stove setup…hey, it’s a traveling kitchen.  Good for tailgate parties, camping, yachting, patio & poolside, hurricanes, power outages, it’s perfect when I go on TV shows, food and wine festivals, store presentations, so use your imagination…


Left is ON & OFF lever. Right is IGNITION, FLAME adjuster.

1. Take the red cap off the cartridge. Open the flap on the right of stove. Align cartridge with BIG ARROW and notch to a flat steel sticking out on the stove. Push left lever down to ON. You’ll see the cartridge move forward into the rod.
2. Turn round switch firmly to the left all the way down hard till you hear a CLICK sound. This ignites and starts the flame. Close the flap when cooking.

3. Start heating your wok on high heat but you can adjust flame height with this switch. When done cooking, flip left lever to OFF to release the cartridge.

1. If you don’t hear your food sizzling in your wok, it means your gas is LOW.
Always buy a batch of refills so you’re never out in your Wok Star moment, ha!

2. Remove your portable gas stove if you set it on top of your electric stove when you use your broiler or oven to prevent the heat from ruining the bottom of your portable stove.

3. I noticed some of you set your stove on your counter which is fine, just make sure you don’t have it too close to any overhead cabinets or curtains! Here’s a 15 second video on some safety tips…

4. I prefer setting my portable stove on my electric stove because the overhead vent will still work right above your wok. Remember, leave your wok and stove setup OUT at all times so it’s convenient. If you keep putting away, it becomes an obstacle to cook.

5.  Do NOT cover the hole in the right hand side of stove where you insert the cartridge.


Please be patient. It’s VERY SIMPLE and a matter of practice and using it. I’ve had someone tell me 3 handy guys couldn’t get the stove to work but I took one look and could see the cartridge was not aligned. It came on like a charm.

1.  If your stove is not igniting when you turn the dial…

Is your cartridge aligned with the steel rod sticking out? 
If it’s not aligned properly and you flip the lever down, it won’t turn on because it’s a safety catch.

2. Are you turning the dial all the way down hard to the left till you hear a CLICK? If you don’t use it often, you may not remember how to turn it on, it happens.

3. Is there “gas” in your cartridge?
Shake it, if you cannot hear any swishing in the can, you may be low, so there’s not enough pressure to start the burner. Buy new cartridge and get a few so you have some backup.

4. If you’ve done all the above and still doesn’t work?
Simply press the ‘reset’ red button just ONCE on the LEFT side of the cartridge looking at it front on. Viola!

Please try these before you call me, not because I don’t want to talk to you but so you don’t feel pressure. I GUARANTEE if you follow those directions, this stove works like MAGIC!!!


Asian markets are the cheapest places to buy gas refill cartridges!  They’re under $2 each, so purchase 3-4 so you don’t run out in your Wok Star moment. I’ve heard funny or sad stories where folks were entertaining and ran out of gas as they were finishing a dish! If you don’t have access to Asian markets, Amazon stocks them and free shipping for prime shoppers which I’m sure many of you are!

I do not sell or ship gas refills because I would need a license to do that. However, I do provide one for those purchasing at my class so you can start having fun right away!

NOTE: There’s always a first, so a new Wok Star sent me a photo of a butane gas refill which is NOT correct for this gas stove.  The nozzle is plastic and soft and does NOT fit into this gas stove.  The brand is Bernzomatic, plse do NOT purchase this. Here’s what it looks like.

Don’t get this, it doesn’t work with Iwatani stoves.


4 Responses to Tips & Common Mistakes when using Iwatani Stir Fry Gas Stove
  1. […] is in hurricane area, so they are great backup. Here are some tips and techniques to using one:… Good luck and stay […]

  2. gasNtools
    August 6, 2019 | 12:52 am

    I am in a confusion on choosing the place where can I buy the portable gas canister? This post clarifies my doubt and helps me to find the right seller

  3. Won
    January 21, 2018 | 1:42 am

    After I followed all your instructions, my iwatani stove does not work.

  4. Mark
    October 3, 2017 | 8:54 pm

    Does anyone know what to do if you can’t get the starter spark under the hob?

    And no, the “red reset button” does not exist. There is a spark switch to the left, but not a reset button.

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