Wok: What do you want to achieve from cooking in a wok? To craft tasty and authentic dishes? For many households, the wok is the centrepiece ubiquitous of the kitchen. It usually commands a dedicated place where the burner stove and the stove glass inductor are. Is your cooking skill significantly dependent on the utensils you use? If Yes, read further.
I’ve Check Out With The Experts And This is What They Said
Woks are commonly good for stir-fry dishes, but it is also good for deep-frying, braising, steaming and much more.
That’s because of its unique deep round-bottom shape and high slopes and with flaming fire (High BTU) to wrap around the sides while cooking, this creates an even cooking (although a flat bottom can simulate a similar experience if the wok has similar high sides).
Relatively the flat-shaped makes the cooking process slow and long. However, the flat shape offer also even the distribution of heat. Obviously, the flat bottom can hold a larger amount of food due to the large surface area and that’s why they are preferable for searing meat.
Editor’s note: A round bottom can also hold a large amount of food!
Have you wondered why you see cooks like to toss their food when cooking? It’s not to entertain or show off their acrobatic cooking skill but is all about a cooking technique. What is cooking with woks without tossing your food? The secret of tossing is that food can be cooked evenly. With flames distributed all around, this tossing offers no hot or cold spots and it ensures that all the food in the wok is cooked at the same time, though, not all food requires tossing and flipping.
When the high heat and flames scour the oil in the woks it brings out the smoky flavour, what we hard-to-define as “wok hei” or the “Breath of the Wok”. Cooking experts swear by it. They said the smoking flavour brings an extraordinary vaporization of the liquid content of the ingredients bursting that elusive seared taste and steaming aroma which further brings the almost-burning sensation on your tongue that somehow miraculously enhances the flavour of the dish. That’s what we like to achieve and look for. Let’s start cooking!
Woks heat food quickly and evenly, ensuring all the nutrients remained intact, and eventually, less oil is used. The experts said to start eating healthily while we are enjoying our food. Too much oil in food is not healthy and is not good for our cholesterol!
Typically, a woks is round-bottom but over the years flat bottoms are becoming popular with the advent of modern cooking cooktops using electricity and induction.
People nowadays want the convenience and cleanliness of induction cooking hence the making of cooking utensils has to follow these needs and growing trends.
Round-bottom is well suited for stovetops with high flames, whereas flat-bottom is made convenient by electric glass tops and gas stovetops. You won’t be able to toss if there is no fire stove, perhaps is time to get one.
Catering to different consumers’ demand, wok today come in different shape and sizes, and materials for you to choose from. The type of wok used is the user’s own personal preference and how they want to cook their food. Perhaps, they have not read this article yet.
You can choose from a variety of different makes and shapes of cast iron woks, stainless steel woks, and carbon steel woks. Some woks are bought raw (unseasoned) and some come preseasoned for consumers’ convenience. Incorrectly seasoning your woks initially can jeopardize its surface forever! Do not attempt to season it if you’re not sure how to do it! Better get a preseasoned one.
There are also available non-stick wok with a protective coat but this is not a preferable choice as this may contain harmful toxic chemicals which may come out and react with the food cooked during high heat. However, there are many made with non-stick coatings made without PFOA. Sure, look out for the ‘Non-PFOA” sticker when you make the purchase.
Carbon steel will heat fast and will not retain heat after cooking. It is comparably light to iron cast woks and is very durable. One advantage is that it can work with induction ranges.
An iron cast will heat up slower but will retain heat much longer after cooking. Make sure the cooked food is taken out of the wok immediately after being cooked to prevent overcooking. Cast iron will become more seasoned the longer it is used, making it more non-stick as it ages, thus buying a non-stick wok is unnecessary. One disadvantage is that they are a bit heavier than all the other woks but they also can be used over an induction cooker.
Stainless steel wok, however, gives a very clean professional appearance. You can in fact start using it out of the box and there is no prior seasoning is required.
They are able to retain heat like cast iron and are highly durable. They won’t warp and can withstand very high heat. Another plus point is that it is non-reactive. That is they don’t rust or scratch, and they don’t deteriorate when they have been exposed to acidic foods. If you are lazy to keep your wok in pristine condition always, choose a stainless steel wok. They don’t need much care and maintenance.
- Carbon Steel Wok Pan – 14" Woks and Stir Fry Pans
- Lodge Cast Iron Seasoned 14" Wok
- Imusa 14-inch Light Cast Iron Pre Seasoned Traditional Wok with Handle
- Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok
- Backcountry Iron 14 Inch Cast Iron Wok
- Tasty Carbon Steel Non-Stick Stir Fry Pan/Wok
Carbon Steel Wok Pan – 14″ Woks and Stir Fry Pans – Chinese Hammered Wok Round Bottom Pow Wok – Traditional Chinese Japanese Woks – Carbon Steel Cooking Wok (14″, Silver) Check Price
Carbon Steel Wok Pan – 14″ Woks and Stir Fry Pans
This big pow wok was specifically handcrafted for stir-frying meals like fried rice, noodles, Kung Pao, Moo Shoo pork and many others. Feel free to use this round-bottomed professional wok for deep-frying, pan-frying, braising, etc.
EVEN HEATING and OPTIMAL HEAT RETENTION: Our woks are heavy-duty carbon steel. This Chinese cooking wok ensures ideal heat retention and consistently even heating, both important for locking in flavours.
Lodge Cast Iron Seasoned 14″ Wok
14-inch cast iron wok
Nonstick surface seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil
Safe for use in the oven, on the stove, on the grill, or over a campfire
Great for high-heat cooking and searing
Easy to clean: just hand wash, dry, and rub with oil
Made of all-natural ingredients
Cookware that stays in the family and out of the landfill
Made in Tennessee
Lodge Cast Iron Seasoned 14″ Wok Check Price
Imusa 14-inch Light Cast Iron Pre Seasoned Traditional Wok with Handle Check Price
Imusa 14-inch Light Cast Iron Pre Seasoned Traditional Wok with Handle
- Made of Light Weight Cast Iron
- Versatile usage: Can be Utilized on Stovetops, Grills, Burners & Oven
- Ideal for Stir-Frying Meats, Fish, Vegetables, Poultry & Rice
- Features an Extended Bakelite Handle
- Can be used when Cooking over Open Flames + Helper Handle
- The casting process is done by Pressure
- Pre-seasoned Nonstick Interior
- 14-inch Size
Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok Black 14-Inch W Large Loop Handles Check Price
Bruntmor Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Wok
You can feel the difference when you hold your Bruntmor Wok!
The wider handles make it easier to manipulate with a safe and secure grip, while the wide curved base gives you stability while stir-frying.
Best of all, the cast iron properties of these woks provide superior heat retention and allow for even heating throughout.
- A sturdy base keeps the woks steady on the stovetop
- Pre-seasoned and ready for immediate use
- Can be used on any stovetop: electric, gas, or induction; can also be used in the oven
Backcountry Iron 14 Inch Cast Iron Wok
Backcountry Iron Cast 14″ Pre-Seasoned Woks is rugged, hand-made using a proprietary metallurgical alloy, and is seasoned using our company’s blend of the finest food-grade oils.
You’ll find that your foods sear evenly and cook more consistently than with other cast iron Dutch ovens, skillets, kitchenware, and other products.
Backcountry Iron 14 Inch Cast Iron Wok with Flat Base and Handles Check Price
Tasty Carbon Steel Non-Stick Stir Fry Pan/Wok
Tasty Carbon Steel Non-Stick Stir Fry Pan/Wok, 14-inch, Red Check Price
- Premium Non-Stick Coating: This Tasty non-stick woks features a durable non-stick coating that allows food to easily slide out of the pan
- Healthy Cooking: The non-stick coating on this woks is made without PFOA
- Sizzling Quality: Carbon steel construction guarantees optimum heat distribution for fast and even cooking
- Easy to Clean: This woks is as easy to clean as it is to use! Simply wash with warm, soapy water in between uses
- Get a Handle on Things: Comfortable grip silicone riveted handle makes this woks easy to manoeuvre. An additional helper handle makes it easy to lift this wok
KitchenAid 5-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Induction Wok
KitchenAid 5-Ply Clad Stainless Steel Induction Wok, 15-inch, Polished Stainless Steel Check Price
- PRECISE HEAT DISTRIBUTION: Five layers of heat conductive metal from base to rim deliver precise heat control and superior heat retention throughout the entire stir fry pan
- LASTING CONSTRUCTION: Woks is crafted from heavy-duty 5-ply clad stainless steel and features a unique brushed base to hide wear and tear for long-lasting durability
- COOK IN STYLE: Unique black stainless steel handles are dual-riveted and provide a sleek table-top presentation
- EASY TO CLEAN: Sealed rims prevent corrosion, allowing for the stir fry pan to be truly dishwasher safe
- STOVETOP TO OVEN: Induction-compatible stainless steel cookware with layered construction is broiler-safe and oven safe to 500°F for adaptability to a wide range of creative cooking techniques
Yosukata Carbon Steel Wok Pan – 11.8″ Woks and Stir Fry Pans – Chinese Wok with Flat Bottom Pow Wok – Traditional Chinese Japanese Woks – Black Steel Wok Check Price
Yosukata Carbon Steel Wok Pan
This carbon steel wok, the outdoor woks is made of high-grade black carbon steel material, which means that no unwelcome flavours will interfere with your dish and you’ll always savour a fresh taste!
- EVEN HEATING and OPTIMAL HEAT RETENTION: Our woks are heavy-duty black carbon steel. This Chinese wok pan ensures ideal heat retention and consistently even heating, both important for locking in flavours and juices.
- COMFY TO HOLD AND HANDLE: Unlike most woks and stir-fry pans, the handle of our woks pan is made of treated wood, it’s easy to grip while cooking without burning yourself.
The ultimate Choice of a wok is yours
Whatever choice you make, the most important factors to consider are the material, size, and shape to determine how well it performs.
A wok can perform deliciously seared stir-fries but it can do a variety of cooking.
A wok need not be expensive but a good one can last for many years.
Expert opinion is that a high-quality wok is made of either carbon steel or cast iron.
Hammered carbon steel is durable and strong and its hammered sides make food cling to the sides when cooking. This makes food cook better when stir-frying.
Cast iron woks are suitable for high heat and only experienced cooks can handle it. Cooking for a long period can aid in seasoning the wok and over time it will develop a wonderful patina which makes searing great. Cast iron retains heat much longer and food once cooked has to be plated immediately to prevent over-cooking.
If you have no choice, get a preseasoned wok, but try to skip the non-stick one, unless it is certified non-PFOA.
Does size really matter when choosing a wok? If it is too big it will be much heavier and it would be hard to handle and manoeuvre. Too small and the food are too crowded and it might spill out if tossed. Experts said that 14 in. and 16 in. diameter are recommended unless of course, you’re a restaurant cook and you need a bigger wok.
Who wins the final battle between the choice of a flat-bottom or round-bottom wok?
A round-bottom wok will not heat well in an induction stovetop, even with the help of a stove wok ring. This is because the contact area between the wok and the inductor is a mere dot!
The flat-bottom wok with a long wooden handle seems to be a better choice for home cooks because the flat-bottom can either be used on an inductor as well as on a gas stovetop at ease.
If you have a passion for great food and cooking, check out my choice of cooking utensils here.
Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery
A guide to stir-frying: the cooking technique that makes less seem like more, extends small amounts of food to feed many, and makes ingredients most tender and delicious. Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award for International Cooking Check Price
We will, we will, WOK you.Source: Wokabout Rock Kitchen
WAS THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL? PASS IT ON