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Old 03-08-2007, 01:19 PM   #1
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Cast Iron Wok

Some of my favorite cooking is wok cooking. I love thai food. I really like my joyce chen carbon steel flat bottom wok. It gets very hot very quickly. The only thing i don't like about it is when you put a good quantity of food in it the temperature drops to much and you end up with steam/boiled food. I have this thing lit under a gas 16,000 BTU burner. Of course your never going to get the heat level they have at a real thai resteruant. Maybe if you use that trick that AB did on goodeats where he used a turker fryer.

Anyways i decided to give cast iron a try. There are two type of cast iron woks (im only referring to flat bottom). You have the thick/heavy massive woks that are mostly manufactored by lodge i think. Then you have the thinner (while still heavy) made usually in asia. I know one of the things people complain about with cast iron woks is they don't cool off quickly enough. I think maybe if you keep stiring what you have and turn off the heat till it cools down some you should be fine. When i ordered my recent KA food processor from amazon i decided to order one of these cast iron woks (it looks like the thinner style that i talked about above). Here is the unit i ordered:
Amazon.com: Mr. Bar-B-Q Cast Iron Wok: Home & Garden

Hopefully with the thinner style you will get some of the heat retention properties of cast iron and it won't stay hot too long after you turn off the burner.

Anyone had a chance to compare cooking with this style of wok & carbon steel? What did you think?

Ncage

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Old 03-08-2007, 01:23 PM   #2
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Besides the speed of cooking concern is the weight of cast iron...I tend to get in there with a wok, and wouldn't cast iron give me the right arm of a tennis player? (and leave me too tired to use my chopsticks?)
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:41 PM   #3
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I'd stick with carbon steel and cook the food in small batches.

I prep all my ingredients and cook them one at a time, meat first, then each veggie separately. Then I combine them at the end and add the sauce.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I'd stick with carbon steel and cook the food in small batches.

I prep all my ingredients and cook them one at a time, meat first, then each veggie separately. Then I combine them at the end and add the sauce.
My vote this gets!!
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:36 PM   #5
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Maybe this is one of those things i will have to use and write up a review for. It would be nice for anyone trying to decide whether to use a cast iron or carbon steel wok. Like lulu stated cast iron might not be good for anyone that is concerned with the weight factor (i am not). This beast weighs 11 pounds. I thought what they hey for $16 shipped. Im sure if i still prefer the carbon steel wok i can always find something do do with it.

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Old 03-08-2007, 03:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncage1974
Im sure if i still prefer the carbon steel wok i can always find something do do with it.

Ncage
Add a chin strap and it might make a nice hat for working in the garden.

The major problem with a cast iron wok is that the entire wok will be the same temperature. When cooking in a wok, you need the ability to move certain items that are cooking too fast, or have finished cooking, into the higher areas of the wok that are less hot, so that everything finishes cooking at the same time. This is also why a teflon coated wok is less than desireable. If you move the faster cooking food up the sides, it slides right back down into the bottom!

If your temperature is dropping too much when you add food to it, you are using too much food for the size of your wok. Cook in smaller batches, or buy a bigger carbon steel wok.
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:58 PM   #7
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Thumbs up loved it....

I got the cast iron wok tonight and i was going to wait to the weekend to try it out. I didn't have much as the way of stir fry veggies so i had to come up with something out of my head. I came up with something i called Thai Stir Fried Silver Noodle. I seasoned the wok in the oven as directed by the instructions. This thing is not as heavy as i thought it would be. Yes its 11 pounds but its not that bad in my opinion. This thing got rocket hot. Ok and like someone noted above your not going to have as big of a temperature difference but between the sides of the pan and the bottom of the plan. There is still a big difference though. I threw my onions, garlic, and thai peppers in first and after that i moved the onion mixture to the side and i did not have any problem with it overbrowning. Yes there is a bigger difference in a carbon steel wok but i didn't have any problems. When i threw the chicken and everything in i had no problem with the wok cooling down like i usually do. It stayed hot. The chicken got browned perfectly and when i threw the rice noodles in i lowered the heat to medium and it just was a perfect dish. So i will tell you...I LOVE THIS WOK!!!!!! Since the patina isn't fully developed yet the wok was amazining pretty non stick...i can't imagine what will happen when it develops a full patina. Oh and lastly i loved the shape of the wok. Nice and wide. It was perfect for me. Other than getting the top of my stove dirty everything worked out perfectly ;). Here is some pictures:


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Old 03-12-2007, 08:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncage1974
Im sure if i still prefer the carbon steel wok i can always find something do do with it.

Ncage
I'm sure it could be one he11 of a weapon!
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:54 PM   #9
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You might think about using a turkey fryer propane grill as your heat source--outside, of course.
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Old 03-12-2007, 08:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candocook
You might think about using a turkey fryer propane grill as your heat source--outside, of course.
Do you think it would work since this is a flat bottom wok? I thought the turkey fryer method was only for round bottom woks.
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