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Old 04-18-2006, 10:01 PM   #1
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Do I need a new Wok?

I have a teflon-coated (or other nonstick surface?) wok and the coating is beginning to peel off, and expose the bare metal (steel I think, non stainless). I'm worried about the pieces flecking into food, and also about the bottom of the wok rusting. The underside of the wok has begun to rust, and I don't know if it will slowly eat through the bottom of the pan, or what.

If I do need new cookware, is stainless steel a good way to go? What are some pros and cons? All of my good cookware is at my girlfriend's place where i spend most of my time, and as soon as her dirty roomate leaves we're upgrading the condo, and we might want to get some new cookware to go with it. Again, is stainless steel a good choice or no?

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Old 04-18-2006, 10:17 PM   #2
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IMO, the best choice for a wok is also the least epensive. That's high carbon steel, the original metal used in woks.

This is a thin, uncoated metal that you have to season as you would cast iron. However, it heats up fast and is lightweight enough to be easy to move around during cooking.

A non-stick coated wok is counter-intuitive. Non-stick coatings are not supposed to be subjected to high heat, which happens to be the focal point of wok stir-frying.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:33 PM   #3
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I agree with you AndyM. The thing is, anyone who is used to conventional modern North American cooking styles may have to do some rethink when using the type of wok you are recommending. When I use my traditional oriental wok, on high heat, as is the norm for the most part, after I have finished using it, I wipe it out with a dry cloth or for tough spots I may oil the cloth or use a wire brush. Once cleaned I take an brush and oil it.

How about you?
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:24 PM   #4
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SO i should go with the high-carbon steel then?
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:27 PM   #5
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yes if you want a wok, or just a SS or aluminum stir fry pan (western flat bottomed wok) but keep away from Teflon on this item.
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Old 04-19-2006, 09:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
have a teflon-coated (or other nonstick surface?) wok
Eww. There's your problem right there.

But as Andy and others have said your best bet (particularly if you have a gas stove) is a simple, inexpensive steel or iron (not cast) wok.

The best non-stick surface you can have is the lovely black patina that you burn on yourself. Plus you can use metal implements with absolutely no worries (especially useful if you use it to deep fry) and its so easy to clean, it doesn't even need to go in the sink (and indeed it is best that it doesn't).
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:15 AM   #7
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Or get a cast iron one, but you won't be able to shuffle it around on the stove as much because it IS heavy.

But keep it seasoned like you would a carbon steel wok.


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Old 04-20-2006, 11:29 AM   #8
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Get rid of it asap. Who wants bits of chemical non-stick material in their stirfries?

I've had the same carbon-steel wok since 1974 & it's well-seasoned & still going strong. Bought it extremely cheaply at a little Asian grocery store back before Asian cooking was "all the rage".

Due to the high heat & constant stirring required to produce a good stirfry, the non-stick ones are virtually worthless.
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking

Due to the high heat & constant stirring required to produce a good stirfry, the non-stick ones are virtually worthless.
This is only true if you are doing high heat cooking which is not the only thing you can use a wok for. I have a non stick wok that I LOVE and believe me it is definitely not worthless. I would not use it for high heat cooking like stirfry or deep frying or anything like that, but it does have it's uses and comes in very handy!
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Old 04-20-2006, 12:24 PM   #10
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Yes, and you can also BOIL things in it like Asian pasta which cooks up real fast.

And don't forget the Bamboo Steamer which also is a a great accessory for your wok!

But yes, I stopped using nonstick-coated cookware as well, as you know. I was just tired of it, and some of the stuff DID start peeling off the cookware.


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