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Old 02-03-2013, 01:20 PM   #11
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Or you could get one of these.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:21 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
Or you could get one of these.
Something's missing from your post, Puff.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:47 PM   #13
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Carbon Steel is the perfect medium for a Wok. It is what is used in those countries that use woks on a daily basis. Anything more is overdoing it and just so you can say "I spent lots of money on this wok." You don't want a status symbol, you want something to stir fry in for all the years to come.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:27 PM   #14
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Carbon Steel is the perfect medium for a Wok. It is what is used in those countries that use woks on a daily basis. Anything more is overdoing it and just so you can say "I spent lots of money on this wok." You don't want a status symbol, you want something to stir fry in for all the years to come.
I agree. A good old carbon steel wok is used around the world. Picture this though. Millions of poor people cooking their food do not have the luxury of having thousands of BTU's like say Chinese restaurants do. The old grandmother must nurse a tiny fire made from dried pig dung and straw all day to cook the rice etc. Carbon steel woks on electric burners even with 'rings' never get hot enough to actually 'stir fry' in the classic sense. These woks dissipate heat almost as fast as they absorb it. That's why the average 'western' cook who wants to cook chinese food seldom ends up with a great result.
A SS wok is thicker and will hold more heat better/longer. Still not enough heat but better than a carbon steel wok.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
I agree. A good old carbon steel wok is used around the world. Picture this though. Millions of poor people cooking their food do not have the luxury of having thousands of BTU's like say Chinese restaurants do. The old grandmother must nurse a tiny fire made from dried pig dung and straw all day to cook the rice etc. Carbon steel woks on electric burners even with 'rings' never get hot enough to actually 'stir fry' in the classic sense. These woks dissipate heat almost as fast as they absorb it. That's why the average 'western' cook who wants to cook chinese food seldom ends up with a great result.
A SS wok is thicker and will hold more heat better/longer. Still not enough heat but better than a carbon steel wok.
Over the gas flame on my stove, my carbon-steel wok gets hot enough to ignite cooking oil. And the years of seasoning still smoke up a storm so that I have to open windows. If that isn't hot enough, then only a blow torch will do.

And about stir-frying, only the bottom of the wok needs to be super hot. The food is lifted to the cooler sides to prevent it from scorching while more ingredients are added to the dish. Finally, everything is pushed together to combine the foods, sauce, and seasonings.

I really don't see the purpose of non-stick, stainless steel, or cast iron woks. I know people use them. But it is my humble opinion that they've over-though the matter. Again, please don't take offense. This is only my opinion. If you get the results you want with a SS Wok, then by all means, use it. Just don't say that it's the only answer.

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Old 02-03-2013, 05:14 PM   #16
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I have SS and carbon steel woks but the light weight cast iron is my favorite. It stays seasoned with very little effort. It is not one of the American made heavy woks it only weighs a few ounces.

For choosing a wok I highly recommend reading this: Wok - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is the one I have: Amazon.com: 16 inch Traditional Cast Iron Wok: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:18 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
Over the gas flame on my stove, my carbon-steel wok gets hot enough to ignite cooking oil. And the years of seasoning still smoke up a storm so that I have to open windows. If that isn't hot enough, then only a blow torch will do.

And about stir-frying, only the bottom of the wok needs to be super hot. The food is lifted to the cooler sides to prevent it from scorching while more ingredients are added to the dish. Finally, everything is pushed together to combine the foods, sauce, and seasonings.

I really don't see the purpose of non-stick, stainless steel, or cast iron woks. I know people use them. But it is my humble opinion that they've over-though the matter. Again, please don't take offense. This is only my opinion. If you get the results you want with a SS Wok, then by all means, use it. Just don't say that it's the only answer.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
I'm a 'failed' chinese food cook. I love chinese food and it's stumped me all my life. I've probably had five or six carbon steel woks over the years and I can't ever get anything to cook like I used to watch the line cooks at Don Mee's cook in their woks. They had some sort of foot peddle on the floor they could press and the natural gas/propane would ignite and within a few seconds the wok would be close to turning red. I get your point about the temperature on the bottom etc but explain why those line cooks used such screaming hot woks if ordinary stove top heat works just as well. With respect.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
I agree. A good old carbon steel wok is used around the world. Picture this though. Millions of poor people cooking their food do not have the luxury of having thousands of BTU's like say Chinese restaurants do. The old grandmother must nurse a tiny fire made from dried pig dung and straw all day to cook the rice etc. Carbon steel woks on electric burners even with 'rings' never get hot enough to actually 'stir fry' in the classic sense. These woks dissipate heat almost as fast as they absorb it. That's why the average 'western' cook who wants to cook chinese food seldom ends up with a great result.
A SS wok is thicker and will hold more heat better/longer. Still not enough heat but better than a carbon steel wok.
The number one reason for stir frying fails is over loading the pan. Even on a cheap electric burner if people would cook smaller amounts they can achieve good results.
Heat the pan
add a small amount of meat (I normally use 8 to 10oz) brown and remove meat
let the pan get hot again
Add veggies when they are almost done remove them
add sauce bring to a rapid boil
add veggies and return to a rapid boil
add meat and if needed thickening slurry
mix and when thick serve.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:31 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
I'm a 'failed' chinese food cook. I love chinese food and it's stumped me all my life. I've probably had five or six carbon steel woks over the years and I can't ever get anything to cook like I used to watch the line cooks at Don Mee's cook in their woks. They had some sort of foot peddle on the floor they could press and the natural gas/propane would ignite and within a few seconds the wok would be close to turning red. I get your point about the temperature on the bottom etc but explain why those line cooks used such screaming hot woks if ordinary stove top heat works just as well. With respect.
For line cooks it is about production. They use the high heat mode for response time. Put a cold wok on the stove hit the peddle in 3 to 5 seconds the wok is hot. For me at home this takes almost 2 minutes. Since they have extra heat when they add things they do not have to remove what is in the wok another time saver for them. If they are going to add something they hit the peddle, add and the wok come back to temp in seconds. A dish that takes me 10 minutes to cook from the time I turn on the flame takes them 3 or 4.

Also they can cook family sized portions. I am limited to 8 to 10 oz of meat.

This is a good example of recipes I make. Chicken with Broccoli Recipe
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:48 PM   #20
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I'm really surprised there were no replies referencing electric woks. This is another option to consider before making your choice. We had a thread about this a while back too.

Amazon.com: Breville BEW600XL Hot Wok: Home & Kitchen

.40
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