Originally Posted by puffin3
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.
Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North