Originally Posted by artofcooking
Okay, so based on what everyone said, I think carbon steel is the way to go. I want to purchase one from the Wok Shop and am leaning towards the wok shop: carbon steel wok - side handle
or the wok shop: selling woks for 40 years
(strange color, huh?)
My coiled electric stove is 7 inch diameter and I only cook for myself, mainly Pad Thai and stir fry veggies/rice in wok. A few more questions:
1. What diameter wok should I get?
2. What types of handles are best?
3. Which type of wok is relatively easy to care for?
4. Can I make fried egg, mushroom masala, aloo gobi in it?
Once seasoned, you can use your wok to cook anything you wish, on top of the stove. I've boiled pasta noodles, made popcorn, made pasta sauce, made soups, deep fried, stir fried, and even braised in mine. I like wooden handles as metal ones, though more durable, can get hot. Also, I can't use mine in the oven because of the wooden handles.
Remember, a wok isn't magic. It's simply a cooking vessel made of metal. It's unique shape makes it handy for cooking some types of foods, better than say, a soup pot, or griddle. It works by transfering heat into food by the same laws of physics that all cooking vessels use. It is a very versatile cooking vessel.
I love to use mine as it's a very large wok, for a home kitchen. It also has a flat bottom, which makes it more useful than round bottom woks, for my circumstances. The only limitations with a wok are those dictated by the rules of therm o-dynamics, and your own mind. If you season it properly, you will find it a real dynamic and userful cooking tool. But know this ahead of time. Though it will cook a great many foods, in a great many ways, it won't make waffles or pancakes for you.
I'm pretty sure I could coax it into making a strange shaped, but delicious apple pie, if I needed to.
And as far as that cooking popcorn thing, it's my go-to pot for that. It does a brilliant job and makes a big batch.
Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North