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Old 06-04-2005, 11:11 AM   #1
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Wok for smooth cooktops

Anyone know of a wok that will work with a smooth (glass) cooktop. I saw a cast iron wok in a Williams Sonoma catalog and I hear that cast iron woks are the best kind.

But really, any wok that will work it better than nothing.


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Old 06-04-2005, 11:14 AM   #2
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I would have trouble believing that any wok would work very well on a smooth top range. Hard to capture the heat properly. I'd recommend an electric wok like I have in your situation.

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Old 06-04-2005, 01:40 PM   #3
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I prefer a carbon steel wok over the cast iron. You'll need a flat bottom wok for your stove.
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Old 06-05-2005, 12:04 AM   #4
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A real wok is made from high carbon steel .. it gets very hot very quickly - but it has temperature differances over it's surface - the higher up the sides the lower the temp. You can pull food up on the sides and throw something else into the bottom and heat it quickly and at a hotter temp while the food on the sides of the pan continue to cook at a lower temp.
Cast iron does not work that way - the heat is too even and it is very slow to come up to temp. And, from the testing that Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen did - an electric wok is better used as a deep fryer than for stir-frying.

There are some steel woks with flat bottoms that you can use on a glass top stove ... and there are some made from anodized aluminum. I would stay away from anything called a wok that is cast iron, coated with a nonstick surface, or stainless steel.

According to Joy of Cooking - Asian war brides (WWII and Korea) found a big flat skillet (aka a saute pan or chicken fryer pan) worked just as well.
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Old 06-05-2005, 01:38 AM   #5
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I would hesitate to buy a really heavy wok for a glass top. What if you accidently drop it? I have heard of it happening.

I have a flat bottom wok. It is not wonderful. It does not ever get really hot. An electric wok sounds like something I would like to investigate. Wonder if they sell them here?

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Old 06-05-2005, 05:51 AM   #6
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I can confirm what FtW and Joy said. I grew up with all kinds of war brides (I just called them my freinds' moms or Mom's freinds), and there wasn't such a thing as a wok on the American market in those days. The Asian women just used their big frying pans/skillets. We also ate many a sukiyaki from big electric skillets set in the middle of a table in the kitchen.

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