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Old 08-25-2009, 01:02 PM   #1
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Wok suggestions

I'm looking to purchase a Wok. Any suggestions? Should I by an electric one or a stove version. Range is electric.


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Old 08-25-2009, 01:11 PM   #2
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My personal opinion is that if you have an electric stove, then an electric wok
might be better. Wok cooking is all about high heat, and perhaps a dedicated
heating unit would more efficiently heat the wok.

Otherwise, I recommend a nice carbon steel wok, nothing fancy. Nice and heavy
and definitely NOT non-stick coated.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:16 PM   #3
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I would take the opposite approach. Buy a plain carbon steel wok for use on your electric stove. A flat-bottomed wok might be better for your electric stove. Your stove burners are much more powerful than the heating element on an electric wok.
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Old 08-25-2009, 01:36 PM   #4
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An electric wok will give you more even heating at the bottom than an electric range.

Most woks do not have a flat bottom for stability when standing alone while stir frying, a feature requiring good contact of the wok with the heating element on most modern electric ranges. They are round bottomed with a burner ring, not the ideal arrangement when using an electric range.

An electric wok will give you more flexibility about WHERE you want to cook, freeing up the range for other dishes.

Good electric woks have an adequate temperature range for cooking everything you will ever need.

If you were using a gas range, the regular steel wok is the only way to go.
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Old 08-25-2009, 02:12 PM   #5
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I use a flat bottomed carbon steel wok similar to this one: Amazon.com: Helen Chen's Asian Kitchen Flat Bottom Carbon Steel 14-Inch Lidded Wok Set: Home & Garden

I use it on a gas stove but it would work equally well on an electric. BTW, they can be had for about $25-$30.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:32 PM   #6
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I have this new flat bottom wok for my ceramic glass electric stove and it works really great. Gets too hot if I have the setting on high. I like it because I can use metal utensils.

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Old 09-14-2009, 08:47 PM   #7
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Electric woks really don't have the heating ability to do a good job at anything beyond steaming.

Flat bottom carbon steel woks are widely available for little money. Heck, even Walmart has a decent one for about $18.00.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
Electric woks really don't have the heating ability to do a good job at anything beyond steaming.
i would agree with that...but, unfortunately, most home stoves (even gas ones) dont seem to have the power to properly wok, either....from my experience, unless you cook in very small stages, you quickly go from "wok-ing" to stewing....that is why restaurants have dedicated wok burners that look like jet engines....ive done some research, and if you want high output burners in your home stove, you need commercial level permits (or fire suppressing system? i forgot exactly what you need, but its a bit unreaonable for the home)
i would love one of those outdoor wok burners (basically the propane burner used for a turkey fryer)....i dont think they are terribly expensive, either
not that you shouldn't buy the wok! decent home wok food is better than none!
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:14 AM   #9
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one other thing (sorry if im hijacking here) - i considered using a chimney charcoal starter as a wok burner....just place it on the ground or other stable surface, let it get ripping hot, and wok away....think that will work? has anyone ever tried it?
i have no idea how much heat that thing would actually put out, but its got to be pretty hot
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:54 PM   #10
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The charcoal starter is an idea I've seen elsewhere in a Thai clay stove as well. I have a 30K BTU outdoors stove where I do most of my Wok cooking. There are times I've wanted a little more oomph even there but not many.

If you're working indoors, yes, technique changes quite a bit. Managing ingredients in the wok and staging cooking in small amounts is critical and you have to let them sit and sear a bit before stir frying. This is why Cook's Illustrated just uses a 12" inch non-stick pan on home equipment. I think you can get better wok hei with a wok even then if you use good technique. Grace Young covers this technique issue well in her book, Breath of a Wok.
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